Warning! Spoilers ahead for Transformers: Beast Wars #17!
The final issue of Beast Wars shows one Transformer taking over the Predacons once Megatron disappears, but whether or not she can truly replace the iconic Predacon leader will never be fully realized.
IDW Publishing's opportunity to explore this possibility ended prematurely when it was announced that the publisher lost the rights to Transformers and Beast Wars, among others, to a currently undisclosed competitor. Although the series' creators decided to conclude their series with a cliffhanger, it's highly unlikely that whatever imprint purchased the licenses from Hasbro will continue IDW's compelling story.
Megatron's replacement, whether temporary or permanent, is revealed to be the treacherous Transformer Blackarachnia after the Maximal Rattrap fires a special beam of energy that sends the former Predacon leader through time to either the past or present, in Transformers: Beast Wars #17 by writer Erik Burnham, artist Josh Bucham and letterer Jake M. Wood. Although never officially stated, Blackarachnia clearly steps into the leadership role after the Maximals leave in search of Megatron. When one of her comrades asks about what they should do about their former leader, she is the one who answers before laying out a multistep plan on what needs to be done. In addition to representing and speaking for her comrades during negotiations with Optimus Prime, Blackarachnia is the one who discovers how they can finally leave the planet.
Although Blackarachnia is devious enough to lead, the only other contenders for the position were either Waspinator, Skold, or the recently recruited Inferno who was previously one of the Children of the Vok. That's because everyone else is either deceased or at large. Since Inferno just defected from the Vok and devoted himself to Blackarachnia, there was never a chance he could assume the throne, especially if he's just as maniacal and unstable as he was in the show. There's also the fact that he's a soldier fire ant who must serve a queen. Waspinator could never be a leader, either, due to his scatterbrained personality and overall cluelessness, despite apparently holding two Astromechanics degrees. Skold has also proven unworthy of holding such a high office for being overtly timid and consistently incapable of standing up for herself, though, she recently gained some backbone after meeting the now deceased Razorbeast. The clear successor would have been Scorpinok, as the only truly loyal and devoted follower of Megatron, but he recently died. Tarantulas would have been the other obvious choice as well for his unparalleled cunningness except he betrayed the Predacons and is now on the run. As for Terrorsaur? He died long ago and was made into a mindless and sparkless zombie.
Even though the crown pretty much fell in Blackarachnia's lap, the circumstances of her ascension don't define her capabilities as a leader. Like how Blackarachnia is believed to have singlehandedly brainwashed numerous Maximal prototypes herself in the comics, her TV counterpart was capable of leading the Predacons. She would have singlehandedly defeated both her own comrades and the Maximals early on in season one had her plans not been foiled at the last moment when she took over the mysterious powerful tower on the equally as a mysterious floating island. She even successfully manipulated Tarantulas himself numerous times. Although comic fans will never have the chance to see Blackarachnia truly lead in IDW's Transformers series, it's likely that she could have truly replaced Megatron in Beast Wars.
The final issue of Transformers: Beast Wars is available now from IDW Comics!