Beast Wars: The Ascending
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Beast Wars: The Ascending is a comic miniseries from IDW Publishing and spinoff from the Beast Wars animated series that features characters only featured previously in the toy line, Beast Wars Second, Beast Wars Neo, and BotCon. It is also a sequel to IDW's previous Beast Wars miniseries, Beast Wars: The Gathering.
Magmatron, left trapped outside time by the events of The Gathering, witnesses Cybertron's forthcoming destruction as Maximals and Predacons-including Guiledart, Killerpunch, Saberback, Halfshell, and Sharp Edge-tear each other apart. Unable to interact with any of the times he is now capable of visiting, Magmatron departs future Cybertron-doomed to be destroyed by a mysterious evil heralding the return of Unicron-and returns to the time of the Beast Wars. His old foe Razorbeast, speaking with councilors Prowl and Wolfang, asserts that their message to Lio Convoy and the Pack must not have been received, but his teammates lack his concern over the matter. They instead focus on the threat posed by Ravage and his Predacon forces, unaware that a pair of them-Manterror and Retrax-are nearby on an operation. The bickering pair are then attacked by Grimlock, but manage to set off an explosion that throws the Maximals off balance in preparation for the full Predacon assault.
Predacon air and ground forces-including the likes of Manta Ray-storm the Maximal defenses only to run afoul of Torca and the other defenders, but Razorbeast quickly notes Ravage's absent. The former Decepticon is soon shown to be inside the base, looking for the chronal displacement armbands the Maximals stole from Magmatron. He is deceived by a hologram, but soon attacks Razorbeast demanding to know where the devices are. His urgency makes Razorbeast realize that Optimus Primal's crew has won their Beast Wars and is returning to Cybertron with Megatron as a captive, with Ravage intending to free the renegade Predacon so that they can destroy the Maximals together. Fortunately, Snarl decloaks to aid Razorbeast, the three unaware that they are being observed by Magmatron, who goes back in time to insure that Razorbeast's signal to the Pack gets through.
On Cybertron, the Pack-including Longrack, Drillnuts, Mach Kick, and Stampy-receive the signal and alert Lio Convoy, who quickly marshals his crew. Magmatron, observing unseen, believes that Cybertron may now have some hope, though he is uncertain whether it will be enough. His concern is well-founded, for in a deserted corner of Cybertron, the Blendtrons bring Angolmois capsules to their unknowing pawn, Shokaract.
Unicron, sensing Magmatron's meddling and the possible threat posed by the Maximals and Predacons on Earth, advises Elephorca and Drancron to continue monitoring their plans with Shokaract while Rartorata goes to Earth to address the threat. On Earth, the battle between Ravage and Razorbeast's forces continues, with Predacon air superiority wearing down on the beleaguered Maximals. Fortunately, Grimlock returns from patrol to aid his comrades, but Ravage escapes his bonds after Razorbeast leaves him to join the battle and steals a chronal armband. Much to his surprise, he finds himself in the presence of Magmatron, and is further surprised when Magmatron instructs him to strike a truce with the Maximals. Meanwhile, back on Cybertron, the Maximal Council of Elders note that Cybertron is falling into growing turmoil, and send word for Big Convoy.
Already investigating the matter himself, Big Convoy refuses to accompany Ikard, and reveals that the source of the problem appears to be Angolmois, which is driving Maximal and Predacon alike to acts of savagery. Elsewhere, Shokaract is impatient to complete his ascension, unaware of his role as Unicron's vessel, while the Pack emerges from Transwarp above prehistoric Earth, where Apache and Break pick up Cybertronian signals below. As the battle continues, Ravage uses his chronal phase to slip through the combatants, shortly before the Pack arrives in force. Razorbeast is overjoyed, when Ravage returns to their phase and informs them of Cybertron's imminent doom just before Rartorata appears. The monstrous Fuzor infects Razorbeast with Angolmois, transforming him into a monstrous shadow of his former self.
Back on Cybertron, Big Convoy, Survive, Tasmania Kid, and Cohrada stumble across Shokaract's sanctum, unaware that they are being observed by the would be tyrant, who soon sets out to crush the interlopers. The Blendtrons try to stop him but are brushed aside, and discuss his lack of patience or understanding of his true role. Shokaract then crushes Tasmania Kid before engaging the rest of Big Convoy's force, while on Earth the enraged Razorbeast is attacking friend and foe alike. The Pack resolve to bring him down, while the Predacons focus their attention on Rartorata, whom Transquito notes resembles Injector. Back on Cybertron, Big Convoy engages Shokaract in a possible future observed by Magmatron-one in which the Maximal leader dies and Shokaract lays waste to Cybertron, which is then reshaped into Unicron's new body.
After a tense discussion, the Maximals and Predacons agree to a truce to stop Razorbeast and defeat Rartorata; they succeed in restraining the former, and Lio Convoy manages to get through to him, though the Angolmois continues to plague him. Ravage then urges that they leave, having extracted some of Rartorata's Angolmois, and Lio has everyone capable of fighting rounded up for transit back to Cybertron. Unfortunately, the stunned Rartorata is soon joined by Elephorca and Drancron arriving from the future, but the allied Cybertronians receive an unexpected boost as Razorbeast charges the new adversaries to give the others time to depart. The combined forces aboard the Pack's ship then arrive to aid Lio Convoy, only for their ship to be shot down by Shokaract. Transwarp portals then open to admit Shokaract's Heralds Thrustor, Dirgegun, Antagony, Max-B, and Hardhead, who have been gathering Angolmois from across the galaxy to complete their "master's" ascension.
Shokaract's Heralds-joined by Hellscream, obey his orders to spread chaos across Cybertron in preparation for his rise to power via the Anti-Matrix. Bump, a Cybertronian scientist, then arrives at the site of Shokaract's battle with Big Convoy at Lio Convoy's request, and the pair then greet the Pack and their allies-unlikely or otherwise. Ravage then leaves to contact Magmatron, who advises him to have Shokaract sent to his place of exile so that he can have his eyes opened to his own imminent demise. Back on Earth, Razorbeast continues to battle the Blendtrons, and the injured Maximals and Predacons left behind by the Pack decide to take up arms and aid him. As they attack, Optimus Minor hops onto Razorbeast's back, and is informed that his Angolmois-driven rage is quickly growing worse.
Back on Cybertron, the Maximals and Predacons set about to accomplish Magmatron's plan, with Ravage taking off to await the returning Heralds. Shokaract begins to absorb Angolmois from across Cybertron and is then attacked by the allied forces, but begins destroying them and summons his Heralds. The battles on both planets continue to intensify, with the Blendtrons being destroyed only for Razorbeast to lose all control, forcing Optimus Minor to destroy the Angolmois possessed shell of his former friend. Snarl then places the chronal armband on Shokaract, who finds himself in the presence of Magmatron while his Heralds are attacked by Ravage. Shown his own future-and his demise to enable Unicron's rebirth-Shokaract rips the Anti-Matrix from his chest in a rage, creating an explosion that returns Magmatron to proper time.
Back on Cybertron, the Autobot shuttle carrying Optimus Primal's crew is seen approaching, while the Maximals and Predacons set about preparations to rebuild Cybertron. Unbeknownst to them, however, the next would-be tyrant over Cybertron has arrived: Megatron.