Spike Witwicky

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Spike Witwicky is a regular character in the Transformers comics and television series.

Spike Witwicky
Spike Witwicky in Dreamwave comics.jpg
Spike Witwicky as an Autobot Headmaster partner in Dreamwave comics.
Information
Sub-group Humans, Headmasters
Partner Cerebros, Cog, Gasket, Fortress Maximus, Bumblebee, Wheeljack, Backfire
Alternate Modes Head of Cerebros
Series Transformers: Generation 1
English voice actor Corey Burton
Japanese voice actor Show Hayami (young), Masashi Ebara (adult)

Spike and the rest of the Witwicky family members are the closest human allies of the Autobots. Their motto is "No sacrifice, no victory". They appeared in the original television and comic book series and later in the live action films.

Name[edit]

Contrary to popular belief, Witwicky is a real name, but a vanishingly rare one. The U.S. Social Security Death Index records the passing of only two people with that name in the United States in the last 50 years.[1] However, the alternate spelling Witwicki is a relatively more common one, occurring 33 times in the Social Security Death Index.[2] It is possible that the name originates from the Poland/Ukraine area of Eastern Europe, specifically the village of Witwica, and that the name itself means "the one from Witwica".[3]

Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]

The role played by the young Spike in the animated series was filled in the Marvel comic book series by his younger brother, Buster, exclusive to that continuity. Indeed, Buster was fully intended to exist in place of Spike for the comic book series, until the release of the Fortress Maximus toy in 1987, which included Spike as a Headmaster partner, hence necessitating the hurried introduction of Spike into the comic book continuity.

Returning home from college to discover that his father's garage had been destroyed, Spike investigated the Autobots' deserted base at Mount Saint Hillary, learning that Buster had been captured by the Earth-based Decepticons. While there, he encountered a group of new Autobots, led by Fortress Maximus, who had just arrived from the planet Nebulos, and in a subsequent attack by Scorponok's group of Decepticons, Fortress Maximus' Nebulon partner, Galen Kord, was killed in a rockfall. Before dying, he gave his control helmet to Spike, allowing the boy to control Fortress Maximus in battle and force the Decepticons to retreat. In the aftermath of the battle, Spike accepted the Autobots' offer to be fully binary-bonded to Fortress Maximus as his new Headmaster partner in order to save Buster from the Decepticons.

As Fortress Maximus, Spike led the attack on the Decepticons' island base, defeating Shockwave in an outer space battle, but failing to rescue Buster, and turning to the other Earth-based Autobots for help. Acting commander Grimlock refused, disgusted at the thought of a human leading the Autobots, but relented when he saw the rationality of the act during a massive Decepticon attack on the Autobot forces. With the deceased Optimus Prime subsequently restored to life as a Powermaster, Spike rescued Buster from the Decepticons amidst the chaos caused by Starscream's attempt to gain the power of the Underbase.

Following that clash, Spike, having accomplished what he set out to do, attempted to abandon his Autobot life, and return to living a normal human lifestyle. Unfortunately, his connection with Fortress Maximus proved to be far deeper than anyone knew when he was attacked by the Decepticon Pretender Beasts, Snarler and Carnivac, and discovered that Maximus' mind actually continued to exist within his own. Despite recombining with Maximus to defeat the Decepticons, Spike again returned Maximus' body and his exo-suit to the Autobots, and succeeded for a short time in living a normal life, until he found himself drawn to the crash of the Ark in Canada in 1991. Merging with Fortress Maximus again, he defeated the maddened Galvatron, and some time thereafter, gave up his life to stop the plans of Megatron by sacrificing himself to destroy the Ark.

The post-movie Spike appears in the story "Time Wars", persuading Rodimus Prime to delay his journey back in time long enough to halt an attack on a human settlement by the Terrorcons. (Due to the temporal disruption later in this story, it is possible this future was later erased from the timeline.)

Spike is also present in the alternate 2009 seen in "Rhythms of Darkness", working with the handful of surviving Autobots led by Prowl. He was accompanied by an apparently African-American woman named Lisa, with whom he shared a mutual but unrequited attraction. Spike participated in what everyone involved expected to be a suicide attack on the Decepticon fortress city, attaching the US flag to its summit to demonstrate to the rest of the world, who were about to launch a nuclear strike on the area, that the American population was still fighting. After Galvatron was forcibly removed from that timeline, he presumably went on to rejoin the Autobots in their battle against the remaining Decepticons.

Fun Publications[edit]

Spike was able to keep everyone from poking around in the Ark for a year or two, but he eventually stopped being Fortress Maximus full-time so he could live his life. Unfortunately, that meant some greedy/bored people were able to sneak into the Ark and poke around it in 1994... awakening Megatron! With nuclear weaponry turned against Earth's cities by the Ark computer and zombie Decepticons roaming the Earth, Spike became Fort Max again and led a final battle alongside Josie Beller and G.B. Blackrock. The final battle was a bust: Fort Max was killed and Spike's mind and nervous system went with him.

Blackrock, however, used Beller's neural-cybernetic technology and bonded them with Spike's Headmaster parts, bringing him 'back to life', retarding his aging, and giving him powerful electric powers. Taking up the name Circuit-Smasher, Spike became the main weapon for the rebels in Argus Base against Megatron's genocide. Unfortunately, he could only do so much and the Decepticon corpses were incapable of being permanently killed (again), and by 2012 he was angry enough to attack the first Autobots he saw on sight, blaming them for Earth's demise. Only some appeals from Topspin and fellow rebel Gordon Kent calmed Spike down.

He led the Autobot Wreckers to Argus Base, filling them in on the destruction of Earth and how this was the Ark's fault. He then formed part of a conference with Springer, Blackrock, Kent, and Sandstorm, running through their new options now the Wreckers were on Earth, only to be interrupted by a broadcast from Megatron, taunting the Autobots with the tortured body of Kup. Spike, along with a few of the Wreckers and a handful of humans armed with Battlesuits, attacked the Ark, with the intention of shutting down its supercomputer Auntie. Before attacking, Spike made it clear that they were to deactivate the Ark, and if he began to suspect any of them were thinking of trying to get it back under control and using it to leave, he would crash every single one of their circuits. He blasted a projectile that was launched at one of the humans. After Leadfoot was blasted by the Ark's auto-turret defenses, Spike coldly commanded everyone to keep moving, saying that all of the Wreckers were expendable. Once they broke through the Ark's outer defenses, Auntie deployed Guardian to protect herself. As the Wreckers and humans fought the Guardians, Spike infiltrated the Ark, but was detected by Auntie, who detained him. However, Spike was still able to use his powers to smash every single one of Auntie's circuits, deactivating her and the Guardians. After Megatron and his army were taken care of, Spike came to Optimus Prime, telling him that he and the others had unanimously decided on the Autobots leaving Earth for good. When Prime offered to help, Spike angrily rejected the offer, warning Optimus not to make ask them to leave more than once.

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

In the 21st-century re-imagining of the G1 universe by Dreamwave Productions, Spike was given a fragment of the Matrix by Optimus Prime when the Autobots departed Earth in 1999, having finally captured the Decepticons and intending to return them to Cybertron. They did not get that far, as an explosion tore their craft, the Ark II, apart shortly after it left Earth's atmosphere, leaving the Transformers, and the small human crew - including Spike's father - believed dead.

However, in 2002, Spike - now married to Carly and fathering Daniel - found that this was not the case when he was approached by General Hallo of the American military. A terrorist, Adam Rook, had recovered several of the inactive (but functional) Transformers and brought them under his control, intending to sell them on the black market as weapons of mass destruction; in order to stop him, the military had recovered a Transformer of their own. That Transformer was Optimus Prime, whom Spike was able to reactivate by replacing the Matrix fragment. Unfortunately, Spike soon discovered that Hallo was part of an even more insane scheme, having originally worked with Rook in developing the Transformer-controlling program, and being double-crossed by him. Confronting Hallo just as he launched a nuclear missile at San Francisco, Spike took his life in his hands and nearly met his end, until Hallo was gunned down by military agents.

In the More Than Meets the Eye character profile series, it is shown Dreamwave intended to eventually have Spike become a Headmaster partner for Fortress Maximus. However, unlike other similar entries in the MTMTE series, no information was given about Spike at all leaving many readers with more questions than answers. But with Dreamwave shutting down, this storyline may never come to be.

IDW Publishing[edit]

Spike Witwicky is the son of four-star general "Sparkplug" Witwicky. From a young age, he wanted to be a soldier just like his idolised dad. Sparkplug often took him on long camping trips in the woods, and this outdoors lifestyle caused Spike to develop a dislike for relying on machines.

He met his friend Joe Henderson at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. By this point, Spike had let his family ties go to his head and was insufferably arrogant and obnoxious. Worse, he started to act like he was in an action movie, treating everyone else as the supporting character and doing "cool" stuff like rule-breaking, acting reckless, and taking personal vendettas, which is less "cool" and more "dangerous and illegal" in real life. But since he was both protected by his daddy and also genuinely smart and competent as a soldier, he was able to get away with this. He graduated second in his class and went to work in special forces, where he continued to act like he was in a story.

In the wake of the Decepticons' devastating attack on Earth, Commander Spike Witwicky met his dad inside a secret bunker where the remnants of the United States military had gathered to mount a desperate counteroffensive. Regrettably, Sparkplug had selected Spike for a mission to assassinate the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron, even though he feared his son would not make it back. It was a suicide mission, but Spike was the most qualified. Spike accepted, despite the consequences, but ignored his father's pleas for him to call his worried mother first.

Butch Witwicky[edit]

Butch Witwicky is the name of Sparkplug Witwicky's son who appears in the 1985 Forest Rescue Mission coloring book published by Marvel Books.[4]

In the Shattered Glass storyline, four Witwicky brothers, Spike, Buster, Butch and Bruce "Buzz" Witwicky, appeared as evil mirror universe counterparts of the Witwickys. Spike was the leader of the group, who allied themselves with Rodimus and the evil Autobots, guiding them on Earth and aiding them in taking temporary control of Burbleson Airforce base and the GODS satellite system.[5] In Transhuman, Butch brought the Autobot Tailgate with him to school to terrorize the students, only to be stopped by the Emulator.

Animated series[edit]

The most famous of all the Autobots' human allies, Spike Witwicky (voiced by Corey Burton in the English version and in the Japanese version by Show Hayami when he was young and by Masashi Ebara as an adult) was fourteen years old, aiding his father, Sparkplug, in his work on an offshore oil rig when the Transformers entered his life in 1984. A Decepticon attack on the rig left Spike and Sparkplug in peril where they were rescued by Optimus Prime. Afterward, they offered their friendship and aid to the Autobots, teaching them about the ways of Earth. Spike had a lot to learn about the robots in disguise, however, as one of his first actions saw him unwittingly bring the disguised Soundwave into Autobot Headquarters. He later aided Hound in battle against Rumble. When the Autobots were planning to return to their home planet of Cybertron, he intended to go with them.

However, that was not to be as the re-emergence of the undefeated Decepticons kept the Autobots on Earth, protecting it and its inhabitants from their enemies. Spike proved an invaluable source of information for the Autobots, teaching them about subjects such as dinosaurs and various Earthly sports. He also joined them on journeys to such fantastic locales as Cybertron, Dinobot Island and medieval England. However, he underwent his own share of troubles, occasionally being captured by the Decepticons for various reasons, and suffering the torture of seeing his own brainwashed father under Decepticon control. On another occasion he received brain damage in a Decepticon attack. To save his life, his mind was transferred to a Transformer body called Autobot X created by his father while his body healed. Unfortunately, the process drove Spike into thinking he was a "Frankenstein monster", and he sided with the Decepticons in an attack on the Autobots. However, he saw the truth after nearly killing his own father with Megatron in gun mode. He turned Megatron's firepower on the other Decepticons, and eventually his mind was put back in his own body. Spike formed a fast friendship with the young Autobot, Bumblebee, and the two often adventured and traveled together.

In one particular adventure in 1985, when he was fifteen years old, Spike met a girl named Carly. He immediately took a liking to her, although Carly was more interested in getting to meet the Autobots at first. As time went on, Carly developed an attraction to Spike and through adventures together, including a solo mission to Cybertron, it blossomed into a romance. In the episode "A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court" Warpath, Hoist and Spike were battling Starscream, Ramjet, Rumble and Ravage in England. Low on power, the Autobots and Decepticons discovered a magical stone formation called the Dragon Mound and were transported back to the year 543. Although Starscream attempted to take over a castle and build a new empire with himself as lord, the help of local knights and a wizard refueled the Autobots, who defeated the Decepticons. After defeating a dragon who nested in the Dragon Mound, the Autobots and Decepticons returned to their own time where they rejoined the fight in modern-day England.

As they entered their twenties, Spike and Carly were married, and in 1993, Carly gave birth to a son, Daniel. As Spike himself grew older, his experience and closeness to the Autobots saw him appointed Earth's official ambassador to Cybertron, but as the Autobots pressed their attack to reclaim Cybertron from the Decepticons in 2005, the 35-year-old Spike was stationed on Moonbase Two, which was attacked and consumed by the planet-eater, Unicron. Wearing a transforming "exo-suit" battle armor, Daniel rescued his father before Unicron was destroyed. Although Spike was generally limited to performing more diplomatic duties throughout 2006, he was pivotal in the initial defeat of the invading Quintessons, destroying the mechanism that the aliens had used to immobilize all Transformers and freeing them. In 2007, Spike was among the Transformers and humans blasted to the planet Nebulos by the energies of the Plasma Energy Chamber, where he performed the process that bonded some Autobots with a group of Nebulan rebels to form the Headmasters. Later, Spike became a Headmaster, merging with the pacifist Autobot, Cerebros, who in turn combined with a giant Transformer body Spike had created, forming Fortress Maximus. With the power of Fortress Maximus, Spike rescued Daniel from the clutches of the Decepticons, and was in the process able to reroute the destructive energy created by the opening of the Plasma Energy Chamber to revitalize Cybertron, creating a new Golden Age. Across the Pacific Ocean, in Japan, however, the events of 2007 were stricken, and replaced with a full-length new series, titled Transformers: The Headmasters. Due to the different concept for Headmasters in Japan, which did not incorporate Nebulans or humans, Spike was not a component of Fortress Maximus in this series, but still played an important role in Cybertron/Earth relations. At one point, so desperate for peace, Spike even arranged negotiations between himself and Galvatron, in hopes of developing a joint energy-production program — hopes which were soon dashed.

In the Transformers Animated episode "Garbage In, Garbage Out", a man who looked very much like Spike was trying to get a blond-haired girl to the hospital as she was in labor. The woman referred to him as "Spike". At BotCon 2008, it was confirmed that this was indeed intended to be Spike and Carlee (with Corey Burton reprising his role as Spike, specifically the adult post-movie Spike), and since Daniel had already been seen in the series too, Carlee was in labor with her second child. In "Transform and Roll Out", a segment about the wonders of modern society and the impact that robots have had upon it, Spike was seen with his wife and son purchasing some sort of bunless wiener of dubious origin from a robot vendor cart. In "Garbage In, Garbage Out", Spike flagged down a passing ambulance because his wife was about to give birth. After being drawn into a chase scene, armed robbery, and giant robot fight, he opted to take a taxi instead. Daniel is the son of Carly and Spike Witwicky. Since his parents work for Professor Sumdac, he is forced into being friends with his daughter, Sari, as seen in "Sound and Fury". Daniel, Carly and Spike were also seen in both parts of "Human Error", computer simulations of them riding a bus in the first part while their proper selves appeared in the second. Daniel would later appear in an animated short where he asked Optimus Prime where his trailer goes when he transforms into robot mode, a question in which even Optimus himself cannot figure out the answer.

Manga[edit]

In the Japanese manga "Big War" #2 the Autobots Rodimus Prime, Grimlock, Kup and Wheelie, along with their human allies Spike Witwicky and Daniel Witwicky send Computron into battle against Galvatron's new warrior combiner Abominus. The Terrorcons spit "corrosive control liquid" against Computron, taking control of him and turning him into a Decepticon. Spike luckily uses his new Exosuit to free Computron with "defense spray." Defeated, Galvatron retreats.

Books[edit]

Spike was featured in the 1985 Find Your Fate Junior book called Battle Drive by Barbara Siegel and Scott Siegel.[6] Spike was also featured in the 1985 Transformers audio book Autobots' Lightning Strike. In this book, he was said to be an engineering student. He also featured in Megatron's Fight For Power, Autobots Fight Back, Laserbeak's Fury, Galvatron's Air Attack and Decepticon Hideout.[7]

Toyline[edit]

The largest Transformers toy from Generation 1, Fortress Maximus has multiple altmode configurations. He transforms into a compact "city" mode, and can also assume a secondary mode described in the US instruction as a "battle station". This mode was rebranded as a starship for the Japanese instructions, and is the "default" mode for Fort Max in the Headmasters animated series. Additionally, the 1987 Hasbro toy catalog features a mis-transformed Fortress Maximus in a mode referred to as an "impenetrable fortress", essentially consisting of his city mode with the legs splayed outwards. In all modes, Maximus has a wide array of pop-out (non-firing) guns and gimmicks. Its left leg hides a small prison cell, plus has a swing-out cannon/helipad. Its right leg has a small storage compartment. Its torso has a gear-activated spinner for the detachable radar array accessory, a "control socket" for Cerebros' "communications tower" mode, and a working elevator that can lift small toys up to its central ramp to be launched in its alternate modes. (The crank for this elevator ends up in a very unfortunate position in robot mode.) Each arm had a long ramp on the back with sliding launchers for small vehicles. Its robot-mode head is formed by Cerebros, who does not actually need Spike to attach to the upper body. It came with both Headmaster units, plus the Gasket and Grommet mini-vehicles.

The Japanese release of Fortress Maximus came with a pair of swords; one for Fortress, a large one for Maximus. It is currently unknown if the swords were originally planned for the Hasbro version but dropped for price or safety concerns, or if they were a Takara-initiated addition to their release of the toy. During its time of release, Fortress Maximus retailed at $89.99, making him the most expensive Transformers toy in the U.S. market (a record that wasn't met or broken for nearly two decades, until the release of 20th Anniversary DVD Edition Optimus Prime and Ultimate Bumblebee). Maximus was also the third most expensive toy Hasbro produced at the time (behind the USS Flagg and Defiant Space Shuttle Complex from the G.I. Joe series). This toy was designed by Koujin Ohno, and is filed under U.S. patent D305,786.[8] Spike Witwicky is again released as part of the Masterpiece 10 Optimus Prime release.[9] A new 2-inch figurine of Spike is included with the Autobot Backfire as part of the Human Alliance line. Backfire transforms from a three-wheeled ATV to robot or a larger Mech Tech blaster that can be used with Voyager of Leader Class figures.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Social Security Death Index: Witwicky
  2. ^ U.S. Social Security Death Index: Witwicki
  3. ^ PolishRoots.org: A discussion of the origins of the name Witwicki
  4. ^ http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Butch_Witwicky_%28G1%29
  5. ^ Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (May 1, 2009). Eye in the Sky. Fun Publications. 
  6. ^ http://www.gamebooks.org/fyf_tran.htm
  7. ^ Grant, John (1985). Autobots Fight Back. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721409423. 
  8. ^ Google Patents
  9. ^ - Masterpiece Series
  10. ^ TFW2005.com - Backfire with Spike Witwicky