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- Vanflint is a human in the Hearts of Steel portion of the Generation One continuity family. He is also called Vanfleet.
Vanflint is the greedy, amoral supervisor of a rail gang in the latter part of the 19th Century. He looks and acts like Snidley Whiplash, except with a slightly better grasp of long-term planning. His first name is unrevealed.
IDW Hearts of Steel continuity
Vanflint is supervising a rail gang (which includes John Henry as its spike-driver), when a mysterious yellow locomotive appears (Bumblebee). When the locomotive turns out to be an automated steam hammer, he orders his assistant to find out where it came from. He wants to order a dozen more like it, so he can fire all the human track-layers. He hires the Pinkertons to investigate, and they eventually point him toward the Decepticons' factory. At that point, his superior, Jacob Lee Bonaventure, becomes involved, and the two together meet with Starscream, and forge an alliance based on conquest and profit. When he absently mentions the "little yellow locomotive", Starscream interogates him, and realizes that the Autobots are awake and active. Vanflint is aboard Astrotrain during the journey to New York, but offers nothing but color commentary to the running battle. He presumably perishes when Astrotrain plummets over the cliff.