Characters (season 4)


First things first - The Rebirth is a five episode pilot for the fourth season made to advertise a wide range of new toys/characters, trimmed down to three parts and then littered with overall awkwardness. Tons of characters show up, but believe me, a scant few are of relative importance. So, I'll be doing things differently this time, for my sake and for yours, hopefully. For the most part, the Nebulon partners will have their robot suits shown, since that makes it a challenge.
With that out of the way, The Rebirth has lots of characters! Don't get too attached. Headmasters has them all, now with brand new personalities, and it lasted more than an hour in total.


Autobots / Cybertrons

Ignoring Skyfire, Cosmos and Powerglide, the popular Autobot fliers the Aerialbots keep up appearances in this mini-series, now with none of the respect they had before. The five show up on Cybertron to be taken down effortlessly by the totally hardcore Sixshot, appear again to be shown defeated before Abominus, and finally falling at the hands of the Combaticons, who use their power packs as an energy source for Galvatron's wacky move-Cybertron-to-Earth-with-a-rocket-and-blow-it-up-with-Plasma-Energy plan. Despite three defeats, they survive. Whodathunkit? They probably appear in robot mode too, but yeah, no thanks.


Even being dead/merged with Vector Sigma can't stop the creator of Optimus Prime, Alpha Trion, from showing up, where he's consulted by the Autobot leader for knowledge on where his comrades went. Alpha proceeds to tell him more than he needs to know and ends up adding a bloody prophecy to the story. Good going, jerk.


The fembot Arcee is back, and now woefully lacking in screen time. She tags along with Kup, Hot Rod and co. on their unintended venture to the planet Nebulos, where in a battle with the Decepticons is saved by her chum Daniel Witwicky at the expense of the kid nearly dying. To save his life, she undergoes the Headmaster procedure her comrades take, Daniel now remaining inside her head with the ability to transform it into his exosuit. Despite the awkwardness of this, it brings their bond closer together, and through thick and thin they make it to the new golden age of Cybertron for happier times. She has a habit of vanishing during all the battle scenes unless it's important to the plot. Hmm. She transforms into a sleek Cybertronian car.


Remember when Blurr was competent and could actually accomplish things? In the unlikely event that you do, forget all about it. He loses a race when he was spooked by a cardboard cut-out of Cyclonus, he's reduced to a babbling wreck when he arrives on Nebulon, and being really really fast, you'd think escaping would be a cinch for him, but no, he gets throttled by a Decepticon Headmaster. And even when given Haywire, his Targetmaster partner, he doesn't do much with that upgrade either. Silly old Blurr. He transforms into a hover car.


With Wheeljack a goner (supposedly!) and Perceptor having being shoved out of the spotlight, we now have Brainstorm as the Autobots' resident inventor. Young, enthused and creative, he gets inspiration from the simplest of things, and when on a completely different planet with a very similar war going on, he gets an opportunity to make the Headmasters, using the knowledge of the Nebulon allies with the power of the Transformers' bodies, getting Arcana, a man of similar interests, as his partner. Of course, this ends up persuading Zarak into making the Targetmasters, and then Scorponok, so thanks a lot, knucklehead. He becomes a Cybertronian jet.


Poor pacifistic Cerebros. He hates fighting so much that he refuses to help his friends who are being beaten within an inch of their lives, and getting involved in a war at all makes him sad and tetchy. Spike Witwicky acts as his optimistic comrade, sharing his dislike of war but differing in how he knows when's a good time to make use of a blaster. Cerebros wanders off during the whole Targetmaster - Headmaster procedure, finding a lost city of the enemy Nebulons, which is later made by him and Spike into the mighty Fortress Maximus, forcing him and Spike to become Headmasters. After chasing off the Decepticons, he's given the task of acting as the guard of Nebulos against villainous crooks.


Despite being a focal character of The Headmasters and stealing the spotlight when Fortress isn't busting up Scorponok's chops, the American rendition of Chromedome is... quite shallow, really. He engages in the fights, of course, and ends up with Nebulon Stylor as his Headmaster partner, but that's as far as it goes. He rarely talks, he rarely gets the spotlight in scenes (as made very clear by the image I had to use for both of them), and he may as well not be there at all. Stylor gets about one line of dialogue as well, so no wonder the two got paired up. He transforms into a Cybertronian car.

While the Decepticon clones essentially set the story into action with the theft of the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber, the Autobot clones Cloudraker and Fastlane... are not given the task of retrieving it, but merely looking for where Hot Rod, Kup and the others vanished too. Their search is fruitless, though on the bright side, they did search the whole of Cybertron in record time. Cloudraker becomes a jet, Fastlane transforms into a car.

Crosshairs is just this guy, you know? He's there, he doubts the probability of Decepticons attacking Cybertron, and is proven wrong, thus resulting in him getting blown all the way to Nebulos. After a few scraps there, he gets the Targetmaster partner Pinpointer, and proceeds to do nothing else. He turns into a Cybertronian car.


Fortress Maximus is a really big guy, a really, really, really, really, really big guy. Formerly the city belonging to the Hive of Nebulos before they gained their psychic powers over machines, Spike and Cerebros used the Hive's machines to build it into a colossal transforming city and battle Scorponok with it, effectively turning the tides. Cerebros acts as the head, and Spike, being Cerebros' head, must be somewhere in between. Awkward.

Hardhead may think with his fists more than his head, but he ain't no idiot; he's just a soldier, and when he can be wasting time composing a strategy, he can rip an enemy apart in seconds flat. So it's no surprise that Duros, a Nebulon of similar mindset, chose him as his Headmaster partner. Which is almost ironic, what with him initially thinking the idea of human partners inside Transformers is stupid, but there you go. He transforms into a Cybertronian tank.

An Autobot of sophistication and intelligence, Highbrow doesn't use these qualities for the good of others, but for merely being a stuck-up ass-face. Just hearing the guy talk, you know he's going to be a jerk. Gort, meanwhile, is the gung-ho upbeat leader of the Nebulons who would quite simply not bode well with him, though to be fair, I don't think anyone else would either. The two are bonded as Headmasters when there's no one else left to choose from, but ultimately they're not quite as terrible partners as the Decepticons. He transforms into a dual-bladed helicopter.

No longer Rodimus Prime thanks to Optimus taking the Matrix off him, Hot Rod has no complaints at all, and now whiles away his days racing with Blurr and hearing stories from Kup. Arcee gets no attention from him, and Springer isn't even around at all to provide comedic quips, so he's got to make do with the new crew. Despite being a former Autobot leader, the aforementioned race is about the only exciting thing to happen to him, outside of getting Firebolt as his Targetmaster partner. He transforms into a sports car of sorts.


Kup is alive, kicking, and still full of historic tales to relate to his current situation, no matter how irrelevant they are. His Targetmaster partner is Recoil, who in his short time with Kup apparently hears all he needs to know about Optimus Prime and all the good things he's done. He transforms into a Cybertronic pick-up truck.


The Autobot leader Optimus Prime is back, ready to kick bumper and chew Energon... and he's all out of bumper. He's said to have roughed up the Decepticons after his revival in season 3, and leads the Autobots out to battle on Earth and then on Cybertron, but to be frank, he doesn't actually do anything. He requires the knowledge of Alpha Trion and Vector Sigma to find out where part of his army vanished to and thus learns a load of prophecy nonsense, but he could easily have been absent and we'd just have been spared the disappointment of seeing Optimus reduced to an old fogey who's there to fulfil fan demand and nothing more. Seriously. He shoots no one, he punches no one, and he doesn't even see Galvatron face-to-face. Poor Prime. For whatever reason, his backpack and "mohawk" are often coloured grey. He transforms into a basic truck cab.

For the six Autobots that became Targetmasters, at least I can write with experience from the last season about what Hot Rod, Blurr and Kup are like. Pointblank, however, is an all-new character who does not do anything significant at all. He has a Targetmaster partner, called Peacemaker, who is also of no consequence. I assume he did something more important in The Headmasters, but seriously, majorly boring character we got here. He becomes a Cybertronian car.

Blades, First Aid, Groove, Hot Spot, Streetwise

Showing up with no introduction in season 2, getting a mere one highlight episode and some minor appearances in season 3, and now showing up in season 4 - it's the Protectobots!. Their highlight moment is assisting Ultra Magnus in overthrowing Galvatron for all of ten seconds before being exploded by the Decepticon Targetmasters. They don't even have a chance to form Defensor. How about that.


Punch is a spy for the Autobots. He can transform into a Decepticon counterpart, Counterpunch, who can freely snoop around in Decepticon activity without hassle. The problem is that Punch doesn't use this ability for anything intelligent, like backstabbing or learning things then reporting it to others who make more wise decisions. When he wants to act, he warns his enemies of his Autobot counterpart being "real nearby," and then transforms and lets himself get beaten up. He can also become a car, that we can assume is also a failure, since it's not seen during the three episodes.


Sureshot's toy biography claims he's an arrogant mofo who has crazy amounts of confidence in his aiming prowess, and his Targetmaster partner Spoilsport shares that trait of arrogance. Good luck noticing that from his cartoon interpretation! If I didn't miss anything (which is unlikely), his only line is pondering aloud where Cybertron disappeared to. Real personality developing, that line. He transforms into a buggy-style vehicle.


Afterburner, Lightspeed, Nosecone, Scattershot, Strafe

Despite being brand new toys, the Technobots' two highlight episodes from season 3 are enough to have them make only token appearances in the first episode battling the surprise Decepticon attack, and then do nothing of significance afterwards. I'd nag about how they don't even combine, but considering Fortress Maximus is like two foot frickin' tall in toy form, the definition of "big toy" had certainly been upgraded.


Chase, Freeway, Goldbug, Rollbar, Searchlight, Wide Load

 Having appeared in the climatic two-parter of season 3 for all of a minute, if that, the Throttlebots... well, they're just there. They do a bit of talking, ramble amongst themselves before heading out to fight the Decepticons, and are promptly beaten up by the Headmasters. Even Goldbug, who actually got an introduction last season, is privileged only by having like two more lines to say. They're mostly cars, though Wide Load is a large construction vehicle.


If you thought what happened to Optimus was bad, Ultra Magnus doesn't have any catchphrases to quote to at least pretend he's needed. He waltz around Prime like a clueless fanboy, never sure of what's going on, and before he knows it, he's left in charge of Cybertron while Prime pops over to Nebulos. Without even a scene to show how, Decepticons invade the place, annihilate the Autobot army, and his sole chance to redeem himself by destroying Galvatron is foiled by Scorponok showing up opportunely. He makes it out alive, but with your dignity soiled twice in horrific fashions, he can't have taken it well. He transforms into an armoured trailer truck.


Decepticons / Destrons

Apeface. Being a robotic ape, it's a bit redundant saying he's got a face like one. He clobbers a few Throttlebots, hounds the Autobots all the way to Nebulos, beats them up some more, then gets abducted by the Hive and is fitted with an organic transforming head - Spasma. He doesn't do a whole lot after that, and like essentially all of the new Decepticons, he's a bit of a dipwad.


Blast Off, Brawl, Onslaught, Swindle, Vortex

The Combaticons get their time to shine in the third episode where they wipe out the Autobots, they build the jet engine that propels Cybertron towards Earth, and then assist Cyclonus in preparing to eliminate the captured Autobots, but the apt arrival of Fortress Maximus foils that scheme. They probably fled since they're not shown afterwards, so yeah.


The Constructicons show up when the Decepticons raid Cybertron to find the Plasma Energy Chamber. ... and that's about it. All six do show up, though one doesn't have anything above their legs appear before it cuts to the next scene.


Ever-so-loyal Cyclonus is, yet again, sent about the galaxy to do Galvatron's dirty work, having to follow the Autobots halfway across the galaxy just to find a MacGuffin to further his master's totally absurd evil plan. In the process he gets equipped with a Targetmaster partner, Nightstick, who in contrast to Cyclonus' mild intelligence, is just your average tough-talking thug. His alternate mode is a space jet.

Galvatron hasn't exactly gotten any wiser since season 3, and somewhere along the line his hope of conquering Earth and Cybertron has been lost, as now he wants to blow it up. While he sends his army to Earth, Nebulos and Cybertron to help him in his plan, he just lounges about, watching over fights and laughing hysterically. Then it all gets pear-shaped and he gets blown to the nether-regions of the galaxy. He transforms into a cannon, but he's never seen using it in his brief appearances.


Mindwipe appears to be the only Decepticon Headmaster that isn't a complete nincompoop - quite the opposite, infact! He appears to be psychic, judging from his analysis on predictions and the one opportunity he made a Throttlebot back off a cliff, though it could just be he's got some good guessing skills and quite persuasive. Vorath, his head, thinks more scientifically and has no time for this supersticious nonsense. Needless to say, they get on just grand. (italics because not really)

Misfire couldn't fire a shot to save his life, and even with Nebulon Targetmaster partner Aimless by his side, those chances aren't increased by much. Goodness knows how he survives the three episodes, since he gets shot down in all of them at least once. He becomes jet with swept-forward wings.

The Decepticon clones Pounce (who turns into a wolf) and Wingspan (a bird of some kind) are all new lackeys sent to Autobot City on Earth to claim the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber for themselves. All things considered, it goes pretty smoothly, since all the only person trying to stop them was Punch. They're not seen again afterwards.

Fortress Maximus may have a different voice from Cerebros and Spike to indicate some vagueness of sentience, Scorponok is essentially a big ol' power suit for Lord Zarak, the leader of the Nebulon villains, The Hive - a group of beings with psychic powers over machinery that they use to terrorise the innocents. Upon seeing the Autobot Headmasters mess up his machines, he enrols the Decepticons to become Headmasters and Targetmasters, and when that essentially ends in a stalemate, he builds Scorponok, a humongous beast that's totally badass and bodacious. He's subsequently defeated by a rage-driven Spike in Fortress Maximus, and then blasted off into deep space, only barely getting Scorponok operational again, hoping to strike once more. The name should make it obvious what this dude turns into.

Scourge don't get no respect. His first expedition, to Earth, goes reasonably well when the Decepticon clones do the dirty work for him, but when he's sent to activate the Plasma Energy Chamber on Cybertron, he's nearly killed by the untamed energy and berated by Galvatron under the belief that the Autobots had clobbered him. Then he gets sent to Nebulos, beaten up by mechanical arms in the process of becoming a Targetmaster, and his partner Fracas turns out to be an incessantly loyal toady to Zarak, which doesn't go too well with his vague loyalty to Galvatron. Of course, then he and the rest of the Decepticons are blown halfway across the galaxy a short while later, so it doesn't matter too much then. He turns into a hovercraft of sorts. His lookalikes, the Sweeps, are mostly gone, if not entirely absent.


Sixshot's Japanese rendition is the mega awesome Decepticon ninja consultant, who totally flips out and kills everyone, then redeems himself at the end and everybody forgives him. Here... well, he shows up, demonstrates his amazing six transformations (the first of its kind!), takes down the Aerialbots with them, and compares the easiness to "shooting cyber ducks in a barrel." Then he disappears and is never seen again. If anything, at least he got to do something, unlike his appearance in the Marvel comics. He becomes a gun, a car, a jet, a winged wolf and a cannon.

Skullcruncher knocks down trees. With his tail. That's the full extent of his devilish activities, besides getting Grax to become his head. He transforms into an alligator. Or a crocodile. Whichever.


Slugslinger is the most prominent of the Decepticon Targetmasters - prominent because he actually gets more than one or two lines of dialogue. Or at least more words to say in his one or two lines. He talks like he's superior to everyone, but he's never actually shown doing much in the way of being awesome. His partner, Caliburst, is a similar lying jerkface, but what's new. He turns into a jet with two cockpits.


Snapdragon's claim to fame is chewing on Daniel for breakfast. That, and having Krunk as his Headmaster partner.

... I never said writing about these insignificant thugs was easy, did I? Half of them don't even talk, for crying out loud! And Snapdragon has a particularly bad habit of never appearing in a good shot, never mind in robot mode. Contrary to the name, he's just a generic upright reptile rather than a dragon.


The beastly fellows, the Terrorcons, team-up with the before-they-were-Headmasters on the initial raid on Autobot City. Later they show up on Cybertron, combined into Abominus and stomping the springs out of the Aerialbots. That's about all the action they get up to.


Triggerhappy, is, well, trigger-happy. He likes to shoot things while cackling madly, so when he gets Blowpipe, a sentient gun, you can imagine the idea of cackling madly alongside his very weapon was an idea that crossed his mind. He becomes a jet.


Weirdwolf got some excitement in the Marvel comics, what with the turbulent Decepticon leadership and Unicron and all that - but here, he's just another Headmaster animal who doesn't do much. He's got a Nebulon called Monzo living inside his noggin, though that doesn't make him anymore interesting.



Oy vey. Far too many to accurately count. In a nutshell, all the combiners remain (excluding the Stunticons), Optimus and Spike are the only remnants of the first season (well, Goldbug and Galvatron too, if you count new bodies), and season 3 lives on only without the secondary characters like Sky Lynx, Outback and the triple changers. Carly and Marissa Faireborne go unmentioned as well.