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Beast Wars: The Ascending #4 (of 4)
Reviewed by zigzagger

Issue Review

This issue read particularly quick, which really is a shame considering that the overall story desperately needed something more substantial to structure the over-abundant battles around other than the assumption that the reader has prior knowledge of the Japanese series or Botcon exclusives (which I’ve come to understand doesn’t explain a whole lot). The Gathering did try to set up a premise that would allow more of these “untold accounts” of the Beast Wars to be told, potentially enriching the already established BW mythos. The conclusion of The Ascending however, seems to have torn this all down, and from here there is nowhere else to go. It isn’t even so much that it has come to its conclusion - it’s the haphazard and rushed manner in which it was executed. With a plethora of available characters, it’s curious that so few had a story to tell, and now probably will not have the opportunity to do so. But since little has been invested in them one isn't particularly left grieving the loss either, whether the characters were killed off or simply lost in the shuffle. After spending the last two and a half issues frothing at the mouth, the main protagonist is dead, an end which had occurred off panel. For a character who played an integral part in the previous arc, I felt Razorbeast deserved more. It is not mentioned what will become of Magmatron and Ravage, or the Maximals and Predacons on Earth – though, I suppose one can draw their own conclusions. The main antagonist, Shokaract, who we learned very little about, kills himself before he had a chance to establish himself as a genuine character rather than a shallow plot device (ironically being used to bring forth another plot device, Unicron). Overall, it just doesn't feel like all the loose ends had been properly tied. Hypothetically speaking, if this is to be the place where the storyline of The Gathering and The Ascending is to meet its end, it is a sad and very anti-climatic way to go.


Following Don Figueroa’s departure, Guido Guidi takes over the penciling duties for the final issue.

Antagony (one of Shokaract’s heralds) was a Botcon exclusive repaint of the 1996 Beast Wars figure, Inferno. She was also featured, along with a few of her other cohorts, in the 1998-2000 Botcon exclusive book “Reaching the Omega Point”

Shokaract apparently possesses what he refers to as the “anti-matrix”. Yet another club exclusive reference.

Grimlock refers to Ravage as a Decepticon (“Once a Decepticon…Always a Decepticon!”).

The final panel (page 22) depicts Megatron (in his second “Transmetal” form), as well as the Autobot shuttle on the previous page. Safe to say that it is a direct reference to the U.S Beast Wars and Beast Machines television series. Is this the fate of IDW’s Beast Wars? Hard to say.

Quote, Unquote

Shokaract: It’s a falsehood, a deception, an illusion crafted by my enemies. It’s…true! I see it all now. The promises, the lies, the manipulation. You used me! I was nothing after all…Nothiiiiing! (tears “anti matrix” from chest and explodes)

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