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Who Is the Forgotten Transformer Razorbeast and Why Did He Join Beast Wars?

Transformers: Beast Wars #9 brings a classic robot in disguise to the forefront, complete with a surprising new ally who could turn the tide.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Transformers: Beast Wars #9, on sale now from IDW Publishing.

So far, IDW’s Beast Wars comic series has dealt with the main cast of the show’s initial episodes, with the addition of a few original Transformers. That has finally changed in Transformers: Beast Wars #9 (by Erik Burnham, Josh Burcham, Priscilla Tramontano and Alex Milne), with a somewhat obscure Maximal making his way onto the battlefield. Razorbeast never made much of an impact in the old Beast Wars continuity, but his introduction here may finally give him a chance to shine.

Razorbeast’s debut also sees him befriend the insecure Predacon Skold. This could indicate that a deeper relationship between them is on the horizon that could possibly foreshadow Skold changing sides.


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Who is the Transformer Razorbeast?

Razorbeast appears when Skold notices his stasis pod while swimming in a body of water. Pulling his pod onto land, Skold is the first other Cybertronian to meet the Maximal, who is somewhat disoriented. She considers bringing him to Megatron, but fears that his kind nature will make him a poor fit for the group. This is all after Skold begins to doubt her worth in the Predacon army and worries that such a disappointment would only make things worse for both herself and her new friend.

Her thoughts are interrupted when she and Razorbeast are attacked by Iron Wolves. These alien beasts do quite a bit of damage to Razorbeast, who fought valiantly to protect his new friend. When the battle ends, Razorbeast is a mess, and Skold consults the Maximals for a CR Chamber to save his life. After a tenuous wait, they agree to take in Razorbeast and heal him.

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Why Razorbeast Wasn’t In the Beast Wars Animated Series

Razorbeast was first introduced in the Beast Wars toyline, and his rough and tumble but loyal persona in the classic toy line’s mini-comics suggested that he was meant to be the Beast Wars equivalent of Ironhide. This comic existed in a sort of micro-continuity that seemed to be a direct continuation of Generation One, with this version of Optimus and Megatron apparently being the originals. Unfortunately, due to CGI expenses during that era, Mainframe couldn’t afford to animate all of the toy characters in the different continuity of the Beast Wars cartoon as had been done in Generation One.

Thus, Razorbeast wasn’t used much in early Beast Wars canon, putting the character into obscurity. Beast Wars figures and characters like Randy from the Japanese-exclusive shows would be repaints of Razorbeast, taking advantage of the fact that nothing major had been done with the original character. Ironically, his biggest pop culture claim to fame was showing up in toy form on an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, with Will Smith referring to the Transformer by name.

Razorbeast was used in previous IDW comics, with the lack of definitive characterizations beforehand meaning that the publisher could essentially do whatever they wanted with him. The same can be said for his newest incarnation, with the character seeming more jovial than his toy bio suggests. He could still be the team’s Ironhide, however, given that Rhinox is usually portrayed as the Beast Wars version of Wheeljack. Whatever role he ends up playing on the side of the Maximals and whether or not he reconnects with Skold, this new version of Razorbeast has the potential to finally be his step into the spotlight.

KEEP READING: Before Transformers: Beast Wars, There Were the Beastformers

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