Transformers Beast Wars: The Ascending #1 (IDW Publishing)

bwheader.jpgThis Transformers spinoff is a baffling read for the uninitiated. But could that actually be a good thing?

 

 

24 pgs. FC; $2.99

(W: Simon Furman; A: Don Figueroa)

 

When this comic came up for review, I was eager to read it. Not because of the recent movie (this is nothing like the movie), but because I spent the better part of 1997 addicted to the Beast Wars television show. Also, I really like dinosaurs.

 

But this book isn’t much like the TV show, and there aren’t any transforming velociraptors. Instead, there’s a slew of characters I don’t recognize and a totally unfamiliar plotline.

 

After reading the book once, I understood very little of what was going on. Since this is the continuation of a series, I did some research. After a second, more informed reading, I was still confused. I figured it must be the words, so I read the book again, this time just looking at the pictures. This helped a little, since Don Figueroa’s colorful and not-overly-digital-looking art tells the basic story. The Predacons (Decepticons) are up to no good and the Maximals (Autobots) have to stop them. It’s pretty easy to see the skeleton of the story just by looking at the pictures.

 

With this new knowledge, I read the comic again. This time, it was a little clearer. Without the pressure of my own ignorance, I finally sat back and read the book cover to cover. I finally understood it as well as a follower of the series probably would.

 

Afterwards I realized I’d spent several hours completely wrapped up in these 24 pages. Even in my most baffled state, I still enjoyed reading this book. Sure, the whole concept of Beast Wars is sketchy at best, and yes, this comic does sometimes get a bit visually busy with giant robot-animals fighting each other in close proximity, and of course the dialogue is jargon heavy, but that’s what makes this – and Transformers in general – great: It stirred up exciting feelings I hadn’t felt since I was twelve years old, watching this comic’s predecessor on television. | Gabe Bullard

Here’s a look at the three variant covers to Transformers Beast Wars: The Ascending #1, courtesy of IDW Publishing. Click thumbnails for a larger image.

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