Transformers: Beast Wars – The Gathering #4 (or #$ according to the publishing info)
IDW Publishing (May, 2006)
WRITER: Simon Furman
SCRIPT CONSULTANT: Ben Yee
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Josh Burcham
SELECTED COVER ART: Nick Roche
LETTERER: Tom B. Long
EDITORS: Chris Ryall & Dan Taylor
Ravage gathers the Predacons for an assault on the Maximal base, but just as things look bad for the team the rest of the awakened Maximals, led by Torca, finally arrive and chase them off, Ravage sneaking away. Meanwhile, Grimlock is taken down by Magmatron’s three dinosaur modes (he splits into three dinosaurs…I don’t think I mentioned that), but the battle gave Optimus Minor the chance to grab one of the chronal devices. Razorbeast uses his to pop back and forth outside of the current timestream, getting the drop on Magmatron and further distracting him while Minor sends the still unconscious Megatron back to his normal time phase. Then the two Maximals force Magmatron through his own Transwarp shunt, sending him back to Cybertron. Now they have to wait and see if Snarl’s message reached Cybertron and if they can be found.
What they got right: Furman actually let Grimlock be defeated? I’m shocked! I was sure he’d have his G1 pet character defeat Magmatron and then go win the original Beast Wars. Razorbeast’s use of the chronal phase armband to win the fight was genius. I forgot about that thing. The art and coloring is also really good.
What they got wrong: The TF Wiki said it best: “Razorbeast’s decision not to destroy the hapless Megatron because of “respect [for] the timeline” makes more sense from a real-world perspective than in-fiction. When the comic was published, the Beast Wars cartoon had ended seven years earlier. Razorbeast’s comment seems in line with the writer’s desire to leave the original continuity unaffected by his new story. However, within the fiction, Razorbeast was Megatron’s contemporary; when Razorbeast left his future Cybertron, the Beast Warriors had not yet returned. Megatron was still as much in the process of “tampering” with the timestream as Razorbeast was. The logic of time-travel is dicey at best in the Transformers multiverse, but this situation would seem to afford Razorbeast a lot more leeway than he gave himself. ” I would add that if he wasn’t a contemporary then he would have been wiped out during the events of Beast Machines and that no help would be coming. Also so would Magmatron so there wouldn’t be a story, and I’m assuming Mags went to do his part in Beast Wars Neo, the Japanese TV series that continues in the American show’s continuity.
Recommendation: I wasn’t expecting to see another GOOD Transformers storyline from Furman, but without multiple plots, good characters, and even not letting his pet character be the ultimate badass beyond all reason, this was a very good story. Snarl is my favorite character and one of my favorite non-show toys so that worked out. Definitely give this story a look. Hopefully the other Beast Wars miniseries from IDW, which I start looking at next week, fares as well.