Transformers-themed pub could be Britain’s Best Home Bar

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TFNation 2019 Transformers Convention Review

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Annual Transformers Forum Meet Tour

Every year, since 2011, the nerds from TheTF.Net forum (now a Facebook group, because running a forum proved too much like hard work) have met for a weekend… [more]

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Our 2019 Forum Meet took place this weekend, in Cardiff

This weekend saw our annual forum meet being held in the Welsh capital of Cardiff. Each year we meet in a different town or city in the UK, alternating… [more]

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Video Footage from Transforce in 2001

Almost 18 years ago (crikey, has it been that long?) we wrote a review of our visit to Transforce in August 2001. It was a seriously hot day, but a great… [more]

Video Footage from Transforce in 2001 Video Footage from Transforce in 2001
 

Hound

Written by admin on October 11, 2007 | Characters,Comics,Marvel |

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT
FUNCTION: SCOUT
FIRST APPEARANCE: TRANSFORMERS # 1

“Observe everything, remember even more.”

Profile: Hound would just as soon be sniffing around the Grand Canyon
or Big Sur as he would a secret Decepticon base. Perhaps more than any other
Autobot, Hound takes pleasure in being on Earth. Unlike his home planet, which
is entirely composed of metal and machinery, he finds the natural wonders of
Earth endlessly fascinating, and uses his topographical skills to store every
sight he sees within his memory circuits. Hound’s bravery, fearlessness, and
loyalty are unwavering, like any good advance scout. But his secret desire is
to be human.

Abilities: While in his jeep mode, Hound uses his turret gun to sweep
over the landscape from horizon to horizon, like a radar scope, and, with the
help of internal 3-dimensional simulation circuitry, stores this information
as a topographical map. Error distortion is no more than one inch per 150 feet
distance from point of data collection. In robot mode, Hound’s turret gun becomes
an infrared radiation collector. It can detect heat differentials as small as
.02 degrees Centigrade, and he uses this ability in tracking machines as well
as humans. Hound’s shoulder-mounted hologram gun can project 3-dimensional grid
laser light images of terrain maps stored in his memory. He sometimes also can
use it to cast simple illusions.

Weaknesses: Hound’s infrared tracking ability can be countered by thermal
interference. High frequency electromagnetic waves can distort or completely
destroy his map-making ability. Sophisticated manipulation of such waves can
even result in the recording of false images within his memory circuits.

Gears

Written by admin on | Characters,Comics,Marvel |

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT

FUNCTION: TRANSPORT & RECONNAISSANCE
FIRST APPEARANCE: TRANSFORMERS # 1

“Earth stinks, but Decepticons stink worse.”

Profile: Gears is the complainer in the group. He absolutely hates the
Earth and everything about it and he is eager to let the others know this. He
is a self-proclaimed misfit, the type who finds fault in everything and everyone,
even himself. That is one of the reasons Optimus Prime finds him useful: Gears
is so sour-tempered that the rest of the Autobots cheer themselves up by trying
to cheer him up. Only Optimus knows that Gears’ complaining is an act. Gears
realizes his function is to force his companions to see what’s good about a
situation, and he performs accordingly.

Abilities: Gears has tremendous strength and endurance. He is often
used to tote heavy loads for long distances. He will even carry several of his
comrades to conserve fuel. He can launch himself to a height of 20 miles and
then float back down to the ground by creating a compressed air cushion under
his feet. This makes him an excellent reconnaissance agent and his ability to
detect infrared wavelengths allows him to work night or day.

Weaknesses: Since Gears has limited maneuverability when launched, he
makes an easy target if spotted. Although his sour personality is mostly an
act, a reminder of his home planet, Cybertron, can often depress him and negatively
affect his performance.

Brainstorm

Written by admin on | Characters,Comics,Marvel |

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT
SUB-GROUP: HEADMASTER
HUMAN COMPONENT: ARCANA

FUNCTION: BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEER
FIRST APPEARANCE: HEADMASTERS # 1 (Brainstorm), HEADMASTERS # 2 (Arcana)

“The strongest tyrant cannot crush freedom of thought.”

Profile: Brainstorm is so full of ideas that often he’s disclosing the
next one before he’s finished explaining the first. His mind seems to work at
a fevered pace. Even when he’s not consciously applying himself to thinking
creatively, a part of his subconscious circuitry proceeds on its own – he often
interrupts conversations, battles, even himself with typically irrelevant, but
brilliant, pronouncements. On Cybertron, he felt unappreciated, since warriors
were valued far more than robot geniuses. He’s found Nebulos to be more fertile
ground in which to plant his ideas. His most significant contribution so far
has been devising a way to install the humanoid Nebulans into headless Autobots
to create the Headmasters.

Arcana’s genius is a bit more mysterious. Trained as a medical doctor, the
Nebulan quickly rose to the top of his field, but he found his job unchallenging,
so he turned his attentions to studying the ancient lore of Nebulos. He became
learned in many sciences that had long been repudiated, which earned him the
disfavor of many of his medical colleagues. Arcana combined some of that ancient
knowledge with his modern medical skills to bio-engineer Nebulans, including
himself, so they could transform and become the heads of the Autobot Headmasters.
Working with Brainstorm, Arcana made Fortress Maximus’s vision of the Headmasters
a reality. He is the oldest Nebulan among the Autobot Headmasters, and the wisest.
He is also the most remote – no one truly can fathom the workings of Arcana’s
mind, not even Brainstorm, who shares it.

Abilities: In jet mode, Brainstorm has two solid-fuel after-burning
turbofan jet engines that propel him to a maximum speed of 5200 mph. He carries
two high-energy photon pulse cannons on either side of his nose module, which
he can also use in robot mode. His range is 8000 miles.

Weaknesses: Brainstorm’s mind sometimes works so fast that he overheats
and shorts out sections of his cerebro-circuitry, which often leaves him disabled.
In jet mode, his engines are also prone to overheating. If driven too hard,
they burst into flame. If Brainstorm is lucky, he can manage to glide back to
the ground without crashing.

Metroplex

Written by admin on | Characters |

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT

FUNCTION: BATTLE STATION
FIRST APPEARANCE:

“Vigilance is the foundation upon which victories are built.”

Profile: Possessed of startling versatility and staggering strength,
Metroplex is the robot they depend on when all other options are exhausted.
In battle, he is a mighty instrument of titanic destructive force, unwavering
and ever-valiant in his attack. The very ground trembles when he unleashes the
explosive energies of his weaponry. But despite his enormous power, Metroplex
suffers from extreme modesty. In fact, he often berates himself for not being
able to contribute more to the Autobot cause, a comment that never fails to
mystify his comrades and even causes some to shake their heads and laugh at
its absurdity. Metroplex’s role usually prevents him from being in the front
lines, a situation he finds frustrating, but one the other Autobots understand
and accept completely. Their friendship and respect for him is clear evidence
of that. And they all prefer Metroplex in his current role. Knowing he’s backing
them up is a constant source of reassurance. As one Autobot once said, “No
matter what happens to the rest of us, the war’s not over as long as Metroplex
is there.”

Abilities: In robot mode, Metroplex has enormous strength. He can lift
70,000 tons. His armor is the equal of any Transformer’s; to merely scratch
it would require at least a low-yield nuclear explosion. He has left shoulder-mounted
twin high-energy MASER (microwave amplification through stimulated emission
of radiation) cannons and a retractable omni-directional receiving and transmitting
rod antenna in his right shoulder. His chest module contains a storage bay capable
of holding a mid-size vehicle. In Autobot City mode, he has a helipad and ramps
leading to the storage bay and various repair bays. Using a full complement
of armatures, welders, presses, microsensors, gauges and spare parts, he’s able
to service up to four vehicles at any one time. His left rear tower transforms
into a tank called Slammer. Metroplex can control Slammer for a maximum range
of 40 miles. Slammer’s cannon shoots explosive rocket-propelled mortar shells
that have a 1.5-mile range. Scamper, the small sports car berthed within Metroplex,
carries side-mounted electro-blasters that shoots streams of 20,000-volt electricity.
In robot mode, Scamper uses a high-energy particle beam pistol. Scamper has
a maximum speed of 150 mph and a range of 500 miles. Six-Gun, the small robot
made literally of six guns and Metroplex’s central tower, is a walking, talking
artillery battery. In addition to the twin surface-to-air guided missile launchers
he wears on his back, Six-Gun has ion-pulse rifles for arms and sometimes uses
a seventh gun, a high-temperature acetylene pistol that can melt through most
metals. Scamper and Six-Gun operate independently of Metroplex. Each has a mind
of his own, although each essentially has a personality nearly identical to
Metroplex and is mind-linked to him and each other.

Scamper tends to be more impulsive and gregarious, Six-Gun more belligerent.
The three minds together can be considered units of a single, larger mind, although
Metroplex’s mind is clearly dominant. Metroplex mostly uses Scamper, Six-Gun,
and Slammer to scout and defend his periphery, although occasionally he’ll send
one or more on short missions. Metroplex’s final form, the mobile Battle Station,
is a wheeled platform whose formidable firepower makes him virtually untouchable.
In this mode, Metroplex can have up to 12 pieces of artillery blazing away simultaneously.
In addition to the previously mentioned MASER cannons, ion-pulse rifles and
missile launchers, he’s equipped with twin independent mounted disruptor rays
on top, capable of interfering with electric currents within a target’s body;
two laser lances; and two front-mounted anti-matter projectors, the most powerful
of all his weapons, which are capable of producing and shooting minute packets
of anti-matter that obliterate anything upon contact. Metroplex can also use
all these weapons in his Autobot City mode.

Weaknesses: Metroplex’s autonomous units – Scamper, Slammer, and Six-Gun
– are all relatively vulnerable to attack as compared to Metroplex himself.
In Battle Station mode, Metroplex is a rather slow-moving vehicle, making him
an easy target, but his weaponry usually more than compensates for this. Using
his anti-matter projectors, however briefly, is tremendously draining for Metroplex
and can leave him nearly energyless.

Shrapnel

Written by admin on | Characters |

ALLEGIANCE: DECEPTICON
SUB-GROUP: INSECTICON
FUNCTION: ELECTRONIC WARFARE
FIRST APPEARANCE: TRANSFORMERS # 21

“Control electricity and you control the world.”

Profile: The crackling sound of fused body parts short-circuiting is
a sure sign of Shrapnel’s work… and is music to his audio modules. In fact,
whether he’s scrambling microchips or shattering an armored torso, it is the
noise of war, the scream of his victim that Shrapnel considers the true rewards
of his work. He relishes these sounds much the same way an actor relishes applause.
And he’s not shy about showing his own evil glee – the piercing battle cry of
this loathsome Insecticon can be heard up to 8 miles away.

Abilities: In insect mode, Shrapnel can use his twin antennae to generate
an electric burst of up to 40,000 volts. He can also use his antennae with enough
precision to control virtually any electrically run device – from a pocket calculator
to a small factory. He can fly up to 50 miles. In robot mode, his antennae can,
in the proper weather conditions, attract massive bolts of lightning from the
sky to augment his own electrical generating capacity, and then release that
power through his hands. He also carries a grenade launcher that shoots a 30
pound steel ball that splinters into thousands of razor-sharp spikes in mid-air.
Needless to say, anything caught in their path would be sliced to ribbons.

Weaknesses: Insulating materials, such as rubber and glass, can be used
to thwart Shrapnel’s electronic assaults. Also, his habit of making his presence
known audibly makes him an obvious target.

Topspin (Marvel Comics)

Written by admin on | Characters | Tags: ,

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT
FUNCTION: LAND & SEA ASSAULT
FIRST APPEARANCE:

“The thrill is in the journey.”

Profile: No mountain is high enough, no river is wide enough to stop this one-robot wrecking crew. The more difficult the terrain to be traversed, the more Topspin likes it. Without the constraints of an Earth vehicular disguise like the ones most of his fellow Autobots have been given by the Ark, he can use the superior mobility and versatility of his Cybertronic vehicular form to go almost anywhere on land or water. On a personal level, he considers his conquest of a steep precipice or a raging river as much a victory as any victory over the Decepticons that may result from an Autobot attack. As Topspin likes to point out, “I take pride in my work.”

Abilities: In vehicle mode, Topspin is propelled by two rear-mounted jet engines, which can accelerate him to speeds of 300 mph on a flat surface. He also is equipped with two pontoons projecting from his front, which allow him to travel up to 80 mph on water, like a hydrofoil. Using two side-mounted high-voltage electric blasters, two small hand-mounted lasers, and a powerful
particle beam rifle, Topspin can release a near-unrelenting barrage of devastating force. Like his brother, Twin Twist, he can spring from his vehicle mode into his robot mode in less than half a second. His weaponry is available to him in either mode.

Weaknesses: His preoccupation with personal glory often distracts Topspin from more threatening situations, such as a Decepticon attack. The high fuel demands of his jet engines and weaponry leave him more vulnerable to exhausting his energy supplies than most other Autobots.

Snarl

Written by admin on | Characters,Comics,Marvel |

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT
SUB-GROUP: DINOBOT

FUNCTION: DESERT WARRIOR
FIRST APPEARANCE: TRANSFORMERS # 4

“Only in war is there happiness.”

Profile: An Autobot of few words and fewer opinions, Snarl grudgingly
follows the orders of Dinobot leader Grimlock and leaves the thinking to others.
He’s generally unhappy and a loner, and his uncommunicative nature only adds
to his feelings of isolation. Only the thrill of battle can elevate his spirits.
In fact, few of his comrades experience the joyous heights that Snarl attains
while locked in mortal combat. But for him war is an all too brief respite from
the twin devils that haunt his miserable existence: the ungainly dinosaur form
the Ark has bestowed upon him and the knowledge he may never see his beloved
Cybertron again.

Abilities: His unique design makes Snarl particularly useful in sunny,
arid environments. The large golden plates protruding from his spinal assembly
are solar collectors. Although he can operate without sunlight, solar energy
can increase his strength tenfold and his endurance to a virtually limitless
degree. A swipe of his tail can shatter a 20-foot concrete cube. His heavily
armored hide makes him resistant to most missile fire.

Weaknesses: Snarl’s dependency on sunlight makes him extremely vulnerable
to attack at night. Although he can use the same fuel the other Autobots use,
he operates at only a fraction of his strength when he does. He is also very
slow and his uncooperative behavior patterns sometimes hinder his effectiveness
in dangerous situations.

Dreadwind

Written by admin on | Characters,Comics,Marvel |

ALLEGIANCE: DECEPTICON

SUB-GROUP: POWERMASTER
HUMAN COMPONENT: HI-TEST
FUNCTION: AIR DEFENSE
FIRST APPEARANCE: TRANSFORMERS # 42

“Fear is a friend whose presence is felt long after he’s left!”

Profile: Dreadwind is the proverbial “deactivation of the party,”
a mournful presence always first to look on the bleak side of things. Grim and
gloomy, he always acts as if his best friend has become permanently inoperative.
Most other Decepticons avoid him like the plague, knowing that however buoyant
their mood, Dreadwind is sure to bring them to Earth with a bump! As ominous
as a storm cloud and as chilling as a winter breeze, Dreadwind somehow manages
to convey his doom-laden message when he’s in battle, even in jet mode! Foes
have been known to feel despair at Dreadwind’s approach, even at a vast distance.
Dreadwind doesn’t appreciate the advantage this gives him in battle; it just
serves to further depress him. He’s been known to wade through a battlefield,
blasting Autobots and shouting, “Why does no one like me?” But Dreadwind
has been known to come close to reveling (in his own low-key way) in the carnage
he wreaks, knowing that perhaps his only true friend is fear. He sees it in
the visual receptors of enemies and feels slightly better himself. Though the
two profess to hate each other, and certainly detest combining to form Dreadwing,
Dreadwind and Darkwing are the perfect partners in crime, almost trying to outdo
each other in the bleakness stakes. The same cannot be said of Dreadwind’s binary-bonded
human component, Hi-Test. He’s a thrill-seeking, overachieving perfectionist
who can’t understand Dreadwind at all! How can he be so gloomy when there’s
so much wonderful badness in the world? Hi-Test does his best to bully Dreadwind
into enjoying himself, or at the very least concentrating his morose mind on
the job at hand.

Abilities: In jet mode, powered by his high-performance Powermaster
engine, Dreadwind can reach speeds up to Mach 2.6, and is able to climb to sub-orbital
altitudes. When combined with his fellow Powermaster Darkwing, as the vehicle
Dreadwing, they become capable of space flight, reaching light speeds and beyond.
His jet mode is armed with air-to-air missiles, thermal melters, rapid-fire
machine guns and lasers. He’s a flying armory with a vast capacity for devastation.
In robot mode he’s more cumbersome and less effective, presenting an easy target.
But at close quarters, his bulky strength and multi-shot wrist guns give him
an advantage.

Weaknesses: All of Dreadwind’s weaknesses stem from his continual brooding
and permanent depression. He’s so busy feeling sorry for himself, he tends to
forget he’s in the middle of a battle, leaving himself wide open to attack.

Cloudraker

Written by admin on | Characters,Comics,Marvel |

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT
SUB-GROUP: CLONE
FUNCTION: SKY FIGHTER
FIRST APPEARANCE:

“Gravity is the chain that binds us all.”

Profile: Nothing is good enough for Cloudraker. He’s jealous of his
clone brother Fastlane’s popularity with beings of all types. He wishes he could
scoot along on the ground like his brother does in dragster mode so that he
could have more opportunities to interact with others, while at the same time
he is terrified of being grounded. He flies as high as he can to escape this
fear, yet he is eternally frustrated by his inability to reach escape velocity
and achieve orbit. The fact that he is one of the fastest of all the Autobots
does little to console him. Even soaring through the skies is a problem for
him – an imperfection in his navigational systems afflicts him with claustrophobia.
The skies are too small for him! Cloudraker is a mass of crossed circuits. And
he’ll need years of psychological debugging before he ever fully straightens
out.

Abilities: In jet mode, Cloudraker has a maximum speed of Mach 2.8.
His range is 3200 miles. In robot mode he is armed with two gravity-rod rifles.
By altering the strength of the gravitational field around any object their
beams hit, the rifles can cause an object to either crash or float away. The
larger the object, the less effective are the rifles.

Weaknesses: All of Cloudraker’s various abilities are hampered according
to how emotionally distraught he is at any given moment. On the few occasions
when he can put all his problems behind him, he is a very effective warrior.
His major physical problem is a tendency to suffer “mode-lock” – the
inability to transform from one mode to another.

Siren (Marvel Comics)

Written by admin on | Characters | Tags: ,

ALLEGIANCE: AUTOBOT
SUB-GROUP: HEADMASTER
HUMAN COMPONENT: QUIG
FUNCTION: INCENDIARY DAMAGE CONTROL
FIRST APPEARANCE: TRANSFORMERS # 62

“Act first, ask questions later.”

Profile: Siren comes from the Sonic Canyons of southern Cybertron, a region where the deafening sound of underground machinery wells up from below and loudly echoes among the canyon walls, causing a constant deluge of scrap metal to come tumbling down. Given this deafening, dangerous environment he learned to be both loud of mouth and nimble of feet. He has the reputation of being overbearing, but much of that comes from his tendency to scream rather than talk, particularly to his Autobot subordinates who help him in emergency situations. He likes to think that he’s at his best in these situations: a no-nonsense, take-charge Transformer whose decisiveness under pressure has saved the lives of many Autobots and humans. Actually, he often makes a problem worse by refusing to put aside his own narrow point of view and confronting the problem from a fresh prospective. He’s very stubborn. He’s also forthright and opinionated, and dominates any conversation if for no other reason than he’s louder than everyone else.

Quig was Librarian Master of Nebulos before he became a Headmaster. He oversaw the Optical Storage Archives, a repository of knowledge that is famous across half the galaxy. Realizing that the act of quiet study would become a thing of the past if the Decepticons were allowed to ravage his world, he volunteered to help the Autobots in their efforts to stop their age-old enemies. Unfortunately for him, after he was bio-engineered to have the ability to convert to a robotic head, he was paired with the bellowing Siren, whose every utterance makes the soft-spoken Nebulan jump. Acting as Siren’s head module, Quig is influenced by Siren’s latent thought patterns to talk much more loudly than he is comfortable with.

Abilities: Siren wields a sawed-off CO2 shotgun, which shoots high-powered bursts of freezing carbon dioxide gas that can turn an opponent into a frosted statue on impact. He also is armed with two sonic scream pistols, which can shatter steel with their high-decibel output. These are mounted on his hood in car mode, in which he can achieve speeds of up to 480 miles per hour and
has a range of 1000 miles.

Weaknesses: Siren has no notable weaknesses. Quig, however, must take frequent rests from acting as Siren’s head module in order to give his sensitive ears a rest. Not surprisingly, he suffers from frequent headaches.

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