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The Combaticons are a unit of fierce Decepticon soldiers, operating with (mostly) military precision under the watchful eye of the tactically brilliant Onslaught.
The Combaticons consist of:
- The cunning Onslaught (leader)
- The destructive Brawl
- The aloof Blast Off
- The opportunistic Swindle
- The unhinged Vortex
They combine to form Bruticus.
- Japanese name: Combatron
- Russian name: Boevicon (Боевикон, "Fighticon")
The Transformers cartoon
When Starscream was banished from the Decepticons for Yet Another Failed Coup Against Megatron, he was deposited on Guadalcanal, the site of one of the major battles between the United States of America and Imperial Japan during World War II. There he found and rebuilt several abandoned US military vehicles to pass the time. After he finished, he decided that if Megatron can have a Decepticon army, then so can he!
After bluffing his way past Skywarp and Thundercracker to use the Space Bridge, he travelled to a detention center on Cybertron and liberated the personality components of several Decepticon political prisoners before destroying the rest. Back on Earth, Starscream installed the sparks into the rusting military vehicles and ordered them to transform.
The reborn Combaticons were less-than pleased with their 'new', primitive bodies, nor were they particularly thankful to Starscream for freeing them after millions of years of imprisonment. That is, until the former Decepticon Air Commander revealed that he had neglected to install energy absorber units into their bodies, so they would have no way of refueling. As he was the only one with the knowledge and expertise to install them, he demanded their allegiance in his aim to overthrow Megatron. The Combaticons agreed to obey Starscream, for now.
Under Starscream's leadership, the Combaticons managed to capture several prisoners, then used their energy absorbers to recharge themselves at a power plant. Unfortunately, Megatron and the Decepticons attacked, while the Autobots rescued their comrades. The Constructicons formed Devastator, who was quickly defeated by the Combaticon's much more powerful, but dull-witted combined form, Bruticus. Starscream ordered Bruticus to grab Megatron, forcing his former commander to acknowledge Starscream as the new leader of the Decepticons. Under duress, Megatron did so as the Stunticons watched nearby. The latter group, deciding that Starscream would be too dangerous as a leader, quickly formed Menasor and defeated Bruticus with a single attack.
Starscream and the Combaticons were banished from Earth on a small asteroid, left to wallow in their own misery and blame each other for their failures.
Starscream and the Combaticons quickly had a falling-out. After Starscream left, the Combaticons attacked Cybertron, easily defeating Shockwave and his drones. Thirsting for revenge, Onslaught reprogrammed the Space Bridge to pull Earth closer to the Sun, in the hopes of destroying it and every Transformer there. The Autobots and Decepticons temporarily joined forces to retake Cybertron and prevent Earth's destruction, and with Starscream's help, they deactivated the Combaticons once they formed Bruticus through a failsafe device built into the treacherous giant's back. Optimus Prime and Megatron agreed that Bruticus must be destroyed, but the Decepticon leader fooled the Autobots by using Shockwave's holographic simulator to make it appear as though Bruticus was destroyed, when in reality the combiner was reprogrammed to be loyal only to Megatron.
Soon afterwards, during Megatron's latest scheme on Earth involving the theft of fighter aircraft using Middle-Eastern criminals, the Combaticons were called into service to defend Megatron's Giant Purple Griffin, a large... thing that apparently pumped oil. Or something. Struggling against the Aerialbots, the Combaticons formed Bruticus, yet was still knocked over when the Autobot planes twisted a tow cable around his legs. The Decepticon combiner was finally defeated when the Aerialbots ignited the nearby oil wells, causing a massive explosion that sent Megatron, Rumble, Bruticus and gas prices flying away.
While attacking a human city, Bruticus was destroyed in battle with Defensor (man, this guy can't seem to catch a break). Only Swindle survived, and he sold the remains of his comrades to various mercenaries and third-world dictator-types, only to be forced to locate and rebuild the Combaticons by Megatron. The reformed Bruticus was then defeated when Megatron's disruptor cannon was overloaded by the human-built B.O.T., once again sending the Decepticon flying into the sky.
When the Earth was infected by the Hate plague, the Combaticons (Bruticus) were among those infected. Brawl was driving along the roadway and Vortex was seen attacking a plane on the runway.
Under Galvatron's directions, the Combaticons constructed a giant planetary rocket engine that was used to propel Cybertron into orbit around Earth. They also dragged away the bodies of defeated Autobots to use as fuel for the engine.
Marvel Comics continuity
The Combaticons were first seen in a nightmare of Buster Witwicky's, sent to him by the Creation Matrix, where he imagined them attacking him. When Optimus Prime joined Buster for a more coherent dream, they saw the Combaticons arriving at a stricken power plant in the middle of a battle between Menasor and Defensor, hotly pursued by the Aerialbots, and forming Bruticus, only to be accidentally shot by Menasor and then kicked in the head by Defensor. Despite this, Shockwave and the Decepticons, who were monitoring the vision, started construction on the Combaticons.
The Combaticons were first seen active under Megatron's command when they accompanied him to Ethan Zachery's laboratory to try and steal his hydrothermocline. There they encountered Optimus Prime and the Protectobots and, with their battle threatening to destroy the laboratory, agreed to continue the battle in a computer simulation, with the fate of both the hydrothermocline and their leaders resting on the outcome. Their disregard for the simulation's natives saw the Combaticons all defeated by the Protectobots but Optimus Prime could only defeat Megatron at the cost of the similated characters and accepted defeated. Optimus Prime was destroyed and Megatron and the Combaticons departed with the hydrothermocline. The Combaticons were later among the convoy who travelled to the Decepticons' new base in Florida Keys (minus Brawl, who was probably looking for a new head after Megatron crushed his old one). There they witnessed Megatron's suicide and Shockwave being installed as new commander.
Vortex participated in Shockwave's daring theft of an oil tanker... which then turned out to be empty. Soundwave's command, to destroy Mount Verona and Galvatron, who was encased in lava inside. Although they easily defeated the human military guarding the place, they were opposed by the cracked commando unit of Cindy Newell, Susan Hoffman and Joy Meadows, who attacked them first with a tank and then with their own explosives. Despite the Combaticons suffering casualties, Onslaught was about to wipe out the trio when the Throttlebots drove him off. They then tried to detonate the remaining explosives from a distance, only for Blaster to jam the signal. Smarting from this defeat, the Combaticons sent Vortex ahead as a scout and he attacked the Throttlebots on a freeway, only to be driven off by Blaster. The Combaticons then tracked the Throttlebots to a car lot, only for RAAT and the Protectobots to also stake a claim to them. The car lot owner, "Big Steve" Ludwig, offered to let them all bid for them. The Combaticons agreed but then had Swindle try to kill him. He was stopped by Blaster, RAAT fled with the Throttlebots and the Combaticons were driven off by Blaster and the Protectobots.The Combaticons were later sent by Shockwave, under
The Combaticons then pursued the Protectobots, who had taken Blaster prisoner, and engaged them at an old railway line, where they combined into Bruticus and Defensor. Bruticus triumphed and then turned on Blaster, only for him to claim he no longer had any loyalty to the Autobots. Bruticus told Blaster to prove his new outlook on life by killing a group of human children and was impressed when he shot one of them... except the boy was faking and Blaster took advantage of the distraction to hit Bruticus with an electric pylon. As a thank you to the humans, Blaster took them for a trip into space in a mode locked and remote controlled Blast Off. This resulted in Blast Off being taken into custody by Grimlock's Autobot faction.
The remaining Combaticons fell under Ratbat's command and were at the forefront of the attack on the Autobot factions led by Grimlock and Fortress Maximus assembled on the moon. They came close to triumphing before being driven back by Grimlock and Blaster but their attack allowed the Constructicons to retrieve several captured Decepticons, possibly including Blast Off. Vortex was later seen back at base, gossiping with Drag Strip while Jessie and Blaster sneaked past. The Combaticons were among the many Transformers who weren't seen again after Underbase.
Marvel UK future timeline
The Combaticons appeared to be part of a Decepticon faction led by Galvatron in the year 2006, with Blast Off ferrying them off the planet Junk after a subliminal message broadcast by the Quintessons caused them to attack the planet and get into a fight with Rodimus Prime's Autobots... or would have been if Wreck-Gar hadn't made all that up. Back in one form of reality, the Combaticons were among the troops serving Soundwave in 2008 who were assembled for an attack on the supposedly deserted Autobase, only to instead be ambushed by the Quintessons and have to team up with a group of Autobots led by Ultra Magnus to fight them off.
IDW comics continuity
Swindle is one of the worst violators of the Tyrest Accord, constantly selling Transformers technology to alien races, and has gone AWOL from the Decepticons. The other four remain Combaticons, and are a dangerous tactical unit capable of taking on and beating superior numbers (even ones backed up by total loonies). Under orders from Banzaitron, they successfully raided the Garrus-9 Autobot prison and abducted Monstructor. They also enjoy killing things.
- Japanese ID number: D-69
- As a Scramble City combiner team, the Combaticon team includes four small toys, sold carded at the $5 price point, and one large leader toy, sold boxed for $12 or so and including all the combiner kibble. They were available as part of the 1986 and 1987 assortments. In most markets, the Combaticons were only sold as individuals; the combined giftset was only available in Japan and Italy.
- Like their counterparts the Protectobots, the four small Combaticons feature unique transformation schemes. All have attachable weapons for their vehicle modes. Posability varies from figure to figure; Brawl and Swindle have knee and elbow joints, but their legs are conjoined at the knees. Blast-Off and Vortex feature an early use of ball joints in their shoulders, giving them near-universal range of motion, but are otherwise similarly limited.
- Like the other three original Scramble City teams, the small limbs can attach to Metroplex's robot mode, while the leader can be used to make an additional ramp/platform for Metroplex or Trypticon.
- The Combaticon molds have been frequently redecoed (and slightly retooled) over the years; they have been used to make Operation Combination Battle Gaia, Robots in Disguise Ruination, and Universe Ruination. They are also a favorite for bootleg toy manufacturers to copy, sometimes sold with bizarre new names like Tugging Gun, Copter, Secpmdary, Steel Generals, and Secondary Brain.
- Combaticons (1993)
- Blast Off
- A redeco of the Generation One molds that looks like they just went through a paintball war... and lost.
- Swindle (2004)
- Onslaught (Legends of Cybertron, 2008)
- Onslaught (Ultra, 2008)
- Before the Combaticons were animated, there were apparently two different character model sheets made up for them. The ones we know use the toy heads, but bodies that, for whatever reason, have little resemblance to the actual vehicles or robot modes of the actual Combaticon figures. Another one appears to be based heavily on the toys — but with new heads. These went unused in any media.