Bulkhead (Transformers)

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Bulkhead is the name of four fictional characters from the Transformers franchise. All incarnations of Bulkhead are Autobots and are green in color. He was introduced in Transformers: Energon and later redebuted in Transformers: Animated as a completely new character. The Animated Bulkhead became so popular that he was adapted to reappear in Transformers: Prime. Whereas he was a minor character in Energon, the Animated/Prime Bulkhead appears as a main character in both series.

Transformers: Energon[edit]

Bulkhead
Bulkhead-energon.jpg
Energon Bulkhead toy
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Mega Vehicles
Rank 8
Motto "If I don't blast you out of the sky, I'll knock you into the ground." (Hasbro)
"No young gun's gonna outshoot me!!" (Takara)
Alternate Modes Cybertronian Helicopter
Series Transformers: Energon
English voice actor French Tickner[1]
Japanese voice actor Nobuo Tobita

Bulkhead is the name of an Autobot who transforms into a helicopter. According to Quickstrike's bio, he and Bulkhead are cousins. According to Aaron Archer, Bulkhead's goggles-and-mustache look was inspired by Paul Teutul Sr. from American Chopper.

Animated series[edit]

Bulkhead first appears in episode 30 of the Transformers: Energon animated series, "Jungle Planet". Bulkhead is an elderly but energetic high-ranking Autobot who commands the team consisting of himself, Cliffjumper, and Downshift. He could also enter a 'brute mode' by combining with a section of his helicopter mode, seen only fleetingly in a few episodes. He last appears in the series finale, episode 51, "The Sun".

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Bulkhead first appears in issue 27 of the Dreamwave Productions Transformers: Energon comic. He originally appears as part of the Autobot reinforcements under Jetfire who head to Earth to fend off the Terrorcon invasion.

Fun Publications[edit]

Bulkhead appears in the text story from Fun Publications called "Force of Habit". This story explains where he was during the events of the Cybertron story. Ultra Magnus is the commander of various Autobot ships sent to other planets in search for the Cyber Planet Keys.

Toys[edit]

  • Superlink Mega Sprung
The Japanese release of the toy colored more like Generation 1 Springer.
  • Energon Mega Bulkhead (2004)
The US release of Bulkhead with a slightly new dece. This mold was later redecoed into the Autobot Quickstrike and used as the model for Timelines Over-Run.


Transformers Animated[edit]

Bulkhead
Bulkhead-animated.jpg
Animated Bulkhead catches the AllSpark in Transform and Roll Out- Part 3
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Activators, Voyagers, Leaders
Function Demolitions, Guardman, Spacebridge Expert
Rank 7 (Takara)
Partner Bumblebee, Grimlock
Motto "Sorry, my bad!"
Alternate Modes Cybertronian Bulldozer, SWAT Assault Truck
Series Transformers: Animated
English voice actor Bill Fagerbakke
Japanese voice actor Kenta Miyake

Bulkhead is a main character in the Transformers Animated series that debuted in 2007 on Cartoon Network.[2] He is the only Autobot among the main five character cast whose name does not originate from a Generation 1 character.[3][4] In the 2010 Japanese version of the series, he is known as Ironhide.

Bulkhead's original vehicle mode was a Cybertronian bulldozer. After coming to Earth he was given the vehicle form of a green SWAT truck. He has a retractable line and wrecking ball in both hands. He is easily one of the strongest of the Autobots, but he isn't very smart, and though he's a natural builder who loves to make things,[5] he can also be very clumsy.[6] That combined with battering ram arms make him the ultimate "Demolition Bot." Bulkhead has extending telescopic eyes and a storage compartment in his stomach.[7] Since arriving on earth, Bulkhead has gained a keen interest in art. According to the show creators, Bulkhead is inspired by the Marvel Comics hero The Thing.

Reception[edit]

Bulkhead has become a fan favorite and has been compared to the Jolly Green Giant by television reviewers.[8]

Animated series[edit]

Flashbacks in the episode "Autoboot Camp" reveal that Bulkhead was originally an energon farmer, who became a Space Bridge technician. He was given his name by Sentinel Prime, who referred to him as "all bulk and no brains." In boot camp, he met and befriended fellow recruit Bumblebee. As stated by Shockwave in "A Bridge too Close" Pt 1, it is revealed that Bulkhead scored higher than any other Autobot in a space bridge aptitude test, despite lacking any other seemingly discernible talent.

Season 1[edit]

In the three-part episode "Transform and Roll Out", Bulkhead and the other members of Optimus Prime's team discover the AllSpark and are soon attacked by the Decepticons. When Megatron attacked the team's ship personally, Bulkhead and Bumblebee were assigned to guard the AllSpark, and was forced to enter a stasis pod when the AllSpark transported the ship into Earth's orbit. When the Autobots awoke 50 years later at the bottom of Lake Erie, they adapted Earth vehicle modes to blend in with the humans. Bulkhead took the form of a S.W.A.T. truck. He helped Bumblebee, Prowl, and Optimus defeat a giant mutated cockroach, which absorbed one of Bulkhead's wrecking balls. He later helped defend Detroit and the AllSpark from Starscream, who had come looking for the latter.

In "Home is Where the Spark Is", Bulkhead helps set up the Autobot's new HQ, and complains about how the humans don't know about his sensitive side. Later that night, when Megatron used a pocket bot to sabotage the equipment in the base, Bulkhead was caught on a conveyor belt and nearly crushed, but Bumblebee managed to shut the machinery down.

In "Total Meltdown", he helps save Bumblebee from Cyrus "The Colossus" Rhodes and later assists in saving Prof. Sumdac from Meltdown. For most of the battle, he is stuck in Sumdac Tower's automated force field, but freed when Sari turns it off. He later attacks Meltdown as the latter tries to kill Sari, Prof. Sumdac, and Bumblebee, and his right hand is nearly melted by the touch of Meltdown's acidic body. Meltdown tries to kill Bulkhead by shooting acid at him, but Bumblebee takes the hit.

In "Blast From the Past", Prowl teaches Bulkhead how to be more gentle, but Bulkhead ultimately resorts to his old ways in order to defeat the Dinobots. He later helps Prowl secretly move the Dinobots to Dinobot Island, located off the coast of Detroit.

In "The Thrill of the Hunt", Bulkhead helps battle Lockdown, but is defeated when Lockdown encases him in an unknown substance and sticks him to a wall inside his ship.

In "Nanosec", Bulkhead helps Bumblebee in a training exercise about blending in, and eventually has to save him from getting hit by a train after Bumblebee gets caught in the railroad tracks trying to catch Nanosec. He later helps Bumblebee get rid of some unstable destronium before it violently detonates.

In "Along Came a Spider", Bulkhead learns about Halloween and dresses up as a ghost (using a fumigation tent). Later, when Blackarachnia attacks Sari for the AllSpark Key, she knocks Bulkhead out with a virus while borrowing his strength. He later helps Bumblebee rescue Sari after Blackarachnia drops her from the roof of a skyscraper.

In "Sound and Fury", Bulkhead becomes jealous when Prof. Sumdac gets Sari a Soundwave toy for her eighth birthday, and becomes suspicious that's its more than just a toy (it is actually a protype body created by Megatron). However, Bulkhead is the only one to realize this, and when he tries to prove it, he ends up humiliating himself. However, when Soundwave becomes sentient, captures Sari, and takes control of all of Detroit's non-sentient machines, Bulkhead manages to defeat him.

During the events of "Lost and Found", Bulkhead battles against his archrival Lugnut for the first time.

Season 2[edit]

Season 3[edit]

Video games[edit]

Bulkhead is one of the playable characters in the 2008 Transformers Animated video game for the Nintendo DS.[9]

Toys[edit]

  • Animated Activators Bulkhead (2008)
A Scout class toy with a one-touch transformation.
  • Animated Bumper Battlers Bulkhead (2008)
A Deluxe-sized toy car designed for younger children.
  • Animated Voyager Bulkhead (2008)
A Voyager Class figure that transforms from armored truck to robot.[10]
  • Animated Leader Bulkhead (2008)
A larger-sized version of the Bulkhead figure. In robot mode, the Autobot symbol button plays three phrases, as voiced by Bill Fagerbakke ("Time for the big guns!", "You can do it, buddy," and "Sorry, my bad."). The figure also comes with a Headmaster unit that snaps over the head and plays a voice clip ("Ownage! Total Ownage!") as performed by Alexander Polinsky, the voice of Henry Masterson. This unit also fits on other Leader Class Animated figures, changing their voices as well.[11][12]
  • Animated TA-03 Voyager Ironhide (Takara Tomy) (2010)
The 2010 Japan version by Takara Tomy is marketed as Ironhide.

Transformers: Prime[edit]

Bulkhead
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Wreckers, Team Prime
Function Construction worker, Heavy Munitions
Rank Warrior
Partner Wheeljack, Arcee, Bumblebee, Smokescreen
Alternate Modes All-terrain truck
Series Transformers: Prime
English voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson

Bulkhead is an Autobot and the strongest member of Team Prime, a former member of the Wreckers while on Earth he is the guardian of Miko Nakadai. He has a tendency of breaking things which often disturbs Ratchet, although he is not as intelligent than the other Autobots he makes up for it with brute strength. Though he looks menacing he has a soft personality, always looking out for his comrades and has a strong friendship with Miko and will do anything to protect her. Bulkhead's weapons include two Energon blasters and two wrecking balls which are converted from his hands, and he later acquires an Energon cannon. He transforms into an off road vehicle, much like the Duster Renault.

Bulkhead and Smokescreen are the only regular Autobot cast members in Transformers: Prime who didn't appear first in the War for Cybertron video game.

Exiles[edit]

Formerly one of the Wreckers under Ultra Magnus' command, Bulkhead appears in Transformers: Exiles as part of the Autobot crew aboard the Ark.

Animated series[edit]

On Cybertron Bulkhead was a construction worker, he later joined the Wreckers where he met Wheeljack who became his best friend and they fought alongside each other in many battles the two were practically brothers. During the war he developed a rivalry with the Decepticon Breakdown who caused him great pain, despite his love for being a wrecker he left the group in order to join with Optimus in the Battle of Thunderhead Pass as he knew Optimus had it within him to stop the War.

Bulkhead first appears in the pilot episode where he responds too late to a call for help from Cliffjumper, who is taken by the Decepticon and killed. Later when Arcee is attacked by the Decepticons Bulkhead and Bumblebee come to her aid and the Decepticons run away.[13] Bulkhead later goes to rescue Agent Fowler, the Autobots' government liaison, from Starscream, only for Miko, Raf, and Jack to follow him and be put in danger. Optimus later scolded Bulkhead for endangering the humans, but it is revealed in the next episode that Bulkhead's damage to the Decepticons' ship stopped Megatron from locking onto Cybertron with his Space Bridge.

In "Scrapheap", despite being ravaged by the metal-eating swarm of Scraplets, Bulkhead proved his bravery when he nobly used himself as bait to draw the Scraplets out of the base: an act that allowed both the freezing-to-death Optimus Prime and Arcee to return to base safely, and saved Ratchet and Bumblebee from further injury from the Scraplets.

In "Con Job", Bulkhead is thrilled to welcome his old comrade from the Wreckers, Wheeljack, who he nicknamed "Jackie", to Team Prime. However, Bulkhead notices that Wheeljack doesn't seem like himself, and does not tell his part in their adventures he recounts. Bulkhead's suspicion turns heated and proves vindicated when Wheeljack does not recount one of their war stories truthfully: Wheeljack is in fact the shape-shifting Decepticon Makeshift, who takes Miko hostage. The real Wheeljack, who'd been captured by Starscream, is able to get back the Autobot base and defeat Makeshift. However, Wheeljack opts to leave Earth to continue his solo journey among the galaxy, but Bulkhead is not saddened, since he knows that while Wheeljack always leaves, he always comes back.

In "Deus ex Machina", Bulkhead's old nemesis Breakdown makes his presence known to the Autobots. When asked about his feud with Breakdown, Bulkhead only replies angrily, "We have a history." Bulkhead is defeated twice by Breakdown in the episode, but eventually subdues his nemesis with Knock Out's electric prod. Bulkhead did not have to wait long to engage his enemy again; he and Bumblebee fought and defeated Breakdown in Speed Metal, and Bulkhead later fought Breakdown to a stalemate with Arcee in Out of his Head.

In "Operation: Breakdown", following his defeat in another clash against Breakdown, his nemesis is captured by human terrorist group MECH. Bulkhead stubbornly refuses to help his nemesis, explaining to Miko that their history goes a long time back, and that he simply cannot forgive Breakdown for the things he's done. Miko convinces him that if he doesn't go after Breakdown he has no chance to avenge his earlier defeat. Bulkhead eventually fights his way to Breakdown and together they fight their way out of MECH's lair, and fight back to back to fend off the hordes of MECH troops. During the battle, much to Bulkhead's surprise, Breakdown pushes him out of the way from a paralyzing blast from MECH. Starscream arrives, and urges Breakdown to kill Bulkhead regardless of their teamwork, and Breakdown nearly does so, but Bulkhead single-handedly defeats most of the Decepticons present. Optimus commends Bulkhead for "rising above [himself]" to save Breakdown, but Bulkhead was more happy he defeated all the Decepticons present so swiftly.

In "Metal Attraction", Bulkhead goes on a recon mission with Arcee, who is rather irritated with Jack's mother June being too concerned with Jack's safety. The two come across Breakdown and Airachnid fighting over a magnetic device. They manage to defeat the Decepticons, before Breakdown magnatizes them together, forcing Bulkhead to walk to find Breakdown on foot. After he and Arcee are separated, they fight the two Decepticons and win, and go away with the device.

In "Rock Bottom", Bulkhead and Arcee investigate an old Decepticon energon mine that mysteriously went back online. Miko runs into the mine, forcing Bulkhead to go after her. When Megatron caves in the mine, Bulkhead has to hold up the ceiling to save Miko. His legs start to give way eventually, and Starscream arrives to capture and deliver Bulkhead to Megatron. But thanks to Arcee, Bulkhead is saved, and Starscream is the one forced to hold up the ceiling.

In "Partners", Bulkhead helps investigate a Decepticon ship, where the Autobots come across Starscream and Airachnid. Starscream submits, and decides to defect to the Autobots. Bulkhead does not believe him, and makes it obvious he doesn't trust him. When the Autobots find Airachnid, she freezes Bulkhead with the Immobilizer, which Ratchet later uses to reverse the effect.

In "T.M.I", in the middle of a battle, Bulkhead is knocked into the path of an active data cylinder by Breakdown and is zapped in the head. The information in the data cylinder is transferred to his mind, and he begins to write equations for synthetic energon. Miko tries her hardest to help Bulkhead remember everything about his life, like Ratchet, Wheeljack and herself. It fails, and the two are attacked by Breakdown and Knock Out, who are after the formula. Miko knocks the information from Bulkhead's mind, and he is rendered unconscious. But Miko brings him back online when she plays his favorite song on her guitar.

In the first season's final episodes, Bulkhead notably became the only Autobot besides Optimus to be able to take on a Dark Energon-influenced Megatron. In "One Shall Rise, Part 3", Bulkhead is infected by Dark Energon, but soon recovers following Unicron's defeat.

Bulkhead later helped take and hold the Decepticon space bridge to get Jack and Arcee to Cybertron, and was the last of the Autobots to fall when Megatron arrived to retake control. Wheeljack eventually returns, but does not join Team Prime, but Bulkhead helps him pick an Earth alternate mode. He is also seen with Ratchet both times they meet with Starscream to learn important information. He is also one of the Autobots who was defeated by Nemesis Prime in "Nemesis Prime".

In "Armada", Bulkhead investigates an energon reading he found while driving. But he ends up falling down a well while an energon pick up is made. Alone, Bulkhead is forced to find his way off of the Nemesis. He runs into a Starscream clone and tries to get him to show him the way off the ship, but the clone scratches him, threatening to kill him. Bulkhead attacks the clone and destroys it (causing the real Starscream to feel its agony). To escape the ship, Bulkhead heads to the reactor and smashes it, causing the ship to fall out of orbit. While waiting for the ship to land, he runs into another Starscream clone, and is surprised by its appearance. He returns to base from his rough day to find Airachnid in stasis, captured by Arcee. In the following episode, the Autobots try to end the Decepticons once and for all while the Nemesis is down, using the Spark-Extractor. But when the Nemesis turns out to be alive, it freezes the Autobots with a stasis beam, which doesn't wear off until the Nemesis is emptied of its Dark Energon.

At the end of "Triage", Bulkhead is briefly shown returning to base via ground-bridge, gravely injured.

In "Toxicity" (which occurs at the same timeframe as "Tunnel Vision", "Triangulation", "Triage"), Bulkhead is met with life-threatening danger when he is attacked by the Insecticon Hardshell during his search for the fourth and final Iacon relic. After briefly fighting off the Insecticon, Bulkhead discovers that the relic is actually a container for a poisonous form of Energon known as "Tox-En." Not wanting to let the Decepticons get the Tox-En, Bulkhead takes it to a nearby volcano, seeking to destroy it by throwing it into lava. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to the Tox-En causes Bulkhead to become slowly poisoned. Before he can dispose of the Tox-En, he is attacked by Hardshell and his troops. Greatly weakened, Bulkhead rams the Tox-En into Hardshell's armor, and pushes him into the lava. The Tox-En is destroyed, and Bulkhead requests to base that the ground-bridge be opened. As Bulkhead makes to leave, Hardshell rises from the lava and fires a missile at his back, blasting him through the portal.

In "Hurt", he managed to survive the injuries, though Ratchet revealed that he may never be fully functional again. Miko and Wheeljack avenged him by killing Hardshell. Miko later vowed never to leave Bulkhead's side again.

In "Out of the Past", Bulkhead regains consciousness, but can barely walk. Miko insists that he should keep trying, but Ratchet wanted him to rest.

In "New Recruit", Bulkhead is trying to regain his strength, but is set into a phase of jealousy when a new Autobot, Smokescreen, arrives on Earth. Though Optimus and Miko assure him that he would never be abandoned by his friends, Bulkhead still shows very little hope. When Optimus called for assistance in his battle with Starscream, Bulkhead attempted to go help, but Ratchet refused and allowed Smokescreen to go instead. Later, Bulkhead is depressed as he witnesses Smokescreen's success. Feeling worthless, he walked away, limping.

In "The Human Factor", Bulkhead still has a dislike for Smokescreen, rejecting the young bot's suggestion of using the Apex Armor as a crutch. When he hears of "Breakdown's" attack on a military base, he is eager to get back into the action to fight his nemesis. Eventually Ratchet allows him back on duty and this gives him the opportunity to fight Breakdown, but he discovers that it is really Silas in his enemy's body. They fight each other, where Bulkhead is having trouble because of his leg. He receives help from Smokescreen and comes to show new respect to his new teammate.

In "Legacy", it is shown that Bulkhead has fully recovered from his injuries and fights alongside the Autobots again.

In "Alpha; Omega", Bulkhead is excited when he hears from Optimus that the last four relics, the Omega Keys, will be able to revive Cybertron. He and the Autobots are excited to return home, but then decide that they don't want to leave, given the bonds they made with their human friends. After Smokescreen is presumed dead by Megatron's hands while the former and Arcee are searching for the first Omega Key, Bulkhead and Bumblebee want to avenge their friend, but Optimus forbids them from doing so and goes to face Megatron alone.

In "Hard Knocks", Bulkhead and Smokescreen go to retrieve the third Omega Key, but they are caught in a trap set by Dreadwing. Bulkhead fights Dreadwing, and with his strength is able to defeat him. Dreadwing tries to activate a bomb he set on Bulkhead, but Bulkhead is too clever for that, and set the bomb on Dreadwing's back. Later, after learning that Smokescreen is supposedly the final Omega Key, he and the other Autobots try to retrieve him, only for the young Autobot to be captured by Soundwave.

In "Inside Job", after Starscream steals the three Omega Keys the Autobots had in their possession, Bulkhead, along with Ratchet and Optimus, tries to stop him, but fails.

In "Regeneration", Optimus retrieves the Forge of Solus Prime from Dreadwing and uses it to convert the Ground Bridge into a Space Bridge and repair the Star Saber. When the Autobots head to Cybertron to locate the Omega Keys and the Omega Lock, Bulkhead uses the Immobilizer from "Partners" during the battle.

In "Darkest Hour", after the Decepticons invade Jasper, Nevada after locating the Autobot's base, Bulkhead and Miko bridged to an undisclosed location in the US to avoid capture.

In "Darkmount, NV", Bulkhead took Miko to a meeting place where he expected to meet up with Wheeljack, who had just been captured by the Decepticons.

In "Scattered", Bulkhead and Miko met up with Wheeljack, leading a group of Vehicons into a trap using a tracking device Starscream had implanted on him.

In "Prey", Bulkhead and Wheeljack plan to blow up a large energon mine, knowing the explosion would be seen by any Autobot close by. They are attacked by a dragon-like Predacon known as Predaking who proves to be too powerful for the Wreckers. They escape with the help of Ultra Magnus though, and later assist in the assault of Darkmount until they are defeated by Shockwave.

Other appearances[edit]

Bulkhead appeares as one of the Hub Carolers in a Christmas themed commercial for The Hub.[14]

Toys[edit]

  • Prime First Edition Voyager Bulkhead (2011)
A new Voyager mold of Bulkhead.[15]
The mold of this figure is also used for the Asia-exclusive Transformers: Generations Voyager Brawn.
  • Prime First Edition Voyager Bulkhead (Takara Tomy) (2011)
The Japanese version of Bulkhead by Takara Tomy is repainted in a dark green metallic finish.
  • Prime Powerizer Voyager Class Bulkhead (2012)
A new mold of Bulkhead with a jaw that moves up and down, an energon mace that goes into his wrists and on his back, and a battle-ram that fits on his wrists and in his hands.[16]
  • Prime Cyberverse Commander Bulkhead (2012)
A new Cyberverse Commander mold of Bulkhead. Came packaged with a Mini-DVD with the Transformers: Prime episode "Masters and Students".
  • Prime: Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander Bulkhead w/ Nova Hammer
  • Prime: Beast Hunters Deluxe Class Bulkhead w/t Spinning Dragon Grinder (not yet released)[17]

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Bulkhead
Autobot
Information
Sub-group Cybertron's Engineering guild
Function Construction worker, Wrecker
Partner Optimus Prime
Alternate Modes All-terrain truck
Series Transformers: Generation 1

Bulkhead is an Autobot who is among the leadership of Cybertron's Engineering guild. He is a physical homage to his Prime counterpart.

IDW Publishing[edit]

Bulkhead appears in The Transformers: Monstrosity, in the IDW Generation 1 continuity. In the story "Derelicts", Bulkhead attended the inaugural meeting of the Grand Convocation. He was unimpressed by the grandstanding of the Circle of Light's representative, Dai Atlas, and told him to stifle his objections.

This marks his first appearance in any G1 continuity.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Third Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 657. ISBN 978-0-8160-6599-8. 
  2. ^ Cartoon Network and Hasbro Join Forces to Create TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED, Business Wire, June 25, 2007
  3. ^ Character bios for Transformers Animated characters
  4. ^ Robots in disguise come back from '80s obscurity University Wire; January 7, 2008; by Anton Skerl
  5. ^ Bulkhead Character Information And Resources At TransformersAnimated.com
  6. ^ Transformers Animated: Volume 6 by Michael Ryan, 2009
  7. ^ Jim Sorenson & Bill Forster (August 15, 2009). Transformers Animated: The Allspark Almanac. Idea & Design Works Llc. pp. 29–31. ISBN 978-1-60010-487-9. 
  8. ^ Anton Skerl (January 7, 2008). "TV REVIEW: Robots in disguise come back from '80s obscurity". University Wire. 
  9. ^ IGN.com - Transformers Animated (DS) Review
  10. ^ Toyfare Magazine #123, November 2007, page 40
  11. ^ Toyfare magazine issue #128, April 2008
  12. ^ "Transformers Animated". Tomart's Action Figure Digest (Tomart Publications) (164): 28–31. 2008. 
  13. ^ Transformers Prime episode #1 "Darkness Rising Part 1"
  14. ^ The Hub Car (Commercial) (Video) (in English). The Hub. December 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ TFW2005.com - Prime Bulkhead
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ [2]