Bumblebee is a character introduced in the Transformers: The Movie Prequel comics.
Optimus Prime entrusted Bumblebee with the secret that the AllSpark will be sent into deep space to prevent Lord Megatron from possessing and corrupting it. Just after the launch, Megatron attacks Bumblebee in his rage at losing the AllSpark, and shatters his voice capacitor beyond repair.
Bumblebee arrives on Earth and, sensing the AllSpark is near, takes on local camouflage to search for the artefact. He immediately attracts the attention of Sector Seven agents and Decepticons.
Bumblebee commanded the Autobot forces at Tyger Pax, attempting to hold the Decepticons off while the All Spark was launched off-planet. He succeeded, but Megatron crushed his voice box, and he lost his ability to speak in the process. Ratchet has been having trouble fixing it ever since.
Later he was the first to track the All Spark to Earth, making planetfall in 2003. Here, he learned to express his emotions by tuning in appropriately emotive music on his car radio.
Though Sector 7 tracked his descent and secured the area in Virginia where he landed, his quick assumption of a local alternate mode disguise allowed him to escape via Interstate 64.
Bumblebee's search for the All Spark began in St. Louis, Missouri, where he used a remote link to a coffee shop computer to search Shwiggle for any signs of extraterrestrial sightings. There, he discovered the legend of the Ice-Man, and the story of Captain Archibald Witwicky.
Bumblebee's quest took him to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Captain Witwicky had been committed. First he visited the ruins of the long-abandoned Psychopathic Institute for the Long-Term Insane, Witwicky's final home. From there, Bumblebee headed into downtown, where he scanned the records of Captain Witwicky from an unnamed asylum. This action unfortunately put Sector 7 onto his trail.
The Baton Rouge clues led Bumblebee to Springfield, Missouri, in search of Witwicky's son Clarence. En route, he evaded the first of several attacks by Sector 7. In Springfield, he found records of Clarence's descendants, and started out to track them down.
The oldest son, Ben, had resided in Denver, Colorado, but the trail ended there. En route to his next stop in Tucson, Bumblebee was again attacked by Sector 7, evading their helicopters by blinding them and rocketing off at high speed. Not long after, he was attacked by Barricade in the desert.
Damaged and smoking, Bumblebee stopped by the roadside to rest and recover. Suddenly detecting a burst of All Spark energy, he continued onwards out of Colorado.
In New Mexico, as he approached the source of the All Spark energy, he came under attack once again from Barricade. Other Decepticons, meanwhile, attacked the energy source and found it to be a Sector 7 ruse. Bumblebee managed to escape Barricade again, though unbeknown to him the Decepticons let him go so that they could track him.
In the aftermath of the battle of Mission city, Bumblebee was having his legs repaired by Ratchet. Bumblebee and the other Autobots joined forces with Sector 7 to keep Earth safe from the Decepticons, and after Sector 7 was given one month to study the remains of the fallen Decepticons, escort the remains as they are taken to be disposed of. Midway, Optimus has doubts about leaving the AllSpark back at the Sector 7 facility, and sends Bumblebee with Ironhide doing his best to keep up back to the base. Optimus' fears are well founded, as the AllSpark fragment reawakens N.B.E 3, Wreckage, who proceeds to destroy the facility looking for the doctor who preformed experiments on him. The situation is further complicated by the appearance of Starscream. Bumblebee arrives, well ahead of Ironhide, and while defending the humans, takes a blast in his newly repaired vocal processors, yet again rendering him speechless. Sometime later, Bumblebee and the others are seen training with the newly formed N.E.S.T. group, and Bee has gone back to using the radio to express his emotions. N.E.S.T receives it's first mission, two Decepticons have been spotted in San Francisco. Lennox rides with Bumblebee. Prime kills Dead End by smashing into him, and Bumblebee chases Swindle over a bridge and confronts him. Swindle appears to have the upper hand at first, but Bumblebee takes him down with a shot to the back. Afterwards, Prime and Lennox are discussing their worry over Sam, and the decision is made to send Bumblebee back to protect the boy. As he departs, Prime reminded him that the position is only temporary...
Notes & Trivia
- Megatron ripped out and crushed Bumblebee's voice capacitor during the battle at Tyger Pax back on Cybertron. In the film itself, Ratchet only states to Sam that Bumblebee's "vocal processors were damaged in battle" and he was "still working on them" after firing a single plasma beam at Bumblebee's throat; by the end of all the conflict (the climax of the film proper), Bumblebee has regained his ability to speak. Although it was not confirmed on-screen, screenwriter Roberto Orci did confirm off-screen that Ratchet's (regenerative) beam was indeed the reason. It could be that the doc didn't have enough time/resources, what with all the war and inter-stellar space travel, to fully perfect the healing plasma early enough. And even if he did, Bumblebee took off for the Cube after only a marginal amount of repairs were performed on him after his encounter with Megatron, so a vial of even faster-acting plasma could be sitting in Ratchet's lab back on Cybertron, if the Decepticons didn't trash it of course ...they did.
- Just as well, Roberto Orci also admitted that Bumblebee's brief contact with the All Spark would be an equally valid (and an even more "in-continuity") explanation.