Carnivac is always smiling, even when he's ripping another robot to shreds for no apparent reason. Savagely brutal yet oddly jovial, he is an unpredictable Decepticon who's a danger to his teammates as much as he is to the Autobots. Some say he was once a proud and honorable warrior, with a code of military ethics second to none. Whether or not this is true, that Decepticon certainly doesn't exist anymore.
Marvel Comics continuity
As part of the Decepticons' Mayhem Attack Squad, Carnivac was dispatched to Earth to deal with the threat posed by the deranged future Decepticon Galvatron. Carnivac was under orders to team up with Springer's Wreckers, but to kill any Autobots left standing after the battle was over. But the Mayhems were decimated by Galvatron, who had allied himself with a clone of Megatron, until only Carnivac and Catilla remained. During the course of the battle, Carnivac and Springer each saved the other's life, and a warrior's bond began to form between the two foes.
After the chaos of the "Time Wars," the pair joined up with Snarler and made contact with Earth's local Decepticon commander, Scorponok, who outfitted them with synthoplasmic Pretender shells in return for taking on a mission from him. Monitored from a distance by Catilla, Carnivac and Snarler were sent to track down and destroy Spike Witwicky, the human Headmaster component of Fortress Maximus, tracking him to a ski slope where Spike was enjoying a vacation with his friend Clifford Dietz. Spike was able to summon the body of Fortress Maximus from the orbiting Ark by mental command, and once rejoined with the massive Autobot, he sent the two Decepticons running.
Left on Earth with no contact from the Decepticons on Cybertron, Carnivac and his companions realized that they had been abandoned by their own kind. At the same time, much the same problem was being faced by the remnants of the Wreckers. Remembering the bond they'd established, Carnivac sought them out with the possibility of another alliance. Snarler, however, was disgusted by the entire affair and vowed to see Carnivac hunted down and killed if he should fraternize any further with the Autobots.
When an array of monstrous creatures conjured up by Skids threatened to cause the destruction of the Hudden Nuclear Power Plant, Carnivac and Catilla both defied Snarler and united with Springer's crew to stop the monsters. Springer extended an offer for the two to join the Autobots, and while Catilla accepted, Carnivac said that he would only join Springer's group on his own terms, as a Decepticon. Together, the mismatched group formed the Survivors.
Snarler re-established contact with Cybertron and put together a new Mayhem Attack Squad for the express purpose of hunting down the traitorous Carnivac and Catilla. Carnivac, meanwhile, was already finding it difficult to fit in with the other Autobots and chafed under Springer's leadership. Departing for some alone time, Carnivac stumbled across a Decepticon Hellhound mechanoid attacking Dallas, Texas and destroyed it, but this proved to have been a ploy to expose him to the Mayhem Attack Squad.
When the army intervened in the ensuing conflict, Carnivac used the distraction to flee into the desert, but was tracked by the Mayhems and wound up in another conflict in the small village of Los Gravos, Mexico.
Carnivac held his own, and though he ultimately proved no match for all of the Squad at once, he was saved by the sudden appearance of the other Survivors. As Catilla pounced upon Spinister to prevent him from finishing Carnivac, Bludgeon impaled Catilla on his sword, killing him. Carnivac swore revenge.
Some time later, after the formation of the Autobot Earthforce, Carnivac tracked down the Mayhem Attack Squad and took out their weakest link, Needlenose, first, using his target's tendency to "cry wolf" to his advantage.
Next, he targeted Bludgeon, but he underestimated his foe's abilities and allowed the fight to go on too long, allowing the rest of the Mayhems to arrive on the scene. Escaping into the compound, Carnivac separated from his Pretender shell and allowed it to be destroy by a blast from Spinister, leaving the Decepticons to believe he had been destroyed.
As Snarler inspected his remains alone, Carnivac struck, crushing him with debris. The Autobot Earthforce soon arrived and were met in battle by Bludgeon, Stranglehold and Octopunch. Spinister watched from afar, and when he attempted to depart, Carnivac killed him with a single blast. With Bludgeon's team defeated, Carnivac revealed his deception to the Earthforce and stayed them from killing the remaining Mayhems. Prowl was impressed by his merciful action and welcomed him into the Earthforce, but Carnivac merely laughed, saying that it was not mercy, but rather torture, by denying them the warrior's deaths they desired. He may have been an Earthforce member, but he was, after all, still an "Evil Decepticon."
Carnivac remained with Earthforce, however, joining them to attack Starscream as he attempted to steal an oil tanker for fuel. Starscream commented that Carnivac's attack was pathetic and easily avoidable, but Carnivac was merely acting as a distraction for a follow-up attack by Skids, which nailed Starscream and drove him off.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Carnivac and his partner Snarler were members of Starscream's faction of Predacons, named after the great Decepticon warlords of times past. Carnivac participated in the assault on the Tyger Pax. He was disappointed that their first victims died so easily, but his disappointment was cut short when their opponents were able to quickly regroup. Carnivac himself was subdued by Ravage, while the combined might of the Autobot, Decepticon, and Ultracon factions proved too much for the Predacon forces.
IDW comics continuity
Carnivac was stationed on board the Thanatos. When Thunderwing returned to decimate Cybertron once more, Carnivac joined the battle under Headstrong's command, serving as ground forces backing up Optimus Prime and the Wreckers in their struggle.
- Carnivac (Pretender Beast, 1988)
- Accessories: Wolf Pretender shell, tail, left & right shell shoulder armor, "anti-thermal cannon"
- Carnivac transforms into a robotic wolf. His bestial outer Pretender Shell is modeled after a gray, organic timber wolf with robotic armor attachments. His "anti-thermal cannon" accessory can be used as a hand-held weapon or mounted on the shell's back.
- Carnivac's character model, such as it was, varied a lot during the course of the Marvel comics, even when accounting for the widely variable styles of the UK book's many artists. (see right) Sometimes he changed appearances under the same artist and even in the same issue. Although virtually no rendition of him bore any resemblance to his toy's head, often his head is derived from his instruction booklet art. (see left)
- His personality is likewise at odds with the crazed lunatic portrayed by his bio; though he originally plans to kill Springer and the Wreckers "smiling", in practice he is more of an honorable warrior, eventually taking up an Autobot-like role of protecting the innocent.