Punch-Counterpunch

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Punch/Counterpunch is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers universes. He is an Autobot spy who disguises himself as a Decepticon.[1]

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Punch/Counterpunch
Punch-art.jpg
Punch box art, featuring his Decepticon (left) and Autobot (right) modes.
Autobot
Information
Function Double Agent
Rank 7
Motto "In my business, there are no friends, only suspects."
Alternate Modes Pontiac Fiero, Lamborghini Gallardo
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Timelines
English voice actor John Moschitta, Jr.
Japanese voice actor Masaharu Satou

Punch is an Autobot warrior possessing the unique ability to adopt a second robot mode named Counterpunch, which he uses to pose as a Decepticon in order to infiltrate their ranks and spy on them as a double agent.

On the surface, Punch is a cool-headed, well-adjusted individual who is able to keep his head and take command in times of crisis, keeping those around him calm by extension. But in truth, this silent, stoic personality is an act Punch puts on, and he lies even to himself about his reasons for doing so – although he would like to believe that he keeps tight-lipped because his job means that saying too much is a danger to his life, in truth, his real reason is that he is completely paranoid, distrusting everyone around him. Switching repeatedly from Punch to Counterpunch and venturing into the dark heart of the Decepticon camp has had an adverse effect on Punch, leaving him a twisted bundle of neuro-circuits – so complete a disguise has he made of the change from Autobot to Decepticon that Punch’s entire personality changes when he becomes Counterpunch. Although Counterpunch retains his Autobot sensibilities – at least enough to carry out his duties as a double agent, acquiring information for the Autobots while feeding the Decepticons just enough to maintain cover – the other aspects of his personality switch completely, and the urges Punch holds in restraint all find savage, violent release as Counterpunch. Constantly walking the knife’s edge, Punch is suspicious of all those around him, seeing potential Decepticon spies instead of Autobot allies, fearing that there could be a double agent among them, operating as easily as he does among the Decepticons. In truth, however, it is Punch who is the biggest powder keg of them all – he has been known to experience blackouts which he cannot account for his presence, and the fear that he lives his life in is constantly growing... the fear that the Counterpunch side of his mind could one day become dominant and take over entirely. And what would become of the Autobots on that day?

From a purely psychological viewpoint, Punch's character could be seen as an individual who has quite literally split his personality in half with all of the positive qualities which make Punch who he is as an Autobot warrior making up the light side of his personality, his conscious mind and his very spark and his minor alternate personality of Counterpunch being made up of all the negative qualities which make Punch who he is as a living person. These negative qualities quite literally make up the dark side of his spark.

In a way, the positive attributes counterbalancing with the negative attributes could be seen as a psychological take on the yin and yang line of thought.

As both himself and Counterpunch, Punch transforms into a Pontiac Fiero. As Punch, he is armed with a twin mortar launcher that fires highly-combustible firebombs. Conversely, as Counterpunch, he wields a photon cannon which fires a high-density stream of energy that can scramble a Transformer’s circuits. Luckily for the Autobots, all among their ranks are outfitted with damper devices that reduce the cannon’s effect, but produce enough pyrotechnics to keep Punch’s cover from being blown.

Reception[edit]

In the WTF@TFW podcast for July 9th, 2009 Timelines Punch/Counterpunch was selected as one of the New Picture Picks.[3]

Animated series[edit]

The Transformers[edit]

Punch’s only appearance in the original Transformers animated series was in "The Rebirth", the three-part story comprising the entirety of the show's fourth and final season. His minimal screen time prevented any use of his split-personality characterization within the series. When the Decepticons attacked Autobot City in 2007, Punch spotted the Decepticon Clones breaking into the city under cover of the firefight; donning his Counterpunch guise, he followed them in under the pretense that Galvatron had requested he check up on their progress. When the clones rebuffed his aid, he told them to watch out for his Autobot counterpart, and left... promptly switching back to Punch and attacking them. The clones double-teamed him and he was mauled by Pounce and knocked unconscious, allowing them to steal the object of their mission – the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. The key was subsequently used to open the chamber briefly, and the energy released blasted it and a group of Autobots across the galaxy, but, unaware of this, Optimus Prime ordered Punch and the Autobot Clones to scour Cybertron for the key, only to have them report back unsuccessfully a short time thereafter.

Transformers: Headmasters[edit]

Punch got much more screen time, however, in Transformers: Headmasters, the Japanese-exclusive animated series that supplanted The Rebirth's position in continuity on the other side of the Pacific. In this series, Punch's function as a double agent was his key role, as he frequently brought the Autobots essential information on the Decepticons' plans from within their camp. However, he lacked the split-personality of his American biography, and was an Autobot through-and-through, even occasionally forgetting to switch modes or taking on the wrong one at a given time, and displaying only the most rudimentary ability to dupe and bluff others.

When Punch first appeared, it was clear he had already established himself within the Decepticon camp as he reported to Fortress about Scorponok's plans for a coronation on Earth's moon. Later, when the Autobots picked up an SOS signal from the planet Sandra, he alerted them to the fact that the Decepticons had done the same.

When Galvatron apparently agreed to attend peace talks with Spike Witwicky, Counterpunch was shocked to discover that the Decepticon leader was still on Chaar while he appeared to be on Earth at the same time. After Punch alerted the Autobots, it was revealed that Sixshot was masquerading as the Decepticon leader on Earth, thereby preventing the Decepticons from getting too extensive a head start on their plan to plunder other planets of their energy. Accompanying the Decepticons into space as Counterpunch, Punch was later able to inform the Autobots of the location of a Battle Beast on the planet Darhos who had information on Scorponok's weak spot.

Soon thereafter, with both factions back on Earth, Punch was appointed the task of finding out what Galvatron planned for the energy stolen from the various planets. Only just managing to bluff his way out of an awkward conversation with Galvatron, he soon resorted to the most basic of spying techniques – listening through an air vent as Galvatron revealed his plan to merge his body with the Earth itself. The Decepticon leader also voiced the fact that his head was his weakest point, and with this information, the Autobot Headmasters were able to defeat him.

Punch later reported on Scorponok's ascension to the position of Decepticon emperor, but when the Decepticons returned to Earth after a trip to Planet Master, Punch was left with no information to give – after Punch had disembarked Scorponok, the massive Decepticon had vanished before he could even turn around. Subsequently, however, he was able to report on Scorponok's movements across the globe, though he was not in evidence at the final battle at the North Pole.

Comics[edit]

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Punch didn't appear in any of the stories from Dreamwave Productions, but was featured for a biography in their More Than Meets The Eye series.

Fun Publications[edit]

Punch-Counterpunch, in his new Timelines form, appears in the Botcon 2010 promotional video.[4]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Punch didn't appear in any of the stories from Marvel Comics, but his biography was printed in the back of issue #71 of their US Transformers series.[5]

Toys[edit]

  • Generation 1 Punch/Counterpunch (1987)
An actual Pontiac Fiero measures 407 centimeters long, while this toy measures 12.5 centimeters long. This makes him about 1/33 scale. With a 33 centimeter tall robot mode, the real robot would stand about 429 centimeters (14 feet 1 inch) tall.[6]
  • Timelines Deluxe Punch/Counterpunch (2010)
A Transformers Collectors Club exclusive blue/black remold of Universe Sideswipe/Sunstreaker with a new head sculpt that features both Punch and Counterpunch modes. Punch uses Sideswipe's robot mode design (hood/front-end as chest), while Counterpunch uses Sunstreaker's design (windshield/roof as chest). The hands are configured for Punch mode by default, but can be swapped for Counterpunch mode.[7] This figure was put up for pre-order on March 2010 and sold out in a few days.[8] A second run of the figure was announced on August 2010, with a limit of one unit per member. Those who purchased theirs on March are not eligible to purchase another unit.[9]

Transformers Animated[edit]

Even though Punch/Counterpunch wouldn't make any appearances the series Transformers Animated, the Decepticon Shockwave has a similar ability to disguise himself as an Autobot called Longarm. In both his Autobot and Decepticon modes, he has vehicle modes. He Decepticon alt-mode is a tank, while his Autobot one is a crane. He has been called a Triple Changer on various occasions.

Shattered Glass[edit]

Punch/Counterpunch
Punch-sg.jpg
Shattered Glass Punch
Autobot
Information
Alternate Modes Pontiac Fiero

This version of Punch/Counterpunch is a mirror-universe countepart of the Generation 1 character. He is a field reporter who initially worked for Rook. His cameramech is named Sprocket.

Fun Publications[edit]

In Around Cybertron Part 4, Rook has his field reporter Punch make up a story on a group of Autobots meeting with the Decepticons.

In Around Cybertron Part 8, Punch leaves Rook to work for the Decepticons.[10]

Toys[edit]

Although no toy for this character has been made, he seems to be based on the original Generation 1 Punch/Counterpunch toy, but colored like Generation 1 Doubledealer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee's Guide to Loose 1987 Transformers: Autobots. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #205, December 2009
  2. ^ Jim Sorenson & Bill Forster (July 22, 2008). Transformers: The Ark II. IDW Publishing. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-1-60010-180-9. 
  3. ^ Vangelus (July 9th, 2009). "WTF@TFW". http://www.tfw2005.com/ (Podcast). TFW2005. 
  4. ^ YouTube.com - BotCon 2010 Promotional Video
  5. ^ "Transformers" #71 (October 1990)
  6. ^ Cliffbee.com: Transformer Toy Reviews: Punch/Counterpunch
  7. ^ http://www.oafe.net/yo/tfcl_pcp.php
  8. ^ TFormers.com - Punch/Counterpunch Sold Out, More Coming; Cyclonus Going Fast
  9. ^ TFW2005.com - Second Run of TFCC Punch-Counterpunch to Go Up for Order This Week
  10. ^ Rid-Nightviper - Around Cybertron Part 8

External links[edit]