A profound and moving narrative that forces the audience to re-evaluate all conceptions of their identity. Both thrilling and immersive, "The Beast Within" redefines the era as it forces a new standard of storytelling. Starting on an epic battle comparable to The Lord of the Rings or Akira, but the conflict pales in comparison to the internal emotional struggle of Grimlock as he is forced to restrain his own emotions for the sake of his tactical ideology. Pushed to both physical and psychological limits, he and his compatriots do the unthinkable and fuse, physically and conceptually, into a unified truth that mirrors us all. But with the revelation of this most sacred ability comes a new threat to the Autobots... a threat that is somehow familiar.
In the war-torn battlefields of an Autobot-Decepticon battle, Grimlock meditates on releasing his full power onto the ruthless Decepticons. But, alas, he cannot! For if he let go of any restraint, he would let loose the Beast! The casualties mount; despite losses on their side, the Decepticons are gaining victory! Optimus Prime is battered and surrounded by Megatron and his troops.
Truly, Grimlock has no choice; he must release the Beast within! With Grimlock calling out, "Dinobots! UNITE!!!", a large amount of wires sprout out from everywhere. The end result is an awesome titan of power! Stricken with fear, Megatron orders the Decepticons to destroy the massive creature! Predaking forms! The opposing titans battle, but it is already lost for Predaking, for a slash of the Beast's sword takes care of the Predacon combiner. The Seekers and Laserbeak try to attack the Beast, but their attacks are pitiful! The Beast destroys them in one fell swoop! Devastator and Bruticus are next, but the Beast simply tears them apart, and does the same for Menasor, even though the Stunticon combiner pleads for his life.
Part 2: Consequences
With many Autobots having fallen to the Beast, a small group of survivors attempts to flee the scene huddled inside Optimus Prime's trailer. But Prime is not fast enough - the Beast rips his trailer open like a tin can with one swipe of his massive claw, and Skids is torn from within and meets his end in the creature's grip. With Prime running on rims, salvation arrives at the last minute in the form of Jetfire, who swoops in to pick up the Autobots and transport them to safety. Although Bumblebee urges Prime to climb aboard as well, he speeds ahead, to the rim of a crevasse, while Jetfire slows the Beast with a burst from his afterburners. The Beast emerges from the flames, and Prime calls out to his former troops, but with no response save a monstrous snarl, he opens fire. The Beast lunges at him and they grapple, until Prime shifts the monster's weight and causes both it and himself to topple into the chasm. At the last minute, Jetfire soars to the rescue again, plucking Prime out of mid-air as the Beast topples to the bottom of the pit and shatters into fragments. As Prime observes the smoking wreck, Jetfire inquires if it is over, to which Prime responds—"Is it ever really over?" All hope it is.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- This comic was produced.
- The Beast has a pointy chin. Why?
Items of note
- Thankfully, this comic cannot take place in any previously-established continuity, due to the various characters being alive alongside other characters who were not around at certain times, the rampant gratuitous deaths, etc.
- Simon Furman is thanked for "help and support in the production of this comic." One can only wonder what "help" this was, but it's best not to contemplate what this comic might have been like without it.
- While Part 1 features artwork that is heavily Dreamwave-inspired, often looking like it is specifically attempting to ape Pat Lee's style, Part 2 sees Gibson draw in a style he is more accustomed to. The Dreamwave influence is still felt, however, particularly when Prime draws his rifle from his "backpack" - a concept that comes directly from the original Dreamwave miniseries.
- Part 1 features digitally-applied lettering that is rarely aligned correctly and features virtually no periods or commas. Part 2 is lettered by hand.
- Grimlock's line "I cannot let him out...Not again" hints at a prior appearance of the Beast that the world was fortunate enough to avoid witnessing.