Beast Wars
Latest Update


Review of IDW's Transformers - BEAST WARS: The Gathering #3


Reviewed by: Outtsyder

Warning: Spoilers!!!



Keeping with the smaller numbers of variants like last time. Cover A shows Magmatron hanging onto the spark of Tripredacus Agent Ravage, almost like Gollum fixated on the One Ring. Cover B shows the organicized Lioconvoy, transforming from lion to robot mode. Cover C is a fight scene between Magmatron and Transmetal Megatron. And Cover D shows three of the show's Maximals - Transmetal Cheetor up front, Rhinox behind him, and a close-up of Optimal Optimus' profile behind them both - set with a sunlit forest above them, and a volcano at the bottom. Two collector's covers are available: a foil-stamped version of Cover C, and a monochrome sketch cover version of Cover A.


Generally the same as before; artists details crediting Simon Furman, Don Figueroa, Josh Burcham and company. The "story so far" blurb summarizes the events in previous issues, and uses the same negative-film black-and-white shot of Magmatron as well.


We open in front of the Maximal base - Optimal Optimus' Maximal team, to be exact, just outside the defense station they built just outside the Ark. Primal says he senses something while his friends Cheetor and Rhinox don't see anything out there. Rhinox notes that with Optimus having gone through so many changes, he might be "chasing ghosts". It just so happens that Razorbeast, Snarl, Bonecrusher and Optimus Minor have just walked past them, but through their time displacement, Primal and Razorbeast's respective groups can't see each other (as Razorbeast explains to a surprised Optimus Minor). Razorbeast's team goes further inside, looking for the tools to repair the transwarp signal booster they swiped from Ravage's destroyed cruiser. Snarl suggests just using the tools in Primal's base, saying they'd be more compatible with same-era technology. But Razorbeast says the missing (and displaced) tools would be noticed, and could possibly trigger time fractures. Their only option? The Ark.

Out in the southwest, Transquito and his Predacon squad are being "vewwy vewwy quiet, and hunting Maximals. Heheheheheheh!" (*ahem* Sorry. :) ) As Scourge complains about the planet while Transquito seems to like it, they find their prey and go on the attack. However, instead of Maximals… it's the Mutants! Poison Bite and Soundwave overwhelm Retrax and Powerpinch, and Icebird rope-a-dopes Transquito into a counter-attack ambush, forcing Scourge and Insecticon to clear out with "nothing to report"….

In the Midwest, Magmatron, Drill Bit and Iguanus locate a stasis pod housing a sparkless protoform, perfect for the next step in their plan. Magmatron noted they've taken too long in their assigned mission, so to avoid suspicion by the Tripredacus Council, Magmatron decides to return to the duty of capturing Megatron, while sending an agent to finish off the other Maximals for him. He inserts the spark of Ravage into the blank protoform, but Iguanus wonders if the revived agent can be trusted. Magmatron assures his lieutenant, saying that while Ravage was working for the Tripredacus Council, he's still a former Decepticon with millions of years of undeniable resources and talents, as the reborn Agent awakens….

We return to Razorbeast's squad in the Ark; they find the tools they need, but they're so old, they'll only have a VERY short time to send the transwarp message before it all burns out. They notice that Snarl has gone missing, but he pulls a G1 Mirage and appears right behind them, scaring them half to deactivation! He explains he was off working on a sensor drone to track the Predacons - one that he took from either Primals' Maximals, or from the Ark; I'd bet on the latter - and they track their targets on a hand-held screen…

Toward Megatron's base, the Darkside! His Predacons have just succeeded in claiming the salvaged Sentinel from the wrecked Axalon, and he sends them indoors to get to work. However, he lets the others go ahead, as he senses something behind him. He turns around, and appearing right in front of him is Magmatron, wearing a time displacement device around his arm, allowing him to return to "real time" and attacks Megatron! Megatron fights back fairly easily, but Drill Bit and Iguanus sneak up behind him, also wearing the same time displacement armbands, and snare Megatron. They switch the devices and tag Megatron, dragging him with them as they vanish, just before Inferno and Quickstrike can even seen what happened.

Razorbeast's team are now outside the Ark, having taken the parts they need, but having found out about Megatron's capture along with Magmatron's own agenda, time is running out. They have to get to work immediately on the transwarp signal booster to alert the Maximals on Cybertron, while stopping Magmatron from taking his quarry back home. Razorbeast tries to send another signal to another other activated Maximals who have yet to arrive… while out in the east, Ravage assembles Lazorbeak, Sky Shadow, Buzzsaw, Injector and Jetstorm to scope out the Maximals and let the heroes lead them to their lair, where they can all be finished off at once. And speaking of the Maximals' lair, we meet them in said location, where Wolfang, B'Boom and Ramulus are waiting for those same other Maximals to show up, but they still haven't. Ramulus is getting more and more testy from not being able to go out there and act, Wolfang says there's not much they can do until Razorbeast's team or any other reinforcements show up, being strongly outnumbered.

We meet with Magmatron and Co. having set up camp with their rogue Predacon prisoner, about to return to Cybertron, setting the transwarp transport gantry to self-destruct right after they go through. Razorbeast and Optimus Minor find them, but too late. Though the remain in hiding and spying on Magmatron, Razorbeast notices something among the tools lying scattered near the gantry… one of the time-displacement pads the Predacons used in capturing Megatron. Razorbeast tells Minor that he's need his help, but first, needs a distraction before going in and snaring their quarry. It just so happens they get one, when the Predacons detect a VERY powerful spark entering their territory… its bearer is yet another legend from the ancient past, and he is not happy…!

To Be Concluded…?


Good story to build up to the grand finale in the last issue coming next month… and I can just imagine the massive profits racked up by Kleenex as a result of this news (and I don't blame you at all). The focus on this issue is, on both sides, to get their job done and prevent the other side from finishing theirs. Not too much additional character development, but in a situation like this, there's little time to wax eloquent when you're about to get slagged in a matter of cycles. Its pace was pretty quick without feeling exceptionally rushed, and it all made sense without going too elaborate. It's pretty simple and straight to the point toward the build-up, and sometimes simple and straight-to-the-point works. And the appearances by the show cast characters were good and still within character, though I had a chuckle when Simon Furman inserted one of his trademark lines, "All the dirty jobs…" for Rampage to say when carrying off the salvaged Sentinel. :)

While the initial re-explanation of the time displacement may seem like unnecessary exposition to us readers, it makes some sense that Razorbeast explained it to Optimus Minor, as the latter was a little awestruck that they passed by Optimus Primal, Rhinox and Cheetor without even being sneaky, but they didn't suspect a thing, aside from Primal's suspicion. The appearance by the Mutants may seem gratuitous to some - a need to put more "toys" in the book for a short scene - along with the attack on some of the Preds in Transquito's squad, but who knows, if there's a chance that this mini-series might not be the end. (Or did I just say too much?) Besides the smaller side stories, it's become a race for both Magmatron and Razorbeast, and a question of who will beat the other to the finish line. However, though most of the issue is pretty basic, being the second-to-last issue of this mini-series, you don't want to give away too much and have only a few scraps left for the finale. The other Maximals have yet to arrive ever since Razorbeast alerted them in issue #1, and even on the Predacons' side, Iguanus includes a line about whether or not Ravage can be trusted. It's small, but it's a planted seed nonetheless.

And did anyone notice… Drill Bit didn't get trashed this time? Maybe my suggestion of his running "new Waspinator" joke is taking a break. :)

For the art… it's almost become pointless for me to compliment Don Figueroa's art in each review, because I have never seen him do a bad job. Good showing on the colors as well by Josh Burcham; liking the dismal shading and fractures in the front walls of the defense station outside the Ark; the sunny yet hot radiating glow from the entrance of the Ark itself; the added mist enhancing the mystery of the Mutants' swamp during the ambush; the look inside the Ark and its equipment being so huge compared to the Maximals, along with its shadows; the look of the disappearing Predacons after capturing Megatron; it all looks pretty good. One thing in the art that I can see being a possible point of confusion is the scene where Magmatron, Drill Bit and Iguanus appeared near Megatron to capture him. At first, one can wonder, "Waitacycle… how can they just appear into 'real time' and attack Megatron, while all this time, they've been 'undercover' and no one around can see them?" In that scene is your answer, but you have to look pretty carefully. Magmatron, Drill Bit and Iguanus are all wearing devices on their left arms in that scene (which you get to see more clearly on the ground, in the last pages). Look closely and you'll find them; blink and read too quickly and you'll miss them.

I'm also wondering about Ravage's design for his new body. It's really cool, with the black, silver and gold. I just wonder about whether or not his body would be able to transform, seeing how it looks like his "robot" mode is his toy's beast mode standing upright (and also knowing that BW Ravage's body design in "The Agenda" was based on Transmetal Cheetor robo-cat mode). He still looks cool either way, though. And the arrival of the new "guest" at the end… I'm sure many of Furman's readers may be wondering what possessed him to hold back on bringing this guy out until this late in the series. :) It'll be interesting to see what happens next issue, with the inevitable arrivals of the other Maximals, and how the Maximals would succeed in getting Megatron out of Magmatron's time-traveling clutches….

After the story, we see the ad for the 10th Anniversary Beast Wars toys, the one for Dinobot, Tarantulas, and Transmetal Rattrap. Next is a one-page black-&-white art preview, split down the middle, of a battle scene coming next issue, with no story blurb but a title saying, "The Battle To End The Wars!!!" Next is a sneak peek at the upcoming "Transformers: Generations" issue #2, a reprint of the classic Marvel US issue "Shooting Star", #13 in the old series. Following that is a one-page ad for BW #4, showing a battle clash between Grimlock and Magmatron; and then, the "Maxi-Mail" letters section, where the caricature of Editor-In-Chief Chris Ryall replaces his "ChrisCharger" costume for a Razorbeast one, reading the letters, with other letters impaled on the boar-tusk "memo spikes" on Razorbeast's head on his chest (now, that's clever). Most of the letters praise the BW series - and part of my review for Issue #1 made it in print, too! - and as expected, there's a lot of demand and want for this series to become a regular monthly after issue #4 is printed, as well as a profile-book series (which I would personally love to see). Without saying anything outright, but giving a rather obvious hint, Ryall-zorBeast (name of my creation) says we'll find the answer to those questions in the mail section next issue, as well as a plug for the BW issue offered for Free Comic Book Day next month. Ending the "Maxi-Mail" section are the preview blurbs for three TF comic issue previews set for next month. The first is Infiltration #5, where Megatron finally arrives and is about to punish the Decepticons for breaking secrecy, while Verity seems to have plans of her own. The second is, of course, Beast Wars #4, the conclusion (we hope not) of the mini-series with clashes promised on all sides. The last is TF Generations #3, which re-prints the classic Marvel US issue #14, "Rock and Roll-Out", featuring the (then-)debut of the Autobot Hoist.


The "Christmas present" effect is in this issue. You want to know the ending, but you're not going to get it until the right day comes. It keeps the story flowing and withholds just enough of the big stuff to keep you wondering what's going to happen, which is what a comic series is supposed to do. But not everything is held back, with a fleshy soup bone tossed at the readers at the end. A secret war with hidden Maximal and Predacons, with a former Decepticon and a former Autobot added for good measure… who can really guess what's going to happen? All we can do is keep guessing and waiting… and isn't that what the second-to-last chapter is supposed to make us do, anyway? :)

SCORE: 4 Matrixes out of 5

- Outtsyder, notices this is the shortest review I've submitted in a LONG time….


Site Design: Sapphire. Created by: Sapphire, Miss Special, Hacker, Blaze Raptor, Pacerpaw and Araneae. Bwint.net is copyrighted to the bwint.net team.
Disclaimer: Beast Wars Transformers and its respective characters, plots and images are a product of Hasbro, Alliance and Mainframe Entertainment. Neither the owner nor the Bwint.net team and visitors claim any rights to it. This is a non-profit fansite. Original template designed by
JSB Web Templates