For those readers who lived through the nineties as a youth old enough to know, Beast Wars was a new angle through which the Transformers of the eighties saw fruition. There was still of course, a Megatron, and there was some form of an Optimus Prime (though he was called Optimus Primal, and was an ape).
Beast Wars was also the introduction to a new world of three dimensional, computer generated graphics. Appalling as it might appear these days, the animation of this action-packed show was, in its time, revolutionary.
What may also have been revolutionary, though only in the way that certain things simply come full circle, Beast Wars saw the incredible villainy of the Predacons. Of course Predacons existed in certain comics and cartoons before Beast Wars began, but given the masquerade of organic creature transformation, the Predacons were given a whole slew of new faces and came with varying degrees of great power. No wonder their transformation call was "terrorize".
It should be no surprise whatsoever that Megatron makes it to the top of the list of powerful Predacons. Realistically, from the original Transformers to Beast Wars, there's not much difference with Megatron. Sure, instead of a tank, or a gun, this Megatron transforms into a tyrannosaurus rex, but otherwise, there is not much difference.
This Megatron, like the one of the past (and the one of the future live action films), is obsessed with the obliteration of humanity and destruction of the Autobots (or Maximals in the case of Beast Wars). And of course, there is also that desire to rule Cybertron with a very strong, metallic fist.
The whole idea of Beast Wars, in fact, is that Megatron goes back in time, chooses an organic shape to fit in, and aims to slaughter all of the primitives in order to destroy humankind before it begins. The most badass thing about this t-rex Megatron, aside from the fact that his disguise transformation is a t-rex, is the cannon hand he has. Why? Because it is an overwhelmingly powerful blast that is ejected from the maw of t-rex!
Waspinator has to go right after Megatron for a couple of reasons. First off, Waspinator is basically the Starscream to the Beast Wars version of Megatron. Second of all, it turns out that Starscream's spark is in fact embedded within Waspinator (at one point in the story line)...so realistically, this character actually is Starscream. Though it must be said, Waspinator is slightly more daft than the original Starscream. However, in spite of that fact, the reality that he was the one to be possessed by Starscream, even if just for a short while, goes to show that there's more to this Predacon than meets the eye.
So what does actually make Waspinator one of the more powerful Predacons? Well, it just so happens that he really isn't all that powerful in terms of brain or brawn. What does allow him a spot on this list though, aside from the possession by Starscream, is the fact that he just doesn't die. He seemingly can't die. Waspinator takes the worst hits from both Maximals, and Predacons alike, and he just keeps going. Rattrap might collect pieces of Waspinator, but the buzzing, bumbling, baddie survives everything anyone throws at him. He might be stupid, but he survives.
This red fire ant might be a bit off his rocker, but that's part of why he is so incredibly powerful and dangerous. Inferno is probably the most dangerous Predacon, simply because of his undying loyalty to Megatron and his willingness to jump into any situation, no matter the odds, and lay waste in any way he can. Using a variety of blasters, and an overwhelmingly devastating flamethrower, Inferno is most certainly aptly named.
Why is his loyalty so undying? According to Megatron, there is some fault in his programming. Ultimately, this fault works to Megatron's benefit though. Inferno believes himself to truly be an ant. Given that fact, he treats Megatron as the queen, and will therefore sacrifice anything for the sake of his queen, and colony (Megatron, and the other Predacons). This, essentially makes for a fairly suicidal villain. And that is, again, perhaps the most dangerous kind. No matter how many Maximals, no matter the risks: damn it all, Inferno is willing to do whatever it takes for the sake of his queen and colony.
Ok, to be as fair as possible, Predaking never actually graced Beast Wars, but parts of him have. This behemoth of a bot is due to the amalgamation of first generation Predacons Headstrong, Divebomb, Rampage, Razorclaw, and Tantrum. Razorclaw is a part of the Beast Wars cast and a version of Headstrong (though renamed Hardhead) also appears as part of the Beast Wars cast of Predacons.
There have been an array of Transformers that have managed to join together in order to create a seemingly menacing force. Predaking though, is really the only one to have truly created a force worth being afraid of. All others seem to bicker and simply go nuts at the joining of each of their personalities. Every aspect of the larger robot desiring something different, thus pulling apart the effectiveness of the bot before it could wreak any devastation. All members of Predaking, on the other hand, being Predacons, have a thirst for hunting, and are instinctively of one mind, and one body. Essentially the perfect hunter, this terrifying structure should have made its way fully into Beast Wars, but instead audiences received only shadows of the once great Decepticon weapon.
One might assume, right off the bat, that given this Predacon's name, he is quite dangerous. But the danger that comes from Tarantulas is due to so much more than simply his namesake. This aloof arachnid is essentially the evil, mad scientist of the Predacon crew. His joy in life is experimenting on helpless forms of life and/or robotics. And things seldom go wrong for Tarantulas in this respect. If, by chance, a subject dies during experimentation, this putrid Predacon simply has himself a well-deserved snack. Perhaps his joy is even greater in these moments of munching on fading lifeforms.
The whole cause of taking on Maximals and fighting for Megatron are certainly part of the job for Tarantulas, but he could not care less, it seems, so long as he gets to play. There is a deeper story arc, concerning this sickening spider though. A member, or at least lackey of the Tripredacus Council, Tarantulas does have some sort of end game in mind with regards to the Beast Wars. Perhaps that's another point for how powerful, and dangerous he is: No one really knows what he wants, and in spite of that, Predacons and Maximals alike, fear him.
Alright, sure...Scorponok, for those who recall, was the not sharpest stinger in the sane by any means. He certainly has a lacking mental fortitude, and has sometimes even been outdone by the likes of Waspinator. In spite of all of this, however, Scorponok is still a powerful Predacon. His loyalty is typically unquestionable and while he is not so loyal as to match the seemingly suicidal tendencies of Inferno, he has rarely gone astray from the commands of Megatron.
In addition to this fact, this well-armoured bot has an array of cyber viruses which he develops himself. For a relatively stupid Predacon, this is a pretty ingenious, and dangerous skill. And he needn't even be close to the field of battle in order to unleash these viruses. As seen coming out of his right claw in the above photo, Scorponok has what is called a cyberbree drone. Even before they were made a popular and deadly addition to the American war effort, Scorponok was throwing out biological warfare via a cyberbee. Why exactly it is a bee that comes out of the scorpion's claw...one can only guess. Perhaps because both the scorpion and the bee sting? Regardless, even if in the show he is not overly effective, in theory, Scorponok is a powerful foe.
Rampage is one of the deadliest, and most powerful Predacons, for sure. Though he hardly wishes to be a Predacon at all. The result of some pretty iffy experimentation, Rampage just so happens to have an immortal spark, which means it doesn't ultimately matter what becomes of him...he'll always be back. If that doesn't make him more powerful than even Megatron, then one isn't sure what powerful is.
In addition to his immortality, Rampage feeds off of fear. And he exudes a lot for the Maximals (and certainly some of the Predacons) to be afraid of. Often bored of the Predacon cause, Rampage will often go off to find his own perverse way of enjoying himself. Fear tactics, and torture are often a part of that enjoyment. If one has any doubt of the cruel, and calculated nature of this fear mongering robot, then let him explain himself..."Is that fear you are feeling, Maximal? Yes... my spark, it feeds on terror. Let it grow! Let it consume your circuitry! Feel it, yes, feel it! Feel the fear!"
Spittor is essentially a robotic toad of typically stupid proportions. Like many of the Predacons, he is not exactly the most quick-witted, or bright bot in the ranks. The smart ones seem to be few and far between. This fact, however, is perhaps the only reason that the Maximals walk away with any victory, at any of the time. Spittor has an array of poisons that he can bring to bear during battle, as well as a bit of an anger issue. Of course this rage is perhaps also why he is so often unfocused. In spite of that, however, should a Maximal (or a fellow Predacon) so much as touch the membranous skin stretched over this machine, they will instantly feel the effects. The toxins contained within Spittor's skin can drive any robot to dementia, overloading their circuitry with perhaps the same mindlessness that Spittor is already so well equipped with. And perhaps that's why Spittor is so seemingly daft...he's touched himself one too many times, and that has led to an incredible degree of stupidity and mindlessness. Regardless, this toxic terror has got power that many justifiably fear.
Another ant on the Predacon team, Scavenger is hardly as loyal as the psychopathic Inferno. In spite of that, he is still a force to be reckoned with. This digger ant, loves nothing more than scaring the ever-living sh*t out of the Maximals by surprising them from underground. While Scavenger may have been given the rank of Infantry Commander, he hardly has a care for leading any Predacon troops. He would much prefer messing with the mental circuits of the Maximal forces. Psychological warfare is his game, and coupled with Rampage, he would indeed make a fearsome force, that would eternally feed off of the terror of the enemy in question. One of the biggest bullies in the Predacon force, Scavenger loves blackmail, almost just as much as he loves terrifying other bots. A master strategist, in order to increase the fear he wreaks upon the Maximals, Scavenger has also developed cyber viruses. These viruses are chock full of hallucinations to really get at the deepest fears of his enemies.
Jetstorm is a formidable flyer in the ranks of the Predacons. He is perhaps the most superior aerial attacker on the team...and maybe even out of the entire cast of Beast Wars. His dragonfly form often distracts enemies. And it is no good thing to be distracted, even for a fraction of a second by Jetstorm. Another fairly toxic Predacon, not only arrogance, and pomposity emerge from this bot's mouth, but also tons of explosive, and toxic bile.
It seems that firepower, and poison power are the two greatest advantages that the Predacon forces have, in general. Jetstorm happens to have the use of both fire and poison power. Any Maximal taking to the skies must be able to deal with Jetstorm's missile arsenal, and his precise targeting. This Predacon is incredibly disgusted by those who cannot fly, but also seems to have something to prove to those who can. This ultimately leads to a hatred of all bots, grounded, or airborne. Regardless, Jetstorm's sense of superiority and arrogance are both responsible for his victories, and equally his failures.
Ah, Dinobot. The velociraptor of the Beast Wars crew, Dinobot is an interesting character to discuss. Many readers may be protesting "But wait, Dinobot is a Maximal, he doesn't belong on this list." True, Dinobot became a Maximal, but he did by no means begin that way. In fact, he is responsible for the pilfering of the famed golden discs. If it wasn't for the unexpected landing on the planet and the Maximal exploration team that followed, Dinobot would still be a Predacon. Even in his dealing with the Maximals, he remained very much like a Predacon – always threatening to rip apart Rattrap. And regardless of what side he was on at what time, Dinobot is one of the most powerful and dangerous bots in the entire Beast Wars realm. He is not insane in the same way that Inferno is, but his unyielding sense of honour makes him dangerous to others, and ultimately himself. He uses up all of his power, and disregards the damage it does to his spark to defeat Megatron, and destroy the golden discs. He never gives up a fight, and however silly that may be sometimes, his determination is what makes him so powerful.
Though one may not be able to tell from the above photo, Blackarachnia is indeed the sole slight of sex appeal available in Beast Wars. And no matter how one looks at it, that is of course a stretch, especially given the type of animation. However, that is certainly how she was marketed. And being the sole femme fatale in the show would drive the character to this end, of course. This wonderfully seductive trapper is by no means solely a Predacon.
Like some of the other stronger personalities on the team, she is looking out, predominantly, for herself. Working with the Predacons does typically let her do that, but she is not shy about working to outwit Megatron from time to time. That perhaps just goes to show how powerful she really is. Unfortunately, she's got a bit of a soft spot for one of the Maximals (Silverbolt), but she would never admit that fact to anyone, and would surely sooner destroy everything and everyone around her before letting that secret get out. Given that fact, it could very well make her more dangerous than one might have initially thought.
Hardhead is thus called for a couple of reasons. First of all, he is as thick as the Pachycephalosaurus dome that one can see on his chest in the photo above. Second of all, his head is so hard, that even the slightest tap from it is hardly tolerable. Given just how dense he is, Hardhead rarely gets a chance to truly use his powers, or at least in the right way. That being said, when he does use his power properly (having been pointed in the right direction), his namesake obliterates anything it touches. All he has to do is give a full on headbutt, and there's nothing left. Of course, given the manner of the show, this full force of his power has never really been demonstrated on a Maximal. But because of the reality of his power, the Maximals are certainly wary of Hardhead. Realistically, so to are the Predacons. Not trusting how incredibly mindless he can often seem to be, it makes perfect sense that the Predacons fear this bot's hard head as well. At least from time to time.
Quickstrike is a very unusual Predacon...if for no other reason than that he has a scorpion's body, but instead of a stinger on the tale, he has the head of a cobra. A very imaginative creation on the part of the Beast Wars developers, to be sure. What makes this Predacon especially powerful? The answer actually has nothing to do with the venom from either the scorpion side, or the cobra side of his form. No, the power comes from his surprising bravery. Perhaps not as smart as Inferno, nor as incredibly loyal, Quickstrike does still have a bravery that is hardly matched by any other Predacon. He lusts after bullying others, and aims to shoot from the hip. Perhaps thinking the whole run of the show is one big western, Quickstrike is simply the trigger-happy grunt of the team. Wanting nothing more than to put the beat on anything, he is very easily manipulated (though seemingly only by other Predacons). Both arachnids, Tarantulas, and Blackarachnia, have had some manner of manipulation when it comes to Quickstrike, but he couldn't be happier, so long as he's pounding on something.
Realistically there is not very much documentation with regards to this locust-looking Predacon. There just isn't anything for people to discuss other than how he is psycho, and how the Transmetal II toy line of his, is garbage. That's about all there seems to be online about this creature. Yes, he is based, at least in name, on a first generation Transformer, and those who remember him will understand just why that's significant. Either way, this locust, like several other Predacons, seems to have a penchant for bio weaponry. And given his ability to take to the skies with relative ease, pairing him with Jetstorm would make a dynamic, albeit poisonous, duo. It must be noted that poison and psychosis are not the only features that Scourge has going for him. He also has the ability to disguise himself as other bots. Indeed he could disguise himself as Maximal or Autobot, should he so desire. And should have desired so more often. Like all Predacons, there is a fatal flaw that is far too often exposed, but that is of course only because the good guys must win out at the end of this kid's show.