Nightbeat, a self-declared detective, loves mystery, suspense, and conspiracy. When Nightbeat is on the trail for clues, nothing else matters. This monomania has famously gotten him into trouble over his head more times than he can count. Yet in the face of adversity, he remains cool, confident, and even irreverent. He has insulted creatures many times his size and committed huge faux-pas to uncover the truth. It is not so much that Nightbeat is brave, but more that when the thrill of the hunt has him -- he will not be denied.
|“||Interrogation is a science, combining psychology and bluff, observation and--||”|
—Nightbeat, Bird of Prey!
- Hungarian name: Éjvadász ("Night Hunter")
- French name (Canada): Veilleur (Watcher)
Marvel Comics continuity
Shortly after being made a Headmaster and joining Optimus Prime's crew on Earth, Nightbeat learned of a mysterious robot corpse which had seemingly washed up on the California shoreline. He decided to investigate, bringing along Siren to serve as his personal "Watson". At the scene of the crime, they found a pair of Transformers hovering over the body, and who quickly burned rubber once they spotted the Autobots. Sending Siren off to chase them down, Nightbeat pulled out the giant retractable magnifying glass in his sleeve and went to work collecting evidence from the body.
Finding a serial brand from a Decepticon prison on the body, and identifying a signature Decepticon blaster as the murder weapon, Nightbeat concluded that a lone, well-armed Decepticon was hunting down escaped Autobot prisoners. Siren returned at that moment, correcting Nightbeat's analysis by informing him the prisoners weren't escapees, but deliberately let loose as prey to be hunted down. His source? The surviving prisoner, Hosehead, and the lone, well-armed Decepticon named Thunderwing who was right on their tails. Thinking quickly, Nightbeat had his Nebulan partner Muzzle binary-bond with the dead Autobot in order to partially reactivate his motor functions. Caught off-guard by his prey supposedly coming back to life right in front of him, Thunderwing left himself wide open when Muzzle disengaged and Nightbeat blew up the Autobot's fuel core at close enough range to send Thunderwing packing into the waves to dose the flames. Hosehead then returned to the Ark with Nightbeat and Siren.
Optimus Prime was confiding in Nightbeat his desire to find a way to restore the warriors who were destroyed during the Underbase Saga when they received a distress signal from the Earth's surface. Nightbeat assembled a combat team that included Landmine, Siren, Hosehead, Getaway, and himself, and under Optimus Prime's command, they rushed to Earth to help their fallen comrades. There they found the Deathbringer, who had come to cleanse the planet of life. Ironically, Deathbringer was powered by the energies of the Creation Matrix, the very thing Prime had desired earlier to restore his fallen warriors! And it must be destroyed to save Earth! While the rest of the combat team were getting slaughtered by Deathbringer, Nightbeat pulled away and consulted via comlink Waverider on the Ark. Through Waverider's information digging, Nightbeat learned that Deathbringers are mechanoids who are designed to give death painlessly to the terminally ill. Though this particular Deathbringer's purpose had been twisted, Nightbeat used its own programming against it. Nightbeat told the Deathbringer that its own body was diseased, and it should destroy itself. It did, leaving Nightbeat and Prime a hollow victory with questions about the true essence of the Matrix.
Later, Thunderwing emerged from the ocean, intent on destroying Nightbeat, Hosehead, and Siren, the Autobots who had defeated him earlier.To this end, he led his troops on a suicidal attack on the Ark. Though Thunderwing and his troops were forced to retreat, when he returned to Cybertron he was named Decepticon leader for his single-minded ruthlessness.
During the Matrix Quest, Nightbeat led Hosehead and Siren on a search of the planet Pz-Zazz for any sign of the Matrix. Pz-Zazz was on file as a vibrant, lush world; in reality it was a cesspool, festering with mob violence and untamed decadence. While questioning the wrong sort of people, the Autobots were caught in the middle of a crossfire between B'hgdad's men and Gutt's boys. One alien on the street fared worse than they did, passing on a mysterious bird statue to Siren before dying in his arms. Despite Nightbeat's keen interest in the clear film noir plot developing around them, Siren and Hosehead convinced him to put the bird aside and continue searching for the Matrix.
At the next bar they were canvassing, the Autobots were confronted by the delightful Miss Fatale. Fatale informed them of a legendary Font of Life which had once lit a nearby mountaintop. The sick and weak would pilgrimage to the mountain in order to touch a "sacred idol" and heal their wounds. She offered to lead them to the temple on the mountain in exchange for the bird, which she claimed was her property. Suspicious, Nightbeat sent Hosehead and Siren ahead to the mountain with Fatale while he retrieved the bird from where they had stashed it. Confronted by B'hgdad and his men, Nightbeat only managed to escape after chipping off a piece of the bird's outer enamel, revealing the radiant life-source within. Briefly considering keeping the bird as a replacement for the Matrix, to help heal all his comrades aboard the Ark, Nightbeat quickly rejected the idea and returned the bird to its rightful place on the mountain's altar, releasing waves of pure light and hope to revitalize Pz-Zazz and its people.
Then he got shot in the back. No good deed goes unpunished.
Thunderwing and his Mayhem Attack Squad had gotten wind of Autobot parties searching this one area of the galaxy, and his curiosity was piqued. Hooking Nightbeat and the others up to his torturous Mind-Leech device, Thunderwing extracted all he needed to know about the Matrix Quest and the possible planets on the search list. The Autobot trio remained captives on board the Mayhem ship until Thunderwing backhanded his minion Ruckus into some equipment. This caused a short circuit which, unknown to the Decepticons, freed Nightbeat and his team. Learning that Thunderwing had successfully found the Matrix in their absence and was planning to sneak aboard the Ark in a stolen Autobot shuttle, Nightbeat and pals stowed away on the shuttle in the hopes of disrupting the Decepticons' schemes somehow.
The situation was worse than they thought. The Matrix was corrupted from a series of unstable hosts, and now had an evil sentience that had overwhelmed Thunderwing and made him a puppet to its will. With the combined forces of the Ark unable to best the Thunderwing / Matrix combo, Nightbeat devised a desperate plan. As Siren triggered the shuttle's self-destruct sequence, Nightbeat fired the ship's grappling harpoon straight through Thunderwing's chest and shut off the docking clamps, just as Hosehead turned off the artificial gravity in the hangar bay. The result was the shuttle being sucked out into the black void, taking Thunderwing and the Matrix along with it before exploding. Thunderwing was last seen hurtling through space, still harpooned to a piece of flaming debris.
Optimus Prime next gave Nightbeat an investigational assignment to look into the disappearance and supposed death of Ratchet and Megatron in a massive explosion on Cybertron some months back. After review witness statements and making a few leaps of deductive logic, Nightbeat reached the hypothesis that Ratchet may have been cast into a dimensional portal they knew had been active at the time of the explosion, and then been caught between space as the explosion destroyed the delicate portal mechanism. To test his theory, Nightbeat arranged for an inter-dimensional probe to search for and retrieve Ratchet's spark signature in unspace, assuming it was anywhere to be found.
It was. Ratchet reappeared on the Ark fused at a molecular level to Megatron. This wasn't a "pure, strong, and fast" fusion; it was a horrific blending of two mechanoids, both in constant and indescribable agony. Prime managed to subdue the creature, and Autobot medic Fixit took steps to separate the pair, who were then placed in stasis chambers. During the aftermath, Optimus Prime surrendered his forces, including Nightbeat, to Scorponok's Decepticons on Earth, hoping to use his desperate action to unite both factions against Unicron. This alliance was about to form when the entire Decepticon base imploded in on itself due to an attack from Shockwave's small team of rival Decepticon forces. Nightbeat survived this initial strike, and along with Optimus Prime and the other Autobots, emerged and tried to keep the new Decepticon Civil War from spreading beyond the area. Optimus charged himself and Nightbeat with keeping Scorponok specifically out of Manhattan. However, when G.B. Blackrock's team of robot-fighting mutants, the Neo-Knights arrived, Nightbeat was the first to fall at the hands of the psychotic Circuit Breaker. As the fighting neared its end, and the alliance began to form again, Primus teleported the Earth-bound Transformers to Cybertron; Nightbeat's antenna was in contact with the Neo-Knight's helicopter, accidentally bringing them to Cybertron as well!
Once on Cybertron, Nightbeat, able to stand up again, watched as Primus spoke through Emirate Xaaron, telling "his children" of their origin and their charge to defeat Unicron. Once Unicron arrived, the alliance was put to the test, and Nightbeat was among several Autobots who utilized hoverscooters in their attacks on the Dark God. Nightbeat survived this cataclysmic battle.
Nightbeat was seen nailing both an Autobot and Decepticon logo on the wall of their fragile alliance's headquarters Klo, he urged Prowl to cool down and save his bring-a-prick for the Decepticons. Unfortunately, the Decepticons were aware of the Autobots' surprise attack, and all but five Autobots were destroyed. Snapdragon kicked a head away from Nightbeat's remains.and joined the Autobots in their delayed evacuation of Cybertron. As they headed for
Another Time and Place
When the Decepticons took control of the Nucleon on Hydrus Four, Nightbeat joined a commando unit of Autobots to infiltrate their position. Their first obstacle was Fangry, but luck was on their side. The Decepticon tracker was looking to kill something, and bent waaaaay over the water trying to skewer a fish. Nightbeat just had to give him a tiny nudge, and Fangry fell over into the waiting arms of the Autobots hidden in the murky water.
Nightbeat worked on a computer console as Optimus Prime and Megatron observed some data on the Swarm. As Jhiaxus's Cybertronian army attacked the base, Nightbeat's console exploded, sending him flying across the room. He later appeared among the Autobot forces just long enough to sacrifice himself futilely against the Swarm, self-destructing alongside Dirge. Moments later, Megatron showed up with the rheanimum that could have saved him.
Dreamwave comics continuity
One of the few remaining Autobots battling the Decepticons during the Age of Internment, Nightbeat was leader of a strike team consisting of Hosehead, Siren, Slapdash, Joyride, and Getaway. They were tasked with acquiring a member of the Aerospace Extermination Squadron for Perceptor to study and, hopefully, find some sort of defense against. Using Getaway as a decoy with the rest of the team hiding under a null-field cloak, they managed to lure three of them into a trap at Nova Cronum. After the first two drones were destroyed, the third simply shut itself down. As Nightbeat discussed the best couse of action with Blaster, he approached it with an inhibitor claw - only for it to suddenly reactivate and slam Nightbeat against a wall, temporarily knocking him out of commission. Nightbeat revived shortly afterwards but was helpless to stop the rampaging drone, which was eventually put down by Getaway.
IDW comics continuity
Nightbeat, passing the time by trying to answer the mystery of the first Ark, went to meet with a mechanoid trader named Krakon, only to find him dead by unknown means. Nightbeat followed the clues that the late Krakon (and his killers) left behind and was lured into an apparent trap on Gorlam Prime. He found a strange dimensional portal deep beneath the world, but got captured by an unknown villain before he could tell anyone. They put something in his head, erased his memory, and then sent him back out into space. Shortly thereafter he was contacted by Optimus Prime and ordered to head for Earth.
Aboard Ark-32, Nightbeat arrived in Earth orbit with Hot Rod and Hardhead in tow just as Optimus Prime and his troops were confronting Megatron head-on in the breakaway Soviet state of Brasnya. While his two rather over-eager companions headed to the surface, Nightbeat remained aboard the ship.
Planetside, Hot Rod succeeded in carrying out his primary mission, the capture of the Decepticons' facsimile avatar. Anxious to re-join the battle, he requested Nightbeat to send him through a double orbital bounce—transporting him up to the ship just long enough to drop off his captive, then returning to the planet. Nightbeat was rather bemused at the thought of the thrill-seeking Hot Rod abandoning a combat zone, but complied. At that instant, though, Skywarp and Thundercracker arrived and attacked Hot Rod. Nightbeat reported back to Prowl that Hot Rod was in a CR chamber, and the facsimile—injured by flak—had expired.
After Sunstreaker's disappearance, Nightbeat began investigating the sequence of events that led to his capture. Examining the SM-40 Notepad stolen by Verity Carlo, he discovered a homing device that had allowed Sunstreaker's unknown assailants to discover the underwater location of Ark-19. Nightbeat ordered Bumblebee on a scouting mission along the shores of Lake Michigan, where Bumblebee discovered a great deal of advanced surveillance equipment. Deducing that Ark-19's location was compromised, Nightbeat advised Optimus and Prowl to move the ship immediately. Nightbeat handled navigation chores as the ship lifted off. Unfortunately, the Decepticon Sixshot attacked shortly thereafter, sending Ark-19 plummeting to Earth.
Per Optimus Prime's order, Nightbeat transferred the damaged ship's data to Ark-32, then moved with the other Autobots to the ship's cargo bay shortly before it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico and self-destructed.
Nightbeat and the others survived, however and while the other Autobots battled Sixshot, Nightbeat attempted to activate the orbital bounce abilities of the Ark-32. After a few Autobot injuries, Nightbeat was able to beam them up to the ship, along with Jimmy Pink and Verity Carlo, who may have died during the bounce. Optimus Prime stayed behind to battle Sixshot alone, but once Sixshot left the battle, Nightbeat also evacuated Prime seconds before an air strike by the U.S. military.
Afterward, Nightbeat studied the telemetry Hound's unit sent on Leadfoot's death. After examining the data, Nightbeat observed that it was as though a virus of unlife had attacked and destroyed every living cyber-cell in Leadfoot simultaneously, in a fraction of a nano-klik. While it was something he had never encountered before, he couldn't shake the nagging feeling that he had forgotten something important, as if his memory had been tampered with. Seeking inspiration to jog his memory, he went down to the hanger of Ark 32 where his personal ship was stored.
He soon found out that he logged a message about his trip to Gorlam Prime, but that he has no recollection about it. He asked Hardhead to help him with his investigation.
Discovering a large part of his memory missing, a worried Nightbeat realised someone may have tampered with him and asked Hardhead to accompany him to Gorlam Prime, with orders to terminate Nightbeat if he turned. Upon arrival, they found the entire planet frozen. Nightbeat theorised that the planet was evolving somehow, from organic to techno-organic...to something like Cybertronians. His musings were interrupted by a force of small Transformers. As Hardhead held them off, Nightbeat found some kind of tunnels leading down to a strange cavern. There, losing control of himself, he turned his gun on Hardhead, who casually shot him in the head. As the Autobot died, Jhiaxus screamed, revealing to Nemesis Prime that their agent was gone. Prime casually waved it away, taking Nightbeat's mission as his own: Find and kill Optimus Prime.
- Nightbeat with Muzzle (Headmaster, 1988)
- Accessories: "Muzzle" Headmaster driver, seat/helmet, "Plasma Blaster" rifle, right and left "Photon Pistols"
- Nightbeat transforms into a blue and yellow Porsche 959. The roof is hinged and can be opened to reveal an interior that his Headmaster unit, Muzzle, can sit inside of. His head guns can be stored just above the headlights while his rifle can be plugged onto the roof.
- In robot mode, like all Headmaster toys, Nightbeat has a flip-down panel on his chest which covers a spring-loaded mini-Tech-Spec-meter which gives readings for Speed, Strength and Intelligence. The tumblers are activated when Muzzle (or any other Headmaster unit) is plugged into his neck socket; however, unlike earlier Headmaster figures, the specs are fixed — they do not change when different heads are applied. Similarly, Muzzle has Nightbeat's face plainly visible on his back because, as a smaller Headmaster toy, he lacks the flip down panel that covers the face, featured on larger Headmasters.
- He shares a mold with the Japanese Headmaster Junior, Minerva, who also got a mail-order exclusive version in Nightbeat's colors.
- Nightbeat (Deluxe, 2008)
- Accessories: Missile launcher, missile, radar
- This retool of Energon Hot Shot is one of two 2008 Fun Publications Fan Club exclusives. The new head is based on the character model's head (by which we mean Siren's with some nods to the toy-Nightbeat's, see Trivia below), but is missing its "ears" thanks to clearance and production timing issues. Nightbeat comes with a clear-plastic spring-loaded missile launcher. He can also form the top or bottom half of a combined robot with any other "Powerlinx"-style 2-bot combiner toy.
- Nightbeat was originally announced to be available by BotCon 2008 in April, but after multiple delays, preorders finally went up six months later on August 27, 2008, with a release date of "within four weeks" of September 30, 2008.
- The retooled version of this mold was used to create Shattered Glass Nightbeat at BotCon 2008's customization class.
- In Nightbeat's toy packaging photography, Muzzle's legs are blue instead of the final black, and the flame stickers on Nightbeat's doors are different. This early flame design made it into Nightbeat's Universe profile art and, as a result, into some Marvel Comics stories.
- For their character models, the face/Nebulan and helmet/seat pieces of Nightbeat and Siren were inexplicably switched. (It is difficult to tell for sure, but they may have kept the correct antennae/guns judging by the basic shapes involved.) This switch gave comic book Nightbeat the "shades" he's remembered for, as well as the crest on his forehead, while comic book Siren ended up with his trademark combined brow/nosepiece. How or why this switch happened, and in what stage of development it occurred, is unknown.
- He was was depicted with his own toy's head (for the first time) in Dreamwave's The War Within: The Age of Wrath. Nightbeat's appearances in IDW's Transformers comics retain the Siren face design, but inside the Nightbeat helmet. In Fun Publications' "Cheap Shots," his appearance is based on his new toy, whose head is based on Siren's face and helmet.
- Another Nightbeat visual oddity is the large difference between the design of his toy's chest and of the character model's chest. While the toy's chest is an asymmetrical shape with one "boob" and a "tummy grill" not unlike Optimus Prime's, the character model gives him a concave octagon which symmetrically houses two hollow boxes. Where did this design come from, and why is it the only thing on his character model, other than the swapped head, that departs from his toy design?
- Due to his asymmetrical chest details, Nightbeat's original packaging art is noticeably flipped horizontally, putting his "boob" on the left instead of the right. Dreamwave's More Than Meets the Eye profile art of him, seen at the top of this page, seems to have been based on the boxart's flip, as well as IDW's material for a long time. Starting in Devastation issue 6, IDW's Nightbeat chest is symmetrical, mirroring the half of his chest with the "boob," giving him an approximation of the made-up Marvel Comics/character model chest.
- Nightbeat has worn the trenchcoat quite a few times. Sometimes the artist remembers he has very tall shoulders under there, sometimes not.
- Nightbeat's character model was animated once in a television commercial that advertised 1988's Headmaster Autobots and Decepticons. While being driven by Muzzle on the surface of an unidentified planet (with Siren and Hosehead at his sides), Nightbeat transformed into robot mode. Shortly thereafter, three Decepticon Headmasters burst through a wall, and Nightbeat engaged Horri-Bull in battle. (It should be noted that Nightbeat's shades, like the eyes on his toy, would have been black, though they glow blue as Muzzle connects.) 
|“||I don't have a good answer for you... It was too easy to say, I'll kill off all the incidental characters, all the ones I don't like. It sort of added to the bigger picture by ... some of the favorites got it in the neck as well... It's like, say Rattrap or something died, it's like.. Who cares? I do like Beast Wars as well... it was too easy to just knock off 'B' characters...||”|
- A "dinner mystery theatre" starring Nightbeat was planned for OTFCC 2004, with Optimus Prime as the murder victim. Instead, the Transformer theme was shelved and attendees were subjected to DEATH BY CHOCOLATE.