All life is equal. I merely assign it a quantifiable value—zero.
~ Shockwave, And The Damage Done

Shockwave is one of the main villains of IDW Publishing's Transformers series, being a recurring antagonist of Phase 1, the main antagonist of Dark Cybertron, and the main antagonist of Optimus Prime, as well as the secondary antagonist of Unicron.

Originally a passionate senator, after he was subjected to physical and mental mutilation, Shockwave was left a ruthless, emotionless but ambitious scientist. Believing in the value of resources for his people's survival, Shockwave plans for any eventuality, and his schemes would end up affecting the Cybertronian species of a Universal scale. 


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The Senator

Shockwave was once a well intentioned senator of the corrupt Cybertronian Senate. He ran the Academy of Advanced Technology, protecting "outliers", those with special abilities, from the functionists, and secretly fitted several 'Bots who he felt were of good character, including Orion Pax, to carry Matrix chambers. With his influence waning and the ruling caste unhappy with such activities, he was sent to the Institute to undergo Empurata and a "total personality inversion", leaving him a faceless, handless, and emotionless mech. As seen on Autocracy, he became a Decepticon and helped Megatron to overthrow the corrupt government.


Maximum Dinobots

Imprisonment in Garrus-9


Dark Cybertron

Onyx Prime



Ultimately, I serve only one master...pure logic.
~ Shockwave, Spotlight: Shockwave
At the center of everything lies an infinite darkness. When I was young, I fought this. But then, Orion... I realized I must become it.
~ Shockwave to Optimus, The First Who Was Named.
I thought... I would make us strong...
~ A broken and defeated Shockwave in Ceremony.


  • Due to Shockwave's actions, both in the present day, as well as his schemes as Onyx Prime, pretty much everything since the days of the Guiding Hand can be linked back to his actions.
  • This version of Shockwave was the most dangerous incarnation of the character by far.
  • Shockwave ends up questioning how "good" he was as a Senator, believing he was always secretly evil. While Senator Shockwave did a few shady things, he was well intentioned, and he was left in check by his morality. The Shadowplay removed his emotions, as well as morality, but not his ambitions, which were now unfettered.


Shockwave is a major antagonist of IDW Publishing's rebooted Transformers series, being the leader of the terrorist organisation the Rise.


As mentioned in The Cracks Beneath Your Feet, Shockwave was exiled from Cybertron by Nominus Prime, which he believed was out of fear. Megatron smuggled him back to Cybertron, and put him in charge of the Rise, a terrorist splinter cell of his faction of Ascenticons. Shockwave organised them into a functioning unit, and stoked societal tensions, to make the "public" Ascenticons seem more legitimate. While leading the Rise, Shockwave hid in the Badlands.

Contructicons Rising

Shockwave arranged for the Insecticons to recruit the Constructicons, exiled to the asteroid Mayalx, for the Rise. He contacted their leader Bombshell when progress was taking too long, but Bombshell shrugged off his concerns. Eventually, Bombshell was successful in getting the Constructicons to rebel against the Senate, and Shockwave sent the Combaticons to extract them from Mayalx along with a stockpile of Energon they had harvested. Shockwave allowed the Constructicons to go off on their own, planning on contacting them to return to Cybertron when the time was right. 

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