Among the Decepticons, finding a genuinely loyal and competent second-in-command is a near impossibility. Cyclonus is the exception to that rule. Created by Unicron, Cyclonus is a being whose loyalty to Galvatron and the Decepticon cause is so intense as to exclude most other emotions and interests from his mind. He is dedicated to destruction in his leader's name.
He also has brains to back up that dedication, power to enforce Galvatron's will, and the initiative to form plans and get them done. Cyclonus could easily rule the Decepticons himself if he so desired, either as a power behind the throne or directly overthrowing his psychotic master. His responses to any suggestions that he do so? "All hail Galvatron!"
It's really amazing that he's so loyal, when one considers that he alternates with Ultra Magnus as Galvatron's personal punching bag.
- Italian name: Ciclone
- Carmel frequently proved unable to keep any consistency with Cyclonus' voice from episode to episode, rising and falling in pitch and tone repeatedly. Following his death, Jack Angel took up the role for the final five episodes of the series.
In the year 2005, after an abortive attack on Autobot City, the evil Decepticons found it necessary to jettison excess weight from their craft to make it back to their homeworld of Cybertron. The injured and dying Decepticons were chosen to be ejected into the void of space, including the commander, Megatron, but when their bodies were recovered by the world-eater, Unicron, they were reborn as deadly new warriors in the service of the recreated Megatron, now known as Galvatron.
Immediately following his creation, Cyclonus served as little more than Galvatron’s personal ship and attack dog, carrying his leader to Starscream’s coronation, into the battle in Autobot City and to the planet of Junk, attacking and crippling the shuttle of Hot Rod and Kup in the midst of it all. After the destruction of Unicron, however, when Galvatron was lost, Cyclonus came into his own, his loyalty to the Decepticons’ absent leader shaping his character in different ways.
Disgusted with how far the leaderless Decepticons had fallen as they eked out a miserable existence on the barren world of Chaar, Cyclonus resolved to locate Galvatron, daring even to enter Unicron’s deactivated, disembodied head and replaying its memory banks, tracing Galvatron to the world of Thrull. Unfortunately, once extricated from a pool of the planet’s plasma-lava, Galvatron proved to have been driven insane from exposure to it and brutalized Cyclonus and the Sweeps before being talked down and returned to his position as leader.
As 2006 settled in, Cyclonus was captured by a Quintesson scientist for study, along with Ultra Magnus, Wreck-Gar and Marissa Faireborn, but when the entire group was sucked through a black hole into a negative universe, they were forced to work together to escape; Cyclonus and Magnus developed a grudging respect for each other as warriors, but vowed that when they met again on the battlefield, it would be as enemies.
Some time later, outnumbered and fleeing from the Aerialbots, Cyclonus and Scourge took refuge inside a vortex, which transported them to the pacifistic, energy-rich planet of Paradron, which had been settled by Cybertronian refugees. Naturally, the duo immediately overthrew the planet and summoned Galvatron and the other Decepticons there; the plan was ultimately foiled by the Autobots, but at the cost of Paradron itself, which was destroyed. Cyclonus later had his body possessed by the ghost of the deceased Decepticon, Starscream, and went on to clash with Ultra Magnus again aboard the Autobot records asteroid with the fate of Daniel Witwicky in the balance.
When a group of Decepticons, tired of being beaten and abused by the deranged Galvatron, confronted Cyclonus and demanded that he do something about the situation, Cyclonus was so short on options that he accepted the advice of a Quintesson, and tricked Galvatron into accompanying him to the therapeutic mental institution on planet Torkulon. It pained Cyclonus to see his leader so demented as each attempted therapy met with failure, but when the Torkuli attempted to cure Galvatron by removing the damaged part of his mind, thereby leaving him a vegetable, Cyclonus sprang into action, only to be restrained. Patched into the sentient network of the planet, rather than be cured, Galvatron infected the world itself with his madness and freed himself, decimating the planet and decided to turn his attention back to fighting the Autobots, rather than dwell on Cyclonus' deception.
Later, Cyclonus was among the Transformers turned into an energy vampire by the Trans-Organic Dweller, thrown to the beast by Galvatron to delay his own fate – though he hesitated for a moment before fleeing, almost repentant for his action. Later still, he, along with a group of Autobots and Quintessons, were transported into a region of space cordoned off by the Quintessons, landing on the planet Zamojin, where Cyclonus aided the Quintessons in acquiring Perceptor’s Universal Emulator, in order to repair their systems and return to normal space. When the Hate Plague swept the universe, Cyclonus was infected and took leadership of the afflicted Decepticons, hunting down Galvatron and tracking him and a group of Autobots into the depths of Chaar and infected scientist Jessica Morgan.
In 2007, Cyclonus participated in the massive Decepticon attack on Autobot City which culminated in the theft of the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. When the chamber was then opened, the energy released blasted the key and a group of Autobots across the galaxy to the planet Nebulos, and Cyclonus and Scourge led a team of Decepticons in pursuit, attacking and capturing several of the Autobots. To battle them, the remaining Autobots combined with a group of Nebulan rebels into “Headmasters” and bested them in combat. Having learned of his fusion of Transformer and Nebulan, the Hive, the evil ruling council of Nebulos, approached the Decepticons to repeat the process, but Cyclonus argued them down to taking the heads of only the animal-mode Decepticons, and merely the weapons of the others.
Consequently, Cyclonus became a Targetmaster as his handgun was converted into an exo-suit for the Hive member Nightstick, giving them enhanced targeting abilities and firepower. Reclaiming the chamber key with their superior powers, the Decepticons headed back to Cybertron aboard the giant robot Scorponok, where Cyclonus attempted to convince the disgusted Galvatron of the benefits of being bonded to the Nebulans. The Autobots soon arrived back on Cybertron and invaded Scorponok, only to be captured by the Decepticons, and almost executed by Cyclonus before being saved by Spike Witwicky and Fortress Maximus. The Decepticons’ plan was subsequently thwarted by Spike and the Nebulans, and they were sent spiraling off through space aboard Scorponok by a tendril of plasma energy.
Who is Cyclonus?
When the injured Decepticons are transformed by Unicron, two identical Cyclonus robots are simultaneously created (as opposed to Scourge and the Sweeps, who were created one after the other in short order) – in the foreground, the Insecticon, Bombshell, becomes one, while in the background, Decepticon jet Skywarp becomes another. The dialogue which accompanies this scene claims that we are seeing "Cyclonus... and his armada." But, clearly, one warrior does not make an armada – the line is, in fact, a carry over from the original script, in which Cyclonus was intended to have multiple identical duplicates, in the same way that Scourge had the Sweeps.
However, the idea was apparently abandoned right after this scene – the second Cyclonus immediately disappears for the remainder of the film and is abruptly replaced with a third Sweep, where only two had existed before. (Despite this, some fans choose not to discount the existence of the second Cyclonus, and, somewhat irreverently, refer to him as a second character actually named "Armada"). The only other instances of duplicate Cyclonus robots are in Five Faces of Darkness, Part 5 and The Quintesson Journal, but these examples are generally discounted by fans due to the episodes' infamously poor, error-riddled animation (though it could be argued that if Bombshell were Cyclonus, he could have retained his Insecticon cloning ability to create these extra copies of himself).
The confusion over this armada and the not-100%-completely-explicit transformation scene have long prompted fans to debate the question - who truly became the one and only Cyclonus who appears in the series - Bombshell or Skywarp?
The only extant written statement on the matter comes, originally, from Cyclonus' Transformers Universe bio, which states that he is made from the "parts of dead Decepticons". This plural body-parts origin is echoed in his much later Heroes of Cybertron bio. However, as noted above, the visuals in the scene as-animated certainly imply that it was one old body per new body, without mixing and matching, and favoring "Bombshell" as the answer because of the blocking of the shot. The movie script is silent, or rather, completely apathetic on the matter: it states that after Megatron's transformation, the "other Decepticons" are turned into Scourge and Cyclonus and their minions, with no statements about particular bodies.
It is mainly through dissatisfaction with the asymmetry of the fates of Thundercracker and Skywarp that some fans reject the staging and favor Skywarp. The primary argument in Skywarp's favor is the following: Since Thundercracker the blue jet who was with Megatron since they were aboard the Nemesis became Galvatron's blue spaceship lieutenant, it simply should be that Skywarp the purple(-accented) jet who was with Megatron since the Nemesis would become Galvatron's purple spaceship lieutenant. Although Bombshell also has purple in his color scheme, he did not transform into a jet, nor was he ever part of Megatron's inner circle, so to speak. (The cross-sell catalogs included with 1986 toys even replaced Thundercracker and Skywarp with Cyclonus and Scourge in the Decepticon Jets section.). This is further supported by the fact that insecticons are seen later on in the movie (even with speech) and in several season 3 episodes such as The Five Faces of Darkness 1 (Shrapnel, Kickback), 3 (Shrapnel, Kickback)) and 5 (Shrapnel (and a clone), Kickback, Bombshell). In many cases they are are in the foreground and not as background (crowdfilling) characters.
A third camp feels that it does not matter who became Cyclonus, holding that both candidates were dead at the time, and, ultimately, arguments on the matter seem irrelevant, as Cyclonus never displays any inklings of a past life, whatever life that might have been.
Other aspects of the argument make claims regarding the personalities of the characters; for example, Bombshell held a high-ranking position within Insecticons (alternating leadership with Shrapnel), while Skywarp was an unintelligent soldier, making the former more suited to being Cyclonus; conversely Skywarp was very loyal to Megatron, while the Insecticons never saw eye-to-eye with him, making Skywarp the better candidate. And on and on...
For what it's worth in terms of retroactive canon-making, IDW's 20th anniversary adaptation, Transformers: The Animated Movie, presented the scene precisely as animated in the movie, with Bombshell in the foreground declared as Cyclonus through a caption box, and Skywarp in the background marked as his armada. On the other hand, the lenticular cover to the 20th Anniversary DVD edition places Skywarp and Cyclonus in the same location, and a set of character bios written by Australian fans for the 2003 Madman Entertainment DVD release of the movie -- later used on several UK Metrodome DVDs -- state with complete unambiguity that Skywarp become Cyclonus. On the other hand, no one really takes those DVDs seriously; not only because Transformers DVD releases routinely feature obviously erroneous information, but also because some view it as having been written by a fan pushing their interpretation of the matter, and not proof-read by anyone who would know (or care) enough to dispute it. Tangentially, Cyclonus and Skywarp are two separate, concurrently-existing characters in the arguably post-movie setting of the Wreckers comics, and 2007 Masterpiece Skywarp toy includes an 'Armada Decepticon' sticker, putting that toy in the "Bombshell was Cyclonus" pile. However, none of these things, many coming two decades after the fact, are exactly "evidence" for what happened in the film.
Cyclonus and Scourge continued to make token appearances when the new Headmaster warriors arrived to dominate the Cybertonian war, but their intelligences seemed to markedly decrease until they were little more than cackling, bumbling henchmen - for example, during the attack on the planet Beest, Cyclonus attempted to drop a rock on Rodimus Prime, but accidentally clobbered Galvatron instead, and ran away yelping in fear. Later, when Sixshot attempted to extort energy from six countries using each of his six modes, the duo completely botched his scheme when they failed to realize that he was behind it and attacked him with Trypticon.
Marvel Comics continuity
In a future timeline similar but different to that depicted in the animated continuity, set in 2006, rather than 2005, (2006 being the original date for the movie, amended to 2005 after the comics were penned) Cyclonus was also a creation of Unicron, remade from the body of a dispatched Decepticon. Following Unicron's consumption of Cybertron's moons, Galvatron, Cyclonus and Scourge traveled back in time to 1986 as part of a plan to free themselves from Unicron's control by constructing a massive cannon that would destroy him upon their return to the future. The three Unicronian Decepticons proved themselves almost invincible in the face of the Autobots attacks, but were finally defeated when Galvatron was duped into believing he was trapped in a temporal paradox, and returned to his own time to live out the remaining events 2006.
- (Note: Amusingly, during this story, Furman’s misinterpretation of the movie summary he had read (having not yet actually seen the feature), which referenced the fading "life spark" of a Decepticon, led to Cyclonus actually claiming he had been rebuilt from a Decepticon named "Life Spark.")
Following the destruction of Unicron at the hands of Rodimus Prime and the Matrix, Galvatron transported himself back in time to 1987, leaving Cyclonus and Scourge in the future, under Shockwave’s command. The duo were attacked by the freelance peace-keeping agent, Death's Head, who was seeking the bounty on Galvatron’s head, and Cyclonus revealed Galvatron’s whereabouts to him. Later, Shockwave hired Death’s Head to kill Rodimus Prime, but Cyclonus and Scourge interfered with the job as they sought to kill Rodimus first, in order to reclaim their lost standing amongst the Decepticons. This did not please Death’s Head, and consequently, he willingly accepted a contract from Rodimus to hunt down Cyclonus and Scourge, eventually tracking them down to the planet of Junk as 2008 dawned. Before he could finish the job, however, all three of them fell under the mind-controlling influence of Unicron, whose disembodied head had survived the destruction of his body and had landed on the planet, where he was having the native Junkions construct a new body for him.
Under Unicron's control, Cyclonus and Scourge killed Shockwave and became Decepticon leaders, reigniting the stalemated Cybertronian war to a furious degree to cover Unicron's actions. Death's Head, however, was able to fight the mind control and work with the Autobots' long enough to stop the chaos-bringer's plan. As explosions destroyed Unicron, Death's Head tackled Cyclonus and Scourge, pushing them through a time portal Unicron had built, promising to kill them another time. Cyclonus and Scourge were hurled into the past of Cybertron by the portal, where they came under the command of Scorponok.Traveling to Nebulos with the rest of Scorponok's forces, they became Targetmasters and later came to present day Earth. Once there, they sought out Galvatron, and, no longer willing to serve him, instead demanded that he hand over his time travel device so that they could return to the future and their position as Decepticon leaders. The confrontation was disrupted by the sudden appearance of the Autobot commando squad, the Wreckers, who drew the ensuing battle away from the human settlement it was taking place in by professing to have stolen Galvatron's time jump mechanism, when in reality, the Decepticon no longer even had it for them to take.
Having met with failure again, Cyclonus and Scourge decided to cut their losses and team up with Shockwave's present-day Earth-based Decepticon forces. (At this point in time, the comic book personalities of Scourge and Cyclonus had been well-established, and distinctly different from the cartoon - here, Scourge was the intelligent, scheming brains of the duo, while Cyclonus was the dull-witted brawn, and that personality trait remained as strong as ever.)
Unfortunately, Cyclonus accidentally let slip that they would kill Shockwave in the future. Naturally wanting to ensure his continued existence, Shockwave unleashed a brainwashed Megatron clone upon the two. Seized by the clone, Cyclonus’s Targetmaster partner, Nightstick, was crushed, and as Cyclonus begged Scourge for help, his companion fled to save his own life and Cyclonus’s head was torn from his body, killing him outright.
Cyclonus and Scourge’s displacement into the past had circumvented the normal mass-replacement method used by time-travel, and had hence unbalanced the space-time continuum, causing a rift to appear in the fabric of space and time. Cyclonus’s death, twenty years before he was even created, proved to be the final straw, accelerating the rift, which soon threatened to consume Earth and Cybertron. Realizing that the only way to stop it was to return himself, Galvatron and Cyclonus to their original time, Scourge attempted to recover Cyclonus’s body from Shockwave, only to be attacked by the deranged Decepticon, who had lost his mind due to the illogical nature of the situation, and had strung Cyclonus’s remains up like a twisted trophy. Ravage, however, was able to bring Shockwave back sanity enough for him to deposit Cyclonus’s remains after Galvatron and Scourge, and then seal it with an x-ray blast.
An alternate version of Cyclonus later made a brief appearance, inhabiting an alternate future world of 2009 where Cybertron had been destroyed and Galvatron ruled Earth. In this future world, Cyclonus failed to stop an Autobot/human rebel invasion of the main Decepticon base, and was destroyed by an enraged Galvatron for his failure.
Ladybird Books continuity
Cyclonus, a very evil and gloat-happy chap, rose to leadership of the Decepticons at a time when the war was entrenched on Nebulos. He matched wits against Hot Rod, his opposite number. His schemes included trying to absorb a burst of cosmic radiation, unconcerned that it could kill the rest of the planet , and a substantially less evil plot of trying to stop the Autobots lubricating their joints.
At some point, the Decepticon base Scorponok became a sentient Transformer and leader of the Decepticons, and Cyclonus was never seen again...
Universe: Featuring The Wreckers
Despite Megatron's attempts to implant his spark within a Vehicon body, Cyclonus retained his own mind and managed to escape. Wishing to restore the glorious Decepticon empire, Cyclonus had already been seduced by Cryotek's ambitions when he, alongside other renegade "bad guys," Skywarp and Rotorbolt, joined the Wreckers. In the aftermath of Megatron's virus, the Wreckers and a few other small groups were the only Transformers left active on Cybertron
Soon, the legendary entity called the Oracle gathered these groups together and gave them each a task. The Wreckers were summoned to a far-off planet, and so the team fought their way through scores of Vehicons to secure a shuttle. Cyclonus and Skywarp's arrival helped seal the Wreckers' victory, and the group managed to leave Cybertron towards their destination.
After some difficulties with Devcon, a stowaway, Cyclonus and the other Wreckers landed on Archa Nine, they learned of a mysterious energy-generating crystal named the "Divine Light." Cyclonus killed the Maximal Packrat and stole it, and after taunting his deceived "comrades", fled home to deliver the artifact to his true master, Cryotek.
- (Note: Notably, the writers of the comic apparently subscribe to the notion that Bombshell became Cyclonus, or the "third theory" seen above, as Skywarp is shown to coexist with him.)
Dreamwave Comics continuity
Cyclonus is a creation of Unicron built within pods inside the chaos-bringer’s body, constructed from the remnants of matter he ingested in his ongoing consumption of planets. Although Scourge played a larger role in events, Cyclonus’s appearance was brief – he was simply shown smashing his way out of his pod after Unicron consumed the planet Lithone in the wake of his reactivation.
- (Note: Future stories would have brought Cyclonus to the fore as he attacked the base of the Earth Defence Command in order to retrieve Scourge, who was being held there. Due to Dreamwave's plunge into insolvency, these stories were never published.)
Devil's Due G.I. Joe Vs The Transformers continuity
G.I. Joe vs The Transformers II
Cyclonus was serving Shockwave when the latter was running the Cybertronian Decepticons in Megatron's absence. He was part of a unit standing by to seize several Autobots and Joes as they used Teletran 3 to prevent damage to the time-stream.
While not explicitly mentioned, it is unlikely that Cyclonus has a connection to or history with Unicron in this continuity.
IDW comics continuity
- Cyclonus (1986)
- Japanese ID number: D-70
- Cyclonus transforms into a purple Cybertronian fighter craft. Early releases of Cyclonus had his belt and part of his "ears" painted blue. Later releases had those areas unpainted.
- Cyclonus, like the other new characters created for The Transformers: The Movie, was designed for animation first, and had his toy based on these designs. However, as with the other characters, the toy was based on an earlier design, most notably featuring folded back wings, while his animation model underwent further modifications before being finalized. The earlier design was the basis for the Marvel Comics version of the character, and also erroneously appeared in a few instances in the animated series.
- Targetmaster Cyclonus (1987)
- Cyclonus's fist holes were widened to accommodate his Nebulan partner, Nightstick, who replaced his previous handgun. This version of the toy was not released in Japan.
- Cyclonus (Ultra, 2002)
- Expanded Universe Cyclonus is a redeco of Beast Machines Ultra Jetstorm, replacing blue with lavender, purple and gray, and the yellows with red. His spark crystal was tampographed with a Decepticon sigil.
- Cyclonus was available exclusively at BotCon 2002.
- Cyclonus with Nightstick (Deluxe, 2008)
Super Collection Figure
- Cyclonus (2002)
- A PVC figurine of Cyclonus was part of the eighth act of Takara's Super Collection Figure series in 2002. Each case of 12 PVCs had two Cyclonuses; one in full-color, the other pewter-finish. It was later released as part of the third wave of Hasbro's Heroes of Cybertron line in 2003, with it's pointed edges rounded off for safety.
- Cyclonus (2005)
- In May 2005, Hard Hero released a Cyclonus polystone bust based upon his cartoon appearances.
- At the same time, Hard Hero also made a limited run of 100 pieces painted metallic purple as an exclusive for the Canadian TransformersCon convention.
- When asked about Cyclonus' design in an online interview, Floro Dery's reply was, "Cyclonus was a small time demon."