Transformers Beast Wars: The Gathering #3 of 4
Written by Simon Furman. Script consulting by Ben Yee. Art by Don Figueroa. Colours by Josh Burcham. Letters by Tom B. Long. Edited by Chris Ryall and Dan Taylor.
Outside the Ark, Optimal Optimus senses the passing of Razorbeast's time-displaced Maximals. They're sneaking it to take technology they can use to repair the Transwarp signal booster reclaimed last issue to send a warning message to Cybertron. Elsewhere, the activated Maximal, Predacon and Mutant protoforms engage in battle, and further removed still Magmatron's forces have discovered (Tripredacus Agent) Ravage's spark and plan to rehouse it in a new protoform body... so that they can send him after Razorbeast.
The Maximals in the Ark are alerted to the fact Magmatron is pursuing his original mission: the capture of Megatron. This could subjectively be very bad, erasing the alterations to history caused by the Beast Wars and altering their future... Magmatron's group successfully capture and subdue their quarry. Just as they're about to transport Megatron back to the future, a familiar actived protoform stumbles across their activities... Grimlock.
Locations and Characters
Locations: Prehistoric Earth, the Ark. Characters: Optimal Optimus, Cheetor, Rhinox, Snarl, Optimus Minor, Razorbeast, Bonecrusher, Transquito, Retrax, Powerpinch, Insecticon, Scourge, Insecticon, Icebird, Poison Bite, Soundwave, Magmatron, Drill Bit, Iguanus, Ravage (in Tripredacus Agent form), Megatron, Rampage, Inferno, Quickstrike, Lazorbeak, Sky Shadow, Buzz Saw, Jetstorm, Injector, Ramulus, Wolfang, Grimlock.
Due to the plot complexity, characters are spending a fair amount of time articulating the obstacles that prevent or will prevent them from acting, such as the Transwarp signal booster only having a limited lifespan once activated. We do get to see some show characters this issue, which Beast Wars fans will enjoy Don's rendition of, but mostly the cast roster continues to be made up of relative unknowns... which wouldn't be a problem, except I don't have much more of a handle on Razorbeast or Magmatron than after the first two issues — nothing particularly marks them out as being different to other arrogant bad guy / leader coming-of-age archetypes.
The thing that's really dogging this story in terms of enjoyment for me, though, is that everything appears to be leading steadily to a foregone conclusion. There's very, very little chance Magmatron can succeed, unless Furman chooses to end the miniseries on a note of the Beast Wars having been overwritten — and even then a subsequent story would be required to restore the timeline. Still, maybe there'll be some surprises in the final issue.
Magmatron opines that Ravage will serve whoever furthers his own agenda best... which is true to an extent, though the cat does have some bigger ideological aims.
Quotes of Note
Magmatron: "Two parts Predacon, one part Decepticon — a survivor of Cybertron's great war and all that ensued. Such potent raw material... should not go to waste!
An additional review by Bombshell can be found here.