G1 Cartoon Background -

Ratbat is treated VERY differently in the cartoon than he was in the comics.  Where he was a Decepticon leader in the comics, in the cartoon he was merely another one of Soundwave’s cassettes.  He never spoke and was used only as a spy or a scout.  Much like Laserbeak was in the first two seasons of the cartoon.

Marvel G1 Comic Background -

Ratbat was another character who when used by Marvel Comics in a VERY different way than the G1 Cartoon.  He was a fuel auditor stationed on Cybertron.  His first appearance was to order Shockwave to not use the space bridge anymore because it consumes too many resources.  Shockwave pleads his case, and Ratbat agrees to give him one more chance, and sends him his most deadly Decepticon, Trypticon to destroy The Ark.  Even though Trypticon damages a lot of the Autobots, including The Dinobots, he uses too much energy and Ratbat calls him back to Cybertron.

Soon after, on Cybertron, Ratbat gathers the Decepticon Triple Changers, Blitzwing, Astrotrain, and Octane, to meet with him.  He explains that he sent a space freighter to Earth and has lost contact with it.  He wants the Triple Changers to investigate for him.  He allows Space Bridge travel, even though it uses a lot of energy so he can guarantee that the Triple Changers reach their destination.  Soon after Ratbat sends the Triple Changers to Earth, a team of Autobots known as The Throttlebots attack a Decepticon Fuel Station which Ratbat commands.  They are defeated and as prisoners are brought to Ratbat for punishment.  Before Ratbat can punish them, he is contacted by Astrotrain who tells Ratbat that he was infected by Scraplets along with Blitzwing, Octane, and Blaster.  Ratbat gives the Throttlebots two options, execution or go to Earth and kill the infected Transformers so there won’t be a Scraplet epidemic.  The Throttlebots choose to go to Earth.  Ratbat tells them that they have 10 Earth hours to accomplish the mission or he will destroy all of Earth.  The Scraplets are defeated and Earth isn’t destroyed.

After the Scraplet infestation is eliminated, Ratbat comes to Earth to share command of the Decepticons with Shockwave.  They order a Decepticon Strike Force to attack an off shore oil rig, but when they go to steal the oil, they find out that the pipes are totally dry.  Ratbat then enacts a plan using a mind controlled GB Blackrock to make “Rock n’ Roll Car Washes” which hypnotize the humans who bring their cars to be washed and then the humans bring their cars to a Decepticon base which takes the gas out of the cars (it really is a bad plan and the worst issue of the series).  They also planned on using the humans as a work force (Which does make more sense).  The plot is thwarted by Buster Witwicky.

Ratbat later uses The Predacons to smuggle transport him into the RAAT headquarters so he could investigate the bodies of Goldbug and The Throttlebots, who RAAT destroyed.  Ratbat realizes that the brain modules are missing and he quickly gets on the trail of locating them.  He tracks them a mall where Buster Witwicky has taken possession of the toy cars which house the brain modules.  Quickly, Ratbat and The Predacons attack.  They cause significant damage to the mall and scare the shoppers.  Ratbat finds the Autobots and a silly chase happens.  Ratbat sees Buster Witwicky and wants revenge from him for ruining his “Rock n’ Roll Car Wash” plan.  Ratbat attacks him and Buster traps him in security gate, giving Buster the opportunity to escape.  Ratbat transforms into cassette mode and hides in a boom box that Buster carries back to The Ark.  When they get to The Ark, they find it is empty and Ratbat strikes and kidnaps Buster.

Buster wakes up on a tropical island (which is actually a camouflaged Decepticon Base and spacecraft) and finds Ratbat and Shockwave watching him.  Ratbat finds it a waste of resources keeping Buster alive, but Shockwave won’t allow Ratbat to kill him.  He wants to use Buster as a hostage to protect the Decepticon Base against a Naval Blockade.  Buster continues to be the one thing which can anger Ratbat, causing him to alter his typical personality for revenge.  After thwarting an Autobot attack, the base turns into a spacecraft.  Ratbat alerts Shockwave that Fortress Maximus has become a stowaway and Shockwave engages Maximus in battle.  Shockwave is thought to be destroyed and Ratbat takes his Decepticons into a short period of hiding.

Ratbat is able to finally find The Ark thanks to tracking Fortress Maximus and his ship Steelhaven.  He sets a course for his Decepticons to go to the moon where both groups of Autobots have gathered.  While the Autobots are distracted while watching a fight between Blaster and Grimlock, Ratbat takes advantage and sends the full force of his Decepticons to attack.  Ratbat watches in joy with Buster as the Decepticons severely damage and kill the Autobots.  The Autobots start to gain some ground and Ratbat wants to escape.  Before he can, Grimlock damages the ship making it land again on the moon.  It is only then when Ratbat orders the Decepticons to get back into the ship to escape.

Ratbat’s next plan involved using the Decepticon spaceship in Tropical Island mode as a vacation spot for humans.  Ratbat was using this as a cover so he could use the Seacons to excavate a sunken pirate ship where two Autobots were trapped.  These two Autobots, Grand Slam and Raindance, held information about The Underbase.  They find the Autobots, but Buster Witwicky’s girlfriend Jesse and Blaster sneaked aboard the Decepticon base and steal the Autobots.  Ratbat sends The Seacons to recover the cassette sized Autobots from Blaster and Jesse.  In an attempt to save himself and the humans on the island, Blaster throws the newly liberated Autobot cassettes back into the ocean and winds up escaping.  Ratbat recovers the cassettes.

Ratbat then closes down the resort and creates a holographic interface called Realvision for the Autobot cassettes to show him what they contain.  He uses Buster as a test subject of Realvision.  Ratbat and Starscream enter the program which takes them back to a virtual Cybertron, from when the war between the Autobots and Decepticons was first starting.  In the program, they see Optimus Prime fight Megatron over The Underbase.  A large collection of Cybertronian knowledge and power.  To prevent Megatron from gaining control over it, Optimus Prime sends it into space.  After witnessing this, Ratbat is able to calculate the location of The Underbase.

Ratbat forms a new base of operations in the arctic and Starscream invites Scorponok to meet with him about uniting the two forces of Decepticons.  Ratbat is against the unification because he feels he is on the verge of becoming all powerful when he captures The Underbase.  He doesn’t want to share the power.  Starscream convinces him that they can use Scorponok’s troops to bolster their forces and ultimately Ratbat grudgingly agrees.  Both teams of Decepticons start to fight when Buster accidentally lets Scorponok know that Ratbat is looking for the Underbase.  When Ratbat joins the fight, he is burned by an acid attack from Bomb-Burst.  The battle ends when Starscream steals Scorponok’s ship so he could gain the power of the Underbase for himself.  This causes both Decepticon forces to unite as one.

The Autobots summoned to the arctic by Buster, who is finally saved.  The newly unified Decepticon forces ambush The Autobots and Ratbat engages Fortress Maximus.  When Buster emerges from Fortress Maximus, he realizes that Starscream orchestrated this battle and calls all sides to stop fighting.  The Decepticons and Autobots form a shaky alliance to hunt down Starscream.  They travel into outer space where Starscream has already started to merge with the Underbase energy.  Starscream then destroys the Decepticon space craft, further cementing the truce between forces.  Ratbat forms a plan where a group of Transformers, both Decepticon and Autobot, will be led by one Decepticon commander and one Autobot commander.  Ratbat partners with Blaster to defend New York City.  Ratbat and Blaster are the only survivors from that attack group, but they make Starscream leave New York City for Tokyo.  Ratbat and Scorponok make their way back to the Ark and find Hi-Q and Optimus Prime making a weapon to defeat Starscream.  They quickly attack Optimus, thinking he is trying to take the Underbase energy for himself.  Optimus tries to explain his plan, but Ratbat doesn’t believe him.  Scorponok does and attacks and kills Ratbat.




IDW Regeneration One Background -

Ratbat has been resurrected partially as part of Megatron’s army of zombie Decepticons on Earth.  Ratbat is part of the attack force which captures Kup.  While Hot Rod is traveling through time, he sees Ratbat finally get revenge on Buster Witwicky.  The zombie Ratbat kills Buster while he is hiding with his girlfriend in a car wash.

IDW Background -

Yet another very different version of Ratbat is showcased in IDW.  Instead of being a cassette bot, he starts out as an Autobot Senator.

One day, Ratbat is walking into the council when an Autobot tries to stop him to look over paperwork.  Ratbat is very irritated.  The nameless Autobot goes over several issues with Senator Ratbat.  First, he learns that no progress has been made with a labor dispute.  Ratbat tells the Autobot to keep antagonizing both sides.  Next he learns that the populous believes that there is an Energon shortage.  He tells the Autobot page to make a statement that there is no shortage.  Ratbat then wants the Autobot to manipulate the purchase of a repulsor company so he can rebuy it for a profit.  Ratbat learns of a rising gladiator in the city of Kaon.  This gladiator is Megatron.  IT turns out that Ratbat manipulated everyone so Megatron would attempt to seize control of Cybertron.

Somehow, Ratbat becomes a cassette and a animal like minion of Soundwave.  When Soundwave is trying to escape the Autobots, he sends Ratbat to attack Silverbolt.  Ratbat uses his claws to severely damage the Aerialbot.

Ratbat spies on the Ark-19 as it is preparing to move.

After the Decepticons take over New York City, Ratbat fights a team of soldiers trying to get into the city.  He kills all of the soldiers.

In shuttle mode, Astrotrain transports the Decepticons away from Earth.    Soundwave and his cassettes are guarding him.  Soundwave tells Starscream that Megatron is not dead and his spark still lives.  Rumble tells Starscream that Megatron’s brain still has activity as well.  Starscream commends Soundwave for being a good adviser to Megatron and tries to convince Soundwave that keeping Megatron alive is a waste of energy.  Energy that can be used to make the other Decepticons stronger.  Soundwave refuses to let Megatron die.  

(to be continued)

Abilities -

In the comics, Ratbat was more intelligent than the average Decepticon.

Toy Reviews

MP Ratbat
Siege Ratbat (maybe)

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