|“||Increase efficiency or be terminated.||„|
|~ Soundwave to his human slaves.|
|“||Soundwave superior! Autobots Inferior!||„|
|~ Soundwave's catchphrase.|
Soundwave is a Decepticon in the Transformers franchise. He was Megatron's most loyal minion and transforms into a cassette player. Unlike the most other Decepticons, he is emotionless, but probably due to his more "robotic" character traits.
In the comics, Soundwave is depicted as an unscrupulous blackmailer, willing to betray his comrades to advance his standing in Megatron's eyes. Soundwave's efficiency makes him a prime candidate for leadership, but Soundwave willingly gives up the opportunity when other candidates are present, knowing what a poisoned chalice the position is.
In the original cartoon, he was voiced by Frank Welker, who also voiced Megatron, Rumble, and Skywarp, among others, in the same series. In the Japanese dub and The Headmasters, he is voiced by Issei Masaune.
|“||As you command, Megatron.||„|
|~ Soundwave, loyal to the end.|
Soundwave is the most loyal Decepticon to Megatron, fitting comfortably in the highest Decepticon ranks. Like Starscream and Shockwave, he is one of the most important and powerful Decepticons, but only he completely obeys Megatron's commands while Shockwave is individual (or at times alert Megatron if a situation occurs) and Starscream tries to secretly replace Megatron. He has several minions similar to G1 Autobot Blaster, and his Decepticon followers are Ravage, Laserbeak, Ratbat, and Rumble.
n a mission to the Peruvian Andes, in Fire on the Mountain, Soundwave successfully proved that the legend of the Incan Crystal of Power was true when he deduced that the pyramid containing the fabled gemstone rested on a shaft leading to the Earth's core. On a mission to gather steel for a weapon frame to channel the crystal's power, Soundwave and Reflector were ambushed by Brawn and Windcharger in mid-air, and Soundwave found himself driven face-first into a mountain by the small Autobot in the first of several clashes that they would engage in over the years. Soundwave tried to fight back with his own rifle, and even tried blasting Brawn with Megatron in pistol mode, but the little Autobot took everything he had to give and escaped in one piece.
In The Ultimate Doom Megatron planned to use the space bridge to transport Cybertron into Earth's orbit, and required human slaves to gather the energy that would result from the inevitable massive natural catastrophes. Soundwave and his cassettes were dispatched to capture Sparkplug Witwicky, who served as a guinea pig for the mind-controlling hypno-chips created by the Decepticons' new ally, Doctor Arkeville. The plan to transport Cybertron was subsequently accomplished despite Autobot interference, and Soundwave ensured that energy collection could begin quickly by forcing the Autobots to flee with a barrage of painful audio disruptor waves. Soundwave later transported a energon cubes to Cybertron, and was still there when a group of Autobots arrived, searching for the hypno-chip master control. In another encounter with Brawn, Soundwave was taken down by a single blast from his rival, and then alerted the Decepticon forces on the planet to the Autobots' escape. However the Autobots were able to evade capture, find the hypno-chip control, free the slaves and blast Cybertron out of orbit.
When Megatron sought to conquer New York City in City of Steel, Soundwave, Rumble and Frenzy battled a group of Autobots in Central Park, and Soundwave was later put in charge of the weapons systems of the "New Cybertron" that New York was being turned into. That control was soon lost, when a stray blast from an irate Megatron destroyed Soundwave's console.
In The Autobot Run, Soundwave was appointed to guard the captive Autobots after Megatron succeeded in trapping them in vehicle mode with the Transfixatron. The communications officer put his skills to work disabling the Autobots' communicators, but neglected to disable Hound's hologram projector, which the Autobot was able to use to summon the small number of his comrades who had not been affected by the Transfixatron. Wheeljack and Ratchet developed a grenade to undo the device's effects, and together, Spike and Chip Chase outran Soundwave and Ravage to detonate it and restore the Autobots.
In Enter the Nightbird, Soundwave helped steal the human-made robot ninja Nightbird (getting one over on Brawn in the process by collapsing a balcony out from under him), and aided Bombshell in reprogramming the femme-bot to serve the Decepticons. While spying on Autobot Headquarters in Dinobot Island, Soundwave learned of the existence of the mysterious prehistoric Dinobot Island, and sent Laserbeak to follow the Dinobots as they travelled there. Soundwave proceeded to join the Decepticons in raiding the island's energy sources, before the Autobots, Dinobots and the island's native dinosaurs saw them off.
In Microbots, when human archaeologists uncovered the wreckage of the Decepticons' old space cruiser in South America, Soundwave alerted Megatron to the news report about their findings, then accompanied him to the wreckage, where they removed the ship's power source, the Heart of Cybertron. Celebrating the new power that the Heart bestowed upon Megatron, Soundwave joined his fellow Decepticons in over-energizing on energon, leaving him too drunk to do anything.
In Megatron's Master Plan, Megatron framed the Autobots for energy theft and had them exiled from Earth, and Soundwave took part in the Decepticons' pretense of being heroes. Soundwave was quite popular among the humans: a young child was heard cheering for him by name, and when he and his cassettes attended a disco, he acquired many female admirers. After Megatron revealed his deception, however, Soundwave was made the slave-master of the work camp that Central City was turned into. The Autobots soon returned to Earth to clear their names and rout the Decepticons.
In Desertion of the Dinobots, Soundwave was able to position himself, in tape player mode, inside Ironhide's vehicle mode, right next to Blaster, and spy on the test run of the Ultra Plane, with neither Autobot noticing until he deployed Ravage. While Blaster wrestled with Ravage, Soundwave escaped to report to Megatron, after which he and Starscream joined their leader in attacking the lab containing the blueprints for the plane. The Autobots saw them off, but during their flight away, the Decepticons' systems began to malfunction as a result of cybertonium degradation. Soundwave's cassettes began ejecting without his command, and his flight gave out.
In Child's Play, Soundwave joined in the Decepticon attempt to create a space bridge in a baseball stadium, where he delighted in playing catch with one of the players. The Autobots soon arrived, and another brawl between Soundwave and Brawn erupted, ending when the Autobot threw Soundwave into the space bridge. When a stray blast then activated the bridge, Soundwave and a small group of Autobots and Decepticons were inadvertently hurled to a world of alien giants. After being menaced by the cat Nitro and trapped in a toybox by Nitro's owner Aron, Soundwave was taken with the other Transformers to the planet's authorities for study and dissection. Ravage succeeded in freeing them, and the Decepticons all escaped back to Earth through a mock space bridge Perceptor created.
In Auto-Bop, under the command of Starscream, Soundwave set about brainwashing humans with ultrasonic vibrations inside the Decepticon-built nightclub Dancitron in New York City. This led to his first major confrontation with his Autobot counterpart, Blaster, with whom he engaged in a sonic duel. Soundwave had the upper hand, until Blaster used the club's sound system to magnify his own sonic attacks and win the fight.
In B.O.T., Soundwave invented a device to control the flow of Earth's tides. Before the Decepticons could use it, however, it was necessary to blast the moon out of orbit to remove its controlling influence, so they developed an orbit disruptor cannon to do the job. Unfortunately, the cannon would only be operated by Bruticus, and all the Combaticons save Swindle had been destroyed, so Soundwave installed a bomb in Swindle's head to give him the incentive to gather up their parts and rebuild them. Bruticus was restored, and Soundwave participated in the Decepticon attack upon Autobot Headquarters that served as a test run for the disruptor cannon, but the complex plot was foiled when three college students used makeshift robot to destroy the cannon.
By the year 2005, the Decepticons had conquered Cybertron. Thanks to Laserbeak and Soundwave, Megatron learned of an upcoming Autobot strike against Cybertron, and resolved to cripple their war effort by destroying Autobot City. During the subsequent battle, Soundwave was instructed to jam a distress call to Optimus Prime from Blaster, so he sent Ravage, Rumble, Frenzy and Ratbat to dismantle the communications array being used to broadcast it. Blaster's own team of cassettes fended Soundwave's off, and the call made it through, summoning Optimus Prime and a support team.
After a final battle between Prime and Megatron ended with Megatron being mortally wounded, Soundwave demonstrated his loyalty to his leader by recovering his damaged body and carrying him aboard Astrotrain, but when it became necessary to jettison excess weight so that the Decepticons could safely make it back to Cybertron, Soundwave made no move to stop Starscream from setting Megatron adrift in space. In fact, with Megatron gone, Soundwave himself made a bid for leadership, declaring himself a superior choice to the Constructicons and deploying his cassettes to fight for his honor. Starscream ultimately emerged victorious in the fight for leadership, but during his coronation ceremony, Megatron returned, having been recreated by Unicron into Galvatron. Galvatron promptly killed Starscream, and Soundwave started cheering for his returned leader. However the Decepticons were betrayed by Unicron, and Galavatron was lost, with the leaderless Decepticons being forced off Cybertron.
Low on energy, in Five Faces of Darkness, Soundwave and the other Decepticons were forced to relocate to the burned-out planet Chaar. When Rodimus Prime and Grimlock came to Chaar to investigate a mysterious attack on the Galactic Olympics, Soundwave and the Decepticons attacked them, and were then later approached by the true instigators of the Olympics attack, the Quintessons, with the prospect of an alliance. Under the Quintessons' instructions, Soundwave and the other Decepticons launched an attack on the Autobots on the planet Goo 8739B, during which Galvatron returned, having been found by Cyclonus and Scourge. With Galvatron back in charge, Soundwave was amongst the Decepticons who were sent to Earth to try and stop Metroplex's transforming cog from being delivered.
In Webworld, Soundwave went with Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps to search for isidrite in an asteroid belt. Soundwave dispatched Ratbat to search for the mineral, only for the cassette to discover that the Autobots were already mining it. In Carnage in C-Minor, Soundwave accompanied Galvatron to the planet Eurythma to investigate a mysterious sonic weapon. They discovered that sound and music were the way of life on the planet, and Soundwave was entranced by the planet's perfect melodies, specifically the destructive harmony weapon. One by one, Soundwave coerced from the Eurythmans each piece of the harmony, recording and combing them with the intention of turning the musical maelstrom upon Autobot City. He was defeated, however, when they countered the harmony with anti-sound, and Blaster erased his recordings.
During Call of the Primitives, during a battle on Earth's moon, Soundwave was shocked when his ejection system activated on its own, releasing Ravage, Ratbat, Slugfest and Overkill, who departed with all "Primitive" Transformers present to follow a mysterious voice. Mere moments later, the threat these Primitives had been summoned to fight, Tornedron, arrived on the moon and drained the energy from all the Transformers present, Soundwave included. The Primitives succeeded in defeating Tornedron and restoring everyone's energy. Soundwave was last seen playing the latest piece of information that two human scientists had discovered the body of Optimus Prime by Ratbat, which made Galvatron to destroy once and for all.
Soundwave was one of Megatron's first Decepticons, at his side as he declared war on the Autobots. He accompanied him in his attack on the Ark and thus ended up lying dormant on Earth for four million years. After being revived, he took part in the Decepticons' early campaigns but was damaged during an encounter with Gears. He was eventually repaired by Shockwave when he took command of the Decepticons and led a group of Decepticons in ambushing most of the Autobots alongside a facsimile Optimus Prime. However, he was easily defeated when the real Optimus Prime arrived.
With Megatron and Shockwave both missing in the aftermath of the incident, Soundwave took charge of the Earth Decepticons and made a plan to lure Optimus Prime into a trap by capturing Bumblebee. Again however, Optimus Prime proved strong enough to defeat the entire group. Soundwave instead aimed for subterfuge: On learning of the Autobots' search for the rogue and feral Dinobots, he escalated the problem by bringing Grimlock and Sludge together, resulting in several Autobots being deactivated bringing them under control and also managing to steal fuel from a nearby power plant when the Autobots were otherwise occupied.
Soundwave learned Megatron was lying deactivated in a coal mine and managed to refuel him. He reluctantly brought Megatron and Shockwave together and suggested they serve as co-leaders until one proved more efficient. Megatron eventually proved successful but only after losing almost all his original command: For a time, he was largely dependent on Soundwave and the Constructicons. During this period, Soundwave played a key role in stopping the Dinobots revealing the truth of the war via journalist Joy Meadows. When Galvatron arrived from the future, Soundwave and Megatron ended up allying with the Autobots against him, but were taken out of the battle by Starscream.
Soundwave ended up conspiring with Shockwave to depose Megatron, assisted by the Predacons. The first attempt only succeeded temporarily, but the second ended in Megatron's apparent death. Soundwave began to fade into the background as Ratbat took control of Earth operations. He had an encounter with Death's Head and led the Combaticons in a failed attempt to destroy the volcano where Galvatron and Ultra Magnus were imprisoned. Finally, during the Underbase Saga, he led the defence of Buenos Aires alongside Fortress Maximus but was deactivated by the Underbase-powered Starscream.
He was swiftly repaired and became one of the lieutenants of new Decepticon commander Scorponok, serving as field commander during the civil war with Shockwave's renegade faction. He was present on Cybertron for the battle with Unicron and was last seen among the Decepticons evacuating Cybertron in the aftermath.
In Marvel UK's post-movie stories, Soundwave originally served Shockwave before reluctantly joining Cyclonus and Scourge's all-out assault on the Autobots (which was actually arranged by Unicron). After the pair fled the battle, Soundwave took command of the Decepticons and ordered a retreat. He later attempted to attack the Autobot base believing it to be undermanned, only to get caught in an invasion by the Quintessons. He teamed up with Ultra Magnus to drive them off but dismissed the idea of a permanent truce. He later led the Terrorcons in an attempt to drain Earth's energy. When it was foiled by the Autobots, Soundwave and the Terrorcons pursued them into the past but ended up retreating back to their own time when they instead encountered Galvatron.
In the Earthforce storyline, Soundwave served as Megatron's second-in-command during their rivalry with Shockwave's Decepticon faction but then began feeding information to Shockwave, which he framed Wildrider for. Starscream blackmailed him into helping depose Megatron and Shockwave and unite the two factions under their joint leadership. The two mistrusted each other, coming to blows when Starscream mistakenly believed Soundwave had hired assassins to attack him, but ultimately joined together to stop the Autobots using journalist Irwin Spoon to improve their image.
- As aforementioned, Soundwave is usually portrayed by Frank Welker, who voiced an uncountable amount of characters and animals, some of which are villainous, such as Megatron and Doctor Claw.
- Another notable fact is that Welker voices Soundwave the exact same way he portrays the above mentioned Doctor Claw, however the voice is modified with a vocoder. This can be seen in certain errors of the show where Soundwave speaks without it and sounds identical to Claw.
- Soundwave's vocorded voice bears resemblance to the Cybermen in the Doctor Who 1960's serials The Moonbase and Tomb of the Cybermen.
- Though Soundwave has been portrayed as emotionless, in almost all incarnations, he has been proven that he somewhat loves and cares for his Minicons, as he's lovingly petted Laserbeak and Ravage several times.
- Soundwave, along with Ratbat and the Terrorcons, are the only Decepticons that never got infected by the Hate Plague in "The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 1". That made them the survivors of the episode.
- Soundwave was depicted with a purple colour scheme, with a yellow visor, in the US Marvel comics. In the UK stories, and Regeneration One, Soundwave is depicted in blue, however.
- In the Marvel US comics drawn by José Delbo, Soundwave is depicted without his mouthplate, with an actual mouth.