The Baddest of the Bad: Decepticons!

Motto: "Punish and Enslave"

Decepticon Icon

The Transformers toy line from Hasbro has captured the imagination of generations of kids (young & old).  Part of what helped them become so successful was a great marketing campaign, which included a cartoon series that ran on basic cable in the early eighties.  The cartoon told the story of a robotic civilization that came to Earth, fleeing their war-ravaged home world of Cybertron.  There were two categories of robots:  (Heroic) Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, and the (Evil) Decepticons, led by Megatron.  In this article, we'll review my picks for the top 5 Decepticon characters.

For more on the history of Transformers, check out TrevorLewthor's article, called, "The Transformers: A Brief History of the Robots in Disguise".


Here are my picks for the top 5 characters:

  1. Megatron
  2. Shockwave
  3. Soundwave
  4. Laserbeak
  5. Devastator

If you are familiar with Transformers, and the Decepticon line-up, you'll probably cry 'FOUL!' on that last one.  If not, you'll find out why below!


Motto: "Peace Through Tyranny!"


Megatron HAS to be the number one Decepticon.  As their leader, Megatron thrusts his soldiers into battle after battle, constantly trying either to destroy the Autobots, or acquire as much Energon (type of energy) as he can get his hands on.  The reason the Energon is important is because that's what these robots 'live' on, and also use to power things like spaceships and spacebridges.

Throughout the series, and also in the movies, Megatron and his subordinate, 'Starscream', have constant power struggles.  Starscream always wants to be in charge, and tries to 'dethrone' Megatron, and he seems to always fail.

Megatron's sworn enemy is Optimus Prime, who as a young robot, actually looked up to Megatron while still living on Cybertron, due to Megatron's ability to fly in robot mode.

The Generation 1 version of Megatron was a metal & plastic robot that transformed into a very real looking handgun, the Walther P38.  This toy was manufactured with a black stock, and silver barrel, not the orange tipped barrels that are now required on all toy firearms.


Motto: "Clarity of Thought Before Rashness of Action"


Shockwave was one of the Transformer toys I always wanted, but never got.  Yes, he transforms from a robot to a gun, just like Megatron, but I think he looks much better than Megatron in both modes.  Plus, the 1st generation of the toy featured flashing lights and laser gun sounds (a big deal back in the early eighties), while the Megatron toy did nothing.

In the original television series, Shockwave's role is Commander of Decepticon Armed Forces on Cybertron.  In that series, (as well as more recent productions), his character is portrayed as very logical, emotionless, and having little to no personality.

Shockwave's distinguishing traits are his face being a single eye, and he has a laser cannon instead of a hand on his right arm.

You can see for yourself what the original Shockwave looked like by checking out this product on Amazon:  'Generation 1 Shockwave'.


Motto: "Cries and Screams are Music to My Ears"


Soundwave was many kids favorite Transformer toy out of all the Deceptions.  Boom boxes were at the height of popularity in the early eighties, with many brands constantly trying to out-do each other with bigger, louder, (and with more chrome) models, it should be little surprise that a toy boom box that transformed into a robot with guns found much success.

One of Soundwave's unique features was that he could carry cassettes in his cassette deck that could also transform into robots.  The most popular of these being Ravage (a dog), Laserbeak (a condor), and Rumble (a small biped robot with arms that changed into hammers).

Soundwaves arch-enemy was most likely the Autobot boom box 'Blaster'.  While the series and the original movie don't explicitly define this, it seems implied.

Soundwave also underwent changes over the years, for example, in the television series 'Transformers Prime', Soundwave is depicted as a Predator Drone airplane.


Motto: "The Only Point I Like in Autobots: Melting Point."


Laserbeak is Soundwave's first choice for gathering intelligence.  In cassette mode, Laserbeak is stored within Soundwave's chest, where he is able to playback his findings through Soundwave's speakers.  In condor mode, Laserbeak is small, relatively undetectable, and able to perch on almost anything where he can obtain secret information, collect photos, and record audio through a microphone that pops out of his head.

Laserbeak doesn't have big aspirations to pull rank on any of his fellow Decepticons, he just does what he is told.  At the same time, if he is told to take action against another Decepticon, he doesn't have a problem with that either, which helps him find favor with Megatron.


Motto: "Thinking and Winning Do Not Mix."


Devastator.  -The Decepticon's big bad bully.  First image that comes to mind when thinking about Devastator is him ripping the Autobot spaceship to pieces by grabbing chunks of it with his bare hands.  The guy is a brute.

The catch here is that Devastator is actually made up of 6 smaller Decepticons:  Bonecrusher (bulldozer), Hook (construction crane), Scavenger (shovel), Long Haul (dump truck), Scrapper (grader), and Mixmaster (cement truck).  These guys were all fairly impulsive and tended to argue a lot in the television series, so it’s ironic that they all join together and operate in unison as Devastator.