Laserbeak is a follower, not a leader. In fact, he can often be found perched atop the shoulders of either Soundwave or whoever leads the Decepticons at a particular time. He can be utterly depended on to complete any mission that he is assigned.
Laserbeak is also an interrogator, though he is rarely depicted in that role, more often seen (or rather not seen) as a spy, roosting on some obscure perch, playing voyeur and eavesdropping on Autobot conversations. His backpack features two ruby-powered independently-targetable lasers that he uses to torture his subjects with. He's a coward, though, and when his ruby supplies run low, he transforms from ruthless condor to squawking chicken.
Preliminary name: Slazer
French-Canadian name: Vautour
Italian name: Gufo
Japanese name: Condor
Marvel Comics continuity
Laserbeak was among Megatron's attack party which attacked the Autobots aboard the Ark, crashing on Earth 4 million years ago. When the Autobots and Decepticons were revived in 1984, Laserbeak was given the alternate mode of a red cassette tape. He aided the Decepticons in their building of their new base constructed of parts from Harrison Nuclear Power Plant and joined in their attack on Sparkplug Witwicky's auto repair shop, where he got shot in the face by Optimus Prime.
Though Laserbeak can speak, he stopped displaying this ability around the time that Shockwave arrived to reverse the Autobots' seemingly final victory over the Decepticons in a desperate last stand at the Ark. During Shockwave's rule, he sent Soundwave (with Laserbeak stowed) to infiltrate Blackrock Aerospace Plant Number One, where they were carried inside in cassette deck mode by plant workers Ferdy and Gabe. Once inside, the two quickly seiged the plant's controls and enslaved its workers. Laserbeak served many functions during the Decepticons' occupation of this plant, such as squawking, heating up the workers' pizzas, and delivering recorded messages to the human military poised outside. Laserbeak later accompanied Soundwave and a few of the other cassette-tape Decepticons to aid their imposter Optimus Prime's ambush of the Autobots, though all of them were easily defeated once the real Optimus Prime was restored.
Unlike the Seekers, Soundwave, Laserbeak, and the other animal cassettes remained more loyal to Megatron than to Shockwave, and so when the former Decepticon leader was discovered in a coal mine, they arrived swiftly to refuel and reclaim him. One of Megatron's first acts upon returning to the Decepticons was to attack the Ark while seemingly all of the Autobots were attacking the Decepticon base, and he took the the Seekers and all of the cassette Decepticons (minus Ravage) with him. Unfortunately, the Ark was now defended by the newly-built Omega Supreme. All of the attacking Decepticons except for Laserbeak and Megatron were obliterated, and it was only thanks to the wounded Laserbeak that he and the Decepticon leader escaped with their lives. When they returned to the Decepticon base, Laserbeak perched not on Megatron's shoulder, but Shockwave's, silently acknowledging their true leader. Shockwave rebuked Megatron for his poor command, but Megatron surprised him with a rationalization for his actions. As Shockwave again submitted to Megatron's leadership, Laserbeak exchanged perching positions, signifying the transfer of command.Years later, after Ratbat had assumed command in the absence of both Megatron and Soundwave, the Decepticons ambushed the Autobots on the Moon while Grimlock and Blaster were dueling for leadership. Laserbeak counted among his victories Jetfire, but he and the others were called back to their ship to retreat once Blaster and Grimlock disabled its guidance systems.
Ratbat's troops soon met up with Scorponok's troops, which resulted in a Decepticon civil war. Laserbeak and the others were called off the attack, however, when it was revealed that the civil war was instigated by Starscream to divert attentions away from his grab for the Underbase. After a false start, an unprecedented Autobot/Decepticon alliance was formed to stop Starscream, and Laserbeak was assigned to a team headed by both Fortress Maximus and Soundwave. Confronting the Underbase-enhanced Starscream in Tokyo, Laserbeak met his doom.
Generation 1 animated continuity
Prior to his arrival on Earth, Laserbeak had less of an avian shape, resembling instead a stylized jet with an ovoid silhouette and a hooked nosecone. He still transformed into a cassette, which is kind of strange when you consider his "carrier" transformed into a lamp-post and not necessarily any device that played cassettes. But anyway, this Laserbeak often carried out spy missions, able to sneak into places the larger Soundwave could not manage, including Iacon, the Autobots headquarters. There, Laserbeak learned of the Autobot mission to seek out new sources of energy away from Cybertron, which prompted a Decepticon interception mission in turn. This led to the whole lot of these spacefaring Transformers crashlanding on Earth and taking a four million-year dirtnap in the heart of a spastic volcano.
In the year 1984, the Transformers were awakened by volcanic activity, and Laserbeak was reformatted with terrestrial aesthetics in both robot and alt-mode. His alt-mode was an audiocassette, while his alt-mode was that of a vulture. His missions, though, were largely unchanged, and he continued to serve as a spy even though his techspec classifies him more as an interrogator and his fellow winged vulture Buzzsaw is described as the spy.
Laserbeak was the first Decepticon to tangle with Autobots on Earth when he was dispatched by Soundwave and Megatron to chase down to snooping Autobot spies, Hound and Cliffjumper. The Autobots tried to scurry away, splitting up so that Laserbeak couldn't follow both of them. He had the last laugh (or squawk) on them, as he launched one of his laser cannons to follow Cliffjumper remotely while he continued to hound Hound.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Timelines:Dawn of Future's Past
At the end of the great war most Decepticons granted amnesty simply retired and vanished from public life. So too would have been the fate of Laserbeak if not for the intervention of the Predacon Divebomb . Divebomb granted Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, and Ravage a new lease on life, rebuilding them into members of the new faction of Predacons.
Predacon Megatron's theft of the Golden Disk was closely watched by Divebomb, who sent Laserbeak and Buzzsaw to ensure Megatron and his rogues reached their destination. Their ship intercepted the Axalon, pummelling it with missiles. Before it could come back for another pass, it was fired upon by the Chromia 10, giving the Axalon enough time to restore enough power to return fire and completely destroy Laserbeak and Buzzsaw's ship, with the pair inside.
- Frenzy & Laserbeak (Cassette 2-pack, 1984/1985)
- Originally a Microchange "Micro Cassette Robo Condor", Laserbeak transforms into a microcassette that can fit into the tape door of the Soundwave and Blaster toys. He was released in a two-pack with Frenzy in the US and Europe. His chromed thruster-blaster add-ons have some slight mold variations to them, like several other early Transformers toys.
- Condor (Cassettron, 1985/1986/1987)
- Japanese ID number: 20, D-60, D-105
- Laserbeak (AKA "Condor") was available by himself in Japan. Like all Japanese cassettes, he came with a clear tape case to be "stored" in. He was re-released in Japan in 1986, and again in 1987.
- Soundwave (Decepticon, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: TFC-10
- Laserbeak was reissued along side Soundwave in 2003.
- Soundwave (6"
- Laserbeak was shown with a 6" Titanium Soundwave at SDCC 2006.
- Laserbeak and Buzzsaw (Souvenir set, 2006)
- A redeco of the Energon Terrorcon Divebomb, Laserbeak transforms from a humanoid robot to a robotic bird of prey. He came with a pair of clear-blue blades that can combine to form a large energon weapon, plus a blue Decepticon-style energon chip. He was available only as a poly-bagged set with his mold-mate Buzzsaw, sold as an "at the show" souvenir set at BotCon 2006, limited to 500 pieces.
- This mold was also used to make the Terrorcon Blackout.
- Though Laserbeak is portrayed as a normal audio cassette in the various fictions, his original toy was a microcassette. (Likewise, Soundwave's toy was a microcassette recorder, rather than the "stereo cassette deck" he's stated to be elsewhere.)
- Laserbeak Template:Tooltip It sounds just like a little chainsaw! (so cute!)
- It's possible that Beast Wars Lazorbeak was intended to be a new form for Laserbeak. Lazorbeak's tech spec bio reads, "Lazorbeak upholds his motto of believing the only good point he likes about the Maximals is their melting point," a reference to Laserbeak's original tech spec motto. Also, both use laser weapons.