- Hi-Q is an Autobot-allied Nebulan from the Generation One continuity family. He is sometimes known as Ginrai.
A genius in computer programming and design, Hi-Q was renowned on Nebulos. The Hi-Q Industrial Research Complex, named for him, produced many technological innovations that dramatically improved the quality of life on the planet. Definitely more of a thinker than a fighter, he provides Optimus Prime with more than just Powermaster energy. Scientific skill, wisdom, and sage advice are perhaps his greatest contributions.
Marvel Comics continuity
When the Headmasters and Targetmasters left Nebulos for Earth, they left a planet in ruin. The Council of Peers petitioned its top scientists to prevent such a disaster from ever occurring again. Hi-Q had a workable solution: detonating a bomb in their atmosphere that would poison all Transformer-usable fuel on the planet, should they ever return. However, his partner, Hi-Test, grew jealous of Hi-Q's accomplishment and abandoned him.
Hi-Q's plan would have been vindicated when Dreadwind and Darkwing arrived on Nebulos to look for Scorponok, falling ill, if it weren't for the illegal actions of the disgruntled Hi-Test and his criminal friend, Throttle. Stealing files from Hi-Q's lab, Hi-Test and Throttle became Powermasters with the Decepticon pair, allowing them to refuel and once again visit horrors on the planet.
A group of Autobots led by Goldbug and including Slapdash, Getaway, and Joyride arrived on Nebulos looking for Hi-Q, hoping he had the technology to rebuild their fallen leader, Optimus Prime. Hi-Q believed Transformers to be nothing more than unliving machines, forced to follow their programming, and pleaded with the Autobots to leave Nebulos before they too were poisoned. However, as the Autobots spent their remaining fuel, operating on the brink of shutdown, not only to rebuild their leader but also to sacrifice themselves defend the planet from the Decepticon Powermasters, Hi-Q had a change of heart. He realized that the Autobots were truly alive and no less noble than any human. Refusing to allow the Autobots to die, he and most of his lab assistants (Lube, Rev, and Hotwire) became Powermaster partners with the Autobots. After they drove off the Decepticons, his assistant Kari noted that to keep peace on Nebulos, he and the Autobots would have to leave. Hi-Q and the other Powermasters left Nebulos.
En route to Earth, Hi-Q, Lube, Rev, and Hotwire were learning about Cybertron's tragic history of war when they were interrupted by a transmission from the Cosmic Carnival. When Optimus Prime returned to Earth, he again assumed command of the Autobots there, where Hi-Q was enamored with Earth's beauty, particularly its winters. Scorponok enlisted Dreadwind and Darkwing to steal a copy of Prime's mind from Ethan Zachary's labs and used the information encoded within to program an artificially intelligent missile to seek out Prime and destroy him. With Hi-Q's help, Prime narrowly missed destruction, though Prime lost his trailer and Hi-Q's Powermaster suit was critically damaged. Thankfully, the missile learned empathy and spared Prime's life. Dreadwing and Darkwing caused Hi-Q trouble again when their combined form, Dreadwing, crashed in the ocean while in possession of a power cell needed to energize life support systems the Autobots had constructed to sustain humans who had suffered injuries during a Transformer battle. Prime sent Hi-Q below the surface of the ocean to obtain the power cell while the Autobot commander fought the Seacons alone, knowing that without his Powermaster engine, he'd quickly lose strength. Though Hi-Q loathed violence, he valiantly fought Hi-Test and Throttle for the power cell, learning that life is precious and worth fighting for.
Hi-Q's science skills were not called upon again until the legendary Underbase threatened the planet. While an Underbase-powered Starscream tore apart both the Autobot and Decepticon forces, Optimus Prime, Hi-Q, and Buster Witwicky worked aboard the Ark to release a rocket that would deflect the Underbase back towards Earth. The Decepticons Scorponok and Ratbat left their posts on Earth, suspicious that Prime sought the power of the Underbase for himself, and attacked them there. When Scorponok fired his stinger at Ratbat (killing him), who was carrying Hi-Q and Buster, Hi-Q was knocked unconscious. Buster tried violently to awaken Hi-Q so Prime could restore himself to full power, and nearly broke his hand in the process. The two Powermaster partners combined, they successfully pulled Scorponok free of the Underbase, allowing Starscream to absorb all of it, resulting in his destruction.
Hi-Q joined Optimus Prime in welcoming the newest Autobot reinforcements to Earth, the Micromaster Race Car Patrol and Off-Road Patrol. Surprised at the Micromasters' small size, Hi-Q doubted their effectiveness and balked at their irreverence.
As the Matrix Quest drew to a close, Optimus Prime began experiencing great pains due to his binary bond with Hi-Q. He kept this new development from his fellow Autobots. Unknown to Prime, a metamorphosis was beginning, and he sacrificed himself defeating Unicron without learning the consequences of this strange development. Hi-Q, whom Prime had released before being killed, began to understand. The binary bond they shared would ultimately merge their two minds and bodies into one, but Prime had died before the process had completed. After Hi-Q had been rescued from some underdwellers by the Dinobots, he detected strangely strong energy emissions from Grimlock, who had recently come in contact with the mysterious rejuvenating substance known as Nucleon. As Grimlock finished his own metamorphosis into a non-transforming Action Master, Hi-Q took hold of Grimlock's leg. This accelerated Hi-Q and Prime's own metamorphosis and infused Hi-Q himself with Nucleon energy.
After his rescue, Hi-Q made the mistake of telling them that he was Optimus Prime, resurrected. Neo-Knights, and against their better judgment, they stayed behind with him on Cybertron to search for "the Last Autobot", whom Hi-Q/Prime claimed could restore the planet.Hi-Q was branded as crazy, and when he pleaded with the Transformers to stay on Cybertron as it began to deteriorate, his claims were easily dismissed. Hi-Q did manage to convince the
Hi-Q was ultimately able to lead them to this legendary figure in time, and the Nebulan was rebuilt into a new, Action Master Optimus Prime, one who was a harmonic merging of the two noble beings.
Nucleon Quest Powermaster Optimus Prime profile
- Powermaster Optimus Prime (1988)
- Powermaster Optimus Prime came with the Nebulan Powermaster partner Hi-Q. Hi-Q's figure can transform into a Powermaster engine and plug into Optimus Prime (or any other Powermaster robot), releasing a catch that would otherwise prevent full transformation to robot mode.
- Nucleon Quest Super Convoy (2001)
- Same as above, but black! And a Japanese Toys "R" Us exclusive.
- Powermaster Optimus Prime with Apex Armor (2003)
- Due to trademark loss, he was named "Ginrai", like his Japanese counterpart, for this Hasbro Toys "R" Us exclusive reissue. Also like Ginrai, his engine-backpack is chromed silver.
- A commercial for the Powermasters which included Hi-Q also advertised "People Power!," the Marvel Comics issue in which he first appeared. His only line was "I'll transform Optimus!".
- The amount of hair Hi-Q had varied by artist. Jose Delbo always drew him completely bald, while both Herb Trimpe and Andrew Wildman decided Hi-Q was merely balding instead of bald.
- Every Generation One Optimus Prime toy from the Action Master version and beyond, through Generation 2 and Classics, could technically also be considered a Hi-Q toy.