Breakdown was a Decepticon soldier and warrior. During the war on Cybertron, he developed a rivalry with Bulkhead. Breakdown arrived on Earth, with his longtime partner and friend, Knock Out, three years after the Decepticons were last seen and shortly after their return. While there, Breakdown reencountered Bulkhead and met his new human ally. Eventually, Breakdown was captured by Mech and used for their nefarious purposes before he was saved by Bulkhead. Shortly after being saved, Breakdown developed a crush on Airachnid, which developed into hatred once again as he had hated her when he first met her. Breakdown met his end when he tried to kill Airachnid, only to be caught in one of her little traps. Breakdown's remains were salvaged, reassembled and used as a new body for Silas until his eventual death and Breakdown's corpse remained a corpse once more.
War for Cybertron
When Megatron and his Decepticons destroyed a dam they had been using, Breakdown confronted them. Breakdown declared if Megatron could prove to be tougher than he was, then he'd join the Decepticons. Breakdown was eventually defeated, and, true to his word, he joined the Decepticons.
Later, Breakdown joined Megatron and Soundwave in the invasion of Iacon, attacking the Stellar Galleries behind the Autobot's front lines in order to acquire the Omega Key. When it turned out Zeta Prime had moved it, Megatron lead them on a run-and-gun mission through the city to the Vaults itself. Breakdown seemed most comfortable during their time in the train tunnels, even challenging Soundwave to a race. However, when Megatron told him in a paternalistic voice to "try not to get crushed by the trains", Breakdown was confused, wondering aloud if his leader had made a joke. After utilizing Dark Energon bombers to blast their way into the Vaults, the squad came up against Zeta Prime himself. He was utilizing a vast machine that rendered him unassailable, allowed him to control portions of the ceiling so they dropped to crush anyone in the room, and generated an arbitrary number of energon clones bearing his likeness that battled savagely in melee combat. Soundwave's interest in the clones caused Breakdown to deride him as a total nerdlinger, but he didn't have any words of mockery when Soundwave discerned the machine's weakness: a core that rapidly overheated and so had to open up to cool off. Even in defeat, however, Zeta Prime had put one over on the Decepticons, as they took from him not the Omega Key, but the device that activated it. And the Key was cranky about being woken up from its nap.
Though he had shot another soldier for daring to contradict him verbally, Megatron probably realized Breakdown's last-ditch maneuver to avoid crashing into Omega Supreme against Megatron's orders had saved all their lives, and so did not summarily execute him. Nor was Breakdown shot for his constant whining during the team's cat-and-mouse chase with Omega Supreme through the upper spires of Iacon towards a platform studded with some anti-air guns, which would hopefully give them a chance to fight back against the robot of unusual size. They managed to crack open Omega's armor with the emplacements, causing him to crash, but the behemoth remained on his feet—literally, as he transformed to robot mode to continue the fight. Breakdown continually expressed amazement and frustration at the seeming unstoppability of Omega Supreme, but Megatron's confidence was proven justified, as they sabotaged the means by which the giant had been repairing himself, apparently bringing him down. Seemingly unable to believe it despite having participated in the fight, Breakdown could only note, "Uh... all hail Megatron!" Yet even then, Omega Supreme was not defeated, badly damaged though he was. At that point, however, he was unable to continue repairing himself and his armor was badly damaged, allowing concentrated fire to finally overwhelm him. Breakdown remained at Megatron's side as he tamed Omega Supreme, gaining access to Cybertron's core and infecting it with Dark Energon.
Coming to Earth
When Starscream requested that Knock Out and Breakdown come to the Nemesis, Breakdown was much too busy trying to track down an energon trace. He reached an excavation site in Greece, where he encountered an old friend—Bulkhead—and spotted a depiction of an Energon Harvester on an ancient fresco. After breaking the fresco with Bulkhead's head, Breakdown proceeded to the Nemesis, where Soundwave located the device in a museum. As the Autobots had surrounded said museum, Knock Out and Breakdown drew them around to the front for a fight, where Breakdown caused Bumblebee and Arcee to collide with each other and sent Bulkhead flying into Knock Out.
Breakdown was buffing Megatron's body when Starscream asked him where Knock Out was. Knock Out, it turned out, had been street racing with the humans again. Some time later, Knock Out radioed Breakdown to let him know there was another street race on. Much later still, Knock Out contacted him with the news that Bumblebee' human friend had been captured. Breakdown joined the other 'Con in setting a trap for the Autobots in a storage facility. Once Bumblebee and Bulkhead turned up, Breakdown ambushed them. He was able to hold his own against the two Autobots until Knock Out announced he was bugging out, and the distraction resulted in Breakdown being knocked into a wall by Bulkhead. Returning to the Nemesis, Breakdown bore silent witness to Starscream's "cosmetic punishment" of Knock Out.
During a Decepticon plan to melt a glacier to find some energon, Breakdown was hanging around on the hull of the ship when Bulkhead and Arcee appeared nearby. On Knock Out's order, he jumped from the ship and started fighting the two Autobots, unaware that it was a diversion while Optimus Prime scaled a nearby cliff face. He was still fighting them when Optimus caused the heat ray atop the ship to explode and was sent flying by the blast wave.
While out scouting an energon source, Breakdown took the opportunity to ambush Bulkhead. Though the Autobot fought back vigorously, Breakdown overcame him and was about to deliver the killing blow when he was zapped by an energy beam from a nearby helicopter. He came around to find himself a captive of the human organization MECH, the leader of which, Silas, informed him that they wanted to take him apart for his technology. Breakdown was defiant, but the MECH technicians disabled his pain receptors and began dismantling him, including removing his right eye.
Breakdown took to wearing an eye-patch as a reminder of his failure. When Soundwave detected a magnetic signature, Breakdown saw the chance to redeem himself and insisted on being the one to retrieve the polarity gauntlet. Once there, however, he found himself under attack by Airachnid, who also coveted the device and made a failed attempt to trap him underground. The two fought over it until Arcee and Bulkhead arrived and joined in the party. Breakdown was able to use the gauntlet to magnetically stick the two Autobots together, but while he was on his way back to the Nemesis, Airachnid ambushed him and webbed him to a derelict gas station. He was freed when the Autobots turned up and the gauntlet was triggered, yanking him off the wall. At one point during the following battle, he got hold of the weapon and used it to hit Bulkhead with an oil derrick. After some more fighting, Airachnid tried to make a getaway with the gauntlet and Bulkhead threw her at Breakdown. Breakdown was forced to return to the ship without the gauntlet, but made up for it by presenting Megatron with Airachnid, who had become stuck to his back.
Knock Out and Breakdown were sent with some Vehicons to secure a Cybertronian data cylinder, which the Autobots were also after. Breakdown not only got to fight, but got to be on the winning side for a change. Unfortunately when they got back to the Nemesis, they discovered that the cylinder's contents had already been discharged.
The pair teamed up again to transport energon around. Though Breakdown was keen to GroundBridge out of there when the Autobots turned up, Knock Out reminded him that they were under orders to lead the Autobots on a chase so the foe would deplete their energon reserves. When Ratchet turned up and bashed their Vehicon escort around, Breakdown was ready to take on the newcomer, but he and Knock Out had to leave after the other Autobots attacked them. Some time later, Breakdown was chatting to a miner when Ratchet entered the cavern. The rematch was short lived as Ratchet overpowered Breakdown.
Breakdown and Knock Out watched Soundwave and Airachnid dispute over whether Megatron would return from a visit with Unicron. When Megatron came back to the ship, Breakdown was on the bridge to greet him, though the others had to restrain him when he saw that Megatron was being accompanied by Optimus Prime whom Megatron addressed as "Orion Pax".
The Decepticons, including Breakdown and Knock Out, hit a military base and managed to get away with the energy source they needed for their new space bridge, though they did accidentally let Arcee get on board the ship.
Breakdown attempted to contact the Vehicons at the space bridge and, though he had trouble getting through at first. However, Agent Fowler was able to talk with Breakdown into covering up things as the Autobots had taken over the space bridge. Breakdown seemed calm as the "soldier" told him everything was fine and asked how he was. Breakdown responded by stating he was well and told him to keep up the good work before ending the call.
Sent with Knock Out to retrieve a hidden Cybertronian treasure, Breakdown was no doubt pleased to run into Bulkhead again as they clashed with their weapons.
Back up for Dreadwing and death
Breakdown was assigned to accompany Dreadwing and Airachnid on a mission, the purpose of which was to get rid of Airachnid. Breakdown's quick temper proved to be their undoing, as Airachnid goaded him into attacking her. After spending a short amount of time trying to unstick the webbing from his face, Breakdown pursued her, leaving Dreadwing webbed to a tree. Though he caught up with Airachnid, it proved to be a trap, and she swiftly dismantled him. A short time later, a MECH team discovered him in pieces. They elected to bring the remains back to base.
Breakdown's body was used as MECH's experiment when merging his remains with Silas who was seriously injured from when Nemesis Prime fell on him.
As a shell
The MECH scientists managed to successfully fuse Silas into Breakdown's nervous and skeletal systems. Silas himself was held somewhere inside Breakdown's chest cavity. Silas, now CYLAS, made good use of Breakdown's corpse as he thanked and killed his former soldiers, reclaiming a Project: Damocles satellite and trying to join the Decepticon ranks. Knock Out wanted to avenege to his former partner by dissecting the human portion of CYLAS and Megatron was disgusted by the human-Cybertronian combination that CYLAS offered even wanted to join in exchange for the knowledge to use Damocles for Megatron. When the project failed and CYLAS was defeated by Bulkhead and Smokescreen, he was ordered back to the Nemesis by Megatron to be dissected by Knock Out.
CYLAS was not dissected and was used a lab rat for anything Knock Out could think of. Knock Out had no guilt in expermenting on Breakdown's corpse as he thought his former partner would appreciate the irony. CYLAS was mostly forced to test a version of Synthetic Energon which drove him into a fit of rage, which he was already held in restraints that kept him from attacking them. Starscream believed Breakdown's formidable strength with the anger and proper control would be a perfect super soldier. They added Dark Energon to CYLAS, which turned him into an Energon craving Terrorcon. CYLAS passed this plague on to more than half the Vehicons and opened Airachnid's stasis pod to try and suck her energon. Surprised, at seeing Breakdown, she nonetheless tried to kill him and managed to pin him down. As she went for his spark, she was surprised to see Silas. Silas thanked Airachnid for freeing him before he expired.
Breakdown was very loyal to Megatron and the Decepticon cause, though not as firmly as Soundwave. Breakdown would also show some loyalty to those who saved his life. This often clouded his judgement, evident when he was saved by Bulkhead shortly before his death, which left an open question of Decepticons siding with Autobots and the question of Decepticons having the capacity for change to good. This question was later answered, not by him in Predacons Rising, where his partner Knock Out, some few Vehicons and eventually Megatron himself left the Decepticons to start a new life. Breakdown had proven to have some quite intriguing depths to his character, besides his deep friendship with Knock Out. He didn't treat the cannon fodder Vehicons as such, and even chatted to them about romance (his crush with Airachnid) and was sure to thank them for their hard work. He also had a healthy dose of respect for his foes, as well as gratitude as shown by his initial reluctance to fight Bulkhead in Operation: Breakdown. However, these noble traits were tempered by his boisterous temper; always eager to join a fight and to pound some dents into someone who is an enemy or someone who talks about him badly towards him.
Breakdown was very similar in appearance to Bulkhead, with both being the same class of Transformers. He was primarily blue, with a silver secondary color. His optics and lights were an orange color and his face was red. After losing an optic to M.E.C.H.'s experiments he covered his wound with a grey metallic eye patch that also covered a 3rd of the left side of his face. Ironically he is said to have started out in a smaller form more akin to Knock Out's. When reassembled and modified by M.E.C.H. for Silas's use his blue and silver colors were darkened and his missing optic was replaced with a new M.E.C.H. designed one, while his body retained numerous scar marks from being disassembled from Airachnid. Starscream and Knock Out's experimented on Cylas in Breakdown's corpse also developed a new large tongue like object that absorbed Energon from any Cybertronian it came into contact with.
Powers and Abilities
Breakdown was a highly capable warrior, relying mainly on brute strength, and his trusty arm mounted hammers, as well as a shoulder mounted energon cannon. He was also skilled with a rotary buffer, according to Knock Out.
Breakdown's main weakness was his violent temper, making him act rashly, and that caused him to step into Airachnid's trap. Like Bulkhead, he also did not appear to be all that bright.
- "Deus Ex Machina"
- "Speed Metal"
- "Out of His Head"
- "Operation: Breakdown"
- "Metal Attraction"
- "Stronger, Faster"
- "One Shall Rise, Part 3"
- "Orion Pax, Part 1"
- "Orion Pax, Part 2"
- "Operation: Bumblebee, Part 1"
- "Operation: Bumblebee, Part 2"
- "Nemesis Prime" (Corpse)
- "Grill" (Flashback)
- "The Human Factor" (Corpse)
- "Patch" (Flashbacks)
Season 3: Beast Hunters
- "Thirst" (Corpse)
- "War for Cybertron" (Debut)
- "War for Cybertron (DS)"
- "Fall of Cybertron" (Chassis)
- "Rise of the Dark" (Escalation Ohly)
- After his death, his spot as Bulkhead's rival and main enemy seems to have been taken over by Starscream.
- In Thirst, when Cylas was mutated into a vampire-like, Energon-sucking monster by Starscream and Knock Out's Dark/Synthetic Energon combination, the robotic body's voice changes from Silas's to Breakdown's. Due to this, some fans believe that the mutagen's Dark-En component had probably reanimated the dead Breakdown's consciousness.
- Breakdown never fought Optimus Prime, but almost attacked Optimus in One Shall Rise, Part 3.
- After Breakdown died, Knock Out was very enraged at his death and vowed to kill the human who dissected him.
- Breakdown was the only bot who had feelings for Airachnid. Sadly, these feelings didn't last long as Airachnid killed Breakdown.
- Optimus' original belief in Operation Breakdown, of every sentient being having the capacity for change was expressed in Predacons Rising.
- Despite Breakdown and Bulkhead's conflicts, Bulkhead saved Breakdown from MECH. While confused, Breakdown returned the favor when he saved Bulkhead from being blasted by MECH troops.
- Many of Breakdown's personality traits and face was passed down to Darksteel.
- Breakdown, Dreadwing and Skyquake didn't have built in guns like other Decepticons.
- Despite many redeeming qualities, Breakdown had no compunctions against harming human children. Like when he threw a stone column at Miko when they first met. And again when he had her cornered in a parking lot.
- "But even dumber than he looks."
- "Knock Out. Starscream's looking for you again. Where'd you go?"
- "So, the Wrecker's got a soft spot."
- "Never run when you can fight."
- "Only because I hate Bulkhead more than I hate you."
- "Say Uncle! Say it!"
- "Boo hoo! I'm shedding lubricant."
- "I find myself intrigued by her."
- "Keep up the good work huh."
- "I don't get!? All this chipping away with my hammer just bring Megatron another hammer?"
- "Megatron knows me and Dreadwing here will get the job done."
- "That's it!!!"
- "Easy Prey" - Last words