If you crossed Scooby-Doo's Shaggy with The X-Files' Fox Mulder, Hunter O'Nion is who you'd get. With scruffy ginger hair, a green "Alien Death Ray" T-shirt and a VW Kombi van, you'd be forgiven for writing him off as some hippie slacker, but Hunter O'Nion (that's Oh-Nigh-On, not un-yun; he's a little sensitive about his last name) is really a modern-day questing knight. He runs the Mechatopia.com website, a repository for information about the presence of gigantic extraterrestrial mechanoids on Earth, and is willing to personally scour the back-roads of continental North America for further evidence.
If there's one problem with Hunter, it's that he's not the most sensitive of people; also, in his drive to uncover the truth, he can get very blunt and direct when someone who may know more than they let on gets evasive - even if that someone has good reason to dissemble.
A chance encounter with Verity Carlo in Arizona, though, gives him more than he could have wished for: Not only does he achieve personal contact with an actual alien robot in disguise, he's dropped right into the middle of a covert war. The question is, now that Hunter's found his proof, what will he do with it?
IDW comics continuity
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Hunter's family was shattered when he was eight — his father died and his mother descended into alcoholism as a result. His sister left when she was old enough, while he stayed until his mother's death. The only thing that kept him going was "a dream of something else, something bigger".
After picking up Verity Carlo in the North American desert, he was surprisingly thrust into the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. After being rescued from a Decepticon assault by Ratchet, he offered assistance to the Autobots in an... "unofficial" capacity, spying on an abandoned Decepticon base before it was destroyed by Blitzwing and Skywarp, under orders from Starscream. Hunter saved Verity's life with the help of Bumblebee and at great physical risk.
After this mission, Optimus Prime ordered that Hunter and the other humans be sent home. However, as the Autobots escorted them away from the Autobot base, a Machination assault team attacked. It appears that Hunter and Sunstreaker were killed by the Machination, but upon examination of Sunstreaker's husk, Ratchet discovered that it was a fake.
Meanwhile, Hunter was being operated on by the Machination, his body becoming the host for mysterious implants. Dante presented Hunter to a pleased, mysterious, and damaged Transformer (later revealed to be Scorponok) who ordered mass-production to begin. Dante, gesturing to a wall of headless Sunstreaker bodies, implied that Hunter may still play a role in the Machination's "new world order."
The Machination subjected Hunter to an extensive regimen of brainwashing, after which Dante was informed that the boy was a blank slate, an organic machine that they could do with as they wished. Quality control for this process was apparently lacking, as Hunter was able to retain his own thoughts through a mantra of useless science fiction trivia. Skulking unseen through the Machination facility, Hunter was surprised to discover the severed but still functioning head of Sunstreaker, begging him for death!In order to fight back against the Machination, Hunter submitted himself to the process of becoming a Headmaster, which Sunstreaker warned would hurt. A lot. (It did)
|“||We're-I'm... SUNSTREAKER! And I'm out!||”|
—Hunter gets to grip with his new abilities., Devastation issue 6
Hunter emerged a Headmaster, finding his physical abilities greatly enhanced, and immediately headed for one of the Machination's Sunstreaker bodies.Just as a freshly restored Scorponok, head of the Machination, broke through a wall to kill him, Hunter was able to transform to Sunstreaker's head. The clone body attached the new head, transformed to vehicle mode, blasted a hole in the wall, and escaped.
Two years later, he returned to his empty home to say goodbye. He was still a Headmaster, his and Sunstreaker's minds and memories having fully overlapped. He'd since done many amazing feats, including fighting Scorponok, visiting other worlds and standing against a Decepticon invasion.
At some point, he was kidnapped by the Decepticons, and put on life support while studied. He was later found by Sideswipe, who mercifully pulled the plug.[Episode needed]