Shrapnel (Transformers)

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Shrapnel is the name of several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. The character has also been called by the names Insecticon and Sharpshot due to trademark issues.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Shrapnel/Insecticon/Sharpshot/Zaptrap
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Insecticons
Function Electronic Warfare
Rank 6
Partner Bombshell & Kickback
Motto "Control electricity and you control the world."
Alternate Modes Mechanical Stag Beetle
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Universe
English voice actor Hal Rayle[1]

Shrapnel is a member of the Insecticons, a sub-faction of the Decepticons.[2] Shrapnel's original toy tech spec and Marvel Universe bio both painted the picture of a dedicated sadist. He enjoys the screams of his enemies: even better is listening to them short circuit.[3]

Marvel Comics[edit]

In the comics, Shrapnel was a lieutenant under the command of Lord Straxus. Unlike his cartoon persona this one could shrink, becoming the actual size of an insect. Marvel Transformers U.K. Annual 1985 contained a story called Plague of the Insecticons. Optimus Prime lead Prowl and Warpath to a meeting with President Ronald Reagan in Washington D.C. to open a dialog between the Autobots and the U.S. government. However Soundwave had intercepted word of the talks and informed Megatron, who decided send the Ravage and the Insecticons. The Insecticons did not attack the Autobots, but instead attacked the U.S. military in the name of the Autobots. Prowl was badly damaged by one of Shrapnel's grenades during the battle. Although the Autobots managed to chase off the Insecticons Optimus Prime gave up on explaining the misunderstanding to Reagan, thinking he would never be believed. Reagan had been ready to hear what Optimus had to say and was disappointed they gave up so easily.

Animated series[edit]

Shrapnel debuted with the rest of the Insecticons in the first season episode, A Plague of Insecticons. The Insecticons were a group of Decepticons who fled the Nemesis four million years ago in an escape ship. The ship landed in Indonesia where the Insecticons reformatted themselves to resemble insects. The Insecticons' stomachs could absorb most forms of energy and matter and use it to fuel the robots.

Shrapnel, who always repeated the last word in a sentence, was often seen in a leadership capacity with the Insecticons (however as seen in Traitor, Bombshell often has periods where he is more of the leader). Shrapnel has the ability to create and control an unlimited number of clones using just small pieces of scrap metal. He also had the ability to control lightning when storms were present. While an effective weapon, this ability was seen as ineffective against the Autobots while they were in vehicular mode, due to their rubber tires. At first, Megatron was very pleased with the Insecticons. However, once the tide of battle turned in the Autobots' favor, the Insecticons consumed the Decepticons' energon. This began a feud between the Insecticons and the Decepticons.

In "The Insecticon Syndrome" Shrapnel and the Insecticons were asked to help the Decepticons raid Iron Mountain, a fictional U.S. military installation which contained information regarding the world's energy. In return, Megatron would allow the Insecticons to consume the energy produced by the Nova Power Plant prior to engaging Iron Mountain. The Nova power caused the Insecticons to grow in strength and size. With their new power, the Insecticons plot to betray the Decepticons at Iron Mountain, which Soundwave overhears. However, before Soundwave could get away, Shrapnel captures him and instructs Bombshell to implant a cerebro shell. The Autobots attack the plant, but are successfully repelled by the Insecticons. Later, the Autobots discover that the nova energy, which is incompatible with their stomachs will cause them to explode, potentially destroying Iron Mountain with them. Meanwhile, Shrapnel and the Decepticons begin their raid on Iron Mountain. Shrapnel takes control of the human's defense batteries and uses them to break through the security.

Soundwave manages to download the data and thus Megatron's use for the Insecticons had ended. He orders them destroyed only to discover that Bombshell had injected cerebro shells into the Decepticons taking over their minds. Optimus Prime arrives and tackles Megatron before he could fire at the Insecticons. After learning of the imminent explosion, Megatron agrees to assist the Autobots. Wheeljack and Ratchet arrive on the scene with a cure for the Insecticons. Optimus Prime teams up with Megatron to deliver the antidote via Megatron's alt mode. They manage to cure all the Insecticons, except Shrapnel, who manages to knock Prime away with his bolt attack. After this, Shrapnel's condition turns critical, and he doubles over in pain. Spike Witwicky approaches Shrapnel and dumps the antidote into his chest. His attempted save, however, is unsuccessful, since Shrapnel explodes. Iron Mountain is undamaged, but the same could not be said of Shrapnel. Bombshell reassembles Shrapnel (complete with the corny line, "We Insecticons know how to GET IT TOGETHER!!") and the Insecticons flee with the Decepticons in pursuit. The Decepticon/Insecticon feud continued throughout the second season.

In The Transformers: The Movie, Shrapnel and the Insecticons were involved in the battle of Autobot City. Shrapnel suffered major injuries after getting blasted by Blitzwing's cannon, smacked by vehicle-mode Hot Rod, knocked into the Autobot city moat by Kup and run down by Optimus Prime. As a result, he was among the Decepticons who were ejected into space on their return trip to Cybertron, and was transformed into one of the Sweeps by Unicron. Despite this, Shrapnel still pops up later in the movie at Starscream's coronation and during the Decepticon attack on the planet of Junk, most likely due to animation error.

Although Shrapnel himself does not appear in Beast Wars, he gets an honorable mention. When Rhinox (turned into a Predacon by a shell program), attempted to seize leadership of the Predacons from Megatron, he set about dispatching those loyal to Megatron. His second act was to throw a crate at Waspinator. The Predacon survives, but began referring to himself as Shrapnel ("I am Shrapnel, Decepticon Hero!") and talking with Shrapnel's familiar speech impediment. This lasted until he lands near Megatron and Blackarachnia, At which point Blackarachnia states that Shrapnel was a Decepticon from "the great war" three centuries ago.

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

Shrapnel also appeared in Dreamwave Productions' Generation One comics. He chronologically appeared first in the War Within comics hunting Optimus Prime alongside Soundwave and Ravage. He was shown to transform into a Cybertronian jet. Their failure forced Megatron to step in personally. He and the other Insecticons later stayed with the Decepticons after Megatron's disappearance.

In the third War Within series Shrapnel appeared among the Decepticon troops under the command of Shockwave.

Shrapnel and the other future Insecticons later came to Earth, encountering the Dynobots. The two teams battled and knocked each other into stasis. The Insecticons were later revived, receiving their familiar insect alternate modes. Bombshell later used his cerebro shells to take over the population of a town, only to be defeated by the Autobots, with Sideswipe dropping a building on Shrapnel. The closure of Dreamwave prevented any more stories of Shrapnel from being told.

Devil's Due Publishing[edit]

Shrapnel would also make a brief appearance in the third crossover between G.I. Joe and the Transformers. He was seen prominently trying to hold back the combined Autobot/G.I. Joe rescue force trying to recover Optimus Prime.

Toys[edit]

  • Generation 1 Insecticon Shrapnel (1985)
Shrapnel is originally from the Japanese Diaclone line. He was lated redecoed into the ehobby exclusive Zaptrap. This toy was later repackaged as a 2009 Toys-R-Us store exclusive with Kickback and Bombshell. This version was part of the Universe line.[4]
  • Generation 1 Insecticon Zaptrap (2004)
An ehobby exclusive recolor of Shrapnel.
  • Robot Heroes Insecticon (2006)
Part of a non transforming super deformed style line he is labeled as an Insecticon, but it is clearly Shrapnel, comes in a two pack with Rodimus (Hot Rod).
  • Universe Insecticon Sharpshot (2009)
A Toys R us store exclusive packaged with Hardshell and Kickback. Renamed "Sharpshot" for copyright reasons.

Beast Wars[edit]

Insecticon/Shrapnel
Predacon
Information
Sub-group Basic Beasts
Function Surveillance
Rank 5
Alternate Modes Giant Beetle
Series Beast Wars

Insecticon was a basic-sized Transformer. His weapon is a cross-bow. His bio indicates that he is a reactionary Predacon, watching and disposing of Maximals who infiltrate Predacon lines with his crossbow and mandibles. Various insect-based Predacons were sold under the North American Beast Wars banner and storyline. However, while their personalities seem similar to original Insecticons none of them appear to be latter-day versions of the original Insecticons at all.

Animated series[edit]

Insecticons's stasis pod was presumably among those who were launched into orbit around prehistoric Earth in the Beast Wars series pilot. Shrapnel would go on to receive an extremely unusual reference in Beast Wars. When Rhinox (turned into a Predacon by a shell program), attempted to seize leadership of the Predacons from Megatron, he set about dispatching those loyal to Megatron. One of his first acts was to crush Waspinator beneath a crate. The Predacon survived, but began referring to himself as Shrapnel and talking with Shrapnel's familiar speech impediment ("Destroy all Autobots-bot-bot-bots!" "Waspinator negative-negative-negative! I am Shrapnel, Decepticon hero-o-o-o!"). This lasted until an annoyed Cheetor blew him out of the air during an attempt to rescue Rhinox (which also led to a deactivating Waspinator quoting the Transformers tagline, "More than meets the eye").

IDW Publishing[edit]

Insecticon made his not exactly auspicious debut in IDW Publishing's Beast Wars: The Gathering series. There he made his not-so-glorious debut being attacked by the Maximal Wolfang. He was one of a group of Predacons under Transquito sent to track down the Maximals in a swamp - only to encounter the protoforms that had become the Mutants. The Mutants disabled most of their party, and Insecticon and Scourge fled. He reappeared in the final battle being assaulted by Wolfang. Insecticon appeared in Beast Wars: The Ascending #2. Leo Prime lead The Pack to Earth 70,000 B.C. to rescue Razorbeast. The Pack were reformatted into beast modes and landed in the middle of a fight between the Maximals and Predacons. Once on Earth Apache attacked Insecticon.

Insecticon had a biography printed in the Beast Wars Sourcebook by IDW Publishing.[5]

Toys[edit]

  • Beast Wars Insecticon (1996)
Insecticon's mold is the only first year Beast Wars toy never to be redecoed or reissued. It was stated at BotCon that the mold was damaged so they couldn't use it any more.[6]

Transformers: Energon[edit]

Insecticon/Shrapnel
Insecticon.jpg
Insecticon in Dreamwave comics.
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Terrorcon, Basic Beasts
Motto "I have an appetite for your destruction."
Alternate Modes Mechanical Beetle
Series Transformers: Energon
Transformers: Universe
Transformers: Attacktix

Although Shrapnel was not seen as a toy or in the animated series, the cyber key information for Cybertron Undermine mentions how he framed and replaced a Transformer named Shrapnel as Scourge's bodyguard. However, the Insecticon type Terrorcons were a homage to the original group of Insecticons; in particular, the Deluxe Insecticon Barrage.

Animated series[edit]

In Transformers: Energon, they were extremely loyal to Scorponok. When Galvatron ordered all Terrorcons to bath in Super Energon. Some were destroyed by it, but some were changed, growing a lot bigger. Scorponok had tons of trouble trying to control them.

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

A little seen character in the Dreamwave comics, he was usually seen in the background except for Terrorcon clone groups.[7] Insecticon would first appear in Energon #19, as part of a group meeting of the Terrorcons gatecrashed by Starscream, who was promptly disposed of by Scorponok. Insecticon had a different background here - he was a renegade Decepticon unhappy with the peace that had come over Cybertron since the defeat of Unicron ten years previously. Insecticon and the other Terrorcons were enhanced by Unicron in return for finding him energon. The Terrorcons headed to Earth to plunder its energon but were beaten back by its Autobot defenders. Frustrated, Unicron teleported them away and sent them back with a new trick - the ability to mass-produce clones of themselves (reminiscent of the original Insecticons). Insecticon would attack Los Angeles only to be beaten back by an unexpected foe - Megatron, who decimated Insecticon's clones and forced him to retreat.

Pack-in comics[edit]

In the second Transformers: Energon pack in comic Prowl, Inferno and Landmine discover some hills on Earth that are rich with energon and call in to Optimus Prime that they should put an energon tower up. Optimus warns the Autobots that Decepticon activity has been scanned nearby. Megatron attacks with a horde of Divebomb Terrorcon clones. The Autobots attempt by fight back by having Mirage and Inferno Powerlinx while Landmine goes into brute mode, but they are overwhelmed when Insecticon Terrorcon hordes join in the attack. The Autobots retreat and Megatron takes the energon for himself.

Toys[edit]

  • Superlink Basic Chromehorn Forrest Type
Insecticon was known as Chromhorn in the Japanese series Super Link and also received a repaint called Forest Type Chromhorn which was mainly green and can be seen here.[8]
  • Energon Basic Insecticon (2004)
Insecticon is a Basic sized Terrorcon. In late 2005 Energon Insecticon toy was repackaged as a Transformers: Universe toy. The toy itself was identical to the original Energon toy. Though there is no mention of this character in any of the Transformers Universe fiction.
  • Attacktix Insecticon (2006)
Insecticon was released as a figure TF04 in the Attacktix collectable game.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen[edit]

Insecticon
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Scouts
Alternate Modes Mechanical insect
Series Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers (2010)

Insecticon is a Decepticon that appears in the film Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Movie plot[edit]

While the Decepticons search for Sam Witwicky in an Egyptian village, Starscream releases tiny scout drones the size of insects; one of which is Insecticon. It flies inside a house and spots Sam, who promptly destroys it, but not before it alerts the other Decepticons of his location.[9]

Toys[edit]

  • Transformers Scout Insecticon (2010)
A figure that transforms into a robotic insect.[10]

Transformers: Prime[edit]

Sharpshot
Decepticon
Information
Function Sentries
Alternate Modes Giant Stag beetle
Series Transformers: Prime
English voice actor Steven Blum

Sharpshot appears in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, as one of the three Insecticons (the other two being Kickback and Hardshell) who had their intelligence boosted by Shockwave.

Books[edit]

Sharpshot and the other Insecticons are part of Shockwave's experiments in the novel Transformers: Exodus.

Video games[edit]

In Fall of Cybertron, Sharpshot uses Snarl as a hostage when the other Dinobots arrive, and taunts Grimlock as wave after wave of Insecticons attack Grimlock, before he destroys the columns connecting Sharpshot to Snarl. Sharpshot pleads for mercy, but Grimlock ignores the plea and kills him.

Even after being killed by Grimlock in Fall of Cybertron, Sharpshot will return in the game's sequel, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, most likely as content exclusive to the game's multiplayer mode and not its actual story.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Third Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 656. ISBN 978-0-8160-6599-8. 
  2. ^ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 25. ISBN 0764313649. 
  3. ^ Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc. p. 26. ISBN 1405304618. 
  4. ^ Lee's Guide to Loose 1985 Transformers: The Decepticons. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #201, August 2009
  5. ^ http://www.monstersandcritics.com/books/comics/news/article_1343405.php/Creators_of_Transformers_Beast_Wars_The_Gathering_are_back
  6. ^ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 120. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. 
  7. ^ http://www.seibertron.com/database/character.php?char_id=2887
  8. ^ http://www.tfu.info/2004/Destron/ChromeHornForestType/chromehorn.htm
  9. ^ TFW2005.com - Insecticon The scout class figure seems to be bigger than the one in the movie.
  10. ^ New Images of Hunt for the Decepticons Scout Insecticon