G1 Cartoon

The Protectobots were introduced with only a few episodes remaining of Season two of the G1 cartoon before the movie.  Like many season 2 additions, they just show up with no explanation of where they came from.  They were the only Autobot Combiner Group without an origin story (even Omega Supreme got an origin story).  They were only added in Season two because Hasbro wanted to put them on the toy shelves, so the stories they were added to were not written just for them.  The Protectobots were lucky enough to be given a little character development post-movie, but the only one who really got the benefit of character development was First Aid.  The Protectobots were led by Hot Spot (a blue fire truck) and consisted of First Aid (an ambulance) Streetwise (a police car) Groove (a police motorcycle) and Blades (a rescue helicopter).  First Aid was later revealed to be a pacifist.  He differed from Ratchet (who was also a doctor and an ambulance) by being a doctor for both Autobots AND humans.  The Protectobots were able to merge into a combiner called Defensor.

The first time we meet the Protectobots is when the Autobots are trying to protect a city from the Insecticons.  Optimus Prime decides that it is too dangerous for the human population and calls the Protectobots to help evacuate the city.  The Protectobots leave their headquarters in the city to save the humans.  The Protectobots drive through the city and use a loud speaker to tell the humans to evacuate (which is a given considering there are hundreds of Insecticons flying all over the city).  Streetwise is transporting several people inside of him and comes across a passed out person in the street.  He calls for First Aid to help.  First Aid opens his back door up and deploys a set of claws which gently bring the injured man inside of him.  Once the Protectobots evacuate the entire city, the Autobots fight the Insecticons and force them out of the city.  Hot Spot puts out fires after the Combaticons send the Earth barreling towards the sun.  Blades gathers up displaced villagers when their village catches fire.  Blades continues the relief by spraying a fire retardant spray over brush fires.  Groove and Streetwise use an industrial freezer to keep people cool.

The Combaticons enter a city and quickly merge into Bruticus.    Right after the Combaticons merge, Defensor destroys Bruticus with one shot.  Later the Protectobots save people from a burning skyscraper.  Groove uses liquid nitrogen to fight the fire.  Hot Spot shoots fire retardant foam from his ladder in fire truck mode.  Blades flies to two window washers and tries to rescue them before they fall to their death.  They still fall, but Streetwise catches them.  The Protectobots inspire some teenagers to create their own robot named BOT.  BOT goes crazy because the teenagers (unknowingly) used Brawl’s junked personality component in the robot.  After Bruticus is rebuilt, the Autobots learn that the Decepticons are going to attempt to destroy the Ark.  Ironhide contacts the Protectobots to help (The Protectobots have their own headquarters in a nearby city, probably so they can be more accessible to emergency personnel).  Once the Protectobots receive the message, they transform and go to the Autobots’ headquarters.

After the movie, the Protectobots stay as background characters.  

Hot Spot alone randomly shows up in an episode FILLED with animation errors fighting the Decepticons on a strange sonic powered planet.

The first time they have a major role is when they watch various humans fight with each other.  They wonder why the humans can’t live in peace with one another, but are scolded by Rodimus Prime for not helping.  The Protectobots engage a group of human terrorists who are having a firefight with local police.  They stop the terrorists but wonder why Rodimus Prime is so edgy.  Blades flies above the town, he is trying to see if there is any more trouble that the Protectobots can help with.  Galvatron fires on Blades, knocking him out of the sky.  First Aid rushes to help his friend.  The rest of the Protectobots are attacked by a group of Decepticons, led by Galvatron.  The Protectobots make protecting First Aid the the humans their priority over fighting the Decepticons.  First Aid loads Blades onto his roof and retreats to Metroplex where he can give Blades the proper care.  The Protectobots hold their ground but are outnumbered, Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus arrive to help.  First Aid is able to make it back to Metroplex and he starts the process of repairing Blades.  Blades was significantly damaged and had trouble even transforming back to robot mode.  Inside of Metroplex, First Aid finds Swindle trying to steal Metroplex’s transformation cog.  First Aid actually tries to talk the sneaky Combaticon into surrendering.  Swindle attacks First Aid but First Aid just leaps out of the way and doesn’t fight back.  He ultimately is shot in the chest by Swindle, and Swindle escapes.  First Aid is ashamed that he couldn’t protect the cog, but Rodimus tries to make him feel better. First Aid winds up leaving the Autobots.  Trypticon makes his way to fight Metroplex, the Protectobots try to slow him down by transforming into Defensor, but without First Aid.  Defensor was then intercepted by Menasor.  Defensor made his priority saving a train which was derailed, and he was defended by Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus.  Eventually, Trypticon is damaged enough to retreat, but Rodimus Prime needs First Aid to come back to the Autobots so he can fix Metroplex.  First Aid is the only Transformer who knows enough about Metroplex’s body to repair him (maybe he was a city speaker??).  Hot Spot offers to try to talk to First Aid about coming back to the Autobots.  First Aid finds himself living in a junk yard which is run by another robot.  First Aid finds some comfort in repairing broken machinery.  Hot Spot convinces First Aid to return and repair Metroplex.

First Aid goes to Cybertron and winds up examining a damaged Superion and repairing him.

When Tornedron attacks Cybertron, Blades is part of the Autobot team that tries to defend against the creature.  Blades’ energy is absorbed by Tornedron but he is brought back to life after Grimlock destroys Tornedron.

The Protectobots return to Earth and fight Bruticus in Japan.  He acts very out of character and it seems like he is going to kill Bruticus for endangering humans.  Before he can act, Defensor is shot in the back by Cyclonus, Scourge, and the Sweeps.  Defensor falls, but Rodimus Prime, Kup, and Sky Lynx drive the Decepticons away.

First Aid was finally shown as a doctor, not just a member of the Protectobots when a female scientist named Jessica is hurt in a battle between the Technobots and Terrorcons.  Where Ratchet primarily treated Transformers, First Aid also treated other species.  Jessica looses the ability to walk, but First Aid creates a harness for her, giving her mobility again.  Soon after, the Autobots learn that Jessica’s father and boyfriend have Optimus Prime’s body.  Defensor is part of the team to recover Optimus Prime’s body.  They walk into a trap and Superion is infected.  Defensor and Superion have a brief battle, and Defensor is damaged to the point where he has to separate into the Protectobots.  Soon after, the two combiners battle again on a bridge.  Defensor knows not to let Superion touch him and uses a girder as a weapon to keep his distance.  Even though he tries to keep his distance, he is infected by Superion.  When Optimus Prime returns to life, he uses the Matrix to purge the Hate Plague from the universe, and the Protectobots are restored.

When Galvatron attacks Cybertron with the Decepticons, he succeeds in deactivating most of the Autobots.  Ultra Magnus and the Protectobots are the last survivors.  They attack Galvatron together (Again, why didn’t they form Defensor????), but Galvatron is too powerful.  He shrugs off their attack and then Scorponok arrives with even more Decepticons.  The Protectobots are deactivated by the Decepticon Headmasters and Targetmasters.  They are brought back to life when Vector Sigma absorbs the energy from when the Plasma Energy Chamber caused Earth’s sun to go supernova and there was a new golden age of Cybertron.

Marvel G1 Comic

The Protectobots are used by Optimus Prime to... Well... Protect.  Their first mission is to join Optimus Prime in protecting a human named Ethan Zachary and a device he created which the Decepticons want to use to create limitless energy.  They intercept Megatron and The Combaticons before they can accomplish their mission.  Not knowing the Combaticons are a combiner, The Protectobots merge into Defensor, thinking they have the upper hand, but then The Combaticons merge into Bruticus.  After both forces stare each other down, Ethan Zachary intervenes.  He suggests a virtual fight so the device won’t be destroyed, and the winner will get the device.  Immediately Groove accuses the Decepticons that they will cheat, and Ethan Zachary tells them that it is impossible to cheat.  Both forces agree with Megatron making one stipulation, the leader of the losing side will be destroyed in the real world.  Everyone agrees. Optimus orders the Protectobots that even though the people in the game are virtual, that they should be protected as if they were real.  Inside the computer game, Optimus Prime offers Hot Spot the opportunity to lead, but Hot Spot knows that Optimus Prime is the superior leader and gives control of the Protectobots to Optimus.  He also wants to make sure Optimus is safe so he uses the Protectobots to scout the terrain, looking for Megatron and The Combaticons.  First Aid and Streetwise are the first to encounter resistance.  They fight Swindle and Brawl.  The two Combaticons are bound by sentient plants of the game world and are “destroyed” by the two Protectobots.  The next battle was between Groove and Blades against Vortex and Blast Off.  Groove and Blades attempt to do an acrobatic maneuver but it would injure the virtual people, so they prevent it from happening. Blades saves two of the virtual citizens giving Vortex an opening to attack him.  The virtual people thank Blades by helping him defeat Vortex.  Groove blinds Blast Off and Blast Off crashes, removing him from the game.  As Hot Spot navigates the virtual swamp, he is tracked by Onslaught.  He is shot by Onslaught but like with the other Protectobots, the virtual characters sense goodness in him and help him defeat his foe.  Defensor then confronts Megatron with Optimus Prime.  Defensor destroys Megatron in the game, in the process destroying himself, but Megatron learned about a way to cheat and brings himself back to life in the game.

After Optimus Prime’s death, Ratchet is unable to bring Optimus back to life.  First Aid tries to bring Ratchet out of his depression, saying he is a doctor too and knows what it is like to loose a patient, this doesn’t cheer Ratchet up.

Hot Spot is next shown at a meeting with Perceptor and other high ranking Autobots to choose a new leader of the Autobots.

After Grimlock is made the new leader of The Autobots, Goldbug and Blaster leave, going out on their own.  Grimlock sends the Protectobots to find them and bring them back for punishment.  The Goldbug, Blaster, and The Throttlebots have been resting in a Used Car lot, and The Combaticons arrive to destroy the Autobots.  Before anyone is hurt, The Protectobots arrive and they try to peacefully solve the situation.  Swindle sits back and is about to fire on Hot Spot, but Blaster prevents that causing a battle between The Autobots, The Decepticons, and RAAT.  The Combaticons gain an advantage over the Protectobots and Throttlebots.  When Brawl tries to kill Hot Spot (who really needs to be more aware of his surroundings in battle), Blaster saves him again.  The Combaticons start to take heavy damage and retreat.  Blaster thanks Hot Spot for saving him and Hot Spot tells him that Grimlock didn’t send The Protectobots to help Blaster and Goldbug, but to arrest Blaster.

The Protectobots the Autobot prisoners back to The Ark.  Blades flies ahead of the convoy and notices evidence of The Combaticons.  This causes Hot Spot to send Groove to stay back carrying Blaster, so Blaster can’t escape. The Protectobots reach a railroad yard and are ambushed by The Combaticons and the two forces battle.  This time, The Protectobots have the upper hand and this causes The Combaticons to merge into Bruticus.  The Protectobots follow suit and form Defensor.  Unknown to Defensor, innocent children are watching the battle.  Defensor uses his force field to protect him from the fury of Bruticus.   The battle continues with Defensor using his force field instead of fighting Bruticus.  This causes Defensor’s energy to slowly drain.  Bruticus fires on Defensor and his force field causes the blast to ricochet, making an electrical tower to fall.  The tower is about to crush the children watching, and Blaster saves them.  Defensor is defeated by Bruticus when he runs out of energy and Bruticus throws a train at him.  Blaster defeats Bruticus and The Protectobots let him go, realizing Blaster is a true Autobot, unlike their leader Grimlock.  

Many years later, Blades is part of a strike force which is led by Sideswipe.  They successfully attack and repel a Decepticon invasion force on Nexus Seven.  
While most of the Protectobots returned to Cybertron, Hot Spot remained on Earth as one of it’s secret protectors.  When Megatron allied himself with COBRA, Hot Spot sacrificed himself to destroy all of the Cybertronian technology which Megatron gave COBRA.

Blades stays with Optimus Prime and winds up continuing to fight the Decepticons.  When Grimlock organizes a raiding party to attack the Decepticon leader Jhiaxus, Streetwise is part of the raiding party.  The raiding party is captured by Jhiaxus and Optimus Prime saves them.  Soon after, Groove is seen helping train Hot Rod.

IDW Transformers

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Defensor was powerful, but not as powerful as other combiners. He was able to emit a force field which surrounded 20 feet away from him in all sides, but it only lasted for a few seconds. First Aid was a skilled doctor, but unlike Ratchet, First Aid worked on healing Transformers AND other species. Ratchet was only able to treat robots.

Wacky Facts

First Aid was a pacifist and this held the Protectobots back at times.

Toy Reviews

Combiner Wars Defensor

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