G1 Cartoon Background -

The Combaticons were introduced with very few episodes left of the Transformers series before it changed directions to the Post-Movie episodes.  Despite that, the Combaticons were given better character development than other characters who were introduced earlier.  The Combaticons even were given a small amount of Pre-Earth backstory.  Before they were rebuilt on Earth, the Combaticons were Renegade Decepticons who tried to overthrow their leader (probably Megatron but it is never explicitly said).  Their original Cybertronian bodies were destroyed and their personality profiles (or possibly even their sparks) were removed and kept in a Decepticon Detention Center.  Starscream wanted his own army, so he liberated the personality profiles from Cybertron and built bodies for them using disgarded military vehicles from World War II.  Brawl was made from a tank and turned into a new tank.  Swindle was a WWII Jeep that turned into a modern jeep.  Blast Off was a WWII bomber that became a Space Shuttle.  Vortex was a WWII fighter plane that became a helicopter.  Finally, Onslaught was a troop carrier that became a weapons truck.  Despite being made of war machines, the Combaticons had complex personalities and refined attitudes.  Swindle even went out on his own a few times for his own enterprises.

Once the Combaticons are activated, Starscream gives them their new names (it is unknown what their original Cybertronian names were).  Onslaught immediately complains about the war torn surroundings.  He is used to the “beauty” of Cybertron.  Blast Off seems to agree with Onslaught.  Starscream declares that the Combaticons will be his loyal soldiers.  Brawl doesn’t seem to want to follow anyone and asks Starscream what stops the Combaticons from destroying Starscream.  Starscream tells them that when he built their new bodies, he intentionally left out their energy absorbers.  Without Starscream’s help, the Combaticons can’t recharge and will starve to death.  Onslaught speaks for the Combaticons and tells Starscream that they reluctantly will follow his lead.  Jazz and Cliffjumper are officiating a ceremony which dedicates a statue of Optimus Prime Starscream leads the Combaticons to the ceremony to attack.  When Starscream and the Combaticons land, Starscream orders them to transform into vehicle mode.  Brawl attacks both the Autobots and the crowd with a sonic weapon.  Swindle fires his laser cannon at the Optimus Prime statue for fun.  Blast Off shows off the power of his ionic blaster by shooting a street light.  Blast Off brags that it is more sophisticated than Brawl and Swindle’s crude weapons.  Using his helicopter rotors, Vortex creates a powerful wind storm.  The storm is so strong that parked cars start to fly through the air.  Onslaught tests out his cannons on the flying debris.  Jazz and Cliffjumper withdraw their weapons and try to defend themselves and the crowd from the Combaticons.   The two Autobots are lifted into the air by Vortex’s windstorm.  Vortex captures them inside of his cargo bay.  Starscream is very pleased that for once, he won a battle against the Autobots.  Starscream and the Combaticons fly away with their two Autobot prisoners.  Starscream and the Combaticons return to Guadalcanal.  Starscream gives the Combaticons an underhanded compliment by mentioning that any hesitations he had of their abilities have been removed.  Blast Off boasts to Swindle about his combat performance.  Brawl is irritated and says that the only reason the Combaticons were able to win were due to his sheer strength.  Onslaught claims that they Combaticons were victorious because of his tactics.  Vortex brags that it was his windstorm that sealed their victory.  Vortex and Onslaught start wrestling with each other for the rights to be the most effective Combaticon.  Starscream shoots a warning shot at the two feuding Combaticons to make them stop fighting with each other.  Onslaught and Vortex want to harvest the captured Autobots’ energy absorbers for themselves.  Starscream won’t let them until he has enough for all of the Combaticons.  Starscream reveals himself to the feeding Decepticons and shows them the Combaticons in a train yard.  Before Starscream and the Combaticons can finally kill Megatron, Soundwave appears and threatens Starscream.  Swindle shoots Soundwave’s gun, saving Starscream.  Soundwave’s blaster goes off, and the stray shot disables the lights in the train station.  This distracts Starscream enough that Megatron can escape imminent destruction. The Combaticons start blasting their weapons at the Decepticons.  Dirge and Ramjet try to sneak up on the Combaticons, but Brawl shoots both of them in the chest.  The Decepticons are too low on energy and are forced to withdraw.  Starscream blames the Combaticons for the plot’s failure.  Swindle defends his actions by telling Starscream that he prevented Soundwave from blowing a hole in his chest.  Brawl marches towards Starscream and complains that they are running low on energy and they can’t recharge because none of the Combaticons have energy absorbers.  Starscream reveals to the Combaticons that they now have two more energy absorbers.  The ones in their new prisoners, Dirge and Ramjet.  The Combaticons grudgingly remain in Starscream’s command after he tells them that he is the only one who can install the energy absorbers.  Starscream and the Combaticons take control of a power plant to keep their prisoners contained.  All of the captured Transformers are bound to electrical poles by chains.  Off screen, Starscream harvested the energy absorbers from his prisoners and gave them to the Combaticons.  It is unclear who the fifth energy absorber came from.  Starscream tells the Combaticons to get ready for the inevitable battle with Megatron.  As soon as he says that, Swindle realizes that Megatron and most of the Decepticons are approaching from the air.  Megatron opens fire from the air.  Starscream and the Combaticons respond with their own blasters.  All of the Decepticons, Constructicons, and Combaticons stand in the open and fire at each other.  It doesn’t seem like they are able to hit each other with their blasters.   Even though Megatron’s forces drastically outnumber Starscream’s forces, the battle is very even and is turning into a stalemate.  Megatron is irritated by this and orders the Constructicons to merge into Devestator.  Starscream anticipated this eventuality and reveals that he has his own combiner.  The Combaticons merge into Bruticus.  Bruticus runs to Devestator and knocks him to the ground.  Devestator quickly gets up and tries to rush Bruticus.  Bruticus knocks Devestator back to the ground with one punch.  After Devestator falls, the remaining Decepticons open fire on Bruticus with no effect.  Starscream flies on Bruticus’ shoulder to get a better view.  Bruticus grabs Megatron and squeezes him in his hand.  Megatron reluctantly agrees to let Starscream lead just as the Stunticons arrive. They join the fight against Bruticus.  They stand on top of a cliff and wait for the right moment to strike.   The Stunticons merge into Menasor to fight Bruticus.  With one punch, Menasor defeats Bruticus.   Astrotrain transports the defectors off planet.  

Starscream and the Combaticons are exiled from Earth and forced to live on a small asteroid..   The Combaticons all blame Starscream for their exile.  But lets look at it from another perspective.  They were already imprisoned on Cybertron without bodies.  Starscream rescued them from captivity and built them new bodies.  They should have a little more gratitude.  Without Starscream they wouldn’t even exist.  Starscream decides to leave his prison.  So he transforms and flies off into space.  Onslaught warns Starscream that he doesn’t have enough power to get to Earth or Cybertron.  Starscream accuses the Combaticons of being stupid and drops bombs on them.  Onslaught disagrees with Starscream and tells him that he is a master tactician.  .  The Combaticons start a Revenge Roster and add Starscream to the list.  Also on the list is Megatron, Cybertron, and Earth.  While in shuttle mode, Blast Off drags the asteroid to Cybertron (why didn’t they do this earlier?).    Shockwave soon discovers that the Combaticons are approaching Cybertron.  Blast Off is pulling their asteroid prison through space.  Shockwave has the Sentinel Droids fire warning shots.  Once the Combaticons land on Cybertron, they transform and walk through the streets with utmost confidence.  Shockwave demands that they identify themselves.  Swindle replies that some call them Combaticons.  Then they start to merge into Bruticus and introduce themselves as Bruticus (and now he sounds a lot like Cyclonus).  One of Shockwave’s Sentinel drones runs up behind Bruticus and fires at him.  Bruticus is undamaged and unleashes a destructive blast from his cannon.  The drone is destroyed.  Instead of trying to take on all of the Sentinels, Bruticus grabs Shockwave.  He intends to destroy Shockwave thinking that will deactivate the drones.  Shockwave transforms into gun mode and shoots Bruticus in the face.  Bruticus uses Vortex’s rotor on his arm to tear a few Sentinel Droids to ribbons.  Bruticus leaps into the air and when he lands, several Sentinel Droids are sent flying into the air.  Bruticus crushes three more droids by stepping on them.  Bruticus picks up Shockwave, who is still in gun mode, and fires Shockwave at the droids.  The Droids are decimated and Bruticus is victorious.  Bruticus inserts Shockwave into the barrel of one of the cannons on his back and launches Shockwave into space.  Bruticus claims ownership of Cybertron and reverts back into the individual Combaticons.  The Combaticons gather the remains of the Sentinels.  Onslaught approaches the Space Bridge and is impressed by how far Decepticon technology has progressed since he was initially imprisoned.  Onslaught rewires the Space Bridge for his own purposes.  Brawl wants to return to Earth right away to fight Megatron.  Blast Off tells him to restrain his violent thoughts.  Blast Off has full faith that Onslaught has a good plan for the Combaticons to get revenge on those who have wronged them.  Onslaught hooks up his backpack to the Space Bridge and reworks it to guide Earth into the sun.  Shockwave sets up a holographic image of robots attacking Cybertron to scare the Combaticons off of Cybertron.  The Combaticons think it is real so they fight back.  Vortex transforms and flies into the air.  Swindle plans on destroying anything left from Vortex’s efforts.  Onslaught and Blast Off quickly realize something is wrong when the full firepower of the Combaticons isn’t even slowing down the invasion force.  Blast Off flies into the air to get a closer look.   The invasion fleet holograms fade for a moment.  Brawl thinks that they have one.  The holograms turn into gargoyles and the Combaticons don’t think that is suspicious at all.  Brawl is just happy to fight, so he transforms into tank mode and starts firing.  The Combaticons continues to fight the holographic gargoyles until the power in their weapons run out.  The Combaticons are puzzled why all of their efforts resulted in a continued attack.  Swindle finds and deactivates the holographic projector.  The Combaticons find Shockwave and Starscream fighting each other and they capture the two Decepticons.    The Decepticons and the Autobots use the Space Bridge to go to Cybertron. Starscream tries to trick Megatron into making him Decepticon leader, but the Combaticons attack before Megatron can answer.  Brawl breaks through the wall in tank mode and fires his cannon at the Decepticons.  Swindle follows Brawl’s lead.  Shockwave’s Sentinel Droids help the Autobots and Decepticons fight the Combaticons.  Swindle drives away with the Autobots and Decepticons chasing him.  There is a massive fire fight in the streets of Cybertron.   Blast Off drops bombs on his opponents, and one of the bombs knocks Swindle over.  Prowl and Sideswipe shoot Blast Off out of the sky.  Blast Off crashes into Vortex and they transform into robot mode as they fall to the ground.  Megatron shoots Onslaught, Brawl, and Swindle with his fusion cannon.  The Sentinel droids surround the Combaticons, so they merge into Bruticus.  Bruticus starts destroying everything in his path and keeps saying he hates Cybertron.  Starscream reveals that when he built the Combaticons, he gave Bruticus a weakness in case he rebels.  There are three spots on his back that if they are shot, Bruticus will be deactivated.  While the Autobots and Decepticons are gathering strength to continue fighting, Bruticus decimates more Sentinel Drones.  Even though Starscream told Megatron that Bruticus’ weak spot is on his back, Megatron unleashes a powerful blast on Bruticus’ chest plate.  Bruticus is still angry at Megatron for imprisoning him on Cybertron for millions of years without a body.  Bruticus picks up Megatron and lifts him in the air while shaking him.  Bruticus’ weak spot is exposed.  Optimus Prime runs behind Bruticus and fires on the three spots.  Bruticus falls to the ground and is not able to move.  Sideswipe deactivates the Combaticons’ control panel just before the Earth is about to reach the sun.  Megatron tells Optimus Prime that he will destroy Bruticus.  Starscream and Ramjet fly through the skies of Cybertron and pick up Bruticus with grappling hooks in their vehicle mode.  Megatron fires his cannon and Bruticus explodes.  The Autobots return to Earth.  After the Autobots leave, Megatron reveals that the Bruticus that was destroyed was a fake.  He reprograms the real Bruticus to be his loyal soldier.

The Combaticons go to a Iran to make an alliance with the King Ali for Megatron.  Swindle acts as the direct liaison and transports King Ali in his jeep mode through the bazaar.  King Ali has people load mechanical parts into a truck for drone jets to be created.   The Combaticons make a false distress call to lure the Aerialbots into a trap.  .  As soon as the Aerialbots reach the desert canyon, the Combaticons emerge from the rocks and attack them.  Onslaught and Brawl their cannons at the Autobot fliers while in vehicle mode.   Vortex and Dirge appear from behind boulders and attack the Aerialbots while in vehicle mode.  Air Raid goes on the offensive and chases Vortex while firing his weapons.  Vortex is able to avoid all of the energy blasts.  Onslaught calls for Blast Off, who was not with the rest of the Combaticons.  When Blast Off receives Onslaught’s request for assistance he races through the sky to join the other Combaticons.  Blast Off and Slingshot have a dogfight with each other through the desert canyon.  Blast Off proves to be a superior pilot than Slingshot and is able to match every move the Aerialbot makes.  Slingshot is able to shake off Blast Off’s pursuit by flying into a small cave.  Blast Off disengages because he can’t fit inside of the cave but he is determined to finish off Slingshot.  Blast Off fires on the rocks above the mouth of the cave and creates a small avalanche, trapping Slingshot..  Onslaught and Brawl transform to robot mode so they can engage the other Aerialbots.  Optimus Prime arrives with the Autobots and they help the Aerialbots fend off the Combaticons.  Air Raid continues his battle with Vortex and is able to damage Vortex’s rear rotors.  The Aerialbots rush towards the Combaticons to fight them one on one.  Seeing that they are outnumbered, Onslaught orders the Combaticons to retreat.  The Aerialbots don’t follow, instead they rescue Slingshot from the cave.  The next day, Blast Off and Ramjet supervise King Ali while he makes drone planes and a large purple griffin weapon.   From the airfield, Brawn, Swindle, and Onslaught fire their cannons at the Aerialbots from vehicle mode.  Instead of damaging the Aerialbots, Onslaught winds up accidentally destroying two jet drones.   Onslaught continues to fire at the Aerialbots from the ground.  They strafe him and knock him into the air.  He transforms into robot mode and lands on his back.  Onslaught transforms and is about to fire his cannons at the Aerialbots.  Slingshot runs at Onslaught and tackles him.  Onslaught still fires, but instead of hitting the Aerialbots, he hits Ramjet (wow, Onslaught is REALLY ineffectual in this battle, he might of well have worn an Autobot logo instead of a Decepticon one). Onslaught, Swindle, and Brawl start firing their blasters at Slingshot.  Onslaught is unable to hit Slingshot.  Blast Off tries to fly into Slingshot, but Slingshot ducks.  The Combaticons plan to unite into Bruticus.  Slingshot takes to the air to stop them, even though he doesn’t have any functioning weapons because Fireflight is missing.  Without Fireflight, the Aerialbots can’t form Superion..  Slingshot takes to the air to stop them, even though he doesn’t have any functioning weapons.  Slingshot chases Blast Off, who quickly out flies Slingshot and starts to pursue him.  Blast Off opens fire on Slingshot. Slingshot transforms into robot mode and lands on Blast Off’s roof.  He makes Blast Off lose control and fly into palm trees and then into a mountain..  Blast Off shakes Slingshot off and he lands on the Purple Griffin Flying Fortress.   With Blast Off free, the Combaticons are able to merge into Bruticus.    Skydive flies aggressively towards Bruticus, but the massive combiner swats him away.  Slingshot frees himself from the mane of the Purple Flying Griffin and grabs Hassan.  Air Raid and Silverbolt try to slow Bruticus down, but like Skydive, Bruticus swats them away.  With Hassan in his cockpit, Slingshot flies towards Bruticus.  Slingshot deploys a missile with a grappling hook on it.  The hook grabs onto Bruticus’ legs and makes him fall.  Fireflight finally joins the other Aerialbots and they merge into Superion.  Bruticus rips the cable off of his legs and stands up.  Superion runs tow Superion focuses on Bruticus after slowing down the Purple Flying Griffin.  Superion tries to club him with his arm, but Bruticus lifts Superion up and throws him.  Bruticus is about to slam into Superion, but Superion separates into the individual Aerialbots.  The Aerialbots ignite the leaking oil refinery and create an explosion that vanquishes the Decepticons.   

The Combaticons enter a city and quickly merge into Bruticus.  It isn’t made clear why the Combaticons even went to the city.  Right after the Combaticons merge, Defensor shoots them in the chest and Bruticus explodes into junk.  After Defensor leaves, Swindle climbs out from the wreckage as the only functioning Combaticon.  Swindle goes to a harbor to meet with an arms dealer named El Presidente.  Swindle wants to buy parts to rebuild the Combaticons.  Swindle changes his mind and sells the parts to El Presidente and takes the left over parts to a dump.  It is unclear why Swindle would want money from El Presidente.  When Swindle is dumping the remaining parts, he is discovered by Starscream and Skywarp.  Starscream swoops to the ground and grabs Swindle.  Swindle is brought to Megatron to explain what happened.  Megatron commands Swindle to rebuild the Combaticons.  Soundwave implants a bomb in Swindle’s head so he will stay on task.  Swindle has 15 hours to rebuild the other Combaticons and Bruticus.  In a short time, all of the Combaticons’ parts have been already integrated into other vehicles.  Swindle goes to the Middle East and takes Combaticon parts from a plane.  He goes to Russia and takes Combaticon parts from a tank.  The Russian army tries to stop him unsuccessfully.  They also tell Swindle to give them their money back (again, why does a Transformer need money?).  Swindle is able to rebuild all of the Combaticons with one small problem.  Brawl’s personalty component is missing.  Without it, Brawl is unable to help the Combaticons form Bruticus.  Megatron keeps the bomb inside of Swindle’s head until he can complete the restoration.  Before Swindle can find the part, some children took it from the junkyard and implanted it in their robot. Swindle goes back to the junkyard and threatens one of the workers to give him the personality component.   The robot, BOT, goes crazy. Swindle goes to the kids’ high school to recover the personality component.   Swindle gets the personality component from BOT and Bruticus is restored.  Megatron removes the bomb from Swindle’s head.  Megatron ,Starscream, and the Combaticons go to the Autobot base with the Orbital Disruptor Cannon.  The Decepticons plan on destroying the Autobot base with the Autobots inside.  Megatron wastes no time and has the Combaticons merge into Bruticus.  Once Bruticus forms, the Autobots reveal themselves and open fire on him.  Bruticus takes numerous energy blasts to the chest but shrugs them off.  Bruticus doesn’t counter attack, he just stands there with his arms protecting his face. .  Starscream whines to Megatron that his valued warrior Bruticus is just standing there.  Megatron commands Bruticus to revert back to the individual Combaticons.  Ironhide targets Swindle and prepares to attack him.  Swindle transforms into jeep mode and fires his cannon at Ironhide, forcing him to withdraw.  Onslaught plans to attack Optimus Prime with his cannons in vehicle mode  Optimus is shot and falls to the ground.  The Protectobots join the fight to defend the Ark.   Megatron, Brawl, and Soundwave run back to the Orbital Disruptor Cannon, but Hot Spot intercepts them.  Megatron transforms into gun mode and arms Soundwave to combat the Protectobot leader.  Hot Spot shoots Soundwave in the chest before Soundwave can get a shot off.  Soundwave flies into Brawl and they both fall to the ground.  The Autobots’ new high school student friends want to help.  They send their creation, BOT, to help the Autobots.  Optimus Prime asks the Protectobots to form Defensor to end the battle.  The Autobots gather at Defensor’s feet to be protected by his force field.  The Decepticons momentarily continue firing until Megatron orders them to stop.  The Combaticons form Bruticus to counter Defensor.  Bruticus runs to Megatron’s Orbital Disruptor Cannon and waits for Defensor’s force field to run out (seriously, it’s literally the stupidest power of a Transformer, while it is useful, it only can be used for 10 seconds at a time).  The Decepticons open fire and Defensor falls to the ground.  The impact forces Defensor to turn back into the individual Protectobots.  Bruticus fires the Orbital Disruptor Cannon, but BOT slipped a device on it which gives the kids control of it.  Bruticus loses control of the cannon and a few of the Decepticons are hit.  BOT overloads the cannon and the Decepticons retreat.  After the battle, Optimus Prime thanks the Autobots’ new teenaged friends for their help.

Like all of the combiners, the Combaticons survived through the movie and pledged allegiance to Galvatron.

When Galvatron takes over the Cybertronian colony of Paradron, the Combaticons join him as an invasion force.  When the leader of Paradron escapes detention, Brawl hunts him with Predacon Razorclaw.  Sandstorm’s buggy mode is too agile for Brawl to hit.  Razorclaw knocks Sandstorm into a chasm, but the two Decepticons watch as he survives by transforming into his helicopter mode.  Brawl and Razorclaw continue their chase, but loose their target.  When the Autobots arrive on Paradron to liberate the colonists, Swindle and Vortex are shown as prison guards.  They try to defend the slave camp from Rodimus Prime, Springer, and Sandstorm.

On Earth, they back up Galvatron, along with Cyclonus and the Predacons, when Galvatron attacks the Protectobots.  Swindle was absent from the fight and used the battle to hide that he was going to infiltrate Metroplex.  Inside of Metroplex, Swindle fights against Metroplex’s defenses, but is able to defeat them.  He steals Metroplex’s transformation cog and fights First Aid.  First Aid gives no resistance and just leaps out of the way of Swindle’s attacks.  Eventually, Swindle hits First Aid in the chest and escapes from Metroplex.  Instead of automatically giving Galvatron the transformation cog, Swindle tries to negotiate.  Galvatron offers to let Swindle live if Swindle gives him the transformation cog.  Galvatron fires on Swindle in cannon mode, just to show him how serious he is.  Swindle very quickly hands over the transformation cog.

When Galvatron is seeking the source of a Junkion signal, Blast Off follows him.  But Blast Off isn’t seen the rest of the episode.

Bruticus is next seen in Japan fighting Defensor.  Defensor gets the upper hand on Bruticus, but Bruticus is saved by Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps.

Bruticus impedes Rodimus Prime’s escape when the Decepticons learn that Optimus Prime’s lifeless body was brought back to Earth.  Bruticus is quickly infected by the hate plague.

The Combaticons join Galvatron in his invasion of Cybertron.  Blast Off picks off all of the Aerialbots.  Onslaught and Swindle build large afterburners into Cybertron, under Galvatron’s orders.

Marvel G1 Comic Background -

The Combaticons were Megatron’s newest Decepticons after he challenged Optimus Prime to a battle to the death.  He used Vortex often as a spy to watch various people and Transformers of interest.  The Combaticons’ first mission as a unit is when Megatron takes them to the laboratory where Ethan Zachary is building a device which can create unlimited energy from the magma below the ocean floor.  They are intercepted by Optimus Prime and The Protectobots.  The Protectobots merge into Defensor, which makes the Combaticons merge into Bruticus.  After a stand off, Ethan Zachary intervenes.  Ethan Zachary recommends that they have a fight in Virtual Reality, and the winner will gain control of the device.  Megatron adds one term, that the leader of the losing force will be destroyed. The first battle is when Swindle and Brawl find Streetwise and First Aid.  Before they can destroy the two Protectobots, sentient plants in the game world ensnare the two Combaticons and they are destroyed by Streetwise and First Aid.  Vortex and Blast Off stalk Groove and Blades.  Because Optimus ordered that all virtual people are treated as real people, and they need to be defended, Blades opens himself up to being attacked by Vortex.  Blades is helped by the virtual creatures and Vortex is defeated.  Blast Off is defeated by Groove who blinds him, causing Blast Off to crash into Vortex.  They are both removed from the game.  In the virtual swamp, Onslaught tracks Hot Spot.  He injures Hot Spot but then the virtual creatures assist Hot Spot in defeating Onslaught.  For a split second, Megatron leaves the game and Vortex tells him of a cheat code to resurrect himself if he is destroyed.  Megatron takes advantage of this, and ultimately Optimus Prime is destroyed.  Megatron and The Combaticons leave with the energy harnessing device.

After Optimus Prime is destroyed, Megatron falls into madness.  He actually misses the battles between himself and Optimus.  Megatron takes a force which includes a few Combaticons to look for evidence that Optimus is still alive.

Vortex is next seen after Shockwave and Ratbat take control of The Decepticons..  Vortex is part of an attack force which attacks an off shore oil rig.  Later Vortex is shown spying on and attacking a group of Autobots which consists of Goldbug, Blaster, and The Throttlebots.  Blaster fights off Vortex and the Autobots get on their way.  Vortex eventually catches up with the Autobots, but keeps his distance so he can successfully spy on them.  Vortex leads the rest of The Combaticons to a used car lot where Goldbug, Blaster, and The Throttlebots are resting.  Onslaught threatens the humans to step aside so his unit can destroy the rogue Autobots, but before any humans get hurt, The Protectobots arrive and try to prevent any violence, but Swindle starts the battle by attempting to assassinate Hot Spot.  Blaster saves Hot Spot but the battle between The Combaticons, The Autobots, and RAAT begins.  Even though The Combaticons are outnumbered by a combination of Autobots and Protectobots, they are winning the fight because they are more powerful.   Eventually they are defeated and escape.

A few hours later, Blast Off and Vortex track the Protectobots, who are bringing Blaster back to The Ark.  The Combaticons create an ambush for The Protectobots at a railroad yard.  They surprise the Protectobots and start to fight with each other.  Vortex shows his superior agility in vehicle mode over Blades.  The Protectobots are winning the battle causing The Combaticons to merge into Bruticus, which makes the Protectobots form Defensor.  The battle rages on with neither robot showing an advantage.  Defensor uses his force field to protect him, but Bruticus knows that if he continues to attack, it will drain Defensor’s energy.  He ultimately drains Defensor’s energy and throws a train at him, defeating Defensor.  Bruticus then realizes that Blaster has defected from The Autobots.  He gives Blaster an option, kill the children or be destroyed by Bruticus. Blaster pretends to kill one of the children and tricks Bruticus into tripping on a fallen electrical tower, electrocuting Bruticus and defeating him.  All of the Combaticons aside for Blast Off escape.  Blaster and the children attach a device onto Blast Off which prevents him from transforming into robot mode and use him as their own personal space craft.


IDW Background -

Swindle was one of he earliest Decepticons and guarded Megatron’s gladiator arena in Kaon.  

Early in the war, Swindle acts as a Decepticon arms dealer in Nyon, a city on Cybertron.  He is found by Orion Pax and a team of Autobots while he is trying to sell phase charges.  Swindle’s client is killed and Swindle transforms to try to escape.   Swindle starts firing wildly and is about to cause civilian casualties.  Orion rushes Swindle and disables him with his bare hands.  Orion demands that Swindle reveal Megatron’s location, but he refuses.  Orion starts to beat Swindle to get information out of him.  Orion is about to execute Swindle, but Bumblebee stops him.  Swindle is brought to Zeta Prime who tries to interrogate him.  Zeta uses a vamparc unit to get information out of Swindle.  The device takes energy out of Swindle and is redirected into the device.  Soundwave arrives and helps Swindle escape.  

Onslaught appears when the Autobots attack Iacon to liberate it from Decepticons.

Swindle winds up back in Kaon and he gives bad information to the Dinobots.  Grimlock doesn’t harm Swindle because he feels that the Decepticon may be useful in the future.

At the Stunticon base, Swindle arrives and tells Motormaster that he wants to be paid for his information.

All of the Combaticons go to Nomminus Prime’s former Garrison Planet called the Presidium.  They want to steal weapons that are locked up.   Blast Off tries to open the door using a stolen pass code but it isn’t working.  Onslaught starts to question Swindle’s competence since this was his operation.  The door opens from the inside and Starscream walks out.  He recruits the Combaticons to join the Decepticons again.

The Combaticons are part of the army that invades Iacon after Metroplex is defeated. Brawl takes point after the Sharkticons were defeated.

Onslaught singles Hot Rod out and attacks him.  Before Onslaught can harm Hot Rod, one of Hot Rod’s former friends, named Slinger, saves him.  

Swindle hides on the planet Zull.  He asks one of the aliens, Lorcha, to hide him.  Swindle realizes that Ultra Magnus is hunting him.  Lorcha tells Swindle that no one can get into his fortress.  The main door of the fortress bursts open and Ultra Magnus walks in with blaster trained at Swindle.  Ultra Magnus demands that Swindle comes with him  Lorcha sends his guards to attack Ultra Magnus without succeeding.  Swindle climbs up and takes out an R-Infinity Accelerator to fight Magnus.  The weapon is powered by a dwarf star.  Swindle fires, but misses Ultra Magnus.  Ultra Magnus shoots the bridge that Swindle is standing on with one of his shoulder missiles.  Swindle falls to the ground.  Ultra Magnus points his blaster at Swindle and asks him to give him a reason to open fire.   Magnus arrests Swindle.  Aboard Magnus’ ship, Swindle is restrained in a force field.  Swindle asks Ultra Magnus if they can make a deal.  Magnus tells him that he doesn’t make deals.  Swindle tells Magnus that he will tell him where Scorponok is.  Magnus frees Swindle, but he puts a Nano-Tag on him so he can find him in the future.  Some time later, Magnus arrests Swindle again.  Swindle asks to make another deal.

The Decepticons attack Garrus-Nine from orbit.  The Decepticons use cannons from their spaceship which is in orbit and the Decepticons deploy drop ships filled with soldiers.  The Autobots try to defend the facility, but the Decepticons are too powerful.  The Combaticons lead the ground troops.

For some reason, the Combaticons fight Monstructor.  It may have been an artist error since no explanation was given.

Swindle and Scrapper spy on the Autobots who want to leave Earth.  The Decepticons were trying to gauge Omega Supreme’s power levels for a possible attack. The Autobots are collecting around Omega Supreme.  They are joined by Thundercracker, Drag Strip, Octane, and Reflector.  Before the first shot is fired, everyone decides to talk to each other.  Hot Rod and Swindle agree that it doesn’t make sense to fight anymore because the war is over.  Prowl doesn’t want to ally himself with Decepticons.  Hot Rod suggests everyone votes.

Hot Rod and Swindle oversee the construction of a spacecraft so they can leave Earth.  Swindle isn’t satisfied with the progress and suggests to Hot Rod that they liberate a few more Constructicons from Skywatch.  Hot Rod does not agree to attack Skywatch, even though he is very happy that Swindle is trying to make peace with the Autobots.    Swindle suggests that they find other Stunticons to help since they are good at heavy labor.   Swindle tells him that a lot of the Transformers who want to leave Earth have started to call him Rodimus Prime.  Hot Rod is flattered, but uncomfortable at the same time.  Swindle convinces Hot Rod to let him liberate more Stunticons.  Swindle’s flattery starts to grow on Hot Rod.  Motormaster sees that Ultra Magnus is approaching. .  Ultra Magnus wants to talk to Rodimus about Ironhide’s death since Rodimus was the leader of the mission. When Ultra Magnus sees Swindle, he takes out his blaster and starts firing.  He wants to arrest Swindle.  Rodimus calms Ultra Magnus down and holds him back from harming Swindle. Ultra Magnus transforms to return to the Autobase.  Swindle thanks Rodimus for standing up for him..

After the Stunticons recover Breakdown, Swindle repairs him.  When Ultra Magnus comes to the rocket site, Swindle betrays the partnership with Rodimus’ Autobots and reveals Menasor.  Swindle wants Menasor to kill Ultra Magnus first.

Menasor grabs Ultra Magnus to pull him apart.  .  Swindle reveals that when Ultra Magnus arrested him a long time ago, it was over combiner technology that he always planned to sell.  Ultra Magnus didn’t think Swindle was smart enough to use the technology.  Optimus Prime falls from the sky in truck mode and crushes Swindle.   Swindle and the Constructicons escape capture.

Onslaught, Brawl, and Vortex attack the boarder between North and South Korea.  Onslaught drives through the fence  Onslaught lets an volley of artillery at the South Korean base.  South Korean soldiers try to attack Onslaught, but he transforms to open fire with his laser.  Before Onslaught can open fire, he is shot in the chest by a tank.  The tank is quickly destroyed by Brawl, who disintegrates it in tank mode.  Brawl transforms as he and Onslaught use their lasers on the South Koreans.  South Korean jets try to defend their land, but Vortex battles and destroys the jets in helicopter mode.  Vortex transforms and joins Onslaught and Brawl.  Once the South Korean soldiers are killed, the Combaticons call for their “boss”; Kim Jong Du, the leader of North Korea.  Du and the Combaticons plan to attack Seoul next.

The Combaticons are very happy with their alliance with North Korea.  Onslaught wonders why they didn’t do it earlier and why he didn’t think of doing it earlier.  Vortex says that Swindle would’ve come up with a plan like that.  Vortex also says that Swindle leaving was the best thing that happened to the Combaticons.  Kim Jong Du walks towards the Combaticons and asks what they are doing.  He is furious that they are taking a break to consume Energon.  Kim Jong Du wants the Combaticons to get back to work and implies they are lazy.  Vortex drops his Energon Cubes and says he is happy to be useful to Kim Jong Du.  The Combaticons walk away to go back into battle for North Korea, and Brawl is uncomfortable taking orders from a human.  Onslaught says he is trying to come up with a plan.  Vortex asks if he is going to learn how to make Energon.  Onslaught says no.  Vortex asks if he is coming up with a plan to take control of the North Korean facility without blowing it up.  Onslaught says no.  Brawl says they need Swindle to help make the plans.  The Autobots’ vehicle modes and they race with US Soldiers to battle the Combaticons.  Smokescreen is the first to go into battle and the soldiers are confused why a sports car would be on a battlefield.  Smokescreen opens fire on Vortex and kicks up a lot of dirt and smoke.  The Autobots have some cover now from the smoke.  In vehicle mode, Optimus Prime slams into Onslaught.  Cliffjumper opens fire on Vortex so he can’t fly away.  Vortex takes out a sword and slashes Smokescreen.  Vortex takes to the air to get away.  He is intercepted by Jetfire (really?  A Cybertronian space craft is hiding???) who fires missiles at him.  Brawl fires at Jazz with his pistol.  Onslaught continues to grapple with Optimus Prime while he is in truck mode.  Skywatch mechs join the Autobots.  One of them shoots Onslaught in the face.  Skywatch and the Autobots plan to drive the Combaticons into the ocean.  Onslaught reminds his foes that the Combaticons are water proof.  Broadside appears in boat mode and fires at the Combaticons with his massive cannons  Vortex continues his dogfight with Jetfire and slashes his wing.  Jetfire crashes into Broadside and the Combaticons escape.

After the battle, the Combaticons consume more Energon and boast how great warriors they are.  Vortex is especially cocky since he took out Jetfire.  Onslaught feels that the Combaticons earned the Energon they are ingesting.  Suddenly, smoke fills the room and Optimus Prime drives into the room and slams into Vortex.  Brawl is confused.  Skywatch mechs hold down Vortex while Ratchet cuts off his rotors so he can’t escape.  Jazz drives into Brawl’s legs.  Optimus contacts Bumblebee, who contacts Cosmos.  Cosmos disables spy satellites above North Korea so the Autobots can fight in robot mode.  Optimus Prime transforms and punches Onslaught in the face.  Vortex is able to get free before Ratchet cuts his rotors off and he tries to fly away.  Thundercracker flies into Vortex and Vortex crashes.  Prowl and Jazz attack Brawl who is in tank mode.  Before the battle can continue, the Predacons show up because the battle is getting too close to China, who they have pledged allegiance to.

Brawl attacks Prowl as he is investigating a building.  Brawl’s attack levels the building and traps Prowl under the rubble.  Streetwise saves Prowl and the two Autobots work together to fight Brawl.  treetwise goes ahead of Prowl and drives circles around Brawl.  With one shot, Prowl cracks Brawl’s armor and rushes to him.  Prowl uses an interface to disable Brawl. Inside the Autobot base, Prowl and Streetwise try to interrogate Brawl.  Brawn is stuck halfway transformed and he has a suppressor disc on him so he can’t complete his transformation.  Prowl asks Brawl if he is comfortable, to which Brawl responds “no”.  Both Prowl and Streetwise don’t want Brawl to be comfortable for his actions over the last few months.  He has allied himself with an evil dictator and he tried to kill both of the Autobots.  Prowl knows that someone is guiding Brawl, especially that Brawl isn’t intelligent enough to make plans like this on his own.  The suppressor disc malfunctions and shorts out Brawl.  Prowl and Streetwise bring him to Wheeljack who says it will take a lot of work to restore Brawl.  Prowl knows that the suppressor discs shouldn’t completely disable a Decepticon, so Wheeljack assumes that either the disc or Brawl was booby trapped.

Under Ultra Magnus’ lead, the three Autobots trace strange transmissions to a parking garage.  They find Swindle hiding and Magnus arrests him.  The Autobots bring Swindle to their base to interrogate him.    The Autobots hang Swindle, who is missing an arm, from the ceiling to interrogate him.  Swindle wants his arm back and the Autobots tell him that if he answers their questions, they will consider it.  Swindle asks the Autobots if they are willing to negotiate.  Ultra Magnus tells him that this isn’t a negotiation.  If he doesn’t cooperate, the Autobots will make everything a lot worse for Swindle.  Bumblebee asks Swindle where he got the technology to create the Simpson facsimile.  Swindle tells the Autobots that he didn’t find it, he built it himself.  Swindle reveals to the Autobots that he didn’t use the Simpson facsimile to sell weapons, he was selling them to Skywatch for the last few years.  That is how they got their advanced technology that they used so easily and quickly.

(to be continued)

Abilities -

The Combaticons were very powerful, especially as Bruticus. Bruticus was probably the most powerful Pre-Movie combiner. Onslaught was a talented tactician. Blast Off could transport Decepticons in space with no other help. Vortex had sophisticated surveillance equipment in the comics.

Wacky Facts -

Toy Reviews

Unite Warriors Bruticus

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