Transformers: Beast Wars – The Ascending #1
IDW Publishing (August, 2007)
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Mark Bristow (assisted by Andrew Elder & Jeong Joo Park)
COVER COLORIST: Josh Burcham
LETTERER: Robbie Robbins
EDITORS: Chris Ryall & Dan Taylor
I was wrong about Magmatron going back to Cybertron. Instead he’s in some kind of limbo, able to travel through time but doing little to affect it. Lio Convoy and his Pack haven’t picked up Snarl’s call for help yet, and with the regular Beast Wars over, Ravage is determined to get his team of Predacons into normal time phase and rescue Megatron, thus insuring the Predacons are the winners. However, Razorbeast and his Maximals are too smart for him and protect the armbands that could allow them back. Meanwhile, Magmatron is alerted to a new threat that could end Cybertron, and uses his new state to boost the SOS signal so that the Pack can pick up on it and retrieve them. Their return may be the only hope to stop the rising menace of Shokaract, herald of Unicron!
What they got right: The art continues to be good and we have a good reason to keep the Beast Wars going, at least on the time-displaced Transformer side. Snarl continues to be cool, and Razorbeast makes a good commander.
What they got wrong: I hope this isn’t another multiple storyline thing between trying to get the Cronal Phase Facilitators plus the arrival of Shokaract. Speaking of our old pal Shoky, I hope Furman does some explaining. For those new here, Shokaract was a Botcon storyline character whose finish I’ve already reviewed. And that’s part of the problem. The other is that you would see the world Angolmois and wonder what that is. It’s from the Japanese exclusive Beast Wars shows, Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo, which even now has nothing more than fansubs (and an incomplete dub series) and has not been shown otherwise outside of Japan, leaving casual fans in the dark. (Basically what is now called Dark Energon, a portion of Unicron’s lifeforce, as seen in War For Cybertron and Transformers Prime, that somehow ended up on a planet where II takes place.) If that’s not explained, things are going to be hard to follow, especially with Magmatron not able to take part in Neo, the show he’s from, given his current state.
Recommendation: The Gathering was better than I expected, so hopefully this will be as well. There are too many unknowns right now to give it a proper judgement though.