|First appearance||Transformers Generation 1|
|Voiced by||Frank Welker|
|Partner||Optimus Prime |
|Alternate modes||Cybertronian car |
1979 Ligier JS11-Ford Formula One racer
Various other F-1 racer styles
2004 Ford GT
Mirage is the name of several fictional characters from the Transformers series in the Transformers robot superhero franchise. Mirage is one of the most re-used names in the Transformers series, and is almost entirely synonymous with characters possessing Formula One racing car alternate modes. The first Mirage was introduced in 1984 as an Autobot spy.
Transformers Generation 1
Some might say that Mirage (Ligier in Japan, Mistero in Italy, Miragem in Portugal) was created with a silver sparkplug in his mouth. On Cybertron, he was one of the planet's elite upper class, preferring to spend his days hunting turbo-foxes instead of involving himself in conflict. When that became unavoidable, Mirage enlisted with the Autobot forces, although he is often unsure about his motivations for doing so, which leaves his fellow Autobots finding it hard to trust him – a problem not helped by the fact that Mirage can rarely hide that he is often unwilling to fight directly, or his contempt for the "commoners" he is now forced to interact with. He has no lost love for Earth, and would happily return to his old life on Cybertron if he could.
It is ironic that, given his unwillingness to fight, Mirage is a superior hand-to-hand combatant, and a skilled sharpshooter, having honed his talents hunting game on Cybertron. He is armed with a rifle which fires explosive, armor-piercing darts, but the most important piece of his arsenal in his function as a spy is his shoulder-mounted electro-disruptor, which can bend photons to make Mirage invisible, or appear to be where he is not, or even alter his physical appearance, hence his name.
The animated series opted to present Mirage's desire to return to Cybertron as a genuinely sad longing, rather than as a result of any great dislike of Earth; and his unwillingness to fight was portrayed in "More than Meets the Eye" more as a semi-pacifistic nature. This shaped him into a more gentle character, not especially like the snob suggested by his profile. His actions immediately after the Transformers' reactivation on Earth in 1984 were heroic ones, working with Hound on a plan to dupe the Decepticons, and using his invisibility powers to sneak aboard the villains' space cruiser as it launched, sabotaging it from within and forcing it to crash back to Earth.
Be it as a result of his own desire not to engage in combat or not, Mirage's role in the Autobots' battles on Earth was a distinctly minimal one, leaving him confined to the background on the battlefield, or not present at all.
Mirage was accused of being a traitor to the Autobots when Cliffjumper found a Decepticon base which was an area he was patrolling at before but he didn't see them. However, Mirage was still accused when Cliffjumper believed that he did see them and decided to concealed the information. After a battle with the Decepticons, Mirage left base to perform a plan of his own by framing the Decepticons for stealing Energon Cubes from the Insecticons. Mirage failed to see that he was being watch by Cliffjumper, who was spying to see if the Decepticons moved somewhere else. During the fight between the Decepticons and the Insecicons, Mirage tried to get away from the crossfire but was knocked out unconscious where the Insecticons find him in this state with Shrapnel ready to finish him off but Bombshell stooped him. Seeing that they could make use of him, Mirage was implanted with one Bombshell's cerebro-shell. While under Bombshell's control, Mirage fought the Decepticons until Megatron explained that their being tricked. Mirage was almost destroyed by Bombshell when he was ready to make him pay for tricking them but Megatron stopped him as he had an idea of using him to destroy the rest of the Autobots. Mirage led Cliffjumper, Optimus Prime and Ratchet into an ambush by the Decepticons along with the Insecticons. During the fight, Mirage gets knocked out by Cliffjumper along with almost getting blast into pieces by Bombshell, who was done with him, but was saved by Ratchet. Unconscious, Mirage cerebro-shell was removed by Ratchet when he was investigateing him which set him free from Bombshell's control. Mirage's set up became clear to both Optimus Prime and Ratchet when they saw the cerebra-shell with Cliffjumper listening in on their conclusion as to what was going on which helped him realize that Mirage wasn't a traitor to the Autobots. Regaining consciousness, Mirage gets up to say that he never wanted to do anything against his Autobot friends then tried to explained why but they assured him that there's no reason to explain as they know the truth. Mirage, who ended up getting a little headache from being controlled, joins the fight with his Autobot friends then retreated when Megatron destroyed his own base of operation. After the battle was over, Mirage recovered then Cliffjumper comes over to apologizes to him for not trusting him.
Towards the end of the year, Mirage was among the team of five Autobots who disguised themselves as the Stunticons, with Mirage's alternate mode making him the perfect choice to masquerade as Drag Strip. Penetrating the Decepticons' camp, the Autobots ran into trouble when the real Stunticons arrived, trying to prove their identities by forming Menasor. With a combination of Windcharger's magnetic powers and Mirage's illusion-creating ability, the Autobots were able to appear as Menasor too, but the deception was soon revealed, though they were still able to thwart the Decepticons' plans.
A storyboarded scene from The Transformers: The Movie featuring Mirage was cut from the finished film. In the removed scene, amidst the transformation of Autobot City, Mirage shot the Insecticon Bombshell as a corridor Mirage was in retracted, before the corridor was then blown up by Megatron. Whether or not this would have killed Mirage is not made clear. Regardless Mirage was absent from the events of the third season and stopped appearing without official explanation.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
The parallel universe of the 2001 line, Transformers: Robots in Disguise introduced another new Mirage, known as Counter Arrow in the original Japanese version, Car Robots. Mirage is the fastest of the Spy Changers, which makes him the best choice for spying on the enemy – he'll be in and out before anyone is the wiser. As an excellent marksman, he is fittingly armed with a sniper rifle, and, like the other Spy Changers, possesses optical camouflage powers that can make him appear invisible and is able to drive over any surface, including water, and even upside-down
Mirage made his debut with the rest of the Spy Changers rescuing a plutonium generator from the clutches of the Predacons. His most focal role, however, proved to be an unintentional homage to G1 Mirage's own biggest role, when the other Spy Changers inaccurately suspected Mirage of betraying the Autobots to the Predacons.
After an incident where Mirage, fearing collateral damage, allowed the Predacons to get away, the others on the team accused him of failure. A furious Mirage walked out, realizing the Predacons had put a bug on him. His best friend Ironhide attempted to talk him out of it, but snapped and punched him when Mirage threatened to join the Predacons, much to the listening Predacons' delight. Slapper, Gas Skunk and Darkscream soon approached him, and he seemingly joined up with them. Mirage called the Spy Changers to Megatron's latest weapon, ostensibly to lure them into a trap. He managed to communicate his true intentions to the other Spy Changers, and they destroyed the laser.
A guilty Ironhide demanded that Mirage hit him to even things out between them - but Mirage simply prodded his friend, claiming they were now even before challenging him to a race back to base. Mirage and his teammates would then continue to fight for the Autobot cause up until the conclusion of the series. Following the defeat of Galvatron and his forces, the group would enjoy racing on Earth before departing for Cybertron.
The alternate universe of Transformers: Armada introduced another Mirage (known in Japan as Indy) in 2002, this time a member of the diminutive Mini-Con faction and one third of the Race Team, alongside Dirt Boss and Downshift. In the early days of the war, his skills in stealth and speed led him to prefer running and hiding to fighting, but upon witnessing the atrocities of war, he viewed his cowardice as the worst crime of all, and stepped up to a command position in hopes of doing something about it. Although smart, observant and direct, Mirage still carries with him the guilt from the earlier part of his life, when he ignored his principles in favor of his own self-preservation.
As a Mini-Con, Mirage possessed no given personality in the Armada animated series, communicating only in bleeps and spending most of his time onscreen in the merged form of the Skyboom Shield as the Autobots and Decepticons battled for ownership of it and the other Mini-Con weapons.
Mirage appeared in episode #49, called "Alliance." He is among the Mini-Cons assisting the Autobots and Decepticons evacuating from Cybertron when it was attacked by Unicron.
Despite occupying the same continuity as Transformers: Armada and its Mirage, Transformers: Energon introduced its own Mirage (named Shockfleet in Japan) in 2004, an upgraded version of the lumbering Decepticon battleship, Tidal Wave. Unusually for a character bearing the name, he transforms into a high-speed gunboat. This Mirage has proved himself as much a threat on land as he is on water, turning destruction into an art form.
Mirage first appeared in "Unicron Unleashed", where he led a large force of Terrorcons down to Cybertron as a distraction to allow Shockblast to sneak in with the main force. The plan worked and Unicron was restored to functionality. He later helped to defend Unicron from the Autobots and followed Megatron into the rift in space that had opened up during the crisis.
Mirage eventually became a comic relief character, serving as Megatron's lapdog, and later becoming a bumbling henchman, along with Snow Cat and Demolishor. His loyalty to Megatron/Galvatron proved to be his downfall in "The Sun", where he followed Starscream and Galvatron into an energon sun and died, burning up in the intense heat.
An evil mirror-universe version of Mirage serves as one of Optimus Prime's Autobots in the Shattered Glass universe. Mirage is a former bank robber who was experimented on by Ratchet. He is now permanently partly transparent.
Transformers Cinematic Universe
Mirage appears in Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a red Ferrari 458 Italia. In the film, he is known as "Dino" and he speaks in an Italian accent. Dino/Mirage is armed with wrist blades which can be detached onto lengths of cable.
Mirage, known as "Dino" in the film, appears in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and serves as one of the main Autobot characters. He first appears at the Nuclear facility with Bumblebee, Sideswipe and Que. He is seen at the Washington D.C nest base and informs Charlotte Mearing that Optimus is in a bad mood. He later appears when he battles Hatchet on the highway and kills him with help from Bumblebee and Sideswipe. He is among the Autobots that are exiled from Earth on the Xanthium - and though having been thought to have been killed by Starscream, he escapes along with all the other Autobots.
Dino/Mirage participates in the final battle and is among several other Autobots who are being held captive by Soundwave, Barricade and several other Decepticons. After witnessing the death of Que and the Decepticon ships raining down on them, Dino/Mirage escapes and battles the Decepticons whom held him captive. Dino/Mirage is one of the surviving Autobots at the end of the film, alongside Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Roadbuster, Topspin, Brains, and Leadfoot .
In some early versions of the script, Dino/Mirage had at least two deaths planned. In one version, which was kept in the novelization, he was decapitated by Starscream. Another version, which was kept in the comic book adaptation and the junior novelization, has Dino(instead of Que) being executed by Soundwave.
In Transformers: The Last Knight reveals that Wheelie and Topspin have survived being hunted by Cemetery Wind. Given that in Age of Extinction Topps Europe collector cards Sideswipe was also mentioned to have been killed by Cemetery Wind, the only Autobots who survived the end of Dark of the Moon whose current statuses are unknown are Dino and Roadbuster.