I was looking through some papers from high school (by which I mean comics and doodles I drew during class), and came across something I hadn't thought about since those days: a completed first issue (and half of a second issue) for what I'd envisioned to be an ongoing Transformers series to complement/replace Beast Wars. The story was basically a Beast Wars clone: a small group of Maximals and Predacons gets transported to a mysterious place for mysterious reasons, though with some focus on a reoccurring supporting cast back on Cybertron. I just stole the name "Machine Wars" because it seemed to fit thematically, and hey, the toy line was already dead. This was sometime between '98 and '99, so I actually don't remember if at this point I knew BW was ending or Beast Machines was coming. On the one hand, looking at it makes me cringe a bit at some of the very basics of writing that I didn't know back then, and reminds me why I stopped drawing. (Hint: I can NOT draw vehicles) But on the other hand, it's not without its charm; a complete, black-and-white comic on lined notepad paper with an entirely new cast of characters. So I thought I'd share it (in three big posts; I can't imagine anyone being interested enough to follow along for several days). First, some profile pages with a bit of explanation, which will make understanding the comic a little easier. (Or, if you're feeling daring and want to take the chance at understanding everything in the order my 18-year-old self introduced it, skip to the bottom): Streak - My kid-appeal character. He has Bumblebee's earnestness and Rattrap's sarcasm, without the low self-esteem of the former or the experience of the latter. He's on the Throttlebot squad, which is basically the "small car" contingent of the Maximals' ground forces. Sky Stryke - Generic jet guy, my least-developed character. Not traitorous, despite being visually based on Starscream. My only excuse for spelling "strike" with a Y is I was 18. Strider - I had to have seen this name in an issue of Nintendo Power. I never got around to revealing it, but he was to have been an undercover intelligence agent. Like Tarantulus, but for the Maximals. Drill Bit - The strong, silent type, and the brains of this Predacon squad (Warcons). Also incredibly loyal, like cartoon Soundwave. Chopper - The highest-ranking officer of this small group of Maximals (but not the leader), and a bit of a by-the-book prick. He's a member of the Aerialbots, the Maximals' air force. Completely ripped off his transformation scheme from MW Sandstorm. Kamikaze - Unlike his stupid name suggests, he does not blow himself up. He's unbearably proud of the fact that his missiles travel farther, faster, and with greater guidance and maneuverability than anyone else's, and they never miss. Mach 10 - The mysterious de facto leader of this small group of Maximals. He's a former Autobot who remembers almost nothing about that life and lies about what little he does remember for reasons of his own. Traits of his appearance and transformation were taken from G1 Waverider and Strafe, I think. Ballistic - Leader of the Warcons, he is a rogue Predacon. But unlike Megatron, he's nothing but a brute, meant to take orders (and he would, but not from the gutless Tripredacus Council). He thinks he can reignite the war and win it with balls alone. The helmet and intended dark green/brown color scheme were to evoke the idea of a grunt soldier. Some annotations, for those interested: Page 1 - The recharge is a reference to "Rebirth". In the first of many ideas that I was unable to express through art, I imagined this city (unnamed) as existing miles off the ground, like the Jetsons. All giant buildings sitting atop big towers and a network of aerial bridges connecting them. Page 3 - I don't know from where I got the idea to depict transformations by having the robots' limbs flying off. It's an entire planet of partsformers. More unclear art to explain; the Predacons are on top of a building, not on the ground, which is still miles below. The bridge between them and the building with Unicron on top (more on that in a second) is obviously not the one they just blew up. This one's just a little walkway. The bridge they destroyed was the only way to get to where the Preds are by foot. As for the building in the background, that is the crowning example of my laziness. As the Walmart-esque billboard out front says, it's the site where the Maximals and Predacons formally ceased hostilities. The big ball is a statue of the Matrix...a statue that looks more like Unicron because I drew it from memory. Drill Bit is going to drill into the tower that the building's perched on. The "peace" banner was juuuuust in case anyone still didn't get it. Page 4 - The all-pointy dialogue bubbles are supposed to represent silent radio communication. Dialogue spoken out loud gets the Marvel-style boxes. Page 6 - All names are coincidental, so that isn't G1 Air Raid. And I don't know how clear it is, but the Maximals are so surprised because they've never encountered missiles this maneuverable and powerful at the same time.