Transformers: How Beast Wars Rewrites Dinobot’s Betrayal

The Transformers: Beast Wars comic makes Dinbot’s defection from his original faction that much more personal, using it to illustrate his morality.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Transformers: Beast Wars # 2 by Erik Burnham, Josh Burcham and Jake M. Wood, out now.

The Beast Wars cartoons added many now classic characters to the larger ones Transformers universe, from the joker Rattrap to the young and impetuous Cheetor, who were the spiritual successors of characters like Bumblebee and Hot Rod. However, the series’ biggest fan favorite may have been Dinobot, the Predacon turned Maximal. Although he shared a name with an iconic subset of prehistoric Generation 1 Autobots, this Transformer traded his goofy brutality for quasi-Shakespearean wit and a warrior code of ethics.

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Dinobot’s separation from the Maximals was a fundamental part of his character, but the show featured and concluded this arc quite early. However, IDW Transformers: Beast Wars # 3 makes Dinbot’s defection from his original faction that much more personal, using it to illustrate his morality in his new continuity.

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Transformers Beast Wars Dinobot

In the third issue of the new Beast Wars comic book series, the captured Maximal Nyx is brutally tortured by the maniacal Predacon Tarantulas. This session of horrors is interrupted by Dinobot, who clearly has doubts about Megatron’s methods of extracting information. This causes the two dinosaurs to come to blows, with the mighty Megatron easily asserting his dominance.

By the time Nyx is released from containment, the torture had already extensively damaged her circuits. This near-lethal damage was compounded by Tarantulas’ newest device, which impaired his ability to transform into Beast mode and fly. Being stuck in robot mode also made her especially susceptible to external Energon poisoning. The Predacons take advantage of her injuries and begin using her for target practice. Dinobot becomes even more visibly unhinged, as his warrior ethic makes him disgusted by the inhuman tactics on display. When asked when he will shoot Nyx, Dinobot responds by shooting and destroying Tarantulas’ device, allowing Nyx to escape.

This causes the other Predacons to start attacking him for his treacherous actions. However, Megatron reminds him that devious methods such as those employed by Tarantulas were an integral part of what Megatron had always planned. Fighting his former allies, Dinobot begs the Skold woman to leave the Predacon ranks with him, though his intense loyalty to Megatron prevents him from doing so. With no choice or ally, Dinobot leaves the other Predacons behind.

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This is decidedly different from how he left Megatron on the show and arguably reveals a lot more about his character. In the series, Dinobot’s change of allegiance occurs in the first episode, when he argues with Megatron about supposedly leading the Predacons to the wrong alien planet. Megatron quickly comments on his insubordination causing Scorponok to attack him. Easily defeated, Dinobot abandons the Maxims, facing Optimus Primal in combat and is allowed to remain by his side.

The comic book version of this event is much more personal, making Dinobot’s reasons for leaving the Predacons go beyond just a bruised ego. His disagreement with Nyx’s treatment also helps show and establish his code of ethics long before the show did. The comic will likely continue with a version of his confrontation with Primal and joining the Maximals. The show had the Maximals initially untrustworthy towards the still devious Dinobot, that is, for his sometimes brutal sense of honor and justice.

This gap between Dinobot and Optimus Primal largely reflected the sometimes strained relationship between the original Optimus Prime and Gen 1 commander Dinobot Grimlock. It remains to be seen how this will play out in the comics, although Nyx will certainly be angered by working with someone who stood by while being mercilessly tortured.

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