|First appearance||Transformers Generation 1|
|Voiced by||Johnny Haymer |
|Alternate modes||Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk |
Cybertronian assault helicopter
Vortex is a fictional character in the various Transformers continuities in the Transformers franchise.
Transformers: Generation 1
Vortex is the most out-and-out sadistic of the Combaticons, and functions as the Decepticons’ interrogator. A favorite tactic of his is to trap Autobots in the huge wind funnels he creates in helicopter mode until they tell him what he wants to know. He combines with fellow Combaticons to form Bruticus and forms left arm of this giant super-robot. He uses a semi-automatic glue gun. Vortex is the only G1 Transformer whose motto includes his own name.
Vortex debuted in issue #24, Afterdeath. In this issue, Megatron and the Combaticons are battling Optimus Prime and the Protectobots near a computer lab. A human named Ethan Zachary convinces the robots to settle their dispute in a video game. They agreed on the condition that whichever side lost, their leader was destroyed in the real world. The object of the game was to destroy the leader of the group. The Combaticons and Protectobots were sent to different levels of the game. In each scenario, the Combaticons would lose and the Protectobots would win. This allowed them to merge into Defensor and destroy the virtual Megatron. However, Megatron uses a cheat code (which was discovered by Vortex) to reenter the game. Optimus defeats Megatron again, but this time he allows innocent lives to perish. Feeling guilty, Optimus forfeits the game and orders himself destroyed.
Vortex appeared in issue #41 Totaled! He was among the Decepticon forces that attacked the Autobots on the moon.
Vortex appeared in issue #47 The Underbase Saga Part 1 - Club Con! He is seen joking with Drag Strip in the Decepticon base.
Vortex remained a simple foot soldier the remainder of the comics, with no major plot or character development. He was eventually killed by Jhiaxus' forces in the Transformers: Generation 2 comic.
Vortex debuted in the second-season episode, Starscream's Brigade. In the episode, Starscream is banished again from the Decepticon HQ after his just another conflict with Megatron. In that time it comes to Starscream's attempt on Megatron's life. The attempt fails, but Megatron is finally made frantic with rage and deports Starscream to the island of Guadalcanal. On this island he discovers old World War II vehicles and decides to use the wreckage to build his own army. He raids a Decepticon detention center on Cybertron and steals the personality components of several renegade Decepticons. Vortex is one of them; the others' names are Brawl, Swindle, Blast Off, and Onslaught. Vortex is placed in an old WWII fighter plane and the body is reformatted into a helicopter. Also Starscream endows his recruits (named the Combaticons) with the ability to link up and form an enormous super-robot Bruticus which is much more mighty than Devastator himself.
At first Starscream hatches a plan to capture two Transformers. He and the Combaticons crash into an unveiling ceremony for the statue of Autobot Leader Optimus Prime, where two Autobots, Jazz and Cliffjumper, were being interviewed. As the Combaitcons start attacking, they each start showing off their power and abilities. At last, Jazz and Cliffjumper are sucked into Vortex in helicopter mode.
At the head of his improvised army, Starscream attacks Megatron and even forces him to recognize himself as the new Decepticon leader. Only without the aid of the Stunticons, Megatron succeeds in managing the insolent ex-Air-force Commander and his fighters. After Bruticus is defeated by Menasor, Megatron banishes Starscream and the Combaticons from Earth and sends them to a distant asteroid. Starscream quarrels with the Combaticons and abandons them on the asteroid. After he flies off into space, the Combaticons arrive to Cybertron. Here they attempt to exact revenge on Megatron by using the space bridge to alter Earth's orbit, sending it towards the Sun. The plot fails. When Megatron teams up with Optimus Prime, Starscream reveals the weak points of Bruticus to them in exchange for his forgiveness. Megatron captures and reprograms the Combaticons to obey him.
Vortex was later involved in a Decepticon plot to capture the Middle East oil fields. The Aerialbots arrive on the scene and the Decepticons use their new jet drones to attack them. Vortex is assigned three of these jets. However, these drones proved to be no match for the Aerialbots and are destroyed. The Combaticons then engaged them as Bruticus, but lost to Superion.
Later in the third-season episode, The Ultimate Weapon the Autobots attempt to steal Trypticon's transformation cog. They send Spike Witwicky and his son Daniel into Trypticon disguised as mechanics. Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus try to sneak past Vortex, who was guarding. A suspicious Vortex picks up Rodimus and shakes him, causing Daniel to fall out and into a ravine. Ultra Magnus, however, manages to save him.
Vortex made various other appearances as a member of the Combaticons, throughout the remainder of the series, as well as in the Japanese series Transformers: The Headmasters.
Dreamwave Productions' 21st century re-imagining of the Generation 1 universe took its inspiration for the Combaticons from the original animated series, casting them as Decepticon prisoners who were reduced to protoform stasis because they were too dangerous to be released.
Onslaught, Brawl, Blast Off and Vortex originally appeared as part of Shockwave's attack on Iacon in the first War Within series. At the same time Swindle was with Starscream, Motormaster, Runabout and Runamuck after Starscream head sent Megatron and Optimus Prime down further into the depths of Cybertron.
Later, when Optimus Prime led a rebellion against Shockwave's domination of Cybertron in 2003, Starscream took the opportunity to form a power base, taking the protoform Combaticons to Earth and outfitting them with new alternate modes taken from an abandoned military base, then leading them in an attack on the Ark in order to acquire parts to make the Decepticon space cruiser, the Nemesis, spaceworthy. Confronted in battle by Brawn, Bruticus was caught in an explosion as Ratchet self-destructed the Ark, but he survived the conflagration, only to be knocked out by artillery fire from an incoming Autobot shuttle. After a battle with the evil clone, Sunstorm, Brawn opted to work out some of his stress on Bruticus's unconscious body, punching the gestalt about the head until his comrades yelled at him to stop. Bruticus would return, battling Sky Lynx for Starscream's amusement - until the Predacons appeared in their combined form of Predaking. The two gestalts battled as Starscream fled and Bruticus lost. The ultimate fate of the Combaticons in the Dreamwave universe was not revealed, due to the company's closure.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Ro-Tor is the name of a Decepticon who turns into a helicopter. The team's reconnaissance specialist.
Ro-Tor was one of five Transformers that actually began life as Autobots, sent to Earth along with a sixth to lead them in a mission to reactivate the legendary Autobot battle station known as Fortress Maximus. However, their craft malfunctioned and crashed, and the six Autobots were entombed in protoform state, joining Fortress Maximus in slumber until their ship was unearthed by Megatron and his Predacons. Absconding with the Autobot protoforms right under Optimus Prime's nose, Megatron took them to a nearby military base, intending to scan alternate modes for them. Mega-Octane was the first to be reactivated, infused with a portion of Megatron's own spark energy to create the first of a new breed of Transformer that Megatron dubbed the "Decepticons." The other four members of the team followed, and eventually the sixth, Scourge, who took leadership of the team from Mega-Octane with a show of force.
Simply referred to as the Commandos, they soon demonstrated their skills by blowing up dams across the country, debuting their combining abilities against Rail Racer and later attempting to harness the energies of a volcano on Montrose Island. As part of a string of failed attempts to locate the Autobots' hidden base, Movor was launched into orbit to track Side Burn from space, and the Decepticons then pretended to have reverted to their original Autobot selves in an effort to make the Autobots take them in. Later, Decepticon corruption of the Autobots' global spacebridge led Ruination into conflict with Landfill.
It soon became apparent that Scourge sought to overthrow Megatron's leadership, and the discovery of Fortress Maximus, buried beneath the Earth's surface accelerated the process as exposure to his energies, and those of the O-Parts - the keys to Maximus's resurrection - awoke memories of Scourge's original mission. His new Decepticon programming turned it on its head, however, as he now wished to command Maximus's power for his own, and soon had the other Decepticons thinking the same way, conspiring with Mega-Octane to get Cerebros, the power key of Fortress Maximus, under his control. As a series of chases to acquire control of Maximus began, Scourge eventually revealed his treachery by trying to have the giant attack Galvatron (Megatron, in a new form), only for the plan to fail. In retribution, Galvatron again brainwashed the Decepticons, turning them back into his loyal servants, who followed him so completely that they were even willing to take his orders after he attempted to kill them as a belated punishment. With Galvatron's defeat, the Decepticons and Predacons were all taken back to Cybertron for imprisonment.
The name Ro-Tor was used again on a helicopter Micromaster as part of the Aerialbot team and forms an arm to the teams combined form Superion (Sixwing).
The Micromaster toy packaging was lacking in bios and no official bio has been released from Hasbro.
According to the story for Berserker Sixwing, a computer virus briefly turned the Sixwing team into Decepticons.
Vorter (G1 Vortex's Japanese name) was the Japanese name for Energon Stormcloud, who transformed into an attack helicopter. When Stormcloud appeared on the 3D Battle Card Game, he was actually named Vortex.
Transformers Cinematic Universe
Early leaked scripts of the 2007 Transformers film had a Decepticon helicopter named Vortex. This would have been the most logical name for a helicopter Decepticon since Vortex was the Generation 1 Decepticon helicopter. At some point the name was changed to Blackout.
Little is known about the toy versions of Vortex yet. The packaging of the Revenge of the Fallen version simply lists him as a Decepticon interrogator.
Aligned continuity family
Vortex isn't much of a fighter. Instead, what Autobots fear is being caught in his magnetic grapples. Once they are in his clutches, Vortex will execute a series of terrifying maneuvers that leaves his victims scared oilless, shortly before dropping them to the planet surface, shellshocked, to their deaths. Along with the other Combaticons, he can form Bruticus.
Vortex appears among the rest of the Combaticons in the 2012 video game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. He is playable in Chapter 6, "Death From Above". He transforms into a helicopter and can use a special shockwave ability that destroys most enemies. In the level, your mission is to destroy a bridge, cutting off the Autobot transport.