Convention comics it is then. We'll get to more Beast Wars soon enough.
The Wreckers #1
Botcon (July, 2001)
ADDITIONAL TEXT: Rob Gerbracht
ARTIST: Dan Khanna
LETTERING: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
SCRIPT EDITORS: Rob Gerbracht, Jon Hartman, & Dan Khanna
The Wreckers: "Departure"
WRITER: Glen Hallit
WRITER: Bob Forward
In the main story, years have passed since the Great War. It is not the time of the Beast Machines series, but thanks to Apelinq (I told you he'd be back) some of the Autobots and Maximals, including others returned from Earth (we'll somewhat come back to that in a moment) have been protected from Megatron's virus and have been charged by the Oracle to fight a larger battle, leaving Optimus Primal's crew to continue fighting Megatron on their own. One group, led by Primal Prime and featuring Rodimus, was hoping to get Arcee to join them, but she's still not over Daniel's sacrifice (along with Wheelie because this is a fan convention comic and fans tend to hate these two characters) and has secretly also gained the ability to see when others will die after the event. She's been into seclusion, but Fractyl (a Predacon from an earlier Botcon comic) tries to get her to come along, and is attacked by new Vehicon soldiers. Arcee manages to use her spark to restore Fractyl and the two tag along on Primal Prime's mission. Then they get an unwanted stowaway, the bounty hunter Devcon.
What they got right: I do like how the story manages to use toy characters not used on the show (including the Dinobots and Mutant Beast Wars figures) as well as the convention exclusives to fill out a decent cast. We also have Autobots, Decepticons, Maximals, and Predacons uniting against a common foe, although apparently there is a bigger threat than Megatron.
What they got wrong: I know that technically convention comics ARE a type of fanfic, but this hits a lot of fanfic issues as well. The aforementioned death of Daniel and Wheelie, while a lot more nobler than their demises usually are in Transformers fanfic, is still killing Daniel and Wheelie to appease fans, as well as flipping the fridging trope on its ear by having a male fridged to have it affect a female character. Then again, as I've stated before, Arcee tends to suffer a lot in comics (and the TV shows now that I think about it...where's the badass from the Movie?) so here she goes into seclusion because of Daniel's death, and Rodimus forgets to mention that he and Daniel were friends? He just says Daniel was a friend to the Autobots and that's it. And while I can accept Arcee's new power to see a being's death (having some kind of special power was normal for G1 Transformers...probably because their profiles were written by a superhero comic writer) where did "healing the dead" come from? And why even have Optimus Primal and Nightscream stumble upon the Deployers (a spinoff toyline from Beast Machines like the Dinobots, while the Mutant Beast Wars...well, just guess) and the Wreckers just to have their memories wiped and Tigatron talk about Optimus now being a bit on the extreme side if not commentary by the writer about how Primal was written in the show?
The second story takes place just after the Maximals left Earth with Megatron at the end of Beast Wars, as the Vok (an alien race from that show) are suddenly not experimenting on Earth but guardians of time or something and sense that Tarrantulas is back and somehow manifesting Vox powers, joined by Tripredicus Agent (because the name "Ravage" was owned by another toy company at the time; Hasbro brought it back as soon as there was an opening) and preparing to take over the universe. The binary spark of Tigerhawk is split back into Tigatron and Airrazor (now both Transmetals) who join Primal Prime, a suit Megatron once used to somehow manipulate Optimus Primal's "Optimal" form (long story) now infused with energy from the Autobot Matrix Of Leadership in the still-sleeping Optimus Prime, to prepare for the battle ahead.
I love seeing Airrazor in Transmetal form. It's one of my favorite Transmetal figures and it was disappointing that the show never used it, sending her and Tigatron's sparks to the Vok instead to become Tigerhawk (another long story). That's all I can really say. Both stories set up other comics available through the Official Collectors Club which I was never able to get. At least the main story had a full tale but this short does have Bob Forward, one of the head writers of Beast Wars so I bet the rest of this adventure, which would tell how Primal Prime was created and how he and the other remaining Beast Wars toys the comic brought in got back to Cybertron.
Recommendation: I did enjoy the main story once they got past Arcee's baggage, and the back-up feature is a good set-up. Overall, though, I'm not completely sure it's worth tracking down, but might be worth a look if you come across it.