Astrotrain

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Astrotrain is the name of three fictional characters in various Transformers universes. All characters are Decepticons who can assume the form of a space shuttle. The first version can also assume the form of a locomotive.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Astrotrain
Astrotrain-tv.jpg
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Deluxe Vehicles, Triple Changer
Function Military Transport (Generation 1)
Psy-Ops (Classic)
Rank 6
Motto "In confusion, there is opportunity." (Generation 1)
"The enemy's weakness is his uncertainty." (Classics)
"Space is mine. Stay out of it." (Fun Publications)
Alternate modes JNR Class D62 / Space Shuttle
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers Classic
Voiced by Jack Angel (English)
Takuro Kitagawa (Japanese)

Astrotrain is a Triple Changer who can assume the form of a steam locomotive and a space shuttle.[1] He was named among the top-selling toys of 1985 by Playthings magazine.[2] According to Astrotrain's Marvel and Dreamwave biographies, he loves using his Triple Changing abilities to confuse his enemies, enjoying the fear in their eyes in the moments before he destroys them.[citation needed] Topless Robot named Astrotrain the third-oddest thing that G1 Transformers transform into.[3]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Astrotrain first appeared in Marvel's The Transformers series in the "Target 2006" arc of the UK comics. Along with the other Triple Changers, the three Insecticons, Dirge, Thrust, Ramjet and Macabre, they are the Decepticons' most feared killers and must be taken out before a major Autobot uprising can take place. Megatron inadvertently scuppers the plan by summoning the Insecticons to Earth.

Astrotrain first appeared in the U.S. in issue #29. He was sent to Earth with Blitzwing and Octane to retrieve a crashed shuttle that was carrying fuel for one of Ratbat's operations. The shuttle's pilot was infected with Scraplets—sentient micro-robots that devour metal—and the dying pilot accidentally infects them. After battling with Blaster and Goldbug the Autobots also become infected. Goldbug finds the cure is water, but Blaster refuses to let Goldbug spray them, reluctant to save the Decepticons. The Scraplets then merge into one huge creature. Goldbug cures all four Transformers and lets the heavily armed Decepticons deal with it. The three Triple-Changers escape with their cargo.

Astrotrain is part of Ratbat's Earthbound forces, battling Scorponok's Decepticons when they arrive, and later the Autobots. He is then deactivated by the Underbase-powered Starscream over Buenos Aires. He appeared in the UK Earthforce stories as part of the Decepticons of Megatron and Shockwave's forces. Astrotrain made a final appearance as part of Galvatron's forces in this alternate universe, in which Unicron has destroyed Cybertron, and Galvatron and the Decepticons rule Earth.

Astrotrain made an appearance in the Decepticon forces under the command of Megatron in issue #7 of the Marvel Generation 2 comic series, in a story called "New Dawn." Megatron lead his Decepticons against Jhiaxus' second generation Cybertronians near the moon of Tykos. The Decepticons were defeated and Megatron left injured, presumed dead, but swearing revenge.[4]

Animated series[edit]

Astrotrain first appears in season two of The Transformers and was a part of Megatron's forces on Earth. Although typically a secondary character, Astrotrain is a main player in two episodes; in "Triple Take-Over" he and Blitzwing freeze Megatron and Starscream, and take leadership of the Decepticons for themselves. Leading an army of drone-like locomotives, he is defeated and forced to return command to Megatron at gunpoint.[5]

Astrotrain is seemingly allowed back into the Decepticons after this; he is sent alongside Blitzwing in "Prime Target" to forge an alliance with Lord Chumley, although Chumley had no interest in the Decepticons, merely wishing to hunt the ultimate prey, Optimus Prime. Like other Transformers in the animated series, Astrotrain's size changes greatly in his various forms. His primary role is transporting Decepticons as a space shuttle or train. In robot form, he is no larger than an average-sized Transformer.[citation needed]

One of Astrotrain's most prominent actions appears in the episode "God Gambit", in which the Autobot Cosmos discovers an energy source on Saturn's moon Titan, but is shot down and disabled by Astrotrain. Upon discovering a large deposit of energy crystals, Astrotrain, accompanied by Starscream and Thrust, persuade Titan's inhabitants to worship him as a god then using them as slaves to mine the crystals. Cosmos, disabled and held prisoner, contacts the Autobots. Omega Supreme, with Perceptor and Jazz aboard, arrive and drive off the Decepticons after Astrotrain destroys the crystals out of spite.

In The Transformers: The Movie, Astrotrain is present at the Battle of Autobot City, and survives intact. He transports the defeated Decepticons back to Cybertron following their defeat by Optimus Prime, but he is not strong enough to carry them all. His shuttle size changes greatly—Starscream is shown as nearly as high as his door, but less than a minute later Devastator is able to stand inside him. Like the rest of the Decepticons, Astrotrain accepts Galvatron's leadership without question. He continues to make sporadic appearances throughout season three.[citation needed]

Dreamwave Productions[edit]

The Triple Changers appear again with a greatly expanded origin in Dreamwave's reinterpretation of the Generation 1 universe. Astrotrain first appears during Shockwave's attack on Iacon City with Blitzwing, Bludgeon, Brawl, Chopshop, Dirge, Octane, Onslaught, Ramjet, Tantrum, Venom and Vortex.

Astrotrain later appears as part of Starscream's Predacon faction. Shockwave envisioned a Transformer with multiple alternate modes, studying Astrotrain and Blitzwing. However, the Great Shutdown meant his plans go no further until Unicron's servant Scourge located Cybertron and reactivated Shockwave for study. When Shockwave is attacked by Sharkticons, Scourge saved his life but is shot by Shockwave. Shockwave then examines Scourge and used the secrets gleaned to create the Duocons and the Triple Changers—Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Octane, Sandstorm and Broadside. In the Micromasters mini-series by Dreamwave, Blitzwing and Astrotrain are suffering from severe physical changes.

The Triple Changers later serve as Shockwave's bodyguards, accompanying him to Earth to capture Optimus Prime and Megatron's troops with Blitzwing. They cannot prevent him from being stopped by Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus back on Cybertron, but Astrotrain and Blitzwing accompany Shockwave on his exile in the wastes of Cybertron. When Megatron and the Predacons arrive, Megatron severes Shockwave's gun arm and the rest of Shockwave's troops including Astrotrain surrender. Blitzwing refuses and is killed by Razorclaw.

Devil's Due Publishing[edit]

In the third crossover between G.I. Joe and the Transformers published by Devil's Due Publishing, Astrotrain appears as part of the Decepticon air attack on the Autobot Capital City led by Sixshot, but is driven off by Omega Supreme. After Omega's defeat he attacked Autobot civilians, but is beaten into the ground by Optimus Prime.[citation needed]

Fun Publications[edit]

According to the biography printed in the Transformers Collectors club comic, Megatron spent nearly 10 years rebuilding Astrotrain on Earth. Soundwave used human agents to recover parts of Astrotrain from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Once online, Astrotrain was sent to find other deactivated Decepticons. Astrotrain serves faithfully, but is bored with his work and hated humans. Although his time in orbit was his only get-away, he became angry when he discovered a human space station; the humans were invading his only refuge. He destroyed the station and hundreds of satellites.

In the Transformers: Timelines story "Games of Deception" Astrotrain appears among Megatron's troops, and appears among Megatron's troops in the story At Fight's End by Fun Publications.[citation needed]

IDW Publishing[edit]

Astrotrain appears as one of the Decepticons stationed on Earth under the command of Starscream in the IDW Publishing G1 relaunch miniseries The Transformers: Infiltration. He, along with Runamuck, Runabout and Thundercracker, stands down and surrenders when Megatron arrives to deal with the rebellious Starscream. He reappears in the subsequent series The Transformers: Escalation, explaining the properties of ore-13 to the Decepticon leader. He is summoned by Megatron along with Skywarp to deal with Optimus Prime's Autobot unit, using Skywarp's teleporting power to transport themselves into battle and run interference for their human facsimile. However, as Astrotrain lines up a killing shot on Prowl, he is badly damaged by Hardhead and is unable to help Skywarp. He was not seen again in the battle, but later appears repaired protesting Megatron's decision to bring Sixshot to Earth.[citation needed]

Astrotrain also appears in the mini-series Evolution: Hearts of Steel. In this Industrial Revolution-themed series, Astrotrain is not a Transformer but is referred to as the Astrotrain, a new creation of the Decepticons. He is created to pull the Decepticon train convoy to New York City, but is presumably destroyed when John Henry and Bumblebee sabotage the railway line and send the Decepticons plummeting into a chasm.[6]

Toys[edit]

  • Generation 1 Astrotrain (1985)
Originally a Diaclone mold; in Transformers, Astrotrain appeared in three color schemes. The Hasbro version is light gray, purple, and black.[7] The Takara (later Hasbro) version was first released in white and black, with both modes having colors accurate for their real-world vehicles, before being sold in the Hasbro colors. The black-and-white version was later reissued in Japan in 2004. Also in 2004, eHobby offered a darker-gray and purple "anime-accurate" color scheme based on Astrotrain's appearance in the cartoon and early catalog photographs using a pre-production model but not the head.[citation needed]
  • Classics Deluxe Astrotrain (2006)
Astrotrain is one of the toys in the first series of the Transformers Classics line, which debuted in the last quarter of 2006. As before, he is a triple changer, turning into a space shuttle and a train. The shuttle has "kibble"—visible remnants of the other modes—above the wings and his train mode now resembles a bullet train. The color scheme is mainly white, with some purple and red applications. Classic Astrotrain's biography was featured in Transformers Collectors Club magazine #14.
This toy was featured on page 21 of the book Transformers: The Fantasy, The Fun, The Future by Erin Brereton, published by Triumph Books. It was sold individually in the United States, but was later sold in a two-pack with Classics Bumblebee in Hasbro's Asian markets, and Australia and New Zealand.[citation needed]
  • Henkei! Henkei! D-03 Deluxe Astrotrain (2008)
The Japanese version of the "Classics" Deluxe figure by Takara Tomy is repainted in a more cartoon-accurate dark gray and purple livery, with the rocket nozzles and parts of the chest panel molded in chrome silver.[8]
  • Universe Spacewarp (unreleased)
Spacewarp, a proposed homage to Astrotrain, was created in prototype but was never released. Spacewarp was a repaint of Transformers: Armada Jetfire as a Decepticon. It was to ship with the Mini-Con Commetor and three other Mini-Cons, repaints of the Mini-Con Space Team. This toy was remolded into Timelines Astrotrain with three bonus Mini-Cons, recolors of the Giant Planet Mini-Con team from Transformers: Cybertron.[citation needed]

Transformers: Timelines (Unicron Trilogy)[edit]

Astrotrain
Astrotrain-timelines.jpg
Timelines Astrotrain
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Mega Vehicles
Function Bounty Hunter
Rank 6
Partner Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, Astro-Sinker & Starcatcher
Motto "The greatest opportunities are borne from adversity."
Alternate modes Space Shuttle
Series Transformers: Timelines

A second character named Astrotrain was released as a Transformers Collectors Club exclusive in 2007. Astrotrain's biography indicates that, unlike the original Astrotrain, he had an agenda when joining the Decepticons. A fearsome bounty hunter, he and his partner Mini-Cons transport the Decepticons in their quest for the Cyber Planet Keys.

Fun Publications[edit]

Astrotrain appears in the storyline "The Black Sea of Sandokan", which is set several years after the events of the Transformer: Cybertron animated series. Astrotrain is contacted by Cannonball to help steal a Force Chip from a crashed Autobot ship on the planet Sandokan.

Toys[edit]

  • Timelines Astrotrain with Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, Astro-Sinker and Starcatcher (2007)
This Astrotrain is similar to the canceled Transformers: Universe toy Spacewarp, although Astrotrain had a different livery and a newly sculpted head. The new head is based on a design by artist Dan Khanna and resembles the head of the original Generation 1 Astrotrain. The character is not related to the original Astrotrain and is based in the Transformers: Cybertron series. Astrotrain's Mini-Con is a repaint of the Mini-Con Comettor named Starcatcher.[citation needed]
In November 2006 it was revealed the manufacturers were changing Astrotrain to become a member of the Transformers: Timelines toy line; it would include four Mini-Cons. The original Mini-Con partner is repainted as Starcatcher, and the new Giant Planet Mini-Con team repaints are named Astro-Hook, Astro-Line, and Astro-Sinker.[citation needed]

Transformers: Timelines (Shattered Glass)[edit]

Astrotrain
Decepticon
Information
Sub-group Mayhem Suppression Squad, Mega Vehicles
Partner Fasttrack, Submarauder, Stonecruncher & Tailwind
Alternate modes Space Shuttle
Series Transformers: Timelines

An mirror-universe version of Astrotrain appears in the Transformers: Timelines fiction. He was one of the heroic Decepticons.

Fun Publications[edit]

Astrotrain appears in the 2008 April Fool's comic Shattered Expectations, released by Fun Publications. He helps transport the Mayhem Suppression Squad.

Astrotrain appears in the fiction Dungeons & Dinobots, a text-based story from Fun Publications. Astrotrain and his Micromasters are used to transport supplies and energon from the Arch-Ayr fuel depot to the Deception base at Darkmount. He is later sent by Soundwave to pick up the captured Dinobots Goryu and Slugfest.[9]

Astrotrain appears in the story Do Over by Fun Publications. He is among the crew of the Nemesis, which follows the Autobot's Ark to Earth. When the Nemesis is unable to close in on the Ark, Astrotrain and his Micromaster partners are sent to disable its weapons.[10]

In Blitzwing Bop the Decepticons recover Astrotrain after he is found frozen in the Antarctic.{[cn}]

Toys[edit]

The appearance of Timelines Shattered Glass Astrotrain is almost identical to the Transformers: Armada "Jetfire" toy and the Timelines Unicron Trilogy Astrotrain, however the toy was sold as the latter. The original toy's Mini-Cons are portrayed as Micromasters who are mirror versions of Generation 1 Decepticons.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon[edit]

This version of Astrotrain is a Decepticon who works for Shockwave. Longarm and Salvage are rescuing human workers at an oil plant disaster in Dallian, China, when the Decepticons Shockwave and Astrotrain crash to Earth.[11]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 25. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. 
  2. ^ "Transformers named top toy of '85; buyers representing 3,500 stores cast votes for best-sellers in Playthings survey", Playthings, December 1, 1985
  3. ^ Ethan Kaye (March 23, 2011). "The 9 Oddest Things G1 Transformers Transformed Into". 
  4. ^ http://www.seibertron.com/comics/view.php?comic_id=113
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.  Transformers Season Two Box Set, Part 1 by Brian Cirulnick, February 2003
  6. ^ http://idwpublishing.com/titles/transformers/hos.shtml
  7. ^ Lee's Guide to Loose 1985 Transformers: The Decepticons. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #201, August 2009
  8. ^ TFW2005.com - Henkei Astrotrain
  9. ^ S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2008). Dungeons & Dinobots. Illustrator Evan Gauntt. Fun Publications. 
  10. ^ S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2009). Do Over. Illustrator Yuki Oshima. Fun Publications. 
  11. ^ John Barber (w), Carlos Magno (p), Aburtov and Graphiksslava (i). Transformers: Rising Storm 1 (February 2011), IDW Publishing