Beast Wars misses its chance to upgrade Transformers for a tragic reason

IDW Publishing was about to change Beast Wars lore in the most shocking way, but can’t because of a Transformers deal Hasbro made with another imprint.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Transformers: Beast Wars #17!

The latest issue of Beast Wars suggests that IDW Publishing planned to continue the Transformers story in a completely different way from its main inspiration but never will be because the publisher had to prematurely unplug the whole series.

In January, the comics industry received shocking news when it was announced that IDW had lost the rights to Transformers and Beast Wars, among other titles, after 17 years of release to a currently undisclosed competitor. Although rumors persist that Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint purchased these licenses from Hasbro, these rumors have yet to be confirmed. But what fans know for sure is that IDW just released the latest issue of Beast Wars following the unexpected deal from Hasbro, and that is absolutely tragic.

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Related: IDW’s Transformers: Beast Wars Series Heads To A Depressing Ending

After Beast Wars’ shocking betrayal of the Tarantulas, an all-out war breaks out between the Children of the Vok and the temporarily allied Predacons and Maximals before the Vok – the alien species that is striving to destroy the planet and everyone on it – is suddenly destroyed by the now fully functional Maximum Ship, in Transformers: Beast Wars #17 by writer Erik Burnham, artist Josh Bucham, and letterer Jake M. Wood. Finally, with transportation that can take them out of the mysterious planet the two factions crashed on, the Maximals are actually able to leave. The remaining Predacons, however, decide to stay to avoid persecution but are not left empty-handed. They have the remnants of the Vok’s terrifying technology to fix their own escape mode. The series then ends 114 cycles in the future when the Predacons have most likely already repaired their ship and left the mysterious planet themselves.



Optimus Primal tells the Maximals it's time to leave the planet they crash-landed on in Transformers: Beast Wars #17.

Even though Erik Burnham and Josh Bucham don’t address the end of their lengthy farewell letters to fans in the final pages of the issue, it’s likely that they originally intended to go this particular route even though they were obviously in a hurry to finish prematurely. It would have been a pretty bold choice for a series heavily based on the original. Beast Wars TV show. Although Erik and Josh gave their own spin on the first Beast Wars on several occasions, the bare bones of the seminal television series were still mostly intact. The decision to move beyond the planet, however, would have been a major departure from the plot of the original, as all three seasons took place only on the same mysterious planet the Maximals and Predacons were on. had been blocked since the pilot episode. In fact, the Maximals and Predacons referred to their struggles on this planet specifically as The Beast Wars since they received their alternate forms of beasts from animals and creatures native there, both living and dead.


What Beast Wars world would look like in space or on other planets besides the one these Transformers crashed into is hard to imagine, and, sadly, that’s all fans can really do at this point. Hopefully the imprint that will eventually start posting new Beast Wars and Transformers will continue the legacy that IDW Publishing has masterfully honored through the incredible adaptation of a highly memorable and legendary series.

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Lucas E. Kelly