Although Transformers: Beast Wars only hinted at its sadistic experiments on television, the new comic shows just how vile a Predacon really is.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Transformers: Beast Wars # 2 by Erik Burnham, Josh Burcham and Jake M. Wood, out now.
The Transformers The franchise is home to various iconic villains, from the Decepticons to the Predacons. The first group includes the original Megatron, his loyal lackey Soundwave, and the treacherous Starscream. Meanwhile, the sequel to Generation 1 Beast Wars introduced a new version of Megatron, as well as the lovable loser Waspinator and the evil aliens Vok.
One Predacon that gradually became more important throughout the series was Tarantulas. As something of a mad scientist, the Transformer spider was revealed to have potential ties to Chaos Bringer Unicron himself. Although the show only lightly portrayed his sadistic experiments, Transformers: Beast Wars # 3 perfectly shows how evil Tarantulas is, and why it can be even worse than Megatron.
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The problem continues where the second left off, with Maximal Nyx captured by the Predacons. Megatron attempts to use her to gain information about the other Highs, making her at the mercy, or lack thereof, of Tarantulas. She quickly mentions his reputation for being a devious butcher, which Tarantulas cruelly refutes.
Despite this, Tarantulas enjoy more than the resulting torture on the defenseless Maximal, with even a stomachless Dinobot to stay and watch. She is later released on the Darksyde Bridge, but her possible escape is revealed to be a ruse so that the Predacons can finish her off. Nyx’s ability to transform into Beast Mode is impeded for her, a device that creates Tarantulas, putting her already damaged body at even greater risk of fatal Energon poisoning.
Tarantulas revel in the idea of Nyx’s corpse, proclaiming that he plans to rip her apart piece by piece and literally stew her circuits in an Energon bath. This barbarian behavior is mentioned only by Tarantulas, and apparently even the other evil Predacons have no interest in his cannibalistic sense of haute cuisine. As gross as this all sounds, this type of diabolical exquisite dinner is part of the full-plate meal for tarantulas.
In the first episodes of the Beast Wars Cartoon, Tarantulas was also shown conducting various amoral experiments. Ironically, as much as Nyx’s torture occurs in the third issue of this comic, a similar incident involving Tarantulas and Cheetor occurred in the third episode of the show’s first season. There, the brash Cheetor gets over his head trying to test his mettle against the Predacons. This leads to him being captured by the mysterious tarantulas, who use a stasis network to drain his body of energy. Cheetor mentions that he lacks royal blood and only has mechanical fluid, to which Tarantulas comments that it is the mere thought of the sadistic act that he likes.
This is exactly what he plans to do with Nyx in the comic, but with a few differences. For one thing, his torture of Nyx is seen by all the other Predacons, with his horrendous nature leaving Dinobot in disgust. Also, this version of Tarantulas apparently already has a reputation for doing things like things, making it clear that their desire to torture, kill and eat their victims is not a mere one-off event. His mention of stewing Nyx’s parts in an Energon bath also suggests that he has literal recipes with which to prepare his victims, making it even clearer that he is more than an accomplished chef in this sinister aspect.
Unfortunately for the spider’s appetite, Nyx is able to escape, stealing a particularly horrible meal. Only future numbers will show if Tarantulas finally satiates its palette with an attractive victim, be it animal or Maximal.
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