Transformers: Beast Wars – The Ascending #2
IDW Publishing (September, 2007)
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Mark Bristow (assisted by Andrew Elder & Jeong Joo Park
COVER COLORIST: Josh Burcham
LETTERER: Neil Uyetake
EDITOR: Dan Taylor
Sensing someone is aware of his plans, Unicron sends Rartorata (the Japanese may have designed the original toys but I don’t think they figured out Transformer naming styles) to Beast Wars Earth as the battle continues. Ravage manages to grab one of the Chronal Phase Inducers when Razorbeast and Snark join the battle (which is going poorly for the Maximals) only to find himself in Chronospace. Magmatron warns him of the growing Angolmois energy and Unicron’s attempted return, while back on Cybertron the Maximals deal with Maximal and Predacon alike falling to the Dark Energon and the rage it induces. After some personal deliberation, with the Pack arriving to bolster the Maximal ranks, Ravage warms them about events on Cybertron just as Rarorata attacks, infecting Razorbeast with Angolmois.
What they got right: I do like stories where the heroes and villains have to unite against a more powerful villain. In more fun stories it works better seeing how both sides handle things but even in more serious tales like this it’s interesting to watch the two sides in action alongside each other.
What they got wrong: Explaining nothing. Sure, us die-hard Transformer fans are aware of the Japanese series, characters, and Angolmois, but the fact that I’ve done more to explain it than the comic has is a bad move. Ravage couldn’t possibly know about the events of Beast Wars II/Neo, so there shouldn’t be a problem using him to explain Angolmois, the Blendtrons (basically Fuzors serving Unicron’s plans), and Unicron’s last attempt to take over Cybertron in Neo for the casual fans who might not even be aware there WAS a Japanese exclusive series much less two. At least the stuff from the convention comics don’t need as much explaining–then again, then don’t know who this Shokaract guy is or why we should care that he’s trying to ascend. He’s just there as a nod to the convention comics.
Recommendation: Casual fans may need a primer (unless things get clearer next issue, explaining all this to the protoforms who were in stasis during the Japanese shows) but die-hards may get more into this.