Circuit Breaker is a villain whose pathological hatred of robots knows no bounds. She refuses to make the distinction between Autobot and Decepticon, blaming the Transformer race as a whole for the attack which left her crippled. As such, she is more likely to do harm to the Autobot cause than to be of assistance.
Circuit Breaker was genius Josie Beller. Hired by Blackrock Industries only a few years out of high school, she was responsible for designing the most advanced oil-drilling platform in the world. Despite her well-publicized technological achievements, Beller was humble; to her, it was merely part of her job. She continues to be extremely devoted to her employer, G.B. Blackrock.
But after being paralyzed during a Decepticon attack on the platform, she invented a uniform to enable her to walk again. Her computerized suit not only allows her to move, but grants her the power to shoot electricity, disrupt circuitry, and fly. This costume does not cover much of her body, but having the power to manipulate electricity gives a you a good defense against inappropriate catcalls.
- Portuguese name (Portugal comics): Disjuntora
- Portuguese name (Brazil comics): Rompe-Circuitos
Marvel Comics continuity
(Events from UK-only stories are in italics.)
After Josie Beller appeared on the news Shockwave attacked the oil-drilling platform that the news report was showcasing. Beller, who was operating the defense systems, fired harpoons at Shockwave. As Shockwave reeled in pain, he yanked away from the rig, ripping out the harpoon launchers, which, as a chain reaction of debris fell through the construct, caused the electrical systems to malfunction. Josie Beller was electrocuted. This paralyzed her entirely from the neck down, other than the ability to use her right arm., her life took a tragic turn when the Decepticon
Hospitalized, Beller blamed herself. She told Blackrock that she had failed him, and swore she would make it up to him. Blackrock tried to explain that Beller owed him nothing, but she would not listen to him. Her devotion was, perhaps, pathological. She hated robots, she hated what they did to Blackrock Industries, and she hated them for paralyzing her.
Blackrock sought to equip himself better against attacks from the Transformers. Soon, he planned to unveil a new secret weapon to the press, the Anti-Robot Photonic Multi-Cannon. Josie Beller broke into Blackrock's office and disrobed, revealing an electrical costume which allowed her to move again. She declared her name to now be Circuit Breaker. The next day, when Blackrock unveiled the Anti-Robot Photonic Multi-Cannon to the press, it had been sabotaged by Circuit Breaker. She wished for Blackrock to introduce her as the real weapon he had intended to announce all along. But then, the Decepticons Starscream and Frenzy arrived, intent on stealing the cannon. Circuit Breaker's hatred did not distinguish between Autobot and Decepticon and attacked both. However, as the Autobots refused to attack humans, both Jazz and Wheeljack suffered heavily from her electrical attacks. Blackrock pleaded to her, demanding she realize that not all robots were her enemy. She again refused to listen. In need of a recharge, she left, vowing to return to finish the job she started.
Soon afterward, while children are skating on an icy pond in St. Petersburg, a young girl falls through the ice, and Circuit Breaker is nearby to rescue her. However, her appearance causes her to be attacked as a freak by other passers-by. Enraged, she flies off and stumbles upon Jazz and Buster Witwicky. Believing that Jazz is going to harm Buster, Circuit Breaker attacks Jazz. However, Buster's pleas and the spirit of Christmas prevented her from killing him.
Later, Circuit Breaker got in league with RAAT (a military subdivision of III). RAAT managed to capture several Autobots, whose heads Circuit Breaker had mounted on the wall of their headquarters. Walter Barnett was concerned that the robots hadn't actually attacked anyone but Circuit Breaker considered all robots the enemy and was similarly unmoved by a report of Skids saving a motorist's life. When the Stunticons began demolishing a motorway, Circuit Breaker led an RAAT team to respond only to find her tactics were less effective on robots who fought back. Skids and Donny Finkleberg arrived and Circuit Breaker briefly listened to Finkleberg's attempt to convince her and Barnett that the Autobots meant no harm to humans, until the arrival of the Aerialbots resulted in the Stunticons pretending to protect Skids from them. Seeing the "friendly" robot apparently in league with the destructive one, Circuit Breaker unleashed her powers on Superion, allowing Menasor to defeat him and RAAT to capture the Aerialbots.
She soon added Skids to her list of captured Autobots, failing to realise she was simply depriving the Autobots of troops and giving the Decepticons free rein. Meanwhile, the Battlechargers had also arrived on Earth and were defacing public property across the United States. RAAT caught up with them in Philadelphia, where Circuit Breaker engaged them in a battle that nearly killed a young boy. Because of her disregard for civilian safety, Circuit Breaker was temporarily stripped of her command and ordered to stay out of action. Itching for revenge, she found her only allies to be the partially-disassembled Autobots in her RAAT lab. She didn't have time to rebuild them all properly, but she knew she could jury-rig them together into a single form which she could partially control. However, she needed the Autobots' consent, and they only agreed to do it if she would release them afterward. She agreed, and she soon fought an aerial battle with the two Decepticons at the Statue of Liberty (where, incidentally, they had written "humans are wimps" in poor English). The two hooligans met quick defeat at the hands of her makeshift gestalt, their charred bodies sent plunging into the harbor. Circuit Breaker's release of the captive Autobots cost her her job at RAAT.
Still later, Skullgrin's attempt to become a movie star (don't ask) attracted Josie's attention. She suspected that Skullgrin was a Transformer, and tried to sneak into the studio, but was stopped by security. Carissa Carr came to her aid, and told Beller, who claimed to be Skullgrin's biggest fan, of their upcoming shoot in the Grand Canyon. During a break from filming in the canyon, Skullgrin revealed his true nature—that of a Decepticon Pretender. Immediately after exposing his robotic form, he was attacked by Circuit Breaker. The battle eventually caused the cliffs to crumble, threatening to send Carr plunging to her death. Her pleas initially elicited no response from Skullgrin, who thought the human had betrayed him to Beller. Luckily for Carissa, the Pretender was convinced to rescue her when Circuit Breaker told him that the actress had not helped her. Circuit Breaker then began to attack Skullgrin again, however, when she was offered money to kill Skullgrin on film by the director, she turned on him, destroying his camera and flying off.
Circuit Breaker approached Hector Dialonzo, hoping to convince him to join her in her anti-robot crusade. Their discussion was halted by the arrival of both Starscream and Blackrock's new anti-Decepticon superhero team, the Neo Knights, both of whom also hoped to recruit Dialonzo. Although she continued to argue against Blackrock's claim that not all robots were dangerous, she ended up joining the Neo Knights in taking down Starscream when he attempted to fire on them and, when Dialonzo elected to join Blackrock, Circuit Breaker also accepted an invitation to join them.
The Neo Knights first saw action when they were called in to break up a fight between Scorponok and Shockwave. Although she initially followed orders and confined her fire to Scorponok (ironically, since he was actually in the process of forming an alliance with the Autobots), when Shockwave shot her in the back she refused to listen to Blackrock identifying the culprit and instead attacked Optimus Prime and Nightbeat. She was only convinced to redirect her attack when Blackrock pointed out Shockwave was the robot who had crippled her, causing her to hit him with full power, leaving her drained.
Accidentally transported to Cybertron by Primus along with the rest of the Neo Knights, Circuit Breaker was reduced to a gibbering wreck on finding herself on a planet full of the robots she hated and feared. The appearance of a robot the size of a planet didn't help her mental state much either. In the end, all Blackrock could do was drive her into mad frenzy during which she totally fried Unicron. It turned out to be a last spark of life and she was left in a catatonic state afterwards. Although she wasn't seen during the subsequent events on Cybertron and Klo, she was probably returned to Earth by the Autobots at some point.
Though she was created for use in the pages of Transformers, her first appearance was a brief but major cameo in the pages of Secret Wars II #3. This was done so that Marvel could claim copyright over the character (a similar trick was used for Marvel UK character "Death's Head").
Because of this, Marvel owns the character (though not the character's civilian identity Josie Beller). This in turn has created a major pickle for IDW, who can not reprint any of the Marvel Transformer Comics starring Circuit Breaker without permission (meaning TF #9, 22, 23, 46, 68, 72-80). Earlier editions of the Classic Transformers trade paperbacks published in 2008 excluded these issues. In their place were brief synopsis of those issues. However, later editions published in 2012 included the omitted stories. How long future editions will continue to include these comics remains to be seen.
- She is also directly and solely responsible for saving the entire Marvel universe from the Beyonder, in Secret Wars II.