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The Predacons are a group of fictional characters from the Transformers universe. Predacon is also the name of a Decepticon in the Transformers: Armada series.

Contents

Transformers: Generation 1

Predaking
Predaking.jpg
Decepticon
Sub-group Predacons
Function Hunters
Motto "Destroy first, ask questions later."
Alternate Modes 5 Predacons
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Titanium

The Predacons (the Animatrons in Japan) are a team of five fearsome Decepticon hunters, able to transform into wild beasts and combine their bodies and minds into the giant robot, Predaking. The team includes:

  • Razorclaw
    He transforms into a lion.
    He forms the massive torso of Predaking.
    The leader of the team, who despises the unnecessary expenditure of energy and resources.
    He is preternaturally patient, always waiting for the best moment to strike.
  • Rampage
    He transforms into a tiger.
    He forms the right arm of Predaking.
    He is a little more than a raging psychopath, in a constant state of anger that leaves even the other Predacons afraid of him.
    Thankfully, there is one way of keeping Rampage under control; he is easily distracted by mindless television entertainment.
  • Divebomb
    He transforms into an eagle.
    He forms the left arm of Predaking and his wings also become Predaking's wings.
    He is a loner by nature.
    He only combines with his teammates when he has no other option.
    On his own, he amuses himself by destroying objects from the air for the sheer joy of it.
  • Tantrum
    He transforms into a bull.
    He forms the left leg of Predaking.
    The fueler of the Predacons, always using brute force to see things through, even when it is not called for.
    In reality, he has severe anger problems and releases his anger by destroying anything unlucky enough to get in his way.
  • Headstrong
    He transforms into a rhino.
    He forms the right leg of Predaking.
    He is unbelievably stubborn and does not take advice from anyone.
    However, he is probably the weakest of the team, and extremely insecure about it.

Although most of the combiners are little more than lumbering brutes who use sheer force to obliterate their enemies, Predaking is different. Where some of the other combiners have trouble thinking due to the mismatched minds of their components, all the Predacons are focused on the thrill of the hunt. Because of this, Predaking moves with increased speed and grace rare for a being his size, merely reacting to threats rather than actually thinking about it, no matter how small. He seems to act almost on pure instinct, which often manifests as sheer overpowering brutality. As a warrior, he has no equal. As a weapon, there is no defense against him.

However, despite this, he suffers many defeats in the animated series (often called on to defeat very large and powerful enemies) as well as in the Marvel comics.

Released in 1986, the Predacons became a popular seller, and came in two variants - entirely plastic, and with die-cast metal parts, the latter version being the most sought after. Unlike the other combiners released that year, Predaking was substantially larger and did not follow the same basic so-called "Scramble City" design which allowed his component limbs to be swapped freely; each arm and leg could be interchanged with each other, but an arm could not form a leg, and vice versa. Illustrating this point are the various depictions of Predaking's limb arrangement - his instructions and toy box art depict Divebomb as the left arm, Rampage the arm, Headstrong the left leg and Tantrum the right, while his cartoon and comic book appearances perform a straight swap of this.

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Marvel Comics

On the planet Cybertron, some time before the departure of Optimus Prime and Megatron's crews and their subsequent four-million-year exile on Earth, the Dinobot-to-be Swoop went by the name "Divebomb," but when he was defeated in battle by an aerial Decepticon ace, the villainous victor claimed the name for his own - now, this Decepticon was Divebomb, and he eventually became a member of the Predacons. This particular piece of back story, however, would not be revealed until after the Predacons made their Marvel Comics debut, in the United Kingdom's exclusive Transformers comic, which interspliced its own unique material between reprints of the U.S. title. Here, the Predacons were summoned to Earth in 1987 and fitted with animal modes by Megatron in order to hunt Optimus Prime. Prime went against the Predacons alone (separated from the Autobots as part of a plan of his own to test their ability to function without him), using all his skill and ingenuity to survive, but as Megatron watched, the Predacons attacked him, having been ordered to do so by Megatron's rival for power, Shockwave. The Predacons then absconded, leaving Prime and Megatron to finish each other, but when Megatron transported them both to Cybertron, Shockwave dispatched the Predacons to find them. The team arrived back on Cybertron a little too late, as Megatron and Prime had returned to Earth, but an encounter with the Cybertron local Decepticon commander, Lord Straxus, had left Megatron with amnesia, unable to remember the Predacons' treachery.

The stage was set for the Predacons' appearance in the U.S. title, and appear they did, shortly after Optimus Prime perished in a virtual duel with Megatron. Megatron himself had begun to descend into paranoid insanity, and Shockwave summoned the Predacons back to Earth and had them pose as Autobots, planning to have them hunt Megatron as part of a scheme to once again seize command of the Decepticons from Megatron (the UK comic rewrote some of the dialogue in its reprint of this issue to make it appear to be the Predacons' second trip to Earth). The plan did not go smoothly, however, as Megatron defeated them all, even in their combined form of Predaking. Realizing that Shockwave was to blame, Megatron was about to kill him when he revealed that he had duplicated his mind to disc to guide the Predacons in their mission. Believing (accurately as it turned out) that this was how Optimus Prime had survived, Megatron apparently killed himself by blowing up the interdimensional spacebridge while standing on it. Shockwave was left as Decepticon commander, and the Predacons were absorbed into his Earth-based Decepticon army.

The U.K. title shone the spotlight on the Predacons again when they attacked a circus, and the news report covering it revealed to Swoop that his old foe Divebomb was now on Earth. Divebomb himself was growing disenchanted with the lack of challenges on Earth, so when Swoop ambushed him, he relished the chance to have a battle that tested him. Neither he nor Swoop, however, were particularly pleased when the other Predacons and Dinobots intruded on their private conflict, but when Grimlock almost killed Divebomb, Swoop stopped him and allowed the Predacons to go, so that when they next met, it would be on his terms.

The Predacons and Constructicons were soon dispatched to collect rocket fuel and raw materials with which the Constructicons converted the Decepticons' island base into a spaceship. Not long after, the government organization the Intelligence and Information Institute (I.I.I.) captured a group of Autobots called the Throttlebots. In response to intensive Predacons raids ordered by Shockwave, I.I.I. publicly threatened to destroy the Throttlebots as a perceived ultimatum. Not realizing that their captives were in fact enemies of the attacking robots, the I.I.I. were forced to destroy their bodies as planned. Decepticon co-commander and fuel auditor Ratbat led the Predacons on a mission to inspect the corpses. Discovering that the Throttlebots brain modules had been placed in toy cars by Triple I's sympathetic operate, Walter Barnett, the Predacons pursued them, demolishing a mall in the process.

Later, when the treacherous Decepticon Starscream manipulated Ratbat's Decepticons in fighting the forces of Scorponok, the Predacons were at the forefront of battle, with Rampage taking on Apeface while Tantrum was scrapped by Scorponok himself. But when Starscream's scheming resulted in his acquiring the cosmic power of the interstellar databank, the Underbase, the Predacons aided in the defense of Tokyo, but were among the legions of Transformers deactivated by the villain.

The Predacons remained deactivated for the remainder of the U.S. series, until it was rejuvenated as Transformers: Generation 2 a short time later. Although the Predacon toys were not re-released for the Generation 2 toyline, the characters were functional again for the comic book series - although that did not last long for some of them. Tantrum was destroyed in a head-on collision with Optimus Prime, while Razorclaw - attempting to kill Decepticon-turned-Autobot Manta Ray - was destroyed by his fellow defector, Leadfoot.

Animated series

The Predacons made their debut in the year 2005, as the Decepticon/Quintesson alliance began its attack on the Autobots on both Earth and Cybertron. The Autobots Blurr and Wheelie and the human Marissa Faireborn are stranded on Io, one of Jupiter's moons while attempting to deliver the transformation cog that would allow the Autobot battle station, Metroplex, to fight and transform as needed. Communications officer Blaster attempts to contact Cybertron for reinforcements, revealing his allies' plight. The transmission is intercepted by the Quintessons, however, and upon learning the location of the cog, they dispatch the Predacons to Io to ensure it will not reach Earth. After an initially poor showing in their individual robot and animal modes, the team merges to form Predaking. They are confronted by the massive Autobot Sky Lynx and bested, leading to an enmity between the two.

The Predacons are in their element for their first mission in 2006, operating in the wilds of the planet Dredd, where they again battle Sky Lynx and several other Autobots. They are defeated when they are buried in an avalanche created by the planet's native Chaos monster. Later, they participate in the invasion of Paradron, with Divebomb pursuing escapee Sandstorm and Razorclaw co-ordinating the shooting down of the Autobot reinforcement vessel he returns with.

Later the Quintessons strike at the Transformers by animating the dreams of Daniel Witwicky. Having penetrated Cybertron's defenses for an unspecified mission, the Predacons attack Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus and Springer. Soon the whole group are attacked by monsters conjured from Daniel's subconscious. All on scene are forced to work together to survive. Razorclaw and Springer are captured by a dragon and are forced to team up to defeat the creature and escape, while the others face the threat of a giant Galvatron who injures Headstrong. With Daniel rescued, the damage sustained by Headstrong prevents the team from combining into Predaking, forcing them to flee.

While en route to Chaar at a later date, Predaking intercepts an unusual Quintesson signal and tracks it to a jungle planet, where the team comes upon a group of Autobots who have done the same and discovered an electronic journal recording Quintesson military transactions. The team merges into Predaking, who immediately targets Sky Lynx among the group, seeking revenge for his past defeats; Sky Lynx out-maneuvers the Decepticon, but, rather than best him in combat, has to get his fellow Autobots to safety. When the Decepticons then acquire the journal, Predaking is reluctant to retreat until having finished off Sky Lynx, but stands down in the face of Galvatron's wrath.

When the ancient genius Primacron unleashes his energy-absorbing creation, Tornedron, on the universe, Primacron's assistant seeks to foil his former mentor by amassing a team of "Primitives" - Transformers with animal instincts that can hopefully thwart Primacron's complexities. The Predacons are among the Transformers summoned from a battle on Earth's moon to a dead world at the center of the universe, where Tornedron confronts them. Refusing to run from him, the Predacons form Predaking and battle Tornedron, who takes the shape of a giant warrior, absorbing all energy Predaking throws at them until he has been drained of life. Of all the Primitives, only Grimlock survives, and is subsequently able to stop Tornedron and Primacron, restoring the Predacons and the others to life.

After participating in the Decepticon attack on Japan, the Predacons are among the Transformers infected when the madness-inducing Hate Plague sweeps the universe. The animosity bred by the plague does not prevent the Predacons from combining into Predaking and pursuing the uncontaminated Galvatron, however, only to be forced to retreat by a squad of uninfected Autobots led by Optimus Prime. When Prime subsequently releases the power of the Matrix, the plague is cured.

In English releases, the Predacons were voiced by Joe Leahy (Razorclaw), Laurie Faso (Divebomb, Rampage), Ron Feinberg (Headstrong), Phillip Clarke (Tantrum) and Bud Davis (Predaking).

Transformers: Headmasters

The Predacons continued to put in short appearances in 1987's Japanese-exclusive spinoff series, Transformers: Headmasters, usually fighting alongside and against the other combiner teams in various battles.

Transformers: Zone

In 1990's Transformers: Zone, Predaking was one of the nine Deception generals in the service of the mysterious insectoid Violenjiger, and met his end when Autobot leader Dai Atlas cleaved his body in two (somewhat bizarrely revealing what appeared to be an organic brain within him).

Manga

In the Transformers Manga #5 Galvatron and his Decepticons attacked the Prime Energy Tower. Galvatron ordered the Decepticons to form Menasor, Devastator and Bruticus and attack. Rodimus Prime counted this move by ordering in Superion, Omega Supreme and Defensor. Galvatron then ordered in Predaking, knowing that Sky Lynx was elsewhere and couldn't counter them. Rodimus ordered the Omnibots to attack Predaking's legs. Tripping up the giant he fell into the other Decepticon giants, winning the day for the Autobots.[1]

Dreamwave Productions

Dreamwave Productions' 21st century re-imagining of the Generation 1 universe had little time to focus on the Predacons before the company's closure.

With the exception of Tantrum, who made a brief appearance as part of Shockwave's attack on Iacon, the Predacons would not make an appearance in Dreamwave's Generation One Universe until late in the series. The five team members were once warlords on Cybertron who were cast into exile in space. Settling on Planet Beest, home of the Battle Beasts, the Predacons sank into a feral state and lived as inhabitants of that world for untold years, until Megatron arrived. Having been jettisoned into space by Starscream and restored from the brink of death by Wreck-Gar, Megatron now had his sights set on reclaiming the Decepticon leadership, and required the Predacons to bolster his army. Abandoning his personal weaponry, Megatron pursued Razorclaw through the jungle and soundly defeated him. Subsequently, he re-engineered the Predacons to give them the ability to combine into Predaking.

Taking the Predacons to Cybertron, Megatron put Shockwave in his service again while the Predacons dealt with his Triple Changer minions; Razorclaw was forced to destroy the resistant Blitzwing. The group then headed to Earth to deal with Starscream, where Predaking defeated Bruticus. The players were now all assembled... but Dreamwave's bankruptcy and cessation of publication left future stories of the Predacons untold.

Additionally, the Dreamwave universe visited the notion of "Predacons" being more than simply a sub-group, but an entire faction unto itself. After Megatron and Optimus Prime vanished in a spacebridge test 7.4 million years ago, the Autobots and Decepticons splintered into several smaller factions; Starscream established a faction named the Predacons. Whether or not Starscream intended any connection with the Predacon warlords, or whether or not that group predated his faction, is unknown. They first appeared when Grimlock's Lightning Strike Coalition stole a substantial amount of Energon from them. Later, they attacked a peace conference between the Autobots, Decepticons and Ultracons, hoping to eliminate the Autobot leadership. They succeeded in eliminating most of the Autobot High Council and gravely wounded Grimlock, but were stopped when the other three factions united to stop them. After Megatron's return with an army of Seeker clones the Predacons were reabsorbed into the Decepticons.

Devil's Due Publishing

The Predacons would return in the third Devil's Due Publishing crossover between G.I. Joe and the Transformers. Without Megatron or Shockwave's steadying influence, the Decepticons had fallen apart in a series of internecine conflicts. One such was the Predacons taking on the Seacons. Hunting Nautilator, the Predacons were unable to prevent him calling for backup - Piranacon. The Predacons merged into Predaking and defeated their foe. Preparing to finish him off, Predaking was interrupted by a strange, tiny figure: Serpentor, a human military cyborg built with Megatron's memories. Using these memories to convince both combiners to join him, they then participated (along with the Stunticons) in the ambush that killed Bumblebee. They were then Serpentor's principal weapon, along with Piranacon and Menasor, in the attack on Capital City, where the three of them defeated Omega Supreme. They were among the Decepticon reinforcements that countered the G.I. Joe/Autobot jailbreak. Rampage was taken out by Grimlock. Razorclaw and Motormaster were the ones who stopped Prime's attack on Serpentor, beating him to near death. They were then slain by the Cobra Commander-controlled Serpentor.

IDW Publishing

The Predacons made their first chronological appearance in issue #3 of The Transformers: Megatron Origin, where all five were seen as part of Megatron's group of gladiators and insurgents that would eventually become the Decepticons. A conversation between Razorclaw and Grimlock would reveal a rivalry between the future Predacons and the Dinobots.

They would receive a brief namecheck in The Transformers: Spotlight issue on Shockwave. When attacked by the Dynobots, Shockwave was surprised that it was they, and not Megatron or the Predacons, that had come. Shockwave listed them as one of Megatron's "tactical assault units."

The Predacons themselves appeared in The Transformers: Stormbringer, alerting Megatron on Earth to the reemergence of Thunderwing. Ordered by him to destroy Cybertron (and Thunderwing with it) if all else failed, the Predacons observed a futile effort by the Wreckers to hold Thunderwing back. Impressed by their bravery, Razorclaw sent two Decepticon teams to assist the beleaguered Wreckers. After Thunderwing was finally stopped by Optimus Prime, Razorclaw aborted the firing procedure to destroy Cybertron. Here, Divebomb was shown to transform into a Cybertronian jet, while Headstrong transformed into a treaded assault vehicle.

Beast Wars

The Predacons would also receive an unusual reference in IDW's Beast Wars: The Gathering mini-series. In Razorbeast's flashback to Magmatron's briefing in a Predacon chamber, symbols seeming to represent the beast modes of the original Predacons are displayed prominently, as well as a statue of what appears to be Divebomb, indicating a link between the original Predacons and their Beast Wars namesakes.

Transformers: Titanium

A 3-inch-tall non-transforming Predaking toy was released in the Transformers: Titanium line.

Transformers: Timelines

The 2006 BotCon tale would expand on the reference in the Gathering, indicating that not only did the Predacons have something to do with the founding of the faction, but that they had been working behind the scenes in order to advance their own cause. Divebomb is revealed to have been responsible for reformatting Laserbeak, Buzzsaw and Ravage into Predacons. He also ensures the success of Megatron's history-altering plan to steal the Golden Disc. Later, after Megatron's death at the end of Beast Machines, Razorclaw announces his intentions to actively lead the Predacons to victory once again. It is interesting to note that the Predacons' robot modes here resemble more organic versions of their original robot modes.

See also

References

External links


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