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|Specifics: fictional appearances|
Runabout is not the brains of the Battlechargers (they're both pretty much dim-bulbs), but he is much calmer and certainly more articulate than Runamuck, and his presence helps keep the latter's cross-wired mind on task. That said, Runabout usually joins in with whatever mad ideas Runamuck comes up with, just to keep from being bored. Runabout is very susceptible to boredom.
Besides, Runabout loves a good wreck just as well as his crazy comrade, but it's not because he craves to create wreckage -- he simply wishes to destroy, and enjoys the spectacle of chaos and big fiery explosions. To help create these he has a particle beam rifle that shoots a stream of heavy and energetic neutrons. Unfortunately, he craves destruction so much that it continually distracts him from his assigned duties.
Runabout is a little faster than Runamuck, with a 185 MPH top speed, but can only go about 550 miles. He is equally able to transform quickly, taking about .4 seconds to do so. Also like his partner, he is not averse to breaking windows or draping cylinder-wiping paper over the enemy base, or other puerile acts of vandalism. But he uses bigger words when doing so.
- French name (Canada): Rôdo
- Italian name: Diablo
Marvel Comics continuity
The Battlechargers were summoned to Earth from Cybertron by Megatron, who wanted a dramatic way to announce his challenge to Optimus Prime for a fight to the death. The two reckless Decepticons left and promptly ignored their orders, and instead began to raise a bit of random highway havoc. Encountering Prowl, the two dropped firetraps and wrecked piles of cars behind them. Unable to stop them quietly on his own terms, Prowl grew angry and... was halted by Optimus Prime, who was dismayed with his recklessness.  During a break in the mayhem, they rested in a parking lot and saw a defiant youngster expressing his disgust of family vacations through graffiti. His dad angrily escorted him back to the station wagon, and their holiday trip resumed. The Battlechargers, impressed by the boy's disregard for authority, began following the family on a road trip through the U.S., defacing any monuments they happened upon (such as Mt. Rushmore, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the Washington Monument). They wrote insults and jokes in a Cybertronian language, thus attracting the attention of RAAT, which had already captured thirteen Autobots.
RAAT caught up with them in Philadelphia, where Circuit Breaker engaged them in a battle that nearly killed the graffiti-inclined boy. They escaped, and took a break to learn English (not well, mind you) for their next stop, the Statue of Liberty. There they engaged Circuit Breaker once again, only this time, having been stripped of her command for her actions in their last encounter, she faced them in a giant machine jury-rigged from the Autobots RAAT had captured previously. The two hooligans met quick defeat at the hands of her makeshift gestalt, their charred bodies sent plunging into the harbor.
For quite some time, the Battlechargers remained out of action (probably rusting under the sea). However, when Shockwave wanted to wrest control of the Earth-based Decepticons from Scorponok, the Battlechargers mysteriously returned and for unknown reasons joined his motley band of rebels. They attacked Scorponok's New Jersey base, and a battle ensued. Just as the battle ended, the combatants were transported to Cybertron by Primus, who was gathering his Transformer children to stand against the demigod Unicron. Both Battlechargers survived but when Runabout was strolling with Battletrap the next day, he was attacked and devoured by a strange Cybertronian creature (the same type of creature that later fought the Dinobots during Grimlock's Nucleon-induced transformation). Runamuck survived long enough to be seen in action with Megatron's Decepticons in their first battle with Jhiaxus' Cybertronians, but was killed during the conflict.
As the Decepticon Civil War took a different path, Runabout and Runamuck were still working on the side of Shockwave and Starscream. In a fight with the Dinobots, Runabout got his hand stamped on by Grimlock while reaching for his weapon -- very painful. He stayed behind after the battle in order to get revenge, and pulled a neutron cannon on Grimlock at close range. Grimlock seemed suitably impressed by the weapon, and suggested the Battlecharger take a step or two back for his own safety because of the recoil. Seemed like a sound suggestion to Runabout so he backed himself up...right over a cliff. Dumb 'Con.
When Megatron lost an ozone rocket to the Autobots, along with its poison gas cannisters, Shockwave sent the Battlechargers out to retrieve it for his own purposes. They ran into Dead End and Drag Strip at the crash site, and got into a fight over who would take possession of the rocket and its contents. Little did they know the Autobot Prowl had already removed and neutralized the rocket's contents, making their tussle utterly pointless. Later, after the Decepticon factions unified, Runabout and Runamuck were seen attacking the Autobot Earthbase with the full Decepticon force, but they ultimately failed to gain any ground and retreated.
In 2006, Runabout was guarding Trypticon's city mode on Chaar with Runamuck. They were attacked by Scourge and the ghost of Starscream, who wanted to steal one of Trypticon's eyes for Unicron. Starscream possessed Runabout, shot Runamuck, then ran into a wall, knocking Runabout unconscious. Runamuck, however, was able to sound an alarm, and Dirge, Thrust, and Astrotrain arrived to help. Scourge got Trypticon's eye, and Starscream possessed Astrotrain and escaped. Later, under Unicron's orders, Starscream returned to Chaar and took control of Trypticon, not knowing that Dirge, Thrust, and the Battlechargers were inside. Starscream used Trypticon to bring Unicron's head down Cybertron's surface, but Thrust sabotaged Trypticon from within before Starscream could connect Unicron to the planet. Starscream came out of Trypticon and demanded that Unicron give him a corporeal form so he could complete the connections. Just as Unicron did so, Autobot-planted explosives detonated and sent Unicron's head back into orbit. Starscream was also flung into outer space, where Galvatron began pursuing him. Trypticon (and the Decepticons inside him) were probably thrown into space as well. Although the Battlechargers never appeared again, Trypticon and the others did, so they most likely did survive.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Runabout was one of Starscream's flunkies in the early days of the war, helping him overthrow Megatron (albeit temporarily) and later joining his Predacon faction alongside his Battlecharger partner, Runamuck.
In modern times, the Battlechargers were working for Shockwave as assassins. Runabout caught the double agent Sandstorm leading Optimus Prime to safety with the Autobot revolutionaries, and blasted a hole through the Triple Changer's chest. Moving in to eliminate Prime as well, Runabout was caught off-guard by Gnaw and was...gnawed on for a while.
Somehow he pulled himself back together, and hooked up with Runamuck again after Shockwave's fall. Dodging Autobot patrols while looking for a working CR Chamber to fully repair themselves, the Battlechargers found one of Shockwave's abandoned laboratories, and accidentally unleashed the electrum-enhanced clone warrior, Sunstorm. The clone's ambient radiation considerably weakened Runabout. Then he incinerated Runabout's head. That didn't help either.
IDW comics continuity
Runabout was part of a Decepticon insurgent cell that has operated covertly on Earth for at least four years, working to destabilise Earth's governing organisations and create global anarchy. He, Runamuck and Thundercracker were assigned by Starscream to intercept the human Stoker and retrieve his SM-40 palmtop PC, containing data on their Nebraska operation. The team caught up with and killed Stoker outside Phoenix, AZ, by which time Verity Carlo had already stolen the SM-40. The Battlechargers' attempts to retrieve it from Verity and Ratchet blew their cover: they appeared in full public view both in primary mode and in a secondary alternate mode, where the panels of their sports-car disguises split apart to reveal weapons and ram-plates. While pursuing Ratchet, both Battlechargers were run off the road by a semi-trailer.
Runabout moved to Latveria with the rest of the Decepticons to spark a war between the nations of Latveria and Symkaria using the Psycho-Prism. When the Avengers infiltrated their base, Runabout abducted one of their number, Spider-Man. Runabout and his teammates, turbocharged by Spider-Man's radioactive blood, attacked the allied Autobots and Avengers in mirror response mode. Runabout was subsequently blasted by the newly-arrived Iron Man and sliced up by Wolverine. The badly-damaged Runabout subsequently fled via emergency warp-out protocol.
Unfortunately, Runabout was brutally off-lined when the Reapers attacked the Decepticon command bunker in Oregon. He was electrocuted until he exploded, upsetting Runamuck, who was soon decapitated and then had his errant head crushed by a large boulder.
Only time will tell if they show up again intact...
- Runabout (Battlecharger, 1986)
- Accessories: Gun
- Runabout transforms into a Lotus Turbo Esprit sports car. An autotransformer, he uses a pull-back motor to propel him forward in both car and robot modes, though starting in car mode triggers his transformation to robot after he rolls forward a short distance. His mold is very similar to his partner Runamuck, but it is highly unlikely one is actually a retool of the other since they had simultaneous production.
- Runabout was the inspiration for the Cybertron homage toy Runamuck (trademark issues explain away the name-shift).
- ↑ But not more articulated.
- ↑ This story may not have happened in the Marvel continuity proper, as it occurs in a dream sequence within a story that leads into the incompatible Earthforce storyline.