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Villain Overview

Ultimately, I serve only one master... pure logic.
~ Shockwave.

Shockwave is a Decepticon from the Transformers Franchise. He is usually treated as the "mad scientist" of the Decepticons. In some continuities, he is Megatron's true second in command but is forced to stay on Cybertron leaving Starscream as the acting second in command. Although he appears loyal to Megatron, his true loyalty lies in logic and he would overthrow Megatron without hesitation if that is the logical choice.

Shockwave was one of the main antagonists of Marvel's the Transformers comics, deciding to overthrow Megatron as leader of the Decepticons, as well the main villain of the second Dreamwave mini series War & Peace.

History

Fear not, Megatron. Cybertron shall remain as you leave it.
~ Shockwave after having Megatron entrust the safety of Cybertron.

Shockwave was left behind by Megatron to look after Cybertron, with Shockwave announcing "Cybertron shall remain as you leave it". Megatron hardly showed any respect for Shockwave, such as in Desertion of the Dinobots where he threatened to make Shockwave become a maintenance worker if he fails to give the Decepticons enough Cybertonium to recharge and still be active for the war against the Autobots on Earth. Shockwave claims that he will only serve Megatron, learning of how Starscream wanted to make Megatron either surrender or die when the Decepticon Combaticons tried to move Earth into the sun.

Transformers: the Movie

Shockwave's fate is unknown after the G1 movie. He was never seen afterwards. It is likely that Unicron killed him during his attack on Cybertron and Shockwave, small and weak compared to Unicron, did not survive the attack. His last known dialogue was, "Decepticons, we're under attack! Scramble!".

Backstory

According to State Games, millions of years ago, Shockwave was the ruler of the city-state Tarn. After a war between Tarn and Vos, both cities were destroyed by photon missiles. The survivors of both cities united under Megatron over their bitterness at Iacon, which had let the war occur.

An adherent of his twisted version of logic, Shockwave was Military Commander of the Decepticons, conceiving the original plan to assault the Ark. As revealed in The Last Stand, while the rest of the Decepticons attacked the Ark, Shockwave remained behind on their ship to pilot it, and act as backup. When the Ark crashed on Earth, Shockwave followed the ship down, but the planet's magnetic fields caused a malfunction in his guidance systems, resulting in him landing in the Antarctic jungle, the Savage Land.

The Ark's computer detected Shockwave's presence on the planet and reactivated five Autobots to combat him, rebuilding them in the shapes of the Savage Land's dinosaurs. As revealed in Repeat Performance, the Dinobots battled Shockwave, a battle that ended in a tar pit that held them in stasis for millions of years.

Commanding the Decepticons

In 1984, the Autobots attempted to track down the Dinobots, and a sensor drone inadvertently wound up reactivating Shockwave. He arrived just as the Autobots had claimed victory over the Decepticons and his explosive entry saw all the weakened combatants knocked off-line.

Rounding up the bodies, in The New Order, Shockwave took control of the Ark, stringing up the Autobots for spare parts, decapitating Optimus Prime and repaired his fellow Decepticons. Shockwave had decided it was logical for him to take over leadership of the Decepticons in light of Megatron's failure. After declaring his leadership and the superiority of Decepticons over humans, he flew off to begin his conquests. As recounted in The Wrath of Grimlock, Shockwave bested the drone Guardian, and had Soundwave booby-trap it in case Megatron or the Autobots attempted to usurp him.

In The Worse of Two Evils, Shockwave's attacked the offshore oil-drilling platform of tycoon G.B. Blackrock. Tearing his way through the rig's defenses, he secured it for use as a secondary base of operations. When Shockwave returned to the Ark, a weakened Megatron battled him for leadership, and Shockwave defeated him, even denying his request to killed, to deny him the satisfaction. Shockwave dumped Megatron's broken body before the troops he had once commanded and demanded that they vow to serve Shockwave alone, to which they, including Megatron, agreed to.

After Soundwave took control of Blackrock Aerospace Assembly Plant Number One, in Repeat Perfomance, Shockwave travelled to the Ark, checking in with Megatron and reminding him again of where he stood. From the Ark, he transported Optimus Prime's head to the Aerospace Plant. Shockwave blasted past the Army cordon surrounding the plant, while lecturing the humans about his armour's strength.

In Disintergrated Circuits, Shockwave began setting up the Aerospace Plant's facilities to carry out his plans; however, the Decepticons became with this work, leading to some diminished morale; Shockwave had to sic Buzzsaw on Frenzy when the latter threw a tantrum over Blackrock's threats from G.B. Accepting Starscream's argument that morale could use a boost, Shockwave granted permission for Starscream and Frenzy to destroy Blackrock's weapon.

After some time, in The Next Best Thing to Being There, Shockwave used the Aerospace Plant to create the Constructicons bodies, whose brain modules had already been brought to life with the Creation Matrix. Shockwave then began work on his next project, Jetfire, but could not bring him to life.

In Brainstorm, Shockwave had the plant's captive workers begin working on a hundred jet warriors, and tried yet again to bring Jetfire to life. When the process failed, he deduced that Optimus must have hidden the Matrix somewhere. Scanning Rumble's memories, he discovered that Optimus had transferred the Matrix into Buster Witwicky's mind. Shockwave programmed Jetfire to capture Buster, but the boy was able to use the power of the Matrix to bring the robot under his own control.

Buster used Jetfire to travel to the Aerospace Plant in Prime Time, but Jetfire's pre-programmed response to an Air Force attack meant that Buster was delivered to Shockwave as a captive. The Autobots' attempts to keep Buster away from the Decepticons led Shockwave to suspect that his headquarters was bugged. Soundwave discovered a telephone link that was allowing the Autobots to listen in. Shockwave used the link to manipulate the Autobots into bringing their leader's body with them to a nearby swamp, and dropped off a fake head which attacked the Autobots once it was joined with Optimus Prime's body.

However, as Jetfire was about to take Optimus Prime's real head and pitch it into the swamp, Buster used his Matrix powers to take control of Jetfire and knock out Shockwave. Shockwave awoke to find both Optimus Prime and the human workers gone; he realised what had happened and flew to the battle site. There he engaged the newly-whole Optimus in a duel which ended when Shockwave was tossed into a swamp.

Rivalry with Megatron

After some time away, Shockwave returned in Rock and Roll-Out and quickly recruited Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker for a plan to harness the noise energy from a rock concert. The plan was defeated by Bumblebee and a quartet of newly-created Autobots. In Plight of the Bumblebee, Shockwave made an attempt to kill Bumblebee but was driven off by the arrival of Optimus Prime with other Autobots.

By the time of Robot Buster, Shockwave had begun to hear rumours that Megatron had resurfaced. He had an encounter with Buster Witwicky, who was rescued from Shockwave's wrath by the Autobots. Shockwave's interest in Buster increased when he learned the boy was receiving visions from the Matrix of the Transformers' future. In Second Generation, he tapped into the visions and learned of the prediction of more combining Transformers. This finally brought him into conflict with Megatron and the two fought for the Decepticon leadership. With them evenly matched, Soundwave suggested they share leadership until one proved more effective than the other.

Shortly after, in The Bridge to Nowhere, they were contacted by Straxus, leader of the Decepticons on Cybertron, and agreed to a sharing of resources. In Command Performances, Megatron took most of his original command to attack the Ark while Shockwave defended the Decepticons' new quarry base from an attack by Optimus Prime and the Autobots, deploying the Constructicons against them. However, this was what Optimus Prime had wanted, since it allowed the Autobots to study combining technology. Although Megatron got most of his troops wiped out by Omega Supreme, Shockwave accepted his failure was the largest and surrendered command to Megatron.

Shockwave missed most of the events of Target: 2006 by being shunted into limbo along with Thundercracker and Frenzy by the arrival of Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr from the future. By Prey, Shockwave had ambitions to be leader again, conspiring with Soundwave and the Predacons to help Megatron hunt down Optimus Prime and then abandon him defenceless mid-battle. When Megatron disappeared, Shockwave successfully took command, dealing with the return of Galvatron, until Megatron abruptly returned from Cybertron, having lost his memory of the betrayal.

However, with Megatron's behaviour even more unstable after the apparent death of Optimus Prime, Shockwave tried again. This time he had the Predacons attack Megatron disguised as Autobots. The attack failed, but the knowledge Shockwave had placed a copy of his brain with the Predacons led Megatron to realise how Optimus Prime had survived. Megatron blew up the space bridge with himself on board, leaving Shockwave in command.

Working with Ratbat

Shockwave attempted to establish a working relationship with Ratbat, the new Cybertronian Decepticon commander, but although he loaned him Trypticon for an assault on the Ark, Ratbat was unimpressed with Shockwave's performance and treated him as an underling. Shockwave set about hijacking oil tankers for fuel, but when one such operation only brought in an empty tanker, Ratbat travelled to Earth to supervise operations personally.

On learning Galvatron had become encased in lava, Shockwave sent Soundwave and the Combaticons to destroy both him and the similarly imprisoned Ultra Magnus. They were stopped by Blaster and the Throttlebots, and Galvatron escaped to threaten Shockwave's underwater base. Shockwave unsuccessfully sent the Seacons after him, then prepared a defence force to battle Galvatron, only for Galvatron to claim that he had come as an ally and now, by attacking him, Shockwave had made him an enemy.

Shockwave and Ratbat took up camp on the Decepticons' new artificial island base, using Buster as a hostage to keep the military away. When they were attacked by the new Autobots from Nebulos, Ratbat took the island into space and Shockwave ended up battling Fortress Maximus. Damaged, he was believed to have burned up in Earth's atmosphere.

Challenging Galvatron

In fact, Shockwave had crashed back on Earth and took command of the Decepticons left there. Returning to the problem of Galvatron, Shockwave retrieved Megatron from the Thames and brainwashed him into serving him. He came close to recruiting Cyclonus and Scourge, but the knowledge they were responsible for his death in the future led to him turning Megatron loose on them, resulting in Cyclonus' death. He then sent Megatron after Galvatron.

However, Shockwave began to lose his grip on reality as Cyclonus' death, coupled with the three future Decepticons' long-term stay in the past, created a time rift. Shockwave knew he would die unless it was sealed, but also knew that restoring the future would mean his own death. Ravage suggested he could avoid his fate with his foreknowledge, so, with Galvatron and Scourge already consumed by the rift, Shockwave deposited Cyclonus' corpse in it and sealed it. He spoke briefly to Optimus Prime in the aftermath, with them noting next time they met they would be enemies.

Decepticon Civil War

Shockwave would be absent for some time until he decided to take leadership of the Earth Decepticons back from the current commander, Scorponok. He first recruited Starscream to his cause, followed by Ravage, Runabout & Runamuck and two deserters from Scorponok's command, Mindwipe and Triggerhappy. After an only partially successful attack on Scorponok's base, Shockwave began battling his new rival near Manhattan. The fight was interrupted first by Optimus Prime and Nightbeat, then the human superhero team the Neo Knights. The presence of the unstable Circuit Breaker almost gave Shockwave a chance to eliminate Scorponok, but at the last second she recognised Shockwave as the one who had crippled her in his attack on Blackrock's oil rig years previous and hit him with the full force of her power.

Shockwave was transported to Cybertron prior to the attack by Unicron but could think of no logical solution to the problem, so he and Starscream quietly withdrew from the battle.

Post-Unicron

With Unicron destroyed and all the Transformers on Cybertron, Shockwave and Starscream hijacked the Ark intending to travel to the undefended Earth and plunder it. They were unaware however that Grimlock had set up a nucleon pump to revive the Autobots in suspended animation on board. Investigating, they instead encountered Megatron. Sending Starscream to search elsewhere, Shockwave prepared to kill his old rival but was overpowered by Galvatron. Moments later, Ratchet wrecked the Ark's engines and caused the ship to crashland on Earth, taking out Shockwave and nearly everyone else on board.

Classics

Classics only follows on from the US stories Shockwave was left alive by Megatron, due to his usefulness. However, to prevent further betrayals, Shockwave was left as a head hooked to life support. Megatron queried him on information regarding Bug Bite and Shockwave told him all he knew, but when he requested computer access for more information, Megatron refused and closed up the chamber.

Later, after Earth was brought into the Shattered Glass universe, the evil Autobot Longarm began acting suspiciously similar to Shockwave, displaying an obsession with logic, and disappearing for long periods times without explanation. The implication seems to be that Shockwave had either replaced him, or was controlling him.

Trivia

  • Bob Budiansky, the creator of Shockwave, intended his creation to be an evil robotic Spock from Star Trek.
  • In the original cartoon and the War for Cybertron videogame, he is voiced by Corey Burton. In Fall of Cybertron, he is voiced by Steve Blum. In the War for Cybertron cartoon, he is voiced by Todd Haberkorn.
  • The backstory for IDW's Beast Wars comics heavily imply that Tripredacus Council member Cicadacon is the same person as Shockwave; early in the Great War, the unaligned Cicadacon was heavily wounded. Shutting off his emotional processes, he successfully repaired himself, but was left amnesiac, and would join the Decepticons under a new identity, with Unicron's attack on Cybertron reawakening his old identity.

Navigation

            TransformersTitle.png Villains

Generation Two
Decepticons
Megatron | Starscream | Soundwave | Bludgeon | Onslaught | Swindle | Blast Off | Stranglehold | Octopunch | Smokescreen
Cybertronian Empire
Liege Maximo | Jhiaxus | Rook | Mindset
Others
Swarm

Robots in Disguise
Predacons
Megatron | Sky-Btye | Slapper | Gas Skunk | Dark Scream
Decepticons
Scourge | Mega-Octane | Ro-Tor | Armorhide | Rollbar | Movor | Ruination

Animated
Decepticons
Megatron | Starscream | Lugnut | Blitzwing | Blackarachnia | Shockwave | Soundwave | Laserbeak | Ratbat | Starscream Clones (Slipstream | Thundercracker) | Lockdown | Swindle | Waspinator | Team Chaar
Constructicons
Scrapper | Mixmaster | Dirt Boss
Others
Colossus Rhodes | Prometheus Black | Nanosec | Professor Princess

Prime Wars Trilogy
Starscream | Overlord | Megatronus Prime | Rodimus Cron | Unicron

See Also
Beast Wars Villains | Transformers Cinematic Universe Villains | Transformers Cyberverse Villains | Transformers G1 Villains | Transformers G1 Anime Villains | Transformers Prime Villains | Unicron Trilogy Villains | War For Cybertron Trilogy Villains

            TransformersG1Title.png Generation One Villains

Decepticons
Megatron/Galvatron | Soundwave | Shockwave | Reflector | Blitzwing | Astrotrain | Straxus | Cyclonus | Scourge | Sweeps | Octane | Trypticon | "Megatron" | Runabout & Runamuck | The Fallen
Seekers: Starscream | Thundercracker | Skywarp | Acid Storm | Sunstorm | Thrust | Dirge | Ramjet
Mini-Cassettes: Laserbeak | Ratbat | Frenzy | Rumble | Ravage | Buzzsaw | Slugfest | Overkill
Constructicons: Scrapper | Long Haul | Bonecrusher | Mixmaster | Scavenger | Hook | Devastator
Combaticons: Onslaught | Brawl | Vortex | Swindle | Blast Off | Bruticus
Stunticons: Menasor | Motormaster | Breakdown | Drag Strip | Wildrider | Dead End
Insecticons: Shrapnel | Bombshell | Kickback
Predacons: Razorclaw | Rampage | Divebomb | Tantrum | Headstrong | Predaking
Terrorcons: Hun-Gurr | Blot | Cutthroat | Rippersnapper | Sinnertwin | Abominus
Headmasters: Scorponok | Weirdwolf | Skullcruncher | Mindwipe | Apeface | Snapdragon
Targetmasters: Misfire | Triggerhappy | Slugslinger | Spinister | Needlenose
Seacons: Snap Trap
Pretenders: Skullgrin | Iguanus | Carnivac | Snarler | Stranglehold | Octopunch | Thunderwing
Powermasters: Dreadwind | Darkwing
Triggercons: Ruckus | Windsweeper

Hive
Lord Zarak | Vorath | Grax | Monzo | Spasma | Krunk | Aimless | Blowpipe | Caliburst

Others
Unicron | Quintessons | Doctor Arkeville | Shawn Berger | Lord Chumley | King Nergill | Ali | Nightbird | Jero | Old Snake | Primacron | Tornedron | Dweller | Mark Morgan | Gregory Swofford | Circuit Breaker | The Mechanic | Scraplets | Flame | Mecannibals

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