Heralds of Unicron: Wikis

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The term Herald of Unicron is an unofficial term that refers to a Transformer that has served as a minion of the Transformers villain, Unicron. They have appeared in numerous series, and usually have great powers associated with them. They come in two forms, Transformers or other beings driven to serve Unicron, or creations of Unicron himself. The term is most likely derived from the fans likening Unicron's servants to the heralds of Galactus, the world devourer from Marvel Comics.

Contents

Generation One

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Animated series

Galvatron as seen in the animated series.

In the cartoon, Unicron's principal servant was Galvatron, the recreated form of Megatron, whom he ordered to destroy the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. His other servants included Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps, whom he created from the remains of several Decepticons. Later, Unicron would attempt to use the immortal ghost of Starscream to help him gain a new body, but this effort too would fail, due to Starscream's inherently treacherous nature.

Marvel Comics

Just as he did in the cartoon, Unicron would try and use the various incarnations of Galvatron to aid him in his attempts to destroy Cybertron in Marvel Comics' comic series. In the Marvel UK comics Unicron initially had Galvatron, Cyclonus and Scourge as servants, as in the cartoon. But they used Unicron's time-travel technology to travel back to 1986, hoping to build a weapon to destroy Unicron. In response to this Unicron snared the minds of Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr, sending them back to 1986 to stop Galvatron. After Galvatron had returned to 2006 events proceeded as they had in the movie, but Unicron's head survived and landed on the planet Junk. He used his mental powers to enslave the native Junkions (although their leader, Wreck-Gar, was not present). He also took control of Cyclonus, Scourge and the bounty hunter Death's Head, using them to kill Shockwave and instigate a new conflict between Autobot and Decepticon. Death's Head broke free long enough for Wreck-Gar to alert Rodimus Prime, who managed to destroy Unicron.

After the damage done to the timeline by Galvatron in the past, events in the Marvel US comics took a very different course, in which Unicron would attack Cybertron in 1991. He would again use Galvatron, this time an alternate version plucked from a parallel timeline. This Galvatron proved no more reliable than his predecessor and was a major factor in Unicron's defeat. Unicron also had three servants known as "Hook, Line and Sinker", whom he would create from three criminals on the planet Ghennix prior to its destruction. Additionally, just prior to Unicron's arrival, a large number of Cybertronians were revealed to have been tainted by him, and secretly worshipped him in a cult. Donning masks fashioned in his likeness, they attacked the Autobot-Decepticon alliance, hoping to kill Optimus Prime — the leader of the alliance as named by Primus — but were summarily dispatched, leaving the greater threat of Unicron to be faced.

Quintessons

The Quintessons, the creators of the Transformers in the animated series, were originally intended to be Unicron's servants in The Transformers: The Movie, but this ultimately never made it into the series. In the "Transformers Universe" profile books (not to be confused with the Transformers Universe toy series), they were implicated as followers of Unicron, and in the "Wreckers" Collector's Club comics by 3H, they were written as such as well.

Dreamwave Productions

In the Dreamwave G1 continuity, a mysterious Transformer known as the Fallen would appear. One of the original 13 Transformers, the Fallen was said to have been seduced by Unicron's will. Upon returning to Cybertron in the 2nd "War Within" series, he would abduct several Transformers for some unknown purpose involving summoning Unicron, only to be destroyed by Primus himself.

In the main series, Cyclonus and Scourge were revealed to be Unicron's creations, and not reformatted Decepticons as is the case in the original series. Scourge was also leader of a huge number of Sweeps, dispatched throughout the galaxy to locate Cybertron. Scourge did find it, rescuing Shockwave from a pack of Sharkticons. His "thanks" was to promptly get shot in the back by Shockwave, who used insights gleaned from his body to create the Triple Changers. In an unpublished issue, Unicron would have dispatched Cyclonus to find out what happened to Scourge. Just what their eventual fate was is unknown, as the book was cancelled before it could be elaborated upon.

Devil's Due Publishing

In the Devil's Due Publishing series of G.I Joe vs the Transformers crossovers Unicron would receive some unlikely acolytes in the form of Cobra-La, the snake cult of the G.I Joe universe. They appeared at the end of the second crossover, recruiting Doctor Mindbender to their cause. They would appear at the end of the third crossover in a vision of the future still to come by Optimus Prime, suggesting that Cobra-La and Unicron may still make a major appearance in this continuity - a prophecy that would come true in the fourth crossover "Black Horizon".

Here we would discover that Cobra-La are not Heralds of Unicron in the normal sense - they are engaged in a mutually beneficial alliance with the Chaos-Bringer. After a confrontation millennia ago over the fate of Earth, in which Unicron and Cobra-La threatened to annihilate one another, a bargain was made. Unicron would depart and Cobra-La would go into hiding. Then, once mankind had reached a sufficiently advanced level to be useful as slaves to Unicron, Cobra-La would summon Unicron. The Chaos-Bringer would annihilate mankind and their civilization, and Cobra-La would emerge to take their place. In the events of the series, Cobra-La summon Unicron, intending for him to wipe out humanity. In addition, Cobra-La would have another group of allies - the Decepticon Bludgeon and his band of Monster Pretenders, who had been promised power and immortality in return for helping Cobra-La. It was also discovered that Unicron also harvested the populations of the worlds he devoured, using them as slaves to maintain his inner workings. Unicron was able to mentally control these slaves, even talking through them, and use them as antibodies against internal invaders.

Beast Wars Era

Beast Wars

Unicron would have no personal role in the Beast Wars series, other than when the Vok took his form when appearing before Optimus Primal. However, the character of Tarantulas was once called "Unicron's spawn" by Megatron in Nemesis Pt 1. The exact extent of what this means is a point of debate - it may have just been an insult, or a literal description of his origins. (Writer Bob Forward claims the former, while David Kaye's flat, matter-of-fact delivery of the line as Megatron implies the latter.) There is the possibility that it may have been both - that Megatron called him that without knowing just how accurate it really was. Either way, Tarantulas has an unknown connection to the Vok, and mysterious origins of some kind. Another popular explanation is that he was a descendant of the G2 Cybertronians and the Liege Maximo; but actual canon explanations are lacking because there has never been an official published explanation. The closest there has been was in Transformers: The Ultimate Guide by Simon Furman, which notes that Tarantulas has Dark Science links dating back to Unicron. Whether this actually means he is descended from Unicron is unclear. In the recent 2006 TransformersCon voice actor play Tarantulas appeared, plucked from his own timestream by a repeat wave created by Unicron's eventual defeat in The Transformers: The Movie. Again hints as to his true origin were dropped: unlike most of the Transformers present, Tarantulas immediately allied himself with Unicron, who sensed the spider as one of his servants.

Tarantulas would reappear in the 3H Collector's Club Universe comics, where he was one of the many Transformers in Unicron's fold, and he would attempt to manipulate the mind-altered Blackarachnia. He also appeared in the "Primeval Dawn" storyline, but it was never concluded. The 3H collector's club Wreckers comic (set during Beast Machines) also revealed Cyclonus and Skywarp, in new Vehicon bodies, to be servants of Unicron, working from within the Wreckers.

Also from a Botcon exclusive story from this era is Shokaract, who, in an alternate time-line, discovered Unicron's essence and fashioned it into his "Predacon Matrix of Conquest", as well as his minions, Antagony and Cataclysm. He would eventually be defeated, and his timeline erased, by Primus himself, with help from a group of Transformers including Optimus Prime, Megatron, Grimlock and Soundwave. Shokaract was a BotCon exclusive character, and a repaint of Beast Wars Rampage.

Beast Wars Neo

In the Beast Wars Neo cartoon, Unicron would attempt to collect the Angolmois energy, which was in fact his life-force. Here, he would use the body of the Predacon leader Galvatron as a host, attempting to merge it with Cybertron to use as his new body, and he had three servants known as the Blendtrons to act as his agents. These had immense power, defeating Big Convoy and Magmatron easily and able to bend time and space to their will. They were eventually absorbed by Unicron once they fulfilled their mission. These are perhaps the first characters to fit the profile of being Unicron's actual creations, rather than Transformers coerced into serving him. They are all recolors of Fuzors from the American Beast Wars line.

  • Elephorca - A Orca/Elephant hybrid, the strongest of the trio and able to use powerful acidic liquids secretes from his body or his Killer Shooter gun to liquify any material on contact.
  • Drancron - A Lizard/Dragonfly hybrid, an executioner in outlook with his Drancutter arm blade
  • Rartorarta - A Hornet/Lionfish hybrid, cruel and willing to sacrifice even his comrades for their mission. Uses a ceremonial rapid-fire poison arrow launcher for assassination reasons.

The Blendtron faction symbol has been adopted by the fans and several canonical sources as the symbol for Unicron-affiliated Transformers.

In episode #35, called "Graduation!!" the Big Convoy's Maximals fight the three Blendtrons. Heinlad stops time just as the three are about to fire on the Maximals, moves them, and then restarts time so they shoot each others. The Blendtrons then retreat.

IDW Publishing

IDW's second Beast Wars series, The Ascending would see Shokaract and the Blendtrons serving Unicron in order to bring about something called the Ascending for Shokaract. Rartorata was dispatched to Earth to prevent Razorbeast and Ravage from making a truce, successfully infecting the Maximal leader with Angolmois energy.

In Beast Wars: The Ascending Armordillo, B'Boom, Bantor, Buzzclaw, Claw Jaw, Cybershark, Lazorbeak, Manterror, Manta Ray, Optimus Minor, Powerpinch, Ramulus, Razorbeast, Retrax, Sky Shadow, Spittor, Stinkbomb and Terragator were wounded in battle and left on Earth. Together they fought and defeated the Blendtrons Drancron, Elephaorpha and Rartorarta. Although Razorbeast survived the battle he was infected with Rartorarta's maddening sting and had to be put down by Optimus Minor to stop him from attacking his allies.

Transformers: Armada & Transformers: Energon

Unicron would factor into the new Transformers: Armada and Transformers: Energon (Micron Legend and Superlink in Japan) continuity, as the penultimate villain of both series. And like his other incarnations, he had servants in this continuity as well.

Armada anime

Mini-Cons

In the Armada anime, ages after Unicron was sealed inside Cybertron's moon, he would attempt to stoke the fires of the Autobot and Decepticon war. His method of doing this was the Mini-Cons, a tiny race of power-enhancing Transformers that Unicron hoped would give him not only enough hatred and malice to feed off of, but also give him the means to restore his body and devour the Transformer race. However, when the humans Rad, Carlos, and Alexis were sent into the past, they encountered the Mini-Cons at the time of their birth from Unicron's "cells", and would ultimately set them free by the power of their concern for their Mini-Con friend, High Wire.

Even then, the Mini-Cons would be fought over by both the Autobots and Decepticons, and so they fled to Earth, in the hopes of one day meeting their human friends. Their ship crashed, however, and when they were awakened eons later, they brought both factions of Transformers to the planet looking for them. The most powerful of them were the "weapon" teams - the Mini-Cons that formed the Star Saber, Skyboom Shield, and Requiem Blaster. When the war returned to Cybertron, the three weapons were stolen, and were used as the keys to finally reviving Unicron. However, again the children's love for their Mini-Cons would shine through Unicron's darkness, and the Mini-Cons summoned the strength to break free of Unicron's control, and seemed to finally, ultimately be free.

The Linkage mini-comic included with the DVDs of Armada's Japanese counterpart, "Micron Legend," would reveal that the Mini-Cons have a collective connection known as the "Linkage" (same as the series's name), and described the events by which the Mini-Cons unlocked the awesome powers they displayed in the series.

Unicron's "personal Mini-Con" is Dead End, who appears in the form of a swarm of "laser pods".

Sideways

Existing as a counter to the Mini-Cons is Sideways, a mysterious, deceptive entity that manipulated both the Autobots and Decepticons. Presenting himself as a "drifter", he seemed to join the Autobots, only to betray them an episode later and place the Star Saber in Decepticon hands. He would continue to manipulate both sides in secret, until his true nature was revealed when he attempted to trick the Decepticon Demolishor. He was found to be an amorphous entity that seemed to be made of nanite-like particles and was apparently indestructible. In addition, he attempted to gain control of the Street Action Mini-Cons by drawing them and the children into a "cyber-dimension", further showing the mysterious powers he possessed.

Long after being revealed, he entered into an alliance with the Decepticon Thrust, who helped him to steal all three Mini-Con weapons when the war moved to Cybertron. Thrust would himself become a willing servant of Unicron, riding on Unicron's shoulder and cheering him on as the planet eater attacked Cybertron. Finally, at the series' climax, Sideways fully revealed his nature - he is an extension of Unicron himself. Speaking through Sideways, Unicron attempted to manipulate Megatron and Optimus Prime into submitting to him. This failed, and when the Mini-Cons turned on Unicron, Sideways (seemingly devoid of Unicron's presence at the time) attacked, only to be vaporized by Optimus Prime wielding the Requiem Blaster.

The Mini-Cons that form Sideways' two heads and trigger his faction-changing ability are Crosswise and Rook (Shadow and Bright in Japan). They can combine into Sideways' Mini-Con "Rider" (Mirror in Japan), but it is uncertain whether or not they are individuals, portions of Sideways' psyche, or extensions of Sideways himself.

Sideways would reappear in Takara's Transformers: Robot Masters series under the moniker of Doubleface, his Japanese name.

Is Sideways Unicron?

Many have speculated that he was due to Unicron saying "he was a disguise", but clearly was not. This is supported by the fact the Sideways was seen frightened and apologizing to Unicron (Sideways apologizing to himself makes no sense). A more accurate description was that he was a separate entity created by Unicron in a similar fashion the Minicons were, therefore, Sideways is not Unicron. It still seems to condridict the fact that he claimed to be the very same in episode 51.

Nemesis Prime

Nemesis Prime as seen in "Transformers: Armada"

In the episode "Puppet", the Autobots and Decepticons were lured to a mysterious world and were attacked by a dark clone of Optimus Prime calling himself, fittingly enough, Nemesis Prime. He exhibited the same amorphous tendencies as Sideways himself, but was more of a feral beast, and even ran on all fours like an ape (leading some fans to declare "monkey truck" - a parody of the reaction some anti-Beast Wars fans had, where they insulted Optimus Primal by crying out "truck not monkey!"). He wielded the Dark Saber, a copy of the Star Saber, as a weapon. He was ultimately destroyed by Galvatron and Optimus, who had combined with Overload - and when he was destroyed, Sideways' form burst out of it and disappeared.

Just as there is confusion about whether Sideways is Unicron or not, there is the misconception that Nemesis Prime is a disguise taken on by Sideways. However, the episode's title indicates that he is more a "puppet" of Sideways. The fact that he was a separate character was reinforced by the fact that in the Linkage comic, he was seen destroying worlds on his own to create an artifact called the Doomstone, and the fact that he had a separate bio on Takara's Micron Legend web-site.

Nemesis Prime's Japanese name is Scourge, after the Transformers: Robots in Disguise character. In addition to the Dark Saber, he has a Mini-Con partner named Run-Over (Sweep), who only appeared briefly in the pages of Linkage.

Linkage

The Linkage DVD comics featured several Mini-cons as the crucial characters, which included the heroes, Redline, Flat-out, Servo, Falcia, Twirl, and Combusta. However, the series also involved several Mini-Cons, still corrupted by Unicron, who aimed to destroy the Mini-cons' Linkage collective. The events of this comic went on as the events of the anime were happening, and ended around the time of the episode "Depart".

Top Gear, Midship and Tailside are seemingly the ringleaders; they're recolors of the Mini-Con Race Team. Midship and Top Gear appear as though they'd always been Unicron's servants, but Tailside was a normal Mini-con corrupted by Top Gear into serving them. All three have the ability to combine into a jet called Magnawing.

Freeboot, Bilge and Sunburn are a team of pirate Mini-cons, working with Top Gear and his team. They all transform into watercraft. Sunburn is female.

Ravenus is not a Mini-Con, but rather an Autobot driven mad by his addiction to powerlinking with Mini-Cons and Unicron's influence. Possessing a twisted form that transformed into a pteranodon (a recolor of Beast Wars Transmetal Terrorsaur), he carried the Doomstone, which was meant to destroy the Linkage. However, the Mini-Cons purified him, and he took on a form based on the original Dinobot Swoop.

Energon anime

By the time of Energon, Unicron would still be destroyed, but would be resurrected once again due, ironically enough, to one of his previous victims - Alpha Q, whose homeworld, Planet Q, had been destroyed years previously by the planet eater. Though the Mini-Cons were now free of his influence, and Sideways, Nemesis Prime, and the others were long gone, Alpha Q's desire to restore his homeworld and Megatron's desire to resurrect Unicron as a weapon played into the world devourer's hands. By the end of the series, Unicron would possess Megatron (now Galvatron) after his body was completely destroyed, after subliminally influencing him to find a store of Super Energon that enlarged Galvatron's body to the size of Unicron's own. However, Galvatron ultimately summoned enough willpower to break free, and helped to destroy Unicron by merging him with Primus and creating an energon sun.

Dreamwave Productions

The Armada and Energon comics by Dreamwave ultimately took a different, more traditional approach to the concept of Unicron's servants. In this version, the Mini-Cons are unconnected to Unicron, and the Chaos Bringer spans dimensions to devour worlds. He would send his "heralds" in advance, to prepare for his arrival. These would include G1 Galvatron, Bludgeon, Thunderwing, Dirge and Scourge. In truth, these are actually alternates of the original characters - they were largely incapable of free thought and served only Unicron; none save Galvatron displayed any of the original characters' personality traits. They were also all destroyed, with Galvatron meeting his end at the hands of Armada Megatron, and Scourge, Dirge, Bludgeon and Thunderwing were destroyed by Jetfire.

Unicron would gain new servants 10 years later, however. In addition to Alpha Quintesson, the comic version of Scorponok and the Terrorcons swore to serve him, gathering energon for him in return for third "hyper-modes" bristling with weaponry and more raw power, allowing them to defeat their enemies on Cybertron. In addition to this, Unicron had corrupted the Armada versions of Rhinox, Airazor, Terrorsaur and Cheetor into his Four Horsemen, using them to devastate Cybertron before they were eventually stopped by Optimus Prime in his new upgraded body (in reality his Energon anime body). This was based on a fan suggestion.

Sideways would also be used as Unicron's servant in this continuity, as were Nemesis Prime and Run-Over, but this fact would only appear in the Armada: More than Meets the Eye series, a profile book.

Transformers: Universe

The Transformers: Universe series would spiral out of the idea that Unicron is the same in all realities. The series would depict a conflict between him and Primus, where which they would all have an army to fight for them. In that sense, Unicron's heralds in this series would be the "Decepticons" he had chosen to serve him. In the universe comic, he collected both Autobots and Decepticons (named after the ancient factions of the G1 Universe) alike so he could absorb their sparks. His "chief heralds" would be the leaders he had chosen to lead the effort for him: Razorclaw ( a corrupted alternate version of Tigerhawk), incarnations of Obsidian and Tankor that had betrayed Megatron; and a mad genius named Reptilion.

The toy-line would also involve a new version of Nemesis Prime, an alternate universe version of Optimus Prime twisted and corrupted into being Unicron's servant. He would not appear in the comics published by 3H, but would appear in the Transformers: Cybertron comic published when Master Collector took over the convention and Collector's Club. He appeared alongside Ramjet, another Transformer made to serve Unicron, when they attempted to use the power of the dead Matrix to drain Primus' life-force to resurrect Unicron, destroyed at the conclusion of Energon. Their plan was thwarted by Vector Prime, Sentinel Maximus and Omega Prime.

Transformers: Cybertron

Due to Transformers: Cybertron's ambiguous nature in terms of continuity, it cannot be said whether Unicron has any heralds in this series. The characters of Sideways and Soundwave may be connected to him. The package bio for Soundwave explains the connections between Planet X and Unicron as a pact in order to avenge the death of their race.

Whether or not Cybertron Sideways is Armada Sideways is extremely dubious. Hasbro's "Ask Vector Prime" column states that he is, but the show never makes any effort to reconcile these points. On the other hand, the newly surfaced bio for Planet X, printed on the side of Soundwave's packaging explains these characters connections to Unicron. The are essentially survivors of a dead civilization who made a pact with Unicron for power to avenge their race, and were made his slaves in return, explaining Sideways' involvement in the Armada story, and Soundwave's involvement in the newly published Club Comic. Planet X is also referred to as a codename for Unicron that the agents use to identify each other across the cosmos, although it was once the name of their homeworld. Nevertheless, this contrasts with the elements revealed about Sideways in Armada, and the only explanation for these inconsistencies comes from another element of the comic - that history has been retroactively changed by the Black Hole in Cybertron.

The comic featuring Nemesis Prime and Ramjet takes place amidst the events of Cybertron, even though it features Universe characters. In addition, in the comic, the Transformers of Planet X are said to have allied with Unicron, with Soundwave actively resurrecting him by tossing the Dead Matrix into the black hole, allowing Unicron to steal another planet as his body. Soundwave subsequently accompanied Unicron during his latest attack on Cybertron, but was driven off by a swarm of Mini-Cons.


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