Transformers: Generation 1
Ratbat Box Art
|Sub-group(s)||Communications, Primitives, Ultracons|
|Motto||"The road is my dinner plate."|
|Alternate Modes|| Mechanical Bat/Cassette |
|Series|| Transformers: Generation 1|
As is the case with many Transformers characters, the various continuities in which Ratbat has appeared have portrayed him widely differently in terms of size, personality, personal history and back story. Indeed, Ratbat has been portrayed as a mere spy or even pet at times, while in other instances he has risen to become one of the most successful Earthbound Decepticon leaders of all.
Ratbat was voted the 4th top Transformer who was bad ass in the comics by Topless Robots.
Wired Magazine once nominated him as one 12 most ridiculous Transformers of all time.
Ratbat was one of the many Decepticons left on Cybertron, where he rose to the critical post of fuel auditor under Lord Straxus. With a drive towards extreme efficiency, he would rarely countenance unnecessary risks. When the disembodied Straxus attempted to possess Megatron's body and the two minds battled for supremacy (in Transformers UK #103–4), Ratbat removed the newly multiple-personality'd Decepticon leader via the Space Bridge back to Earth. When Straxus' possession attempt failed and ended in his death, Ratbat emerged as the most powerful Decepticon in Polyhex.
Ratbat grew increasingly dissatisfied with the inefficient use of fuel by the Earth-based Decepticons under the command of Shockwave, and soon began to visit Earth personally to oversee their operations. He gradually began to exert more influence and control over the Earthen Decepticons, developing schemes to improve the planet's output and clashing with Shockwave. He dispatched hypnotizing machines disguised as car washes with the hope of taking over the minds of humans and using them to deliver fuel at minimum cost to the Decepticons, but this plan was disrupted by the intervention of the Autobots' ally Buster Witwicky.
When the Earthbound Autobots briefly left the planet in a repaired Ark, Ratbat was at the forefront of a new Decepticon reign of terror. He was able to manipulate RAAT into executing the Throttlebots and kidnapped Buster Witwicky, taking him to the Decepticons' island base to use as a hostage. When the Autobot Headmasters and Targetmasters besieged the base, the Decepticons were forced to flee by deploying its rocket facility. In the process of departure, Shockwave was shot down in space and began to burn up in Earth's atmosphere. Ratbat declared that it would be inefficient to rescue him and instead, seized sole command of the Decepticons for himself.
Of all the leaders of the Decepticons on Earth, few came closer to outright victory than Ratbat. He tracked the Autobots under Fortress Maximus when they set out to unite with those under Grimlock and launched an all-out attack that resulted in huge casualties, leaving the Autobots briefly stranded on the Moon, and retrieved several Decepticon prisoners of war.
Later, Ratbat promoted the newly-recovered Starscream to the position of second-in-command, and set out to learn the truth about the legendary Underbase, which could seemingly make a Transformer supremely powerful. Ratbat was determined to attain its power for himself, but this ambition was shared with Starscream. The latter lured the separate Decepticon faction led by Scorponok to a meeting with Ratbat's forces, which soon resulted in conflict between the two, allowing Starscream to seek the Underbase for himself. Both Decepticon factions allied with the Autobots in fighting against Starscream, suffering huge casualties in the process. However, both Ratbat and Scorponok independently suspected that the Autobot leader Optimus Prime had plans to seize the power of the Underbase for himself, and they set out to stop them. Learning that the Underbase was nearby, Ratbat declared that he would possess the Underbase's power—and was shot in the back by Scorponok, killing him.
Ratbat would make an appearance in the Generation 2 comic in flashback, shown in battle with Buster Witwicky as an example of the Autobots witnessing organic life fighting for its survival.
In the original Transformers series, Ratbat was one of several Transformers that transformed into cassette tapes (much like Ravage, Buzzsaw, Laserbeak, Rumble, and Frenzy). In the American series, like the other cassettes that turned into animals, Ratbat was not capable of speech, and was likened more to a pet than an equal member of the Decepticon forces. However, in the Japanese series, he and the other cassettes possessed the power of speech, though their roles seemed no different. Ratbat first appeared in The Transformers: The Movie and in the third season of the series, he was often sent on spying missions. However, he also appeared in the OVA Scramble City, which takes place before the movie, but reportedly was made after the movie was made.
In the short-lived series of 3-D Transformers comic books, Ratbat was the pet of Galvatron, who secretly plotted to rule the Decepticons. He was defeated by Searchlight while searching for mysterious energon-producing aliens.
Millions of years ago, before the Transformers crash-landed on Earth, Ratbat was the leader of a sub-faction of Decepticons called the Ultracons during the time when Megatron had disappeared and believed to have died. Megatron's return saw the Ultracons reintegrated into the Decepticons. At this point in time, Ratbat possessed an original Cybertronian form, able to transform from robot mode to jet. However, sometime after the Great Shutdown, when Shockwave established control of the planet, many Transformers, including Ratbat had their bodies reformatted into Earth-themed modes, leading to Ratbat's bat/tape body. Ratbat was not pleased with his new unimposing nature compared to his original structure. In the present, Ratbat was freed by Starscream from imprisonment and was given to Soundwave, implying a past connection—it is entirely possible that Shockwave may have viewed Ratbat as a threat to his control of the planet, and deliberately gave him a weak body and imprisoned him to keep him out of the way.
Devil's Due Publishing
In the first G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers crossover, Ratbat, along with Soundwave and the other Earthbound cassettes (bar Buzzsaw) were recovered from the Ark and used as weapons by the terrorist organization, Cobra. Attacking an energy center for the technology needed to create Energon, the attack force met the G.I. Joe, who had managed to discover where they would strike next. The Joes ambushed the cassettes, and Ratbat was shot down by Bazooka, Rock N' Roll, and Roadblock. Unlike the intelligent, scheming portrayals of the Marvel and Dreamwave comics versions, this Ratbat was more in line with the cartoon—a feral but mostly mindless animal.
Ratbat made his first IDW appearance in The Transformers: Megatron Origin, where he is a senator (in robot mode) who observes the rise of Megatron. He shows distaste for the minor details of his job and is shown ordering various underhanded & corrupt business dealings (and appears bored by it). In his appearance, a partially obscured figure resembling Soundwave was working for him; Soundwave later tried to broker an arms deal with Megatron, making it possible that Ratbat wants Megatron's rise to continue for some reason. However, in #3 he is watching a litany of Decepticon terrorist attacks and feels things are going too far, although he still has Soundwave freed. After Megatron's gladiators free themselves and massacre the Senate, Ratbat plans to flee to Iacon, but is betrayed by Soundwave, who implants his Spark in a cassette body.
Ratbat is seen in his familiar "bat" form in issue #1 of The Transformers: Devastation (though he is redesigned as a personal CD player), where he observes the launch of the Ark-19 from Lake Michigan and reports it to Megatron and Sixshot. One year later, he is part of the forces under Megatron's command in New York, killing a commando party attempting to cross the river. Here he is in his traditional cassette form once more (All Hail Megatron).
- Generation 1 Ratbat (1986)
- Ratbat's toy transformed from a purple, black, and gold bat into a cassette. His toy, when in microcassette form, could fit inside Soundwave, a cassette player. He was packaged with Frenzy and released in 1986.
- Universe War Within Series Springer vs. Ratbat (2008)
- A redeco of Cybertron Sideways. A Target store exclusive.
Transformers: Timelines (Transtech)
A new character named Ratbat appeared in the Transtech storyline. This character is a purple humanoid Decepticon councilman.
After Shockwave discovered that certain systems in the Autobot Breakaway were unique and might be useful Megatron requested permission from Transtech Ratbat to take the Autobot apart, even if it may kill him.
|Motto||"The Autobots are my nesting place."|
|Alternate Modes||Keytar, Mechanical Bat|
Ratbat first appeared in "Human Error" (part one), albeit only in his Keytar mode. He was used by Soundwave to initiate the final phase of his plot to reprogram the Autobots into Decepticons. In part 2, he uses his bat mode for the first time to attack Prowl after he got back to normal. He is mostly used in keytar mode to control the Autobots. Ratbat, Soundwave, Laserbeak, and Optimus end up in a guitar/keytar battle and Soundwave gets dismantled after Optimus uses Laserbeak as an axe. as a result Ratbat is destroyed, Laserbeak carries Soundwave's most basic component away to parts unknown, but was not seen to be carrying any part of Ratbat.
- Animated Deluxe Electrostatic Soundwave with Ratbat (2009)
- Ratbat comes with this gray redeco of Deluxe Soundwave. Like Laserbeak, Ratbat can mount on Soundwave's roof (in car mode) or forearms (in robot mode).
Transformers: Timelines (Shattered Glass)
|Alternate Modes||Mechanican bat/cassette tape|
This version of Ratbat is good mirror universe version of the Generation 1 character.
|Partners||Lazerbeak, Ravage, Rumble, Frenzy|
Ratbat appears in the novel Transformers: Exodus. Here he is the Mini-Con representative for the High Council before alling himself with Megatron.
- ↑ http://www.toplessrobot.com/2009/04/10_transformers_that_were_only_badass_in_the_comic.php 10 Transformers That Were Only Badass in the Comics By Rob Bricken, Apr. 14 2009 By Kevin J. Guhl
- ↑ "Less Than Meets the Eye: The 12 Most Ridiculous Transformers of All Time". Wired Magazine. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2008/08/less-than-meets/. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- ↑ Lee's Guide to Loose 1986 Transformers: The Decepticons. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #204, November 2009
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