Battle Beasts #1
Publishing: IDW Publishing
Release Date: July 11, 2012
Price: $3.99
Creators: Bobby Curnow (writer), Valerio Schiti (artist)
Format: 32 pages, Full-Color
Age Ratings: All Ages
ICv2 Ratings: 4 Stars out of 5

Somewhere out in the vastness of space an alien race of humanoid animals are locked in an endless, brutal war.  But Vorin, Merk and Gruntos, a trio of heroic "traitors" are searching for the so-called "dread weapons" that are supposed to be able to end the conflict.  Unfortunately those weapons are discovered on Earth and the only hope for us all is a woman named Bliss.

You couldn't ask for a simpler plot but writer Bobby Curnow keeps the proceedings moving at a nice clip and even comes up with a truly memorable line of dialogue (i.e. "No one interrupts my stew and lives!"  And while his work is frequently threatened to be overwhelmed by the computer coloring artist Valerio Schiti is clearly very talented and really gets a chance to shine when he's finally allowed to draw humans.  He gifts his characters with unique facial expressions and body language, especially when it comes to uber-adorable Bliss Reynolds, a Magic Pixie Dream Girl of Zooey Deschanel proportions.

It would be easy enough (and let's not kid ourselves, kind of fun) to take cheap shots at a comic book based on a toy line, especially one featuring playthings that are outside your own personal nostalgia wheelhouse.  And I'll confess, going in my expectations for Battle Beasts were pretty low but this is one well done comic, one which can be enjoyed by people (like myself) with no interest in and almost no knowledge of this franchise.

--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant