Heroes & Villains: ‘Transformers: Beast Wars,’ ‘Drop The Mic!’

Here we go…First Heroes & Villains of 2021. Am I back?

We’ll get to where I’ve been, what I was thinking, was I thinking of you, and if I would ever return some day. But for now, let’s talk about some comics.

Transformers: Beast Wars #1
Erik Burnham (W)
Josh Burcham (A)
IDW Publishing

We’re going to ease back into things and write about something that’s solidly inside of my wheelhouse: Transformers. Specifically, Transformers: Beast Wars which is perhaps my favorite of all the various Transformers iterations. 2021 marks the TWENTY-FIFTH anniversary of the Beast Wars CGI cartoon that was on when I was in college and I swear was just last week.

Those familiar with the various evolutions of the Transformers franchise over last thirty-seven (OH GOD) years are well familiar with the “trukk not munky” stance a sizable portion of the OG Generation One fans adopted when it was announced that Optimus Prime would now be Optimus Primal and transform not into a truck but a gorilla in the new cartoon. Beast Wars was quickly, and unfairly, dismissed by a lot of people but it just so happened to be on TV when I stopped home between class and going back to college for work (somehow the thought that I worked at a college forever ago makes me seem far older than I actually am).

What I discovered was that Beast Wars was quickly becoming one of the best cartoons running at the time. The writing was great along with the voice acting and character development. Over three seasons and an even shorter-lived spinoff Beast Machines the show introduced a lot of concepts that were adopted by later Transformers adaptations. The toys were pretty kick ass too, but that’s more of a Figure Friday column.

Transformers: Beast Wars #1 which is out TODAY from IDW is a great addition to the Beast Wars mythos. It’s not a straight up retelling of the show, there are a couple of new characters and the issue doesn’t start in medias res like the cartoon did. There’s a little more context provided, which was a luxury the cartoon couldn’t afford. I’m looking forward to seeing what Burnham and Burcham have in store and how their take on Beast Wars will branch out from the source material.

IDW had previously introduced some Beast Wars characters into their prior shared universe of Transformers titles but they never quite jived for me. Luckily, IDW decided to reboot everything recently and is giving Beast Wars a chance to be it’s own thing and not play second fiddle to juggernaut that is the Generation One Transformers franchise. This book will certainly be one to watch.

Drop The Mic!
Lawrence Gray (W)
Adam Lee Monblatt (A)
Panda Rose Press

My pal Lawrence, a man of many talents, is adding “author” and “Father Of The Year” with his first book Drop The Mic! which is out NOW and can be ordered HERE.

I was barely out of college and working as a temp when I met Lawrence forever ago and comics fans can just sense other comics fans and we became fast friends after that. It’s safe to say that the only thing he loves more than comics is being a father…and with that in mind he wrote a book starring his daughter.

Here’s the blurb: Drop The Mic! Follow CJ and his best friend Panda from sunrise to sunset as they go through a day of school, encounter a bully and share their microphone with all their friends!


The way 2020 ended was fairly indicative of the 11 months that preceded it. It was a fucking mess.

Over the course of the year and being stuck in my previous living space it was becoming readily apparent that I couldn’t continue living there. Jokingly, I had said I was either going to hurt myself or someone else if I had to endure another year in that shithole. (In the shithole’s defense, it started out fine five years ago but a revolving door or crappy neighbors quickly eroded any goodwill the place had previously built up).

So I began house hunting.

I had been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, to buy a house and I considered looking for a better place to rent for a spell but having to pack up cats, comics, and other ephemera again in another year or three was not an attractive prospect. For a fraction of a second I considered moving back with my folks, not that I would ever admit that to them.

Eventually, after looking at dozens of places and making more than a few offers that were rejected…I found a house. Let me be the first to tell you…buying a house is fucking dumb and not something I could in good conscience recommend to anyone. Ever.

But it beat the alternative.

From the date my offer was accepted to me getting the keys it was over sixty days to close the sale. In that time, the seller very nearly walked away from the sale and this was a week after I told my landlord to, kindly, piss off. When it was all said and done, I had about 72 hours to get out of my old place and into the new one. Renting a truck, moving boxes, furniture, and begging friends and family to help me get it done. That’s how I spent my New Year’s Eve.

Now, I’m a proud resident of REDACTED. A lot of people ask why I chose to move to REDACTED and to that I say, it’s affordable, quiet, and boring…much like myself. Also, one of the Great Lakes is pretty much at the end of my street. So, if shit every goes way south in America again I’ll be sneaking down to the beach in the dead of night with a canoe to paddle my way to BBP! HQ for sanctuary.

It’s such a strange thing to be here now.

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