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Thundercracker is one of the Decepticon seekers and a member of the Decepticons.
He was awakened in 1984 on Earth after laying dormant and deactivated over 4 million years in his new Earth mode called the F-15 eagle jet. He shared the same appearance as Starscream and Skywarp and is usually allied with them during the attacks and battles with the Autobots. However, in most classic media, Thundercracker and Skywarp were never major antagonists.
Often chafing under Starscream's self-importance and glory seeking, he hates Starscream with a passion and exploited reasons to undermine his authority, such as letting their former ally-turned Autobot Skyfire destroy one of their secret weapons merely so Starscream would get the blame.
He was voiced by the late John Stephenson (who also voiced Mr. Slate from The Flintstones) in Season 1, and the late Wally Burr in Season 2. He was later voiced by André Sogliuzzo in the videogame Transformers: Devastation.
"Comtemptuous of anything that cannot fly. Not totally convinced of the Decepticons' cause, but they persuaded him to continue battling the Autobots. Flies at speed up to 1500 mph.. produces controlled, deafening sonic booms that can be heard for 200 miles. Equipped with powerful drone rockets & incendiary gun. Doubts about cause sometimes impede effectiveness."
On Cybertron, Thundercracker was among Megatron's elite warriors. At some point, he and Skywarp faced the Guardian Robots, and would recall being defeated by them. In the opening three parter, More than Meets the Eye, Thundercracker was part of the attack on the Autobot spacecraft and joined the rest of the Earth-bound Transformers in their 4 million years in stasis under an inactive volcano. He awoke when the rest of the Decepticons did, and took part in their attempts to gather energon and escape the planet Earth, which he loathed for being too "flat". While keeping watch around the Decepticon camp, he and Reflector spotted what they thought was an Autobot, though was actually just a couple of humans in their vehicle.
Following a raid on an oil platform to obtain the energy needed for a new space cruiser, Thundercracker took part in the Decepticon attack on Sherman Dam, where he and Skywarp fought Mirage and Cliffjumper and were knocked off the walkway they were fighting on by Mirage. While pillaging the ruby crystal mines of Burma, Thundercracker complained to Skywarp about Earth when they stumbled across Bumblebee and his ally Sparkplug Witwicky. They immediately stated beating them up, but the bomb the pair had planted went off and buried them all. Megatron soon blasted the Decepticons free, and Thundercracker then help steal rocket fuel from Cape Carlson air base, destroying a couple of tanks. The fuel stolen provided the Decepticons with enough energy to launch their new space cruiser, but the Autobots arrived to stop them; during the brawl, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Laserbeak unleashed an aerial assault upon Cliffjumper and Wheeljack. The Decepticon soon broke off the fight to board their ship, but Mirage's sabotage grounded the ship.
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In Fire on the Mountain, Thundercracker and Starscream were ordered to obtain steel for Megatron, and Thundercracker insisted that no Earth-made metal would be strong enough for their purposes. Starscream inevitably refused to listen, and when the weapon frame they constructed from the steel could not handle the Crystal of Power's energy, Starscream blamed Thundercracker. Stuck with guard duty as a result, Thundercracker caught Skyfire snooping around, but actually contemplated letting the Autobot destroy the crystal so that he could make Starscream take the blame. Unfortunately for Thundercracker, Starscream caught him in the act, and blackmailed him into obeying his orders, otherwise he would reveal his treachery to Megatron. The Autobots soon destroyed the crystal themselves, and as the Decepticons withdrew, Thundercracker openly mocked Megatron and Starscream for underestimating their enemies.
In the three-parter The Ultimate Doom, Thundercracker and the Seekers attacked a solar plant located in India as a diversion so Megatron could put his current plan into motion by capturing Sparkplug Witwicky. The Autobots assaulted Decepticon Headquarters to rescue Sparkplug, and during this underwater battle, Thundercracker got hit by one of his own missiles when Bumblebee redirected it back at him. As Sparkplug was equipped with a hypno-chip, Sparkplug crippled the Autobots' defense systems and weapons from within, allowing Thundercracker and the Decepticons to invade their base. Although they were driven off by fire-retardant foam, they then went to work assembling a gigantic space bridge, which Megatron used to transport Cybertron itself into Earth's orbit. However, the appearance of Cybertron threw Earth's atmosphere into chaos, with the storm winds created blowing Thundercracker's flamethrower back into his and Starscream's face. Despite being loaded with energon cubes to transport to the orbiting Cybertron, Thundercracker didn't get the opportunity to lift off before tremors toppled him and his cargo all over HQ. During a later battle on a tropical island, Thundercracker was shot down by Optimus Prime, then fought hand-to-hand with Ironhide. When they noticed Megatron departing for Cybertron by himself, Thundercracker and Skywarp broke off the fight to follow him.
Thundercracker was less focused on in season 2, often being in the background as part of the Decepticon army. However, he had his moments, such as mocking Astrotrain's attempted coup in Triple Takeover, even making a bet of three energon cubes with Ranjet and Thrust on whether Megatron would defeat the Triple Changers. In War Dawn, Thundercracker, Starscream, and Skywarp found themselves pursued by the new Aerialbots, when they captured several human dignitaries. Though Thundercracker was defeated in his dogfight with Fireflight and Slingshot, the Aerialbots were all impressed by the Decepticon jets' flying skills, which allowed the Decepticons to lure the naive young Autobots into a trap on Cybertron by offering to talk with them. The Aerialbots were blasted back in time, and the Decepticons tried to keep the other Autobots from rescuing them by reanimating a dormant Guardian robot — though Thundercracker was spooked at the Guardian, recalling his previous encounters with them.
In the two-parter Starscream's Brigade/The Revenge of Bruticus. Thundercracker and Skywarp were guarding a space bridge when Starscream flew in and requested to go to Cybertron. The two of them refused to let anybody through without proper authorisation, but when thratened, they let him in. Starscream used personality components he liberated to create the Combaticons, who Thundercracker then battled against along with the others. Once Starscream was defeated, the Decepticons got back to energy-gathering, and Thundercracker and Dirge were charged with transporting some freshly-made cubes to the space bridge. When Starscream and the Combaticons returned to threaten Earth and Cybertron, Thundercracker was part of the allied Autobot-Decepticon group who headed to Cybertron to stop their plot.
Transformers Devastation takes place in a version of the cartoon, albeit with some minor differences. Thundercracker was forced to fight the Autobots when they sought information of the ancient starship the Proudstar's Plasma Core. After being defeated, Optimus Prime invited him to join their cause, and while Thundercracker didn't accept, he did reveal the core's location to them, as he considered Megatron's plans for it to be utter madness, and hoped the Autobots would destroy it. Despite the Autobots' efforts, the Decepticons got their hands on the core and brought it back to the Proudstar, where Thundercracker later battled the Autobots alongside Skywarp.
Transformers: The Movie
Thundercracker made his final appearance in Transformers: The Movie, once again as one of its minor villains. He was among the few Decepticons present in the battle of Autobot City in their assault before being gunned down by Optimus Prime, who headed on to fight Megatron. With the Decepticon's defeat, an injured Thundercracker fled with the rest of the Decepticons & hitch a ride to Astrotrain. While on their way back to Cybertron, Astrotrain complained about the heavy load & requested to lighten the load. After Starscream argued with the rest of the Decepticons to claim the new Decepticon leadership, Bonecrusher suggested a fight of the fittest in which everyone agreed. Thundercracker was among the few casualties from the fight & he, alongside Megatron, Skywarp & the Insecticons, were dumped out of Astrotrain.
His misery was put to an end when Megatron encountered Unicron, whom he made a deal with. Megatron was then turned into Galvatron, which led Thundercracker to be reformatted into Scourge, with the Insecticons being reformatted into his lookalike minions known as the Sweeps.
Marvel's the Transformers
UK exclusive stories are in italics.
Early battles on Earth
In The Transformers, Thundercracker was among the Decepticons who attacked the Autobots Ark, and was deactivated when the Ark crashed into Earth. 4 million years later, Thundercracker awoke in 1984, gaining the alternate mode of an Earth jet. Thundercracker and his fellow fliers battled the Autobots at a drive-in movie theater, but he and Starscream were forced to flee when they were blasted by Cliffjumper's glass gas.
In Power Play, Thundercracker and the Decepticons attacked the Harrison Nuclear Power Plant, heralding the assault with one of his sonic booms. After the villains constructed a base of operations from stolen portions of the power plant, they learned that the Autobots' human ally Sparkplug Witwicky had developed a conversion process that would allow Earth fuels to be used by Transformers. Thundercracker took part in the attack on Sparkplug's auto repair shop, and despite being blinded by one of Sideswipe's flares, Sparkplug was captured.
While Sparkplug was put to work brewing his conversion formula for the Decepticons, in Man of Iron, Thundercracker, Starscream, and Skywarp were sent to England to investigate a Cybertronian signal that they soon discovered was emanating from an spaceship that had crashed there centuries before. Thundercracker aided in killing the occupant, the so-called Man of Iron. Returning to America, in Prisoner of War the three jets fought off attacking human military forces. The Autobots soon joined the fray, but while Thundercracker and his comrades took potshots at them, they failed to realise the battle was cover to covertly rescue Sparkplug.
In The Last Stand, Thundercracker and the Decepticons were refuelled with fuel created through Sparkplug's conversion formula, and fought the "final battle" with the Autobots, jetting into their volcano headquarters and using his sonic booms to bring parts of the mountain down around them. Due to the formula secretly being poisoned, they all collapsed.
Thundercracker and the other Decepticons were healed by Shockwave after he defeated the Autobots and took command of the Decepticons, and swore loyalty to him when he defeated Megatron in combat. However, after both Megatron and Shockwave went AWOL, Thundercracker fell under Soundwave's command, as seen in Crisis of Command. Thundercracker aided him in his plan to trap Optimus Prime by using Bumblebee as bait. Thundercracker's sonic booms disoriented Prime, but he and the other Seekers were defeated by him.
Breaking away from Soundwave, Thundercracker and the other jets returned to the Blackrock oil rig, as seen in Rock and Roll Out. They found their makeshift base surrounded by government forces, leaving them trapped for weeks. Shockwave returned to help them make their getaway, then charged the trio with using a power siphon to convert sound energy from a Brick Springhorn concert into more cubes. When a new group of Autobots began interfering, the Seekers launched a surprise attack. Thundercracker and the others battled Skids, Tracks and Smokescreen and had their plans foiled.
The scattered Decepticon forces were brought together in The Bridge to Nowhere when Thundercracker, the Seekers and Shockwave were brought to Megatron's new base in Wyoming. Now back together in To a Power Unknown, the Decepticons attacked a human village, before having their personalities inverted by the PARD. While inverted, Thundercracker and the others helped repair the village, before the effects wore off.
Captured by the Autobots
In Command Performances, Thundercracker was part of a Decepticon unit who headed out to welcome new troops who had crossed the space bridge from Cybertron. No sooner had they discovered that the new arrivals were actually Autobots than they were alerted by Shockwave to a full-scale Autobot attack on their base. Believing that this meant the Ark was undefended, Megatron had his unit attack it instead, only for them to run afoul of the Ark's powerful new guardian, Omega Supreme. Omega deactivated Thundercracker, and the majority of the Decepticons, and their bodies were imprisoned in stasis by the Autobots.
In US continuity, Thundercracker would eventually be rescued in Totalled by the Decepticons.
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Unicron TrilogyThere were two Thundercrackers depicted in Unicron Trilogy media, the first being in Transformers: Armada. For the Cybertron version, see: Thundercracker (Transformers: Cybertron)
Thundercracker was mentioned in Dreamwave Productions comics as having been a Decepticon who left the army centuries ago. He made an appearance in the (unpublished) Energon comics finale Armageddon, as one of the Decepticons who had been provoked into rebelling against the Autobots by Megatron's return. Thundercracker was among those hassling the Autobot Dropshot when Starscream's ghost appeared.
- Main article: Thundercracker (IDW Comics)
- Main article: Starscream Clones
Thundercracker was among an army of clones of Starscream, in the second season two-parter A Bridge Too Close, with each clone representing an exaggerated part of himself. In Thundercracker's case, he represented Starscream's ego, and constantly asserted his superiority over the others, including the original. When Starscream began his speech to lead them into battle, Thundercracker shoved Starscream aside and lead the charge to Earth. During the battle for a space bridge, Mixmaster encased him in a adhesive goo early on. As Thundercracker tried to break free, he, Skywarp and Blurr fell into the space bridge, to an unknown destination.
In Transwarped, Blurr suggested that Thundercracker use his sonic powers to free them from the glue. As soon as he had done so, Blurr tried to make his escape; Thundercracker flew after him, but Blurr jumped off his face, and escaped him.
- Main article: Thundercracker (Aligned)
- Despite his bio, Thundercracker never expressed any concern for humans in either the cartoon or the comic. However in Transformers: Devastation, based on the cartoon, Thundercracker does give advice to stop Megatron's insane plans.
- In Man of Iron, due to it's many reprinting's over the years, it's unclear which Seekers did what. The UK verison had Thundercracker be wounded from Bluestreak's bomb, the Transformers Collected Comics had Thundercracker kill the Man of Iron, and the US version had him crash due to Mirage.
- Despite being deactivated in the US comics for a long time, Thundercracker made a cameo in the GI Joe crossover.
- In the video games, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, one of R.O.B.'s alternate costumes is based on Thundercracker's classic colors.