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Autobot

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Autobot
Autobot insignia
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics, Dreamwave Productions, Fun Publications, Titan Magazines, IDW Publishing, and Devil's Due Publishing
First appearanceThe Transformers #1
(September 1984)
In-story information
Base(s)Cybertron, Earth, Iacon, Autobot City (G1), the Ark, Cybertron Base (RID), Diego Garcia (ROTF), Washington, D.C. (DOTM), and Autobot Omega Outpost One (Prime)
Leader(s)Primus, Dynasty of Primes, Optimus Prime, Rodimus Prime, Sentinel Prime, Ultra Magnus, Bumblebee

The Autobots are a fictional faction of sentient robots in the Transformers multimedia franchise. The Autobots are living robots from the planet Cybertron who, like most Transformers, are each imbued with a unique "life force" known as a "spark."[1][2] Led by Optimus Prime in most stories, the Autobots believe "freedom is the right of all sentient life"[1][3] and are often engaged in a civil war with the Decepticons, a faction of transformers dedicated to military conquest and usually headed by Megatron.[4][5][6] In a mirror universe portrayed in Transformers: Shattered Glass, the Autobots are villains opposed by the heroic Decepticons.

The transformation cog ("T-cog") and the living metal of each transformer's body allows them to change from their natural robotic body into an "alternate mode" based on something a form of technology or life form that they've observed and scanned. When first introduced, most Autobots transformed into cars, trucks and other road vehicles.[7] Over time, Autobots have been introduced with alternate modes that include aircraft, weapons, robotic animals, or a variety of devices (such as music equipment or microscopes). In most Transformers media, the Autobots originally transform into alien-style vehicles and technology native to their home planet Cybertron, but they later adopt alternate forms based on human technology after journeying to Earth.[7]

In the live action films series, as well as in the CGI-animated series Transformers: Prime, the title Autobots is explained to be the short version of the title "Autonomous Robotic Organisms." In Japan, the Autobots are called "Cybertrons" (サイバトロン, Saibatoron)[8] but are referred to as Autobots (オートボット, Ōtobotto) in the film series Transformers Animated and Transformers: Prime. In Italy, they are called "Autorobot." The Autobot insignia is also sometimes referred to as an "Autobrand", a term that first appeared in issue #14 of the Marvel Comics series. The descendants of the Autobots, the Maximals from Transformers: Beast Wars, are also known as Cybertrons in Japan.

Physical traits

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Autobots are living beings, sometimes referred to as "bio-mechanical" and often depicted as being forged from the same "living metal" that makes up their home planet Cybertron. This living metal can heal, grow, and regenerate like organic cell structures.[5] Autobots, like all transformers, need to regularly feed on Energon (a form of energy they can produce from certain fuel sources) or they will grow weaker in health and eventually die.[5][6][7] Autobots can also age, just much slower than humans, for example Optimus Prime is approximately 9 million years old, which is 2 million earlier than the evolution of humans. These beings' aging has outlasted entire human civilizations.

Since the airing of the animated series Transformers: Beast Wars, the franchise has consistently portrayed that what distinguishes a transformer as "living" is that each of them is imbued with a "spark", a charged mass of positrons that acts as a "life force" (said to be equivalent to a soul)[2][9] and is unique to each transformer, granting them their basic personality and influencing certain physical traits.[2] If a transformer dies, either from injury or a lack of Energon, their spark fades and might never be recovered again, as their spark typically returns to the source of positronic energy it originally came from.[5] Some media portrays the source of these sparks as a pool of positronic energy located on Cybertron that is called the Well of All Sparks,[10] while other media portrays the source to be an ancient artifact simply called the Allspark.[11][12] Some stories have shown characters being able to preserve a dead transformer's spark under the right circumstances, allowing that fallen transformer to return in a repaired body (though this possibility involves great risk and becomes more unlikely as more time passes).[7][10]

When a transformer is first forged, they are in a "Proto-form" state that resembles either a featureless, mannequin-like robot[2] or a being of liquid, shifting metal.[11] As the transformer's consciousness develops, the proto-form takes shape into a robotic form and an alternate mode is soon determined afterward. How long this process takes varies between different Transformers media. In some media, a Transformer can physically revert to a proto-form to make long space travel easier.[2][11]

Along with their spark, each transformer has a mechanical "brain module" that houses their memories and regulates sensory input, as well as the transformation cog (or "T-cog") which regulates and stabilizes their transformations. A transformer can have several parts of their body replaced or upgraded, but damage to the brain module or T-cog, as well as other more sensitive internal mechanics (such as eyes and voice boxes),[13][11] are unique, difficult to upgrade, and can permanently affect or disable a transformer, as well as threaten their life, if seriously damaged.[5]

Some transformers, including several Autobots, have traits that make them part of a subset of their species. Transformers who are so massive in size they are able to convert into fortresses or cities are known as Titans, some of whom (such as Metroplex) have allied themselves with the Autobots.[7] "City-speakers" are transformers able to uniquely commune with Titans, such as the Autobot called Windblade. Like the Decepticons, the Autobots include "combiners" in their ranks, transformers who are able to merge with other specific transformers and become a gestalt, super-robot with greater power and its own distinct personality.[7] In some stories, transformers are given the ability to become combiners by an ancient artifact called the Enigma of Combination.[1][10] In Cybertron's past, the Guardian Robots were large scale Transformers (though not as large as the Titans) who enforced authority and peace on their planet. While most Guardians are gone, one known as Omega Supreme serves alongside the Autobots.[7] Mini-Cons (sometimes spelled Minicons) are small, human-sized transformers and, in some stories, are able to increase the power of larger transformers with whom they merge.

Due to their biological and sentient nature, Autobots are people, although humans constantly fail to acknowledge this due to their metal composition.

Home planet

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In all Transformers stories, the Autobots and their adversaries, the Decepticons, originated on the planet Cybertron. The planet is almost always depicted as a metallic sphere covered in multi-level cities and structures.[14] The capital of Cybertron is Iacon.[7] Although there is no animal or plant life on Cybertron, animated cartoons have depicted it as having an atmosphere that human visitors can breathe,[7] and some stories have shown the planet to experience weather, such as rainfall and storms.[10][15]

Starting with the original series The Transformers, Cybertron is shown to house a seemingly living super-computer called Vector Sigma.[7] At first, Vector Sigma is depicted to be the source of life for new transformers, imbuing the robots with life and personality.[7] Later, media consistently portrays that Vector Sigma harnesses the power of another source known as the Allspark to imbue a transformer with its individual soul or "spark."[1] Different versions of Transformers media have also shown the life-giving energy of the Allspark to be an ancient artifact (either called the Allspark or the Cube) or have shown it to be a pool of positronic energy located on Cybertron known as the Well of AllSpark or Well of AllSparks.[10]

The UK comic books written by Simon Furman established that Cybertron was once a god-like being named Primus.[1] Following a battle with another god-like being called Unicron, Primus transforms into Cybertron, a planet of "living metal", and eventually uses his energies to grant life to living robots. In some stories, Primus does this in the hopes that these robots will become warriors who will defeat Unicron and similar threats.[1] Following the introduction of Primus, it is said in some media that it is his mind that acts as the will of the super-computer Vector Sigma. Various stories depict the first living creations of Primus to be a group known as the "original thirteen Primes" or simply "the Thirteen." Eventually, each of the thirteen Primes grants a copy of their nature and schematics into the Allspark energy source that will imbue later Cybertronians with life, making all later transformers their "descendants" who each inherit a unique combination of traits from at least some of the original Thirteen.[10][11]

Although the transformer race originated on Cybertron, different groups of Cybertronians later left the planet and colonized other worlds. This has led to different factions of transformers with their own cultures and beliefs, some of whom become Autobots while others have no desire to involve themselves in Cybertron's civil war.[1][10][16]

The Primes

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In the original toyline and animated series The Transformers, Optimus Prime (called Big Convoy in Japan) is shown as the leader.[7] His label of "Prime" is indicated to simply be part of the name he adopted when he became a soldier (his original name being Orion Pax). Since the 1986 animated film The Transformers: The Movie however, US and UK Transformers media have depicted "prime" as a title and rank given to the leader of the Autobots and sometimes all government of Cybertron (while Japanese media has portrayed "convoy" as a rank of military leadership in transformer society).[16] Later media depicted earlier leaders of Cybertron to have names such as Nova Prime, Nominus Prime, and Sentinel Prime, along with others.[10]

In several comics and cartoon stories, the Prime is a figurehead of a ruling council that governs Cybertron (or the entire transformer race that is scattered across different planets). Each Prime is chosen by and bonded to a powerful artifact called the Matrix of Leadership.[7][16] The origin and nature of the Matrix differs across Transformers media, but it is consistently shown to be a powerful object that houses the memories and wisdom of previous Autobot leaders who wielded it.[1][7][16] Often, the Matrix is shown to have a direct connection to Primus, a god-like being who became the planet Cybertron itself and created its race of living robots.[1][10] Some media portray it as a conduit to the energy source of all transformer life and/or an access point to a dimension that acts as an afterlife for transformers.[1] In some stories, being chosen by the Matrix of Leadership causes an immediate power enhancement and physical change in a transformer.[16]

In several branches of the Transformers franchise, the title of "Prime" is a reference to Prima, a heroic warrior of Cybertron's past.[1] In these versions of canon, Prima is one of "the original thirteen Primes (or "the Thirteen") who are ancestors of the transformer race and direct creations of Primus, the god-like being who became Cybertron.[10] Across Transformers media, Prima is the first to wield the Matrix of Leadership and his wisdom and essence are absorbed into it after he dies in battle with another ancient Prime known as Megatronus.[1]

In some media, Optimus Prime eventually gives up his connection to the Matrix of Leadership and it is passed on to a new leader such as the Autobot soldier Ultra Magnus,[16] the young Autobot fighter called Hot Rod (who becomes Rodimus Prime),[16] or eventually Optimus Primal, a Maximal.[10]

Autobot teams

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The Autobot faction includes several small, specialized teams that often have the suffix "-bot" at the end (while Decepticon groups and subsets often have names ending in "-con"). The name of these groups refers to members of that specific team of Autobots and not simply other transformers who may share traits with the members of that team. For instance, while the Autobot named Sky Lynx has a dinosaur-like form, he is not considered part of the strike force known as the Dinobots nor does he answer directly to their team leader.[7] Likewise, the animated show Transformers: Beast Wars introduced a character called Dinobot, but he is not part of the Autobot team of Dinobots nor is he a contemporary of the Autobot faction. Instead, he is a Predacon, a transformer forged many generations after the age of Decepticons and Autobots.

  • Dinobots - A strike force of Autobots who have dinosaur alternate forms. They are often depicted as more savage and aggressive than typical Transformers and their tactics often involve a reliance on overwhelming force rather than surgical strikes.[6][7] In some media, the Dinobots team can merge into a giant combiner robot. The comic book Transformers: The Beast Within (published by Metrodome and included in a box set collection of the original cartoon series The Transformers)[17] called this savage combiner super-robot "the Beast." In the transmedia series Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy and the animated series Transfomers: Cyberverse, the Dinobots merge into a combiner robot called Volcanicus.[10]
  • Aerialbots - A special team of Autobots whose alternate forms are based on flying vehicles. The Aerialbots are often depicted as combiners who can merge to form the giant robot Superion.[7]
  • Protectobots - A special team Autobots who are charged with protecting humans and their homes, with alternate forms based on emergency, rescue, and law enforcement vehicles. They can merge into the combiner super-robot Defensor.[7]
  • Technobots - A group of Autobots who are specialists in scientific fields and whose alternate forms are vehicles native to Cybertron rather than Earth. The Technobots are combiners and can merge to form the highly-intelligent super-robot Computron.[7]
  • Throttlebots - Autobots with superior speed and agility, leading them to specialize as scouts, spies, and couriers.
  • Torchbearers - A group of six transformers from the planet Caminus (a world colonized by Cybertronians) who are dedicated to peace and the protection of Cybertron's history and prized historical artifacts. After encountering the Enigma of Change artifact, these six Torchbearers become combiners who can merge into the super-robot Victorion.[10]
  • Cybertron Elite Guard - An elite unit of Autobots that serve as the main defense group on Cybertron.
  • Wreckers - An Autobot strike team specializing in blunt force tactics and chaotic combat. They are sometimes called in for operations that require extra firepower and "lost cause" missions that seem unlikely to succeed with conventional tactics.[18]
  • Rescue Bots - Introduced in the series Transformers: Rescue Bots, this is a group of Autobots whose skills are focused on rescue and rather than combat. After arriving on Earth, the team was assigned by Optimus Prime to hone their skills, learn better teamwork, and gain an understanding of human cultures by working alongside first response rescuers in the town of Griffin Rock, Maine.

Transformers: Generation 1

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Transformers: Aligned

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Team Prime
Publication information
PublisherTitan Magazines, IDW Publishing, Del Rey Books
First appearance"Darkness Rising, Part 1"
Created byHasbro
In-story information
Base(s)Omega Outpost One, Hangar E, the Nemesis, Fire Station Prime
Member(s)Autobots: Optimus Prime (leader), Ratchet, Arcee, Bumblebee, Bulkhead, Smokescreen, Wheeljack, Ultra Magnus and Cliffjumper (deceased).
Decepticons: Knock Out
Predacons: Predaking, Skylynx and Darksteel.
Humans: Jack Darby, Miko Nakadai, Raf Esquivel, William Fowler and June Darby.
Rescue Bots: Heatwave, Chase, Boulder, Blades, Hoist and Medix

A group of Autobots (referred to as Team Prime) appear in the 2010 animated series Transformers: Prime, led by Optimus Prime.[19] The video game Transformers: War for Cybertron give a backstory to the Autobots days on Cybertron.

Set within an alternate timeline that parallels the show's second season, the Autobots (Team Prime) appear in Transformers: Prime – The Game. Optimus Prime, Arcee, Bulkhead, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Jack, Miko and Raf embark on a journey to defeat the villainous Megatron and the Decepticons[20] in his plan to use his secret new weapon.[21][22] The Decepticons intercept a mysterious meteor approaching the Earth, and the Autobots arrive to try and thwart the Decepticons' plans. A massive eruption of power during the battle on the meteor breaks out, and the Autobots become separated from Jack, Miko and Raf, who are monitoring them at base. Unknown to the Autobots and their human friends, the Decepticons have uncovered Thunderwing, an ancient power that they will use to try to take over the Earth.[23]

Transformers: Prime

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In Transformers: Prime, with Cybertron dead, the Autobots scattered across the universe. A group landed on Earth consisting of Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead and which Arcee and Cliffjumper join later. This small team of Autobots led by Optimus is rechristened Team Prime. During the final four episodes of the season, the Autobots unwillingly team up with Megatron to battle a legendary threat to Earth's existence,[24] Unicron.[25]

Transformers: EarthSpark

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See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc. pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-1-4053-0461-0
  2. ^ a b c d e Transformers: Best Wars. "The Spark." (Season 1, Episode 15). Original air date: November 11, 1996.
  3. ^ The Transformers Universe vol. 1 issue #3. Published by Marvel Comics, 1987.
  4. ^ "Transformers: Autobots Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  5. ^ a b c d e "A brief history of the Transformers". Malaysia Star. 2004-11-09. Archived from the original on 2005-11-12. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  6. ^ a b c "DVD Review: Transformers The Complete First Season 25th Anniversary". Mania.com. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s The Transformers (1984 US animated series).
  8. ^ Bellomo, Mark (15 September 2010). Totally Tubular '80s Toys. Krause Publications. ISBN 9781440216473. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Transformers: Beast Wars. "Possession" (Season 1, Episode 21). Original air date: February 3, 1997.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Transformers: Power of the Primes trilogy.
  11. ^ a b c d e Transformers film series
  12. ^ Transfomers: War for Cybertron trilogy - transmedia toyline and streaming series on Netflix.
  13. ^ Bumblebee (film).
  14. ^ Marvel US issue #1, page 1, panel 2: "No rock or soil or sand contributed to its bizarre geography." "Its content was entirely mechanical."
  15. ^ Marvel US issue #76, page 9-19
  16. ^ a b c d e f g The Transformers: The Movie (1986).
  17. ^ "The Worst Transformers Comic Book Evolved the Dinobots" - CBR.com (January 10, 2023). "Published by Metrodome and included in a box set collection of the classic cartoon The Transformers, Transformers: The Beast Within is the object of scorn among the franchise's fandom."
  18. ^ Transformers: Stormbringer #2 (comic). Released by IDW Publishing (2006). Relevant quote from text: "Of course it's a lost cause. That's why we're here!" - said by Wreckers team member Springer.
  19. ^ "BotCon 2010 "Transformers: Prime" Panel Coverage". TFW2005.com. 2010-06-26. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
  20. ^ "Transformers Prime rolling out this year". Gamespot. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  21. ^ CVG Staff for computerandvideogames.com (2012-03-15). "Nintendo News: Transformers Prime: The Game announced". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  22. ^ Hunter, John (2012-03-15). "Transformers Prime Coming This Year – Transformers Prime – Nintendo Wii". www.GameInformer.com. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  23. ^ George, Richard (May 8, 2012). "Gearing Up for Transformers Prime". IGN. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  24. ^ Van, Peter. "SDCC 2011 - Transformers: Prime Preview - He Is Coming, But Who Is It?". TFormers. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  25. ^ Diem. "Transformers: Prime Future Characters Revealed". Seibertron.com. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
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