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Wheeljack
Transformers character
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First appearance Transformers Generation 1
Voiced by Chris Latta
(television series)
Christopher Swindle
(Transformers: Devastation)
Michael Daingerfield
George Coe
(Dark of the Moon)
Erik Passoja
(2007 video game)
Jamie Alcroft
(2011 video game)
James Horan
Billy Bob Thompson
(Japanese) Osamu Saka
(television series)
Katsumi Suzuki
(Day of the Machines)
Jun Fukushima
(Q Transformers: Mystery of Convoy)
Shinpachi Tsuji
Information
Nickname(s) Rampage
Affiliation Autobot
Decepticon
Partner Windsheer (Hawk)
Optimus Prime
Ratchet
Mirage
Sideswipe
Bumblebee
Ironhide
Bulkhead
Ultra Magnus
Arcee
Alternate modes Cybertronian hover van
1976 Lancia Stratos Turbo
1987 Porsche 962
2006 Ford Mustang GT
Ferrari F50/360 Modena
Mercedes-Benz E550
Lancia Stratos

Wheeljack is a fictional robot superhero character in the Transformers robot superhero franchise. Wheeljack is usually depicted as a very smart mad scientist who has invented numerous creations, including the Dinobots in Generation 1. His most useful invention is an almost impenetrable mask with bulbs on each side that light up when he talks. He is one of Optimus Prime's closest friends. In many incarnations, Wheeljack is an Autobot, but he is sometimes portrayed as a Decepticon.

Transformers: Generation 1

A mechanical engineer, Wheeljack is the scientist of the Autobots in the Transformers television and comic series based on the popular toy line produced by Takara and Hasbro. His vehicle mode is a Lancia Stratos Turbo 5 rally car sporting Alitalia livery. Note that car #539 is the only surviving Lancia Stratos Turbo, only two were ever built by Lancia (compared to the rest which feature a different bodyshell).

Wheeljack is described as the mad scientist of the Autobot forces as he is always inventing new weapons and gadgets. These weapons and gadgets, while derived from the desire to benefit the Autobot cause, often bring great danger and introduce unpredictable elements into critical situations. He is the most accomplished driver (while in car mode) among the Autobots and enjoys displaying his skill level through various road stunts. Wheeljack possesses the ability to fly for relatively short distances (800 miles) using solid-fuel rockets in his arms. From his shoulder mounted cannons, Wheeljack can shoot magnetic inducer, shrapnel-needle, and gyro-inhibitor shells which can disrupt a target's sense of balance. He is often his own worst enemy due to the explosive and potentially damaging nature of his experiments.

Animated series

Transformers

Wheeljack, who was voiced by Chris Latta, was the first Transformer ever shown in the Generation 1 cartoon series. Also, he is one of the few Cybertronian vehicle forms shown - in his case, a boxy van-like vehicle. His robot form is distinguished by large bulbs on either side of his head that light up when he speaks. In most episodes, he was seldom seen at the front lines in battle - but he was often fundamental to the plot. He, and the Autobot medic Ratchet (occasionally in cooperation with the human Autobot ally Sparkplug Witwicky), were often shown working together creating various devices, weaponry, and even additional Autobots. Often, these devices were sought and sometimes obtained by the Decepticons and used against the Autobots. For example, in the episode "The Immobilizer", he created a device capable of "immobilizing" anything and Decepticon forces were able to capture and use the device against the Autobots.

Wheeljack was the primary architect of the Dinobots, although they rarely seemed to have any particular affinity for him. Along with Ratchet and others he also helped to create the Aerialbots out of old Cybertronian shuttles. As the series progressed, Wheeljack's responsibilities were increasingly taken on by fellow Autobot scientist Perceptor until finally Wheeljack was found dead by Arcee in The Transformers: The Movie.

Transformers: The Headmasters

Some time before the Transformers' war left Cybertron, Wheeljack engaged the Decepticons in battle with his comrades. Later, on Earth, Wheeljack was present for a confrontation with the Decepticons that resulted in the death of Optimus Prime.

Transformers: Victory

Wheeljack made an appearance in 1989, in the later series Transformers: Victory in Japan. Wheeljack, along with Perceptor and Minerva were called upon to save Ginrai, who they converted into Victory Leo.

Chronologically, Victory takes place after the movie, but Wheeljack is shown alive. This was a result of the movie not being released in Japan until August 1989.

Films

In The Transformers: The Movie, set in the year 2005, Wheeljack was assigned to Autobot City on Earth. Wheeljack was presumed killed in the invasion of Autobot City by Megatron’s forces, and his injured or possibly deceased body is dragged to cover by Arcee. According to storyboards of un-made scenes he tried to help Mirage but was blasted several times by Thundercracker and Megatron along with Windcharger. In the same storyboards, it is Smokescreen, not Wheeljack, who lies dead, and Wheeljack himself can be seen alive during Devastator's attack. It is also worth noting that Wheeljack (and Windcharger's) bodies do not change colour to the grey black colour associated with Transformers when they die. Wheeljack also has an anomalous appearance in Transformers: Victory.

Transformers: Armada

The name Wheeljack was reused in Transformers: Armada; this time for a Decepticon.

Animated series

Wheeljack (Rampage in Japan) was formerly an Autobot serving in the same company as Hot Shot on Cybertron. When they were both caught in a conflagration on the battle field, and Wheeljack was pinned beneath debris, Hot Shot was forced to leave him to get him help, but was prevented from returning to his friend's side by his commander. Wheeljack believed that Hot Shot had abandoned him, and when Megatron found and rescued him, he swore loyalty to the Decepticon commander. As a result of damage inflicted either on the battle field or by the debris, Wheeljack's Autobot insignia had been slashed through during the battle. In an act of symbolism, he kept that same insignia on his chest, even once he had switched to the Decepticon cause. However, he does have a small Decepticon insignia under his Autobot insignia and two decepticon insignia on his arms. In the present day, Wheeljack arrived on Earth around the same time as the Autobot, Side Swipe, and baited Hot Shot into a fiery face-off, forcing them to relive the past and put their issues to rest so they could go on to battle as enemies. Hot Shot won the day, and something inside Wheeljack seemed to soften. When both factions returned to Cybertron, he granted Hot Shot an audience with Megatron (now Galvatron), and worked closely and faithfully with him during the Unicron Battles and survives.

Wheeljack transforms into a sports car, and possesses the power of teleportation. Additionally, he can create illusionary duplicates of himself. His toy is partnered with the Mini-Con Wind Sheer (Hawk), who does not appear in this capacity in the animated series. The toy also includes two missiles, which Wheeljack can hold in his hands in robot mode. Though these are seemingly intended as batons, Wheeljack does not often use them for melee combat in the animated series, as they appear to be blasters as well.

Transformers: Energon

Wheeljack is the Japanese name of the Autobot Downshift, who greatly resembles the Generation 1 Wheeljack. It is generally assumed that Energon (Transformers: Superlink in Japan)'s Wheeljack/Downshift is neither the same character as the Autobot deserter Wheeljack, nor the Mini-Con Downshift from Armada.

Energon's Downshift is carried over to Transformers: Cybertron, as an early 1970s era muscle car based on either a 1970-74 Plymouth Barracuda, or 1970-71 Dodge Challenger who again turns into an homage of Wheeljack.

Transformers Cinematic Universe

According to an interview with producer Tom DeSanto published in issue #15 of the Transformers Collectors Club Magazine, the original lineup pitched for the Autobots in the live-action Transformers film was Optimus Prime, Arcee, Jazz, Ironhide, Prowl, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Hound, Mirage, Hot Rod, and Bumblebee.

Wheeljack, known as "Que" in the film, appeared in Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Bumblebee. His G1 personality and skill set was seen in the film as he creates various weapons and gadgets.

Films

Que/Wheeljack assists the Autobots in the destruction of an illegal nuclear facility in the Middle East, posing as a Defence Minister's car. At NEST he supplies the other Autobots with weaponry, including a new weapon for Ironhide and introduces himself to Director Mearing. He is presumed killed when the Autobots' ship is destroyed, but survives along with the others. During the battle in Chicago, he supplies Sam, Epps, and their team with grapple gloves and boom sticks, but is captured by Soundwave, Barricade, and several other Decepticons. Barricade and Soundwave decide to execute Que/Wheeljack, Bumblebee, and the three other captured Autobots and starts with him. He tries to talk to the Decepticons about not killing them, but a Decepticon protoform blasts him and Barricade finishes him off with a blast through the back which decapitates him. His death is soon avenged when Bumblebee kills Soundwave, who ordered his death, and the Decepticon protoform, who was partially responsible for Que/Wheeljack's death, minutes later. Barricade is later damaged by several soldiers who coincidentally use boomsticks created by Que/Wheeljack to cripple him.

Wheeljack returns in the spin-off Bumblebee: The Movie. He, along with many other Autobots, only appears in the opening sequence detailing the final battle on Cybertron. He declares that the Decepticon forces are far too numerous, and retreats into space along with the other Autobots at Optimus Prime's order.

Shattered Glass

An evil mirror-universe version of Generation 1 Wheeljack appeared in the Transformers: Timelines series. He is a mad scientist who wants to prove himself a genius to others.

Transformers Animated

Wheeljack cameoed in the third season of Transformers Animated. His appearance is very G1-based, although he now has a utility belt and what appears to be facial hair. Furthermore, unlike his previous incarnations, he is a little taller, much bigger, and stronger, with a very heavy-set body. He is also a member of the Autobot Council. Judging by the looks of him, his vehicle mode is most likely a futuristic, burly muscle car based on a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, rather than his original modern sports car mode, which is based on the 1976 Lancia Stratos Turbo.

Animated series

Wheeljack briefly appeared in the third-season premiere "Transwarped". He was seen with Perceptor unveiling the end result of Project Omega, Omega Supreme. Wheeljack did not speak or transform in his appearance, and was not seen for the remainder of the series.

Transformers: Prime

Wheeljack appears in Transformers: Prime. Prior to the series storyline, Wheeljack was a member of the Wreckers with Bulkhead and made a name for himself as an Autobot war hero. He carries a pair of swords that can deflect energy blasts and in the fourth episode, "Rebellion" of season three, he is given a powerful Energon Whip as a secondary weapon. This Wheeljack doesn't follow orders well, not even from Optimus Prime or his unit commander Ultra Magnus. He has his own space cruiser, the Jackhammer, which he preferred more than his vehicle mode until it was destroyed in "Darkest Hour". Wheeljack's appearances shifted much in the series; in Season 1 he appeared in only one episode as a minor character, in Season 2 he was a recurring character before finally becoming a main character in Season 3.

Like Optimus Prime, in robot mode, Wheeljack has a retractable faceplate that he wears in combat, which when covering his face makes him resemble G1 Wheeljack, along with his vehicle mode. However, unlike previous incarnations, he is not only an inventor, but he is shown to be a handy mechanical engineer (being able to repair the Jackhammer and Ultra Magnus's ship).

Animated series

Wheeljack first appeared in the episode "Con Job". Arriving in Earth's solar system, Wheeljack makes his way to Earth upon receiving a transmission from an Autobot outpost, including his former Wrecker colleague Bulkhead. However Wheeljack's arrival does not go as planned due to the Decepticons intercepting the communication and abducting him so Makeshift could take his place and infiltrate the Autobots' base. However, Wheeljack manages to break out of the Decepticon warship, taking on the Decepticon forces prepared to invade the base before leaving through the open GroundBridge to the base, where he defeats Makeshift. Soon after, with his ship repaired, Wheeljack takes his leave to travel through space once more, hoping to find more Autobots, and offers for Bulkhead to go with him, though Bulkhead chooses not to.

Wheeljack returns in "Loose Cannons", pursuing the Decepticon named Dreadwing to Earth after he killed fellow Wrecker Seaspray. While sulking, Dreadwing sends him a communication suggesting that they end their conflict once and for all. Joined by Bulkhead, Wheeljack appears to have the upper hand before being buried by an explosive, and is eventually found by Optimus Prime. Realizing Dreadwing has taken Bulkhead, they track them to a cargo port where they find Dreadwing has planted an explosive on Bulkhead. While trying to disarm it, Optimus takes on Dreadwing, and Wheeljack soon realizes only Dreadwing can disarm it, which he does before fleeing again. Later, Wheeljack is convinced to stay on Earth by the other Autobots, but does not join the team, instead Wheeljack inadvertently ignites a fuel station, earning reprimand from his fellow Autobots, and forced to return to opting to explore the planet, and obtains a vehicle mode to do so in disguise.

In "Triage", Wheeljack is teamed up with Ratchet, who considers Wheeljack insubordinate, and does not like it when the Wrecker calls him "Doc". While searching for the Iacon relic they are after, they are attacked by Soundwave and Laserbeak, who are after the same relic. Wheeljack manages to disable Laserbeak, but not before the Jackhammer is shot out of the sky. When they crash land, Wheeljack and Ratchet find Laserbeak alive, but offline. They come up with the idea to implant a virus into Laserbeak, to transfer to the Nemesis computer to download the Iacon data base to the Autobots, but they use Wheeljack's grenade as a decoy to hide the virus. Wheeljack goes to buy Ratchet some time while he searched for Soundwave and the relic. He fights with Soundwave and almost has him defeated when the Decepticon surprise attacks him with the Resonance Blaster, knocking him out with a sonic attack. Before Wheeljack can be finished off, Soundwave is distracted by Laserbeak coming back online and goes to find him. Wheeljack wakes up later and returns to his ship, but does not return with Ratchet to the Autobot base.

In "Hurt", Wheeljack is called in when he learns that Bulkhead has been injured. Angered by the news, he goes out for vengeance against the Decepticon who committed the crime. However he is followed by Miko, who demands to help Wheeljack, offering to tell him who wounded Bulkhead in return. Wheeljack takes Miko on a mission to attack a Decepticon energon mine to get Megatron's attention. His attack is successful and he contacts Megatron, telling him that he wished to fight Hardshell, saying that he would continue attacking and destroying Decepticon mines until he did. Hardshell is in fact sent, and Wheeljack duels with him, managing to be a worthy opponent, but is ultimately overpowered by the Insecticon, but before Hardshell can finish him, Miko saves Wheeljack by killing Hardshell with his ship's missiles. They retreat in time as the rest of the Insecticons attack them, and as they made their escape, Wheeljack threw his stock pile of grenades at the Insecticons, destroying most of them. He later brings Miko back to Autobot base and leaves once again.

Wheeljack is mentioned by Arcee, Ratchet, Miko, and Bulkhead in "New Recruit". Ratchet opposes the idea of letting Wheeljack become an official member of Prime's team, regarding his revenge on Hardshell as reckless and endangering to Miko.

In "Darkest Hour", Wheeljack comes in during the battle with the Decepticons, shooting down enemies with the Jackhammer to buy the Autobots time. He is attacked by Starscream, who destroys the Jackhammer, leaving Wheeljack's fate unknown.

Wheeljack was revealed to have survived the crash, and was held at Megatron's fortress on earth in "Darkmount, NV". There, he was tortured and interrogated by Starscream. In "Scattered", he escapes after being interrogated by Shockwave and being sentenced to death, unknowingly having been planted with a tracking beacon by Starscream. Wheeljack then rendezvous with Bulkhead and Miko, and reveals he found the tracker beacon under his chassis when he realized it had been too easy to escape. He then uses it to outwit Starscream and draw his seeker armada into a trap. In "Prey", Wheeljack and Bulkhead attack a Decepticon mine, hoping to draw attention from other members of Team Prime. However, they and Miko are attacked by Predaking, who was sent by Shockwave to hunt them. Wheeljack lures the dragon-like Predacon into the mine, and detonates the charges. This only aggravates Predaking, and he gives chase as they are rescued by Arcee, Jack, and Ultra Magnus. Through use of terrain and tactical advantage, Predaking is bested and sent fleeing. There, they reunite with Ratchet, Bumblebee, Raphael, June Darby, and Agent Fowler, and prepare to strike back at Megatron, aided by the weapons given to them by Ultra Magnus.

In "Rebellion", Wheeljack and Bulkhead make a distraction for the other Autobots. They were about to take on Predaking until Ultra Magnus got its attention. Wheeljack and Bulkhead were doing good until Shockwave blasted them. While the Decepticons were distracted by Optimus coming back, Wheeljack and the other Autobots escaped before Darkmount was destroyed. Wheeljack is present when Agent Fowler was thanking them for saving humanity.

In "Project Predacon", Wheeljack and Ultra Magnus went back to the rubble of the Autobots former base and all they could find was an energon cube. They also found the lob Wheeljack and Bulkhead used to toss around. When Wheeljack threw it at Bulkhead, the Wrecker missed and almost hit Miko, and after that Ultra Magnus told him that he will not tolerate Wrecker behavior; right after that, it is revealed that Ultra Magnus was the Wrecker leader back on Cybertron and told Wheeljack if he won't learn discipline, he will always choose the path of least resistance, implying Wheeljack would simply leave. After Ultra Magnus said that, Wheeljack replied that if his ship wasn't a twisted wreck at present, he'd do that. Later in the episode, he was present when Optimus brought back a Predacon skull. Later, Ultra Magnus, Bulkhead, and Wheeljack headed to the bluffs in Scotland to search for one of the two Predacon bones the Decepticons are unearthing.

In "Chain of Command", Wheeljack constantly disregards Ultra Magnus' orders and attacks the Decepticons at the digging site on his own. While dealing with the fact that the Wreckers are under Ultra Magnus' command again, Wheeljack was revealed to have essentially deserted the group some time after Bulkhead transferred to Optimus' team. Tensions also build up even further when he brings Miko along in secret, considering her as a full-fledged Wrecker and part of the team. After dealing with the return of the Predacon, where Wheeljack accidentally caused a cave-in with his grenade, He, Bulkhead, and Ultra Magnus return to find Miko dealing with Starscream and fighting back with the Apex Armor. Once the Predacon successfully locates the Predacon bones and returns with the Decepticons, Wheeljack once more leaves the team to go solo, saying that he wants to remember the team in their A-game, "before the rust sets in".

In "Plus One", Wheeljack returns to base via ground bridge and is paired with Arcee to find a Predacon bone relic. Upon arrival to the location, Wheeljack and Arcee are ambushed by Vehicon troopers, but easily defeat them. While they dig for the relic, Arcee discusses why Wheeljack left the Wreckers again, and discovers he is more frustrated with the fact he feels that Bulkhead has gone soft. However, Arcee reasons that as he has to change and let go of his frustrations, as well as that as long as Bulkhead remains his friend, the Wreckers will remain whole in spirit. After gathering the bone relic, Wheeljack and Arcee are contacted by Jack to rescue his mother June and Agent Fowler from Knockout. In a high-speed chase along a set of train tracks, Wheeljack and Arcee manage to rescue June and Fowler, but lose another predacon bone to Knockout. Upon returning to base, Wheeljack proves Arcee was right and makes up with Bulkhead for leaving.

In "Evolution", Wheeljack first appears after having left the base. When Ultra Magnus questions him and why he is covered in coolant, he explains to his commanding officer that he enhanced the thrusters on Ultra Magnus' ship. He and the other Autobots are called into action when they investigate an exposed energon source, killing the Vehicon troopers that were carrying it. In an attempt to find more, Wheeljack and Ultra Magnus head into the mine it originated from, only to find it is Shockwave's laboratory in which the Predacons are being spawned. After sending Shockwave fleeing the pair blow the mine with a grenade coupled with synthetic energon, destroying the Predacon clones. As they retreat, they are attacked by Predaking himself, who reveals and combats them in his robot mode. Together, Wheeljack and Ultra Magnus fight Predaking ferociously and evenly, until Predaking's sheer strength allows him to gain the upper hand, beating Wheeljack with a massive stalactite and breaking Ultra Magnus' hand and the Forge of Solus Prime. However, they are rescued by Optimus Prime before Predaking can kill them and they are able to ground-bridge away. Back at base, Wheeljack gains a new respect for Ultra Magnus after the battle, and watches and keeps him company with the other Autobots as Ratchet repairs Ultra Magnus' hand.

In "Minus One", Wheeljack begins to show concern for Magnus' future when his hand is replaced with a claw made from less than ideal spare parts. Wheeljack later takes part in a mission to stop the Decepticons from stealing technology for a reconstructed Omega Lock where Optimus is able to shoot down Soundwave. Wheeljack witnesses Optimus interrogating Soundwave before heading to the North Pole to stop another Decepticon theft, vouching for Magnus to go. The group is soon troubled with the Predacon, whom Optimus handles while Wheejack, Magnus, Arcee, Bumblebee, and Arcee fight Shockwave.

In "Persuasion", however, the mission fails and the Autobots learn that Ratchet has been kidnapped and the Decepticons know the location of the Autobot base, forcing the Autobots to repaint the E on their hangar to F to avoid Starscream's fleet. Wheeljack later helps Raf build a device with Laserbeak's clipped wing part to find the Nemesis, and save Ratchet.

In "Synthesis", the plan fails but Ratchet escapes con custody and gives the coordinates of the ship. Wheeljack and the other Autobots then Ground Bridge directly into the ship. In "Deadlock", the Wreckers are tasked with taking the ship's bridge. However Ultra Magnus, Wheeljack, and Bulkhead are bridged directly into a cell by Soundwave, eventually escaping but being further delayed by Knock Out.

("Deadlock") Eventually, once the conflict is over, and Megatron is dead, the Wreckers arrive to the bridge but find Jack and Miko, wearing the Apex Armor, already there. Wheeljack and the other Autobots then bear witness, as Ratchet restores Cybertron with the Omega Lock and takes notice of Predaking flying off to the planet. At Autobot base, Wheeljack, Ultra Magnus and Smokescreen give a solute farewell to William Fowler before heading back to Cybertron.

In Predacons Rising, Wheeljack is tasked to assist Optimus find the AllSpark to restore Cybertron's life and the two travel to Theta Scorpii and succeed. However, when they return to Cybertron, they discover Unicron has made his return in Megatron's body. Optimus attempts to slow him down while Wheeljack flies the AllSpark to safety but Wheeljack's ship was shot down and he was badly wounded, forcing Optimus to merge the AllSpark with himself and trap Unicron's essence within the container. Wheeljack later bears witness to Prime's sacrifice to restore Cybertron's life.

Wheeljack is confirmed to appear in the third season of the sequel series Transformers: Robots in Disguise, with James Horan reprising his role.

Kre-O

Kreon Wheeljack appeared in the animated short "Quest for Energon".

Transformers: Cyberverse

Wheeljack is one of the characters who appeared in Transformers: Cyberverse.

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