Transformers: Generation 1
The Combaticons are so named for their military vehicle alternate modes, and their proficiency in combat, working together as a smooth unit.
They are viewed as the counterparts to the Autobots' Protectobots, a team composed of rescue vehicles. In addition to their individual abilities the team can combine their bodies and minds together to create the giant warrior, Bruticus.
- Bruticus (later called Bruticus Maximus)
The team's combined form of Bruticus is a successful merging of the minds of the Combaticons. He is perhaps the most successful combiner, in that he is not slow and awkward like some other combiners, and will follow commands instantly and without question, with terrifying efficiency and awesome strength. Megatron is pleased with his prowess, and wishes that he had an army of Bruticuses. The only problem is that without someone to tell him what to do, Bruticus will do nothing. While this is the depiction that Bruticus's tech spec offered, his animated appearances showed him as frequently able to act independently, and rarely listen to anyone - even their creator Starscream.
Voiced by Roger C. Carmel.
He transforms into an anti-aircraft truck.
He is the leader and as such he forms the head and torso of Bruticus.
He prefers to formulate strategies and tactics to defeat his opponents rather than sheer brute force.
However, when his plans fail, he can become a devastating force in battle, as his fury that his carefully laid out plans have been thwarted can inspire him to acts to violence.
Voiced by S. Marc Jordan.
He transforms into a Space Shuttle.
He forms the right arm of Bruticus.
Although he appears to be a cruel and ruthless opponent to the Autobots and a snob to his fellow Combaticons, but along with Swindle, he is intelligent as well he is in reality somewhat lonely, as his missions in space shuttle mode leave him feeling isolated.
Additionally, in the animated series, his wings form the chest plate of Bruticus', although the toy does not function in this manner.
The 2009 Universe update of this character changes his alternate mode into a tank.
Voiced by Milt Jamin.
He transforms into a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
He forms the left arm of Bruticus.
As the most out-and-out sadistic hothead of the Combaticons, he functions as their interrogator.
His favorite tactic is to trap Autobots in the huge wind funnels he creates in helicopter mode until they tell him what he wants to know.
He is known as Vorter in Japan.
Voiced by Johnny Haymer.
- Brawl (later called "Decepticon Brawl")
He transforms into a Leopard Tank.
He forms the left leg of Bruticus.
While he is something of a loudmouth and the least intelligent, he is only telling the truth about his abilities.
He has an extremely short temper, provoking bursts of uncontrollable fury that leave him as little more than a berserker in battle.
Voiced by Tony St. James.
He transforms into a FMC XR311. The 2009 Universe update of this character changes his alternate mode into a helicopter.
He forms the right leg of Bruticus.
He is the most intelligent of the Combaticons.
He may look like he is the most friendly and of the group - in reality he would sell his companions in a heartbeat if it meant he made some cash on the side.
He is blessed with a smooth tongue that means he can sell anything to anyone - even oil to an Arab sheikh.
Voiced by Johnny Haymer.
The Combaticons had no explicitly stated origin in Marvel Comics' Transformers series, but it can be safely assumed that they were given life by the energies of the Creation Matrix, tapped by the Decepticons via one of Bombshell's cerebro-shells implanted within Optimus Prime when the Protectobots were being created by the Autobots. The team's first mission saw Vortex being dispatched to scout the scientific facility responsible for creating the energy-generating device known as the Hydrothermacline, which Megatron and the team then attacked under cover of night, only to be met with opposition in the form of Optimus Prime and the Protectobots. Although both teams assumed their combined modes, facility staff member Ethan Zachary talked them into a different method of combat to prevent collateral damage - a virtual duel in the video-game realm of "Multi-World." The Combaticons were summarily defeated by the Protectobots and the game's digital inhabitants, but the contest ended in failure when Megatron cheated, forcing Optimus Prime to take an action that he would not in the real world, sacrificing the life of some of the game sprites. Believing himself to have cheated his own principles, Prime declared himself the loser of the game, and was destroyed. Unsatisfied with the victory, Megatron became increasingly paranoid, and severely damaged Brawl by crushing his head before surrendering to insanity and apparently destroying himself.
Some time later, the Combaticons tracked down the Throttlebots, a group of Autobots who were newly arrived from Cyberton, and had taken up with Goldbug and Blaster, two Autobots who had rebelled against the tyranny of their current commander, Grimlock. This resulted in another clash with the Protectobots, who had been dispatched to track Goldbug and Blaster down, with both forces meeting in a used car lot. The lot's owner tried to talk the two groups into an auction over the Throttlebots, rather than a fight, but Onslaught (unsurprisingly) refused to keep his part of the deal and battle broke out, with the Protectobots claiming victory thanks to some help from Blaster.
The Combaticons soon returned, however, attacking the Protectobots in a train yard as they were escorting the captured Blaster back to the Autobots' base. Finally, Bruticus and Defensor engaged in battle, and Bruticus won, until Blaster duped him into believing that he was on his side, and collapsed a set of power lines on him, forcing the Combaticons to disengage. To pay back a group of human children for their help in the battle, Blaster allowed them to affix a mode-lock of Blast Off, trapping him in space shuttle mode, who they then used to take a trip into space. They soon came under fire from the Autobots' spacecraft, the Ark, and were pulled aboard, but when the misunderstanding was resolved, Blast Off himself was imprisoned. Blaster and Grimlock then engaged in a duel on the moon, during which Onslaught led a massive Decepticon attack against the Autobots, while the Constructicons liberated the captive Decepticons, including Blast Off, from aboard the Ark.
Despite the new appearances of their toy counterparts, the Combaticons continued to appear in their original color schemes throughout the new Generation 2 comic book by Marvel, which featured Onslaught sharing the pain of a destroyed Cybertronian due to a genetic link. The comic then offered the Combaticons their last hurrah, as they were attacked and destroyed by the forces of Jhiaxus (as well as the traitorous Starscream) while defending the Decepticons' Warworld.
Millions of years ago, during the early days of the third Great War on Cybertron, a group of "Renegade Decepticons" attempted to overthrow Megatron and assume leadership of the Decepticons for themselves. Their coup met with failure, and as punishment for their treason, Megatron ordered Shockwave to extract the quintet's personality components and destroy their bodies. For millions of years, the Renegade Decepticons' personality components were held in the Decepticon Detention Center, Room 217, until 1985, when they were liberated by Starscream.
Starscream, having gone one step too far in his constant quest to depose Megatron and become Decepticon leader, had been exiled from the faction and dumped on the island of Guadalcanal, where he chanced to unearth some abandoned World War II vehicles left over from the battle there. Reminded of Blitzwing by a tank he came across, Starscream hit upon the idea of creating troops of his own, travelling to Cybertron and acquiring the Renegade Decepticons' personality components, which he installed into the refurbished vehicles, reconfiguring them into modern-day forms. Some of the 5 he had to change much: e.g. Blast Off the space shuttle and Vortex the helicopter were made out of crashed World War II fixed-wing aircraft, and Onslaught the missile truck out of a WWII-era half-track. Starscream deliberately neglected to equip the new bodies with energy absorbers, preventing the newly-christened "Combaticons" from refuelling, forcing them to obey his commands so that they could acquire them. After two strikes, capturing several Autobots and Decepticons, and in the process, making Megatron think that the Autobots were responsible, the Combaticons took their captives' energy absorbers and re-energised themselves, before coming under attack from Megatron's forces. As the Constructicons formed Devastator, Starscream revealed the new power he had given the Combaticons for just that eventuality, as they combined into Bruticus and bested Devastator, only to be blindsided by Menasor and defeated. Many fans believe that their rivalry with the Stunticons is far more intense than with the Protectobots, due to Stunticon interference causing their first defeat.
Captured by Megatron, Starscream and the Combaticons were exiled to an asteroid floating in deep space, but Onslaught soon conceived a plan for revenge and had Blast Off tow the asteroid to Cybertron. Enraged by his predicament and infuriated by the Combaticons' failure to perform, Starscream attempted to return to Earth under his own power, while the Combaticons successfully arrived on Cybertron and quickly and efficiently defeated Shockwave's sentinel army, seizing Shockwave who had been stunned while in his laser cannon mode, and actually wielding him as a huge hand-held weapon before blasting Shockwave into space and taking control of the planet. Wiring his missile guidance systems into the space bridge, Onslaught manipulated Earth's orbit and sent it towards the sun. It took the unlikely team up of Megatron, Optimus Prime and Starscream to stop the Combaticons, distracting them with a hologram projector long enough to reverse the Earth's fate, then allowing Prime to strike at Bruticus's built-in weak spot (Starscream put it there in case Bruticus rebelled), identified by Starscream. The trio voted to destroy Bruticus, with Megatron delivering the fatal blast, but in reality had used the hologram projector to create an illusion to fool Optimus Prime, planning to reprogram the Combaticons to serve him.
The Combaticons appear in the episode "Aerial Assault" (episode 58), which was seemingly aired out of order before the origin of the Combaticons.
The reprogrammed Combaticons were soon deployed on a mission to the Middle East, working with the local black market to smuggle jet parts to Megatron, which he used to build a drone jet army. Later, in battle with the Protectobots, Bruticus was heavily damaged, and rather than repair his comrades, Swindle opted to sell their parts to assorted "clients." The enraged Megatron ordered him to reacquire the parts so that Bruticus could wield their new gravity-manipulating weapon, but when Swindle could not find Brawl's personality component, a bomb was installed in his body to give him extra incentive. Brawl's component, meanwhile, had inadvertently wound up incorporated into a high school science project robot nicknamed "B.O.T.", which caused it to run amok, drawing in Swindle and a team of Autobots; Swindle was eventually able to remove the component, but B.O.T.'s creators then used him to destroy Bruticus's new weapon.
The Combaticons were not part of the Battle of Autobot City, but were on Cybertron when the world-eater, Unicron, attacked it in 2005, and, heavily damaged, were forced to relocate to the planet of Chaar with the other Decepticons when the Autobots reclaimed their home world. They participated in the Decepticon/Quintesson alliance's attacks on Goo and Cybertron, and later attempted to eliminate the Decepticon traitor, Octane, and destroyed an Autobot shuttle in hopes of scuttling a peace conference, as well as aiding in the invasion of Paradron and an attack on Japan. In 2007, the Combaticons were part of the invasion force that struck Cybertron, and went to work constructing a massive rock engine on the planet's surface, which, fuelled by the power packs of the defeated Autobots, moved Cybertron into the Sol system, where Galvatron's plan to use the Plasma Energy Chamber was foiled by Spike Witwicky and Fortress Maximus.
The Combaticons' voices were supplied by S. Marc Jordan (Onslaught), Milt Jamin (Blast Off), Johnny Haymer (Swindle, Vortex), Tony St. James (Brawl) and Roger C. Carmel (Bruticus). The characters continued to make brief appearances in the Japanese-exclusive Transformers: The Headmasters series, usually merged as Bruticus and battling other combiners, and Bruticus was one of the nine "Decepticon Generals" assembled by the insectoid Violenjiger in the single episode of 1990's Japanese Transformers: Zone series. Bruticus was perhaps the only one of the generals who survived the series, arguably making him one of the oldest surviving Decepticons from G1.
Dreamwave Productions' 21st Century re-imagining of the Generation 1 universe took its inspiration for the Combaticons from the original animated series, casting them as Decepticon prisoners who were reduced to protoform stasis because they were too dangerous to be released.
Onslaught, Brawl, Blast Off and Vortex originally appeared as part of Shockwave's attack on Iacon in the first War Within series. At the same time Swindle was with Starscream, Motormaster, Runabout and Runamuck when Starscream examined Laserbeak's data to see Megatron's data on the state of Cybertron.
Later, when Optimus Prime led a rebellion against Shockwave's domination of Cybertron in 2003, Starscream took the opportunity to form a power base, taking the protoform Combaticons to Earth and outfitting them with new alternate modes taken from an abandoned military base, then leading them in an attack on the Ark in order to acquire parts to make the Decepticon space cruiser, the Nemesis, spaceworthy. Confronted in battle by Brawn, Bruticus was caught in an explosion as Ratchet self-destructed the Ark, but he survived the conflagration, only to be knocked out by artillery fire from an incoming Autobot shuttle. After a battle with the evil clone, Sunstorm, Brawn opted to work out some of his stress on Bruticus's unconscious body, punching the gestalt about the head until his comrades yelled at him to stop. Bruticus would return, battling Sky Lynx for Starscream's amusement - until the Predacons appeared in their combined form of Predaking. The two gestalts battled as Starscream fled and Bruticus lost. The ultimate fate of the Combaticons in the Dreamwave universe was not revealed, due to the company's closure.
Bruticus would also appear in the Dreamwave G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover, but with a radically different origin. Here he was not formed from the five Combaticons or even a Transformer at all: he was a robot created by Destro and Starscream using a hybrid of Cobra and Decepticon technologies. Destro and Starscream planned to wait out the inevitable battle between the Autobots/G.I. Joe and Decepticons/Cobra, then use Bruticus to force whatever remained into submission to them. The assault proved successful, killing Cobra Commander. However, the plan was thwarted when Snake Eyes opened the Matrix, deactivating all Transformers - including Bruticus, who was partly created from their technology.
Devil's Due Publishing
The Combaticons would also make a brief appearance in the third crossover between G.I. Joe and the Transformers. They were seen trying to hold back the combined Autobot/G.I. Joe rescue force trying to recover Optimus Prime, while Onslaught was seen as one of the Decepticons that tried to stop Optimus Prime from attacking Serpentor, but was incapacitated by Prime wielding Razorclaw's sword.
Swindle made a solo appearance in the Spotlight issue on Ultra Magnus, as a free lance arms dealer apprehended by Magnus. He does not appear to be part of the Combaticons team. The other members appeared in the issue on Arcee, being used as the vanguard of the Decepticon attack on Garrus-9. They easily wiped out all opposition before them, but encountered more of a problem with Arcee herself, who took out Brawl and Blast Off. Despite this, they were successful in abducting the Monstructor components for Banzai-Tron.
- Generation 1 Bruticus (1985)
- Originally released in Japan as a Diaclone toy.
- Generation 2 Bruticus
- With the release of the Transformers: Generation 2 toyline in the 1990s, the Combaticon toys were re-released with new, brightly-colored paint jobs, and Onslaught himself came with an additional missile launching accessory.
- Revenge of the Fallen Bruticus Maximus (2009)
- In 2009, a set of five Combaticons was released as part of the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen toy line. This marks the return of the five original Combaticons to the toy line since their last appearance in Generation 2. This version of the Combaticons is a redeco of the Energon Combaticon toys done as a direct homage to the Generation 1 toy colors. There are some changed in the line-up: Brawl is now called "Decepticon Brawl" for trademark purposes, Swindle is now a helicopter, Blast Off is now a tank, and the combined form is called "Bruticus Maximus" for trademark reasons.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
- Main article: Commandos (Transformers)
In the parallel universe of 2004's Transformers: Energon a combining team of five robots similar to the Combaticons exists, who form the giant robot known as Bruticus Maximus (simply Bruticus in Japan).
The team consists of:
- Barricade (Onslaught in Japan), the leader of the team who forms the central body of Bruticus Maximus.
- Blight (Swindle)
- Kickback (Brawl)
- Blackout (Blast Off)
- Stormcloud (Vortex)
Each limb can form either an arm or a leg for Bruticus Maximus. None of the figures received any biographical information.
The animated series does not refer to any of the components by name - in it, only the central body is intelligent, and the limbs are drones. The five robots transform only from vehicle mode into combined mode, never into their individual robot forms (apart from one out-of-continuity episode).
Bruticus Maximus was one of four combining Transformers sealed away in stasis beneath the surface of Cybertron to guard a hidden reservoir of Super Energon. Megatron, guided by Unicron, set out to search for it, and destroyed one of the immobile robots in his rage (strangely enough, a second Superion Maximus), only for the reservoir to then reveal itself. As the guardians awakened, Megatron immersed himself in the Super Energon to upgrade himself into Galvatron, and Bruticus Maximus and Constructicon Maximus immediately swore fealty to Galvatron as the one who had awoken them. However, their "brother," Superion Maximus, refused, recognising Galvatron's evil and siding with the Autobots.
Bruticus Maximus added plenty of firepower to the Decepticons' side, and he and Constructicon Maximus had several clashes with the "traitorous" Superion Maximus, until the time for their final battle came, set against the backdrop of the struggle to stop the Unicron-possessed Galvatron out in space. Constructicon Maximus was deactivated by Superion Maximus, who then had his limbs destroyed by Bruticus Maximus, but transferred Constructicon Maximus's limbs to himself and used them to defeat Bruticus, along with a little help from the ghost of the "brother" Megatron had destroyed.
Although Dreamwave Productions' Transformers: Energon series was canceled before it was able to introduce Bruticus Maximus, art of him and the team members was seen done for the unreleased issues of Transformers Energon: More Than Meets The Eye.
Transformers: Power Core Combiners
In the 2010 Transformers: Power Core Combiners toy line, the Decepticon Bombshock leads a Combaticon army that consists of four military vehicle drones. These drones can transform Bombshock into a larger robot by forming his limbs.
- Power Core Combiners Bombshock with Combaticons (2010)
- A new mold, which closely resembles the original Combaticon leader Onslaught. Comes with four drone vehicles: a half-track, an armored car, a missile carrier and a tank - all of which combine with Bombshock to form a larger robot.
- The Bombshock mold is also used for the Autobot Steelshot with Beacon.
Onslaught is a member of the Decepticon.
Appears in the novel Transformers: Exodus. Onslaught is one of them. He forms part of Bruticus Maximus.
- ↑ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. p. 43. ISBN 0764313649.
- ↑ Hasbro commemorates 30th anniversary of G.I. Joe figures, Playthings magazine, February 1, 1994
- ↑ The Official Overstreet Comic Book Companion, 11th Edition, Page 257, by Robert M. Overstreet, 2010
- ↑ Toy Collector News: New Photos of Transformers Universe Aerialbots and Combaticons in-package
- ↑ TFW2005.com - Bombshock