|Specifics: Fiction, toys|
Backstreet hates warfare. He is not motivated like Beachcomber by philosophical reasons; quite frankly, he isn't mentally equipped for deep thought, but he at least suspects that a failure to fight would mean Decepticon victory, and that he does not want. No, his temperament is the trouble. He's jumpy and nervous, easily agitated, and prone to jumping to incorrect conclusions from accurate observations. He knows he is like this, and tries to avoid battles when possible. Does this make him a coward? Perhaps, but when he can not honorably avoid fighting he does his best to crush his fears, lest he be found out. His comrades, unaware of his secret, know him as an adequate soldier.
As a lookout, Backstreet almost excels. His senses are keen, and his nervousness keeps him constantly alert, if edgy. Best of all, he can avoid the worst of the battlefield chaos. Unfortunately, jumping to conclusions is an even worse trait in a sentry than a front-line soldier.
- French name (Canada): Confusion
Marvel Comics continuity
Around five million years ago, Backstreet was under the command of junior officer Optimus Prime when Prime was seeking to end the war with the knowledge of Boltax and the Underbase. He must've hit hard times over the next few millennia, though, as he was languishing in a Decepticon prison on Cybertron in 1988. Funny how your life can fall apart that quickly. Anyway, he was let loose on Earth by the Decepticons in a new rendition on The Most Dangerous Game of All -- Backstreet and his Sparkabot companions were to be hunted down by human bounty hunters called Roadjammers, who Scorponok had equipped with mode-lock weapons. The Autobots were captured, but managed to escape after the bounty hunters bit the big metal hand that fed them.
Backstreet was reunited with the other Triggerbots to investigate what Dreadwind and Darkwing were doing on Earth. There, they encountered Susan Hoffman and her assistants and discovered the two Decepticons were attempting to recover the remains of Starscream, who had been turned into a zombie by the Underbase. Backstreet chose to give priority to protecting the humans, which allowed the two Decepticons and their Nebulan partners to drain the zombie of energy and depart with the corpse.
The three were reunited during the Matrix Quest, and traveled to the desert planet Cheyne in search of the legendary artifact. They were taken in by a group of peaceful settlers, but oddly began to lose focus in their quest. No, not robotic ADD...it was Vrobian Psychic Vampires from the Dark Nebula! Dogfight managed to break their psychic spell on the others, and Backstreet and Override were forced to kill the Vrobians in self-defense. After some off-hand musing about the nature of evil and death, the Triggerbots quickly moved on with their quest.
In one mission on Earth, Backstreet was made pointman in an Autobot plan to capture Crankcase and Ruckus, two Decepticons carrying valuable information. The Autobots knew the Triggercons should be passing a certain point on their travels, and it was Backstreet's job to send the alert signal to the rest of the army when they reached that checkpoint. Because of their close proximity to a human town, Backstreet was under strict orders from Optimus Prime not to engage the enemy. When he spotted the Double Targetmasters flying as escort for the couriers, though, Backstreet became wracked by indecision and ultimately opened fire against orders. The battle began and caused serious damage and casualties among the humans, while Crankcase and Ruckus got away. Backstreet's backup, Override, was furious at him and overstated the reprimand from Optimus Prime he was to deliver, claiming Backstreet faced court-martial and possible termination. Caught up in another panic, Backstreet went AWOL, believing himself hunted by Autobots, Decepticons and humans alike. Red Alert would be proud of how paranoid the Triggerbot became, as he attacked and destroyed an entire human military patrol before realizing they weren't the Combaticons.
Megatron received word of all this, and came up with the scheme to approach Backstreet and win him over to the Decepticon cause. He extended the "hand of friendship" to Backstreet, but was interrupted by Optimus Prime. Backstreet eventually found his courage and fired on Megatron in order to save Optimus. He returned to the Ark to face trial for his actions, but in the end Prime only decreed that no Autobot would ever stand on lookout duty alone again, to prevent any repeats of this incident.
Good to know Optimus Prime would rather "idiot-proof" his battle protocols rather than simply get rid of the idiots. Slapdash probably let out a sigh of relief at that one.
IDW Comics continuity
Backstreet operates out of the Autobot Orbital Command Hub. When Optimus Prime needed a quick taxi service, he called up Backstreet and several others to crew the Ark-27 and shuttle him around the galaxy for a while. Presumably, he's now sitting back at the Hub again.
- Backstreet (Triggerbot, 1988)
- Backstreet transforms into a Porsche 962-based Le Mans car. As a Triggerbot, in either robot or car modes, pressing a trigger flips out a pair of spring-loaded chromed (non-firing) rifles.