The massive Blackout has been described as the "hound" of Megatron. In better days he was always to be found looming powerful and silent behind his leader's right shoulder. When given a target he hunts it down with fierce determination. Blackout is not happy with the progress Starscream is making towards finding the missing Decepticon leader. He suspects (quite rightly) that Starscream would prefer Megatron to stay lost. Blackout is openly mutinous and will challenge Starscream's leadership at any opportunity, not for his own sake, but to better serve his ultimate goal of finding his lost master. Blackout has a sneaky side and uses his symbiotic companion Scorponok's small size to great advantage.
- Hungarian name: Kisülés ("Discharge")
- Chinese name (Taiwan): Hēi Mó (黑魔, "Black Demon")
During the war on Cybertron, Blackout preferred to sow confusion and disarray before he attacked, rather than engage in direct confrontation & risk being killed. He would only go into ground battles under cover of loud noise and pyrotechnics (which he himself caused with his devastating sonic shriek emitters).
Unfortunately for him, he kept getting stuck leading the first wave of attacks. To protect himself, he used an army of drone troopers (presumably Scorponoks) to draw enemy fire. These drones were called "the swarm" and Blackout deliberately encouraged rumours about them so their arrival would strike fear into the hearts of enemies.
Half an hour after his death and before his body was dumped in the sea (in the film), Blackout was briefly turned into a rampaging zombie by Starscream.
Ghosts of Yesterday novel
Blackout had spent thousands of years searching for Megatron and the All Spark under Starscream aboard the Nemesis. While Starscream was hoping not to find Megatron, Blackout was working against him in hopes of restoring the former leader. Upon discovering a vessel similar to Megatron's alternate mode, Blackout became convinced that Megatron was nearby. However, the Autobots arrived in the Ark to investigate the ship, and Starscream ordered the Decepticons to wait while he investigated the alien ship. Growing impatient, Blackout convinced Frenzy and Bonecrusher to join him in an attack on the Autobots. Blackout, Scorponok, and Frenzy ganged up on Optimus Prime, but he managed to defeat them, forcing Blackout to call for a retreat. After Prime headed to investigate Bumblebee's disappearance, Starscream ordered them to attack, and Bonecrusher was given command. Blackout, however, was able to sneak Scorponok on board the Ark.
After Starscream returned, Blackout demanded answers. Starscream claimed that Prime and Bumblebee were killed by indigenous worms, while the alien ship was destroyed when it fell into a cavern. Blackout, unconvinced, challenged Starscream, but was seriously damaged, and had to be taken back to the Nemesis. However, Prime, Bumblebee, and the ship appeared soon after. When Starscream ordered the Decepticons to destroy the ship, Blackout demanded answers, which Bonecrusher and Barricade agreed to. However, Ratchet was able to force Scorponok off the Ark, and Blackout, still healing, sped to his rescue. What a pal.
Prime Directive prequel comic
The Decepticon infiltration unit under the command of Starscream, including Blackout and Barricade, landed on Mars, hot on the trail of the Autobot Bumblebee. There, they destroyed a primitive human rover scout.
The unit arrived on Earth in the year 2003. Blackout scanned a USAF MH-53 Pave Low helicopter, but apparently was not detected by the humans, nor caused any casualties, in contrast to his two comrades. When Starscream tells the Decepticons that their mission is to find the All Spark, Blackout reminds Starscream that they must also find Megatron.
Later, after being lured into a trap intended for Bumblebee set by a group of impressively equipped humans, Blackout attacked the organisation's bunker and attempted to hack into their main server, but failed after they disconnected their local systems. The only lead he got was a name...Sector Seven.
Transformers Movie Prequel (Target)
On Cybertron, Blackout fought alongside Megatron, until his master ordered 'this loyal hound' to assist Starscream's unit in keeping Optimus Prime's forces busy, while Megatron pursued his destiny. Arriving soon after Brawl delivered news of Megatron's location, Blackout and Starscream witnessed the successful Autobot launch of the All Spark. Blackout restrained Starscream from going after it, the pair nearly coming to blows when Blackout launched Scorponok from his chest. Fortunately, Starscream calmed down, and after witnessing Megatron leave the planet himself, the group took on protoform transition forms and followed.
Making planetfall on Earth in Afghanistan many years later, Blackout attracted the attention of a military vehicle of the local creatures. Witnessing the ease in which Wreckage destroyed the carrier, Starscream pondered that Megatron would have been able to subjugate these beings if he was able to. Blackout replied that they needed to find out why he hadn't yet. Starscream's unit then attacked the nearby air base where Blackout scanned and adopted the form of an MH-53J 'Pave Low' helicopter, then easily hacked into the files of the human computers. Inside, he found files on something called 'Project: Iceman', which he suspected was related to Megatron. After the base's destruction, Blackout headed towards Qatar, intent on attacking a similar military base there to access the information they needed.
- Voice actor: Brian Stepanek
Transformers (2007) film
Blackout flew into the airspace of US SOCCENT Forward Operations Base in Qatar and refused to identify himself, prompting base commander Colonel Sharp to dispatch two F-22 Raptors to escort the Decepticon into their base. One of the Raptors reported that Blackout had the registry number of 4500X on his vertical stabilizer, the number of the helicopter Blackout had scanned and destroyed three months earlier in Afghanistan.
Once landed, Blackout was surrounded by the soldiers stationed at the base and ordered to power down and disembark his crew, or deadly force would be used. Seeing no reason to hide himself any further, Blackout transformed under a hail of automatic weapons fire from the shocked humans. Activating his heavy machine guns and rocket launchers, Blackout made quick work of the soldiers closest to him, then unleashed a massive shock wave that killed the rest of the troops and shattered their vehicles and the windows of the operations control tower. Blackout made his way around the base, tossing tanks aside, crushing soldiers underfoot and blowing up aircraft. Eventually, he reached the operations bunker and tore off the roof to link up with their server and download its files in an attempt to find information on Project: Ice Man. Unfortunately, the base commander intervened, cutting the physical hard line of the server, severing Blackout's connection and thwarting the primary objective of his mission.
Still, Blackout carried out his second objective - the destruction of the human base. As he proceeded, a human soldier was nearly crushed. Instinctively, the soldier recorded images of Blackout, the Decepticon indulging this brief moment of curiosity by looking straight back at the human. Blackout then activated a chest-mounted laser cannon to put the fleshling out of its misery, but before he could do so, he was struck by a grenade fired by another soldier, and the human made his escape. Enraged, Blackout fired flare countermeasures into the sky to confuse any other attempts to attack him, then ejected Scorponok from his back and sent his minion to track the fleeing soldiers. Blackout then turned his attention and his weapons back to the rest of the base, eventually destroying it, leaving no survivors.
Evidently, after the attack, Blackout flew back to the United States, as he was in the vicinity when Frenzy reported the discovery of All Spark's location and Starscream ordered their forces to mobilize. Blackout was the last to acknowledge the order, then rallied in Megatron's name, perhaps to remind Starscream who his master was.
Blackout arrived at Mission City just as the final battle was getting underway. Megatron's order of "Decepticons attack" must have been music to his ears, and he followed his master's commands whole heartedly. He attempted to block ladiesman217's path as the boy was trying to get away with the All Spark, before he was attacked by Ironhide. The Autobot threw a car at Blackout, who fired his laser cannon to destroy the vehicle and knock Ironhide over. He flew ahead of ladiesman217, attempting to use his rotor weapon to kill him, but the human managed to dodge this attack.
Blackout withdrew from the battle for a few moments, but returned as Optimus Prime and Megatron fought. Seeing his master under attack, Blackout came to the defense of his lord by activating his hand-held rotor weapon, but soldiers—including survivors of the SOCCENT base attack—attempted to stop him by painting him with targeting lasers for friendly F-22 Raptors to fire upon. As Blackout activated his cannon, he noticed the lasers targeted on him. Underestimating the fighting spirit and desire for vengeance of the humans, Blackout tried to finish them off until Captain Lennox, using an abandoned motorcycle, charged at him and fired a sabot round into his crotch (ouch), as F-22s pounded the Decepticon with missiles, extinguishing his spark.
His remains were dumped in the
deepest second deepest part of the ocean - the Laurentian Abyss - along with his fellow dead Decepticons.
- (Note: The possible period of time that Blackout acquired his vehicle mode in the movie appears to contradict the origin of his vehicle mode in both IDW's Prime Directive prequel and the second Target-sponsored prequel comic. See Trivia section below.)
Transformers The Game (console)
Voice actor: Noah Nelson
In the Autobot campaign he suffers a humiliating defeat from Jazz, even though Blackout had Starscream's help. That's got be the most humiliating thing for any of the characters in the videogame, losing to somebody a third of his size.
Blackout and Scorponok were sent to the SOCCENT Base to destroy the human military installation there and download information from the military servers on the location of the All Spark. The pair were successful, though Blackout's escape was briefly interrupted by the arrival of a squad of human jet fighters. After blasting them to tiny bits, he made good his escape.
Blackout arrived at Hoover Dam, where his scans failed to detect the energy signatures of Megatron or the All Spark. Starscream ordered him to break the dam piece by piece. Blackout fired a pair of missiles and fought off a squad of Autobot sports car drones that were defending the installation. As Megatron emerged, he bowed before his lord. He then followed the newly-revived Megatron to Mission City, where he engaged in a final showdown with Ironhide, who had just punted Scorponok. The Autobot warhorse certainly gave the massive Decepticon a run for his money. The huge number of Autobot drones backing Ironhide up didn't make things any easier.
During Megatron's battle with Optimus Prime, Blackout attempted to assist his master by charging Prime. Prime punched the massive Decepticon, sending him flying. How embarrassing.
As Jazz retrieved Sector 7 vehicles for Optimus Prime, he happened upon their helicopter, which to his surprise turned out to be Blackout. The two battled at Tranqulity's power plant, where Jazz managed to defeat him. Humiliated, he transformed and flew away.
Blackout made his presence felt again as Bumblebee raced back to Tranquility carrying the All Spark with him. He chased Bumblebee through the streets until he was intercepted on a rooftop by Ratchet, who put an end to his menace for good.
First arriving under the command of a low-ranking soldier, Blackout was sent out to destroy the communications arrays in the Qatar SOCCENT military base. Once completed, he returns for more orders.
Soon after, Blackout encounters Ratchet, who appears at the base to stop you from blowing the hell out of everything. Once defeated, Blackout disappears until the other Decepticons arrive at Hoover Dam.
Dropping off some bombs for Brawl to set, the Decepticons attempt to blow up the Dam to simultaneously release Megatron and thaw him out, but are thwarted by Jazz and his drone clones. Their heroic attempts are for naught, as Megatron escapes anyway, while Blackout and Barricade retrieve his weapon chip. Once in hand, they meet before their leader and reactivate his weapons. After a charismatic speech, they set out to Tranquility to capture the All Spark and defeat the Autobots once and for all.
Blackout arrives just in time to be blasted to slag by an All Spark powered Starscream with a single blast. That's still slightly less embarrassing than being beaten by a half-dead Jazz.
Legends Class toys
- Blackout (Legends, 2007)
- A much smaller and highly simplified version of the character, Legends Blackout features limited articulation and detail, with the helicopter mode not being a particularly faithful recreation of an MH-53 Pave Low (the placement of the fuel tanks, in particular). Even though the robot mode sports an attempt to emulate the movie character's chest design, this does not involve the use of obvious fake elements of the helicopter mode's cockpit, unlike other Legends Class toys of movie characters. Curiously, the instructions on the back of the card show how to transform him from his alt-mode to his robot mode, which is the reverse of the rest of the Legends Class packaging.
- Ironhide vs. Desert Blackout (Legends Allspark Battles two-pack, 2007)
- Desert Blackout is a tan redeco of the previously released Legends Blackout toy. He comes with an all-new Legends Class Ironhide.
Voyager Class toys
- Blackout (Voyager Class, 2007)
- Japanese ID Number: MD-01
- Accessories: Scorponok mini-figure
- Blackout transforms into a reasonably accurate Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low heavy-lift helicopter. An aft "cage" compartment can be opened to release a small PVC figurine of his partner, Scorponok. A button on the very end of his tail can be pressed in a geared action to rotate his rotor blades. By attaching the Deluxe-class Scorponok to his underside, the rotor gimmick also spins Scorponok's claws.
- During transformation, Blackout's (mind-numbingly delicate) Automorphing gimmick is activated when the user swings down his legs, which in turn flips the gray chest section his head is mounted upon up and into position, and lifts his back assembly and locks into into place behind his head. Another, less impressive automorph is in his legs - If you pull his knees down, his shin armor pops out a bit.
- In robot mode, Blackout appears closer to his original concept art, back when he was called "Incinerator" (seemingly also the basis for his Nintendo DS appearance). The entire rotor assembly on his back can be removed and converted into a gigantic fan weapon, to vaguely represent the hand-held rotor-blade weapon he wields in the film, also seen on the Titanium figurine (see below). Because of the size of his rotor assembly, Blackout is also much shorter than most Voyager-class figures despite his bulk, barely taller than a Deluxe figure.
- It is very easy for the gears in the cockpit/chest to become misaligned during transformation, enough so that the chest/head section refuses to align with the cockpit halves. Getting the gears back into alignment is a veritable nightmare, as so many other parts shift and move as you attempt to manipulate the respective pieces. Swinging the legs down locks the back assembly into place for robot mode, but simply swinging the legs back does not unlock it, with the user being required to actively separate the parts by hand. Failing to do so is sure to misalign your Blackout to bejeezus.
- An interesting side note is that the two hard points located on Blackout's shoulders, intended to support his abominably large weapon, are actually the same size as the Mini-Con Powerlinx plugs on most Unicron Trilogy figures.
- Decepticon Desert Attack (Toys'R'Us exclusive two-pack, 2007)
- Accessories: Scorponok mini-figure
- This package, based on their first appearance in the film, features an unchanged Voyager Blackout packaged with an unchanged Deluxe Scorponok, which was exclusively available at Toys "R" Us stores. Since Voyager Blackout was gang-molded with the miniature Scorponok figure the single release came with, this means that the set contains two Scorponok toys in different sizes.
- Blackout Ver. 4500X (Lawson exclusive Voyager Class, Japan 2007)
- Accessories: Scorponok mini-figure, Autobot and Decepticon pins
- This Voyager class Blackout repaint is exclusive to the Lawson Japan convenience store chain, with the purchase of the movie DVD. He is redecoed in a more realistic color scheme for vehicle mode, 4500X markings and a drastically changed plastic color scheme in robot mode (many parts once black are now silver or the same colour as his helicopter hull). Additionally, the mini-Scorponok figurine has been repainted in metallic colours and detailed to resemble the deluxe-class toy (and the movie CG design, of course).
- Also included a set of two brass Autobot and Decepticon insignia pins.
- Blackout ("Premium Series" Voyager Class, USA 2008)
- Accessories: Scorponok mini-figure
- This redeco of the Voyager Class Blackout toy appears to be based on the same plastic color layout and paint mask as the Japanese Lawson exclusive "Version 4500X" redeco of Voyager Blackout, down to the improved paint on the Scorponok mini-figure. As a matter of fact, both toys were almost identical, minimally minor differences and packaging aside.
- Unlike some of the early "Premium Series" toys, Blackout was available as a mass market release.
Fast Action Battlers
- Gyro Blade Blackout (Fast Action Battler, 2007)
- Accessories: Missile
- A simplified version of Blackout, designed for smaller children. His rotor blade can be detached and inserted into his left hand to represent the hand-held rotor blade seen in the film, just like the Voyager class version. He also features a chest cannon which can be flipped up from his back. Oddly, you can only see one-fourth of Blackout's head from a 90-degree angle. Even less of it is visible when his chest cannon is flipped up. He features a firing missile.
- Blackout (3" Robot Masters, 2007)
- Accessories: Decepticon display stand
- This three-inch figurine, as with all Titaniums, is partially made of die-cast metal and plastic, sculpted holding his rotor-blades as a hand weapon. Interestingly, Blackout has a more unique sculpt to him; the weapon is sculpted as it was briefly seen in the movie, but on the wrong hand. Blackout himself has an altered leg & foot design as well as having the main rotor-blades on his back excluded, matching it up more with the fact that instead of using his tail rotor, he uses his main rotor as a multi-purpose melee weapon, echoing the game render. His articulation is limited to his shoulders, head and waist, and he comes packaged with a movie-style Decepticon symbol display base.
- Optimus Prime vs. Blackout (2007)
- Blackout and Barricade (2008)
- The Blackout and Barricade turnaround is a 3D sculpture of the two characters in both robot mode emerging from rubble and explosions, with a movie-accurate sculpt (compared to the various transforming toys.) The 'turnaround' aspect of these sculptures simply means one can turn the piece around to display a raised-relief of the movie-style Decepticon sigil instead.
- This product's release was cancelled for the US market, but was released in Australia and in Asia.
- Blackout was originally conceived as Soundwave, hence his symbiotic relationship with Scorponok, who was originally conceived as Ravage. Though this obviously changed, his portrayal in the Ghosts of Yesterday novel is rather Soundwave-esque. Likewise, in the IDW prequel comic, Blackout is the only Decepticon to land on Earth and acquire his alternate mode without any witnesses, whereas Starscream and Barricade had to kill existing witnesses. In the film itself, Blackout's only speaking role has him quickly reporting to Starscream's call... in Cybertronian, with he alone both hailing Megatron upon the All Spark's discovery and attempting to aid him in battle against Prime. What's more, all this "Soundwave-ness" is further enhanced by Hasbro's official bio, calling Blackout "his leader's hound".
- Blackout wins the award for being the Transformers character from the 2007 movie that has gone through the most number of working names: Aside from "Soundwave", he was also supposed to be named "Grimlock", "Vortex", "Devastator", and "Incinerator" at different stages of the pre-production process. The name "Incinerator" was later used for a different toy from the Movie toyline.
- Blackout's working name "Incinerator" is also accounted for in the aforementioned Hasbro bio, noting how Blackout will "fill the air with fire and burn the land clear to take his revenge".
- The period of time that Blackout acquired his vehicle mode in the film, three months prior to the unfolding events, appears to contradict the origin of his vehicle mode in IDW's Prime Directive prequel comics, with him apparently having scanned and destroyed the MH-53 Pave Low all the way back in 2003. It's maaaaybe possible that he just kept on destroying different Pave Lows over time to maintain his covert status (with the U.S. government covering it up) until he finally realized how close he was to a military network access point.
- Scorponok's alternate mode is actually a part of Blackout's helicopter mode; he's made up of a General Electric T64 turboshaft engine and various other helicopter bits. Considering Blackout didn't appear to be missing any integral parts of his alternate mode when answering Frenzy's call or during the final battle in Mission City, either Scorponok reattached himself to Blackout after he escaped the US Air Force's counter-attack in Qatar, or Blackout somehow magically regrew the parts that were previously made up by Scorponok.
- Blackout is never actually seen using his chest cannon in the film, even though he unfurls it quite emphatically on two separate occasions.
- During a transmission from Burger King's website, Optimus Prime has decreed that we are not to ride this helicopter. The current ridability of other helicopters the world over is unknown. Stand by for further updates as they become available.
- Blackout uses a mouthplate in the movie, seen in a brief shot of the side of his face before Epps takes his photo at the beginning of the film, and again when Epps was targeting him during the climactic battle.
- ↑ Details from an early script draft summed up here, confirmed as authentic by Roberto Orci here.
- ↑ Unformatted script sample from first draft naming the Decepticon helicopter "Vortex" posted by Roberto Orci on Don Murphy's message board
- ↑ "Devastator" concept art at Ben Procter Online Portfolio
- ↑ "Incinerator" pre-production render at Ben Procter Online Portfolio