Transformers: Beast Wars – The Ascending #4
IDW Publishing (November, 2007)
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: Guido Guidi
COLORIST: Josh Burcham
COLOR ASSISTS: Andrew Elder, Liam Shalloo, & Josh Perez
LETTERER: Chris Mowry
EDITOR: Andrew Steven Harris
The further the chaos and bring the Anti-Matrix to life, Shokaract sends the Blendtrons and heralds out to cause more destruction. The Pack arrives on Cybertron and Lioconvoy calls in an expert to find a cure for the Angolomois. Ravage makes contact with Magmatron, who comes up with the plan of having Shokaract transported between spaces so he can show him that he’s just a pawn for Unicron. Faced with this knowledge Shokaract destroys himself, the explosion pushing Magmatron back into normal space/time. Back on Earth the combined Maximal/Predacon force, despite being heavily damaged, manages to defeat the Blendtrons sent there, but are forced to kill Razorbeast before his Angolomios rage cause further harm. Now Cybertron needs to rebuild and hope nothing else goes wrong…like Megatron arriving early and starting the events that leads to Beast Machines.
What they got right: Credit where it’s due. Megatron using the lingering chaos to set up his own conquest of Cybertron for Beast Machines, the end of the Beast Era stories, was a clever idea. It explains how his own virus and spark removal plot via his Vehicon army worked so easily on an entire planet. Even Magmatron offers tribute for Razorbeast’s sacrifice. And the ending is satisfactory, plus Furman’s multiple unrelated plots never once reared its head during either miniseries.
What they got wrong: Of course, Furman treated everyone as cannon fodder, which is typical Furman. A lot of characters die that we don’t care about because they got little to no story time. Razorbeast and probably Prowl were the only notable deaths in the story. And as I’ve stated throughout the miniseries nobody cares about these characters in general unless they followed the Japanese Beast Wars cartoons or the convention comics, so the only emotional attachment the audience would have come from different versions of the characters.
Recommendation: Unless you have those connections to the anime and Botcon comics you’re not going to get a lot out of this story, which is a shame considering it wraps so well into Beast Machines. Casual fans probably shouldn’t bother while diehard fans (who seem to be the target at the expense of mainstream fans) may get more out of this story.