"Arise, Rodimus Prime."
-Optimus Prime from within the Matrix of Leadership
-Hot Rod in responseHot Rod is brash and headstrong, with an overwhelming self-confidence that borders on arrogance. Kup has assumed the role of mentor and advisor to the impetuous young Hot Rod, offering him wisdom and advice when he needs it (though Hot Rod rarely feels that he does, much to Kup's annoyance). Arcee, a female Autobot, also serves as a calming influence on Hot Rod, and tends to either worry about him when he is not around, or deride and tease him when he is. Their relationship sometimes seems to be antagonistic, but often something more than friendly. Exactly how deep Hot Rod's feelings for Arcee might run is unclear.
In contrast, his Rodimus Prime persona - while still headstrong and stubborn - is more of a listener. However, he seems to suffer from a severe lack of confidence, often doubting his own decisions and expressing distress over his position as an Autobot leader and a partner of another Autobot leader, Ultra Magnus. Of course, much of this comes from having immediately succeeded Optimus Prime as commander, even though he never failed the Autobot cause, nor ever failed any of his mentors. Rodimus Prime, the last of the Primes in G1 (as the final bearer of the Matrix of leadership) remains well known as an intergalactic hero.
One thing that both sides of this Autobot's identity have in common is their impatience - neither Hot Rod nor Rodimus Prime can stand to wait around when they could be doing something instead. He is also very self-reliant, rarely sending others to do anything when he could be doing it himself. His Targetmaster partner is Firebolt.
- Japanese names (Hot Rod): Hot Rodimus, except for "The Rebirth"
- Japanese names (Rodimus Prime): Rodimus Convoy
- French-Canadian names (Hot Rod): Météorite ("Meteorite")
- French-Canadian names (Rodimus Prime): Rodimus Primo ("Rodimus First")
- Italian names: Folgore ("Thunderbolt"), Captain
- Hungarian names (Hot Rod): Nagyágyú ("Hot Shot")
- Hungarian names (Hot Rod, The Movie): Peca ("Fishing Rod"?) in the first dub of the film, 'cause he deals with marine life throughout the film, you see.
- Hungarian names (Rodimus Prime): Rodimusz Fővezér ("Prime Commander Rodimus")
- Chinese names (Hot Rod, Taiwan): Rod / Rhode (No, not him. Or him.)
- Chinese names (Rodimus Prime, Taiwan): Rhodie Jr-tsūn (羅迪至尊, "Rodimus Prime")
- Chinese name (Rodimus Prime, China): Bu Tian Shi (補天士, "Soldier that Repairs the Skies")
- Russian name (Rodimus Prime): Родаймес Прайм (Rodaimes Prime)
- Russian name (Hot Rod): Патрон (Patron)
American cartoon continuity
Madman Transformers comic
In the year 2001, Hot Rod was on guard duty at the construction site of Autobot City on Earth while the main Autobot forces were evacuating from the Decepticon-conquered Cybertron. As he was complaining about his boring assignment to Spike Witwicky, the Decepticon Soundwave struck, intent on stealing the Autobot Matrix of Leadership which Optimus Prime had secreted in a bunker at the building site. When he reclaimed the Matrix, Hot Rod received a vision of the future where he fought a powerful Decepticon. After returning the Matrix to Optimus Prime, the Autobot leader considered that perhaps Hot Rod's destiny was greater than any of them realized. Kup thought differently, however.
Generation One cartoon
- Voice actors: Judd Nelson → Dick Gautier (English), Hiroya Ishimaru (Japanese), Costas Triantafilopoulos (Greek)
In 2005, Hot Rod was one of the many Autobots based in the completed Autobot City. He was close friends with the young human Daniel Witwicky, and seemed to have a reputation for being something of a trouble-maker, judging from a few of Kup's comments to him at the time. Realizing that the Decepticons were invading, Hot Rod opened fire on their stolen shuttle and exposed their ruse before Megatron could enter the city. Although this did give the rest of the Autobots time to begin transforming Autobot City and raising their defenses, it also left Hot Rod trapped outside with Kup and Daniel. After defeating the Decepticons Blitzwing and Shrapnel with some help from Kup, Hot Rod managed to find a way inside the fortress city and took part in its defense. During Optimus Prime's battle with Megatron, Hot Rod intervened in an attempt to prevent Prime from being gunned down by the Decepticon leader, but succeeded only in being overhated by the fans for this stunt.
After Prime's death, Autobot City was attacked again—by Galvatron. While escaping, Hot Rod and Kup (and the Dinobots) were separated from the rest of the Autobots and crashed on the planet Quintessa. There, Hot Rod met the Quintessons, an enemy who would haunt him for some time to come. After escaping their sadistic trial and attempted execution (as well as meeting Wheelie), Hot Rod went on to the planet Junk, where he was just in time to stop Wreck-Gar from destroying the rest of the Autobot City refugees with a timely use of the Universal greeting. Together, they all traveled to Cybertron to stop Unicron before he could eat more than just it's moons.
Inside of Unicron, Hot Rod was separated from the rest of his team when their ship crashed (something which happens to Hot Rod a lot). Alone, he found himself facing Galvatron in a battle to the death over the Autobot Matrix of Leadership (not only showing his brawn, but his brains as well bringing out the good old hit-and-run strategy). After claiming the Matrix while being choked to death, Hot Rod evolved into "Rodimus Prime", an older, larger, and more powerful version of himself. After overpowering Galvatron and hurling him through Unicron's hide, into the void of space, he opened the Matrix and destroyed Unicron from the insides.
Peace reigned on Cybertron for at least long enough to put up some of the more important buildings, and Rodimus Prime began to ease into his role as the new Autobot leader. When Ultra Magnus and Spike Witwicky were kidnapped during a Galactic Olympics, it was Rodimus who spied on the Decepticons with Grimlock to determine if they were the ones who had done it. The way Rodimus had it figured, the Decepticons were usually behind everything anyway, so they seemed like a good enough place to start. After getting caught and severely beaten by the Decepticons (who were innocent of the kidnapping, but not really fans of his anyway), Rodimus was able to interface with the Matrix and learned about the origins of the Transformer race. He also learned that his old enemies, the Quintessons, were back and looking to destroy every Transformer in existence. Making things worse, Galvatron soon returned as well, and the war that everyone had assumed was safely over quickly started up again.
Throughout 2006, Rodimus Prime's greatest achievements both revolved around his predecessor, Optimus Prime. While fleeing from a Decepticon attack, Rodimus and several other Autobots took refuge in a massive Autobot Mausoleum and discovered that their former leader seemed to have returned to life. Perhaps a little too trusting of Optimus (and possibly eager to relieve himself of the burden of leadership), Rodimus quickly passed the Matrix back to Optimus and, much to his glee, reverted into Hot Rod. His happiness was short-lived, however, as Optimus was quickly revealed to be nothing more than a puppet of the Quintessons, sent to trick the Autobots into an ambush from which none of them would escape. With no other choice, Hot Rod was forced to do battle with Optimus Prime for the fate of the Autobots. Although their duel was clearly in the favor of the more powerful Optimus, Hot Rod was able to re-awaken the true spirit of his leader. Returning the Matrix to Rodimus, Optimus then piloted his ship into the heart of the ambush and sacrificed himself to save them all.
Or so it had seemed at the time. As was so often the case for Rodimus, things didn't quite wrap up as tidily as he might have hoped. Far from being destroyed, Optimus had been retrieved by a team of human scientists who were hoping to use him (again) as a weapon against the Autobots—this time as the bearer of a malignant "Hate Plague" that would cause them to destroy each other. When he learned of this, Rodimus swiftly formed a rescue party and led them to retrieve Optimus' body so that their former leader could rest in peace. When all of the rest of the Autobots with him were exposed to the Hate Plague, only Rodimus was able to escape unharmed—and with the still uninfected body of Optimus. Returning to Autobot City, Rodimus ordered Sky-Lynx to find a Quintesson to repair Optimus, then risked his life to shut down Metroplex before the Plague could spread to it. Attacked by Ultra Magnus and Wreck-Gar in the process, he succumbed to the plague and became infected with hate. In order to stop the Plague, the resurrected Optimus had to defeat the crazed Rodimus and forcibly extract the Matrix from him, changing him back into Hot Rod once more (and this time he became sane while infected, just... wow). This time, Optimus Prime decided to stick around, and the change in leadership was (thankfully) a permanent one.
Even after losing his position as Autobot leader, Hot Rod was not the sort to rest on his laurels. In 2007, he was among a group of Autobots who were caught in a blast from the Plasma Energy Chamber and shot across the galaxy to the planet Nebulos. There, the Autobots fell in with a group of native rebels and aided them in opposing the tyrannical rule of the dictatorial Hive—a partnership that ultimately evolved into binary bonding, the fusion of Transformer and Nebulan into Headmasters and Targetmasters. Hot Rod was linked to the Nebulan sharpshooter Firebolt, and went on to aid in the defense of Cybertron as Galvatron attempted to use the Plasma Energy Chamber to destroy it.
Rodimus has a tendency to say insensitive, stupid things to people in dire situations, such as joking about humans suffocating to death,or ripping on someone's home planet while it's being destroyed .
Japanese cartoon continuity
Voice actors: Ryōtarō Okiayu (Japanese)
When Rodimus Prime hurled Galvatron into space at the conclusion of their battle within Unicron, he could not have predicted the tragic result of this action. Galvatron crash-landed on Earth, on top of Tokyo, Japan, devastating the city and sparking off a massive anti-Transformer movement spearheaded by the Earth Defense Command. Horrified by what his actions had wrought, Rodimus gave up the Matrix to Ultra Magnus, reverted to Hot Rod once more, and returned to the human homeworld.
As he descended to Earth, Hot Rod was badly damaged by the anti-electron field that the E.D.C. had set up around the planet. Arriving at the E.D.C. headquarters, Hot Rod interrupted a grotesque experiment in a basement laboratory involving the severed heads of various Legion (monstrous creatures created by Galvatron's scattered cells) and former E.D.C. operative Shaoshao Li. The Legion attacked Hot Rod and began to fuse with him, but a kiss from Shaoshao—one of the E.D.C.'s Kiss Player operatives, also given fusing powers by Galvatron's cells—saved him, reformatting him into a Ford GT body. Now partnered with Shaoshao, he travelled around Japan battling the E.D.C., Legion, and the resurrected Optimus Prime.
Hot Rod was cocky and confident in his speed and sharpshooting skills, and often weathered his human partner's complaints that he was slacking off on his hand-to-hand combat training. He much preferred to practice kissing, the resulting fusion granting him Shao's considerable martial arts skills as well as the ability to wield his firearms as tonfas. In return, he stole Marissa Faireborn's underwear for her.
He continued to enjoy fishing and carried a customized rod that he could convert into a forearm-mounted weapon called the "Exhaust Eliminator". Shaoshao didn't like working with him after a fishing trip due to the smell, but she secretly wished that he would take her with him anyway. Hot Rod was very suspicious of Optimus Prime, claiming that he was not the real Optimus, presumably because he still believed his former commander to be dead following the Battle of Autobot City.
Hot Rod had the distinction of being the only known robot with a Kiss Player partner to have lips. This might have contributed to Shao's feelings of excitement when she kissed him, though the rest of the time she acted outraged that a robot would have the audacity to talk to her like a real person.
After numerous battles, Hot Rod and his human partner settled their differences with Prime. Together, they teamed up with the E.D.C. Kiss Player Atari Hitotonari and her Autrooper and entered the secret "Genital System" facility hidden beneath E.D.C. headquarters in Tokyo. There, they discovered Galvatron's headless body and realized that the only way to end the current crisis was to allow the Unicron-empowered Decepticon's cells to return to his body. When Hot Rod did so, he was restored to his original body.
Hot Rod went on his way, but did not take back the Matrix and leadership of the Autobots until the year 2010. It is unknown whether he ever discovered that the true cause of the Tokyo incident was temporal interference by the Sparkbots.
The Transformer manga
Rodimus Prime faced numerous bizarre challenges in the year 2010. In one instance, Rodimus and his troops were taken under siege by a horde of Megatron clones calling themselves the Megatron Military. The Megatron Military made short work of Rodimus, leaving him to wonder how he could defeat a whole horde of the baddie, when Optimus Prime could barely deal with one. Rodimus eventually realized that Galvatron was secretly controlling the clones and singled him out. With Galvatron defeated, the Megatron Military ceased to function.
During another battle, he was forced to team with his arch-nemesis, Galvatron, to defeat the all-powerful Guiltar. Guiltar was a creation built by the Quintessons utilizing the powers of both Optimus Prime and Megatron. Together, Rodimus and Galvatron defeated their foe (who it turned out was being controlled by the ghost of Starscream) and called off the truce.
The Headmasters anime
One year after the Hate Plague affair and the resurrection of Optimus Prime, Hot Rod maintained a high-level position among the Autobots as well as a new sense of duty and responsibility. Hot Rod was stationed on Athenia when the Decepticons, bolstered with the addition of new Headmaster warriors, attacked Cybertron in an attempt to take control of Vector Sigma, which had become destabilized as a result of the Matrix's energy being released. When a group of Autobot Headmasters arrived to help, Optimus Prime broke off from the battle and ventured into Cybertron's depths, hoping to find a way to stabilize Vector Sigma. This, however, would require the sacrifice of his own life if attempted without the Matrix, which was hidden somewhere on Earth, recharging. Hot Rod and the Autobot Headmasters searched the Matrix out and returned to Cybertron with it, where the spirit of Alpha Trion recharged its empty shell, transforming Hot Rod back into Rodimus Prime. Optimus and Rodimus defeated the Decepticons together, but Optimus still wound up sacrificing himself to stabilize Vector Sigma, leaving Rodimus Prime in command of the Autobots once again.
Not long thereafter, a plot by Decepticon leader Scorponok resulted in a massive planetary explosion devastating Cybertron, leaving it a burnt-out husk. Deciding that his time was over, and that newer, younger Transformers should take over, Rodimus passed leadership of the Autobots to Fortress, and departed for space with Kup and Blurr to search for a new planet that the Transformers could make their own. Arcee asked if she could go, too, but Rodimus instructed her to stay behind to look after Daniel and Wheelie.
The Headmasters manga
On his journey through space, Rodimus faced many dangers and hardships, but was supported by the wisdom of the Matrix and the energy of the Earth that now coursed within it. Learning a new admiration for the human race and the planet Earth, he returned to Earth in the wake of the defeat of Scorponok, and reunited with the Autobots.
It would be many years before Rodimus resurfaced. He eventually returned at the same time as Optimus Prime was resurrected as Star Convoy, and was shown to have reverted into Hot Rod, and been converted into a Micromaster. As a Micromaster, Hot Rod took up residence in Star Convoy's chest, boosting his Supreme Commander's power.
15 Go! Go! comics
During her travels through time and space, Teletraan 15 encountered Micromaster Hot Rod, who rescued her from a strange mechanical monster, a Novaroid. Teletraan 15 noted that Hot Rod was considerably smaller than she remembered him.
Hot Rod asked if she was the one responsible for all the Transwarp travel and blamed her for the wormholes that were opening everywhere. Spotting a large wormhole opening, he transformed to vehicle mode and told her to climb inside, saying that something big was coming.
As Hot Rod said his farewells to Teletraan 15, he was suddenly struck by an immense blast from the wormhole overhead. The shadowy form of Galvatron descended from the rip in the sky.
15 leaped in front of Hot Rod to protect him, and was rewarded for her heroism by seeing her right arm torn off by the Decepticon's power. The severed arm gripped in his teeth, Galvatron throttled the much smaller Hot Rod. As First Aid and Blades of the Protectobots raced toward her, Teletraan 15 faded into unconsciousness, leaving Hot Rod's fate and the outcome of the battle unknown.
Marvel Comics continuity
Several hundred years ago, Fortress Maximus dispatched Hot Rod and Blurr to search for habitable worlds. During this mission, the pair ran afoul of some unpleasant aliens who captured Blurr and pursued Hot Rod through space. While fleeing, Hot Rod crossed paths with the Autobot war veteran, Kup, living a nomadic existence wandering through space at the time, and the youth's bravado re-ignited Kup's fighting spirit. After saving Hot Rod and helping him to rescue Blurr, Kup joined the pair in returning to Cybertron.
Hot Rod was among the contingent of Transformers who ultimately accompanied Fortress Maximus in abandoning the war on Cybertron for a new world, Nebulos. The Autobots' arrival on the planet immediately stirred civil unrest, however, which led to the Decepticons being brought to the planet, and the war continuing on a smaller scale. Technological advancements developed during the conflict saw Nebulans being bio-engineered into partnerships with the Transformers. Hot Rod became a Targetmaster, and was bonded to the Nebulan sharpshooter, Firebolt (aka Sparks), who transformed into his gun. Eventually, the Autobots determined to move their war away from Nebulos, and followed a signal sent by Goldbug, received by Hot Rod, to the planet Earth.
Hot Rod and the other Autobots of Nebulos were soon incorporated into the larger Autobot force on Earth, under the command of Optimus Prime. On one occasion, Hot Rod and several Autobots accompanied Prime on what appeared to be a simple mission to stop some Decepticon Micromasters from attacking MacDill Air Force Base. In fact, the attack was part of a much larger scheme by the deposed Decepticon leader Megatron, luring Prime and his forces away from the Ark and setting them against his rival for Decepticon leadership, the mighty Scorponok. Once Prime realized the greater threat at issue, he ordered his troops to immediately take the shuttle back to the Ark, but Hot Rod recklessly chose to stay behind at Optimus's side to face the Decepticons. He was therefore on-hand when the newly resurrected Starscream arrived, and began tearing through all Transformers present, in the name of Megatron. He managed to take a shot at Starscream's new Pretender shell, causing enough neural feedback to temporarily weaken the Decepticon, and give Scorponok time to strike and end the threat.
The cost was still high, though, as Optimus Prime returned to the Ark and learned that his good friend, Ratchet, had sacrificed himself to help stop Megatron's schemes. This sent the Autobot leader into a depression, and Hot Rod took it upon himself to snap Optimus out of it. He had the crazy scheme of creating a mock threat with a Guardian Mark V battle droid, with predictable results. The robot proceeded to actually malfunction and endanger the Autobots, but Hot Rod's plan worked when Prime eventually snapped out of his funk and defeated the droid to save the day. Hot Rod needed to find a replacement hand after the Guardian snapped it off, but hey, all's well that ends well.
Hot Rod continued to operate with Earth's Autobot forces aboard the Ark, and was present during Thunderwing's rampage through the shuttle bay. He took some damage, but remained functional enough to continue on, and was later seen speeding into the battle with Unicron himself on a hoverscooter), He was also one of many Autobots destroyed by the Decepticons on Klo, only to be revived by the Last Autobot.
In an alternate future timeline, Hot Rod arose to become Rodimus Prime. However, the planet-eater known as Unicron managed to destroy Cybertron, leaving Rodimus to lead a failed Autobot/human defense of Earth when that timeline's Galvatron attacked and eventually conquered it. Rodimus perished during the conflict, and his body was strung up between the ruined towers of the World Trade Center. In the year 2009, Galvatron returned to Manhattan to survey its devastated landscape, and fired upon Rodimus's corpse, demanding to know how many times he would have to kill him to erase his legacy.
Marvel UK future timelines
Hot Rod rose to greater prominence in the alternate future timeline of Earth-120185. In 1990, he, Kup and Blurr were captured by Megatron; although rescued by a double-agent named Warmonger, Hot Rod was recaptured and bore witness first hand to Megatron's mercilessness when he executed Warmonger. Then, in 1991, he was part of a unit that escorted the captive Scorponok, only to lose the Decepticon leader when forced to defend a human settlement against an attack by the Air Strike Patrol. On another occasion in 1995, Hot Rod was present when Optimus Prime first unveiled the female Autobot, Arcee, to a dubious crowd of human feminists. Hot Rod was more than a little flustered by Arcee's presence on the battlefield. In 2003, he and Blurr were given "Ark duty," assigned to stand guard over the Autobots' spaceship while construction on Autobot City began. Kup was apparently instructed to deliver the plans of the city to the American government, and when Hot Rod saw him being jumped by the Stunticons, he disobeyed orders and sped out to the rescue. The Stunticons brutally beat on Hot Rod and took the plans, but Hot Rod learned a hard lesson when Kup informed him that it was meant to happen that way because the plans were a fake. When the city was completed in 2004, Shockwave attacked it on its opening day, and Hot Rod repelled him by attacking in a wildly illogical manner, tackling him down a mountain repeatedly. Also, at some unknown point in the past, Hot Rod's Targetmaster partner Firebolt was killed in action.
In the year 2006, when the new Decepticon leader Galvatron travelled back in time to 1986 as part of a plan to free himself from the control of Unicron, the chaos-bringer used his mental powers to plant knowledge of Galvatron's plan into the minds of Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr and transported them to Cybertron, where they used Galvatron's equipment to follow him into the past. There, with help from the present-day incarnation of Ultra Magnus, they were able to convince Galvatron that he had, in fact, traveled back in time to a parallel universe, where his actions would have no effect on the future. Believing this, Galvatron returned to his own time, and after setting any remaining wrongs to rights, the trio of Autobots also returned to 2006. Back in his native timeline, Hot Rod was subsequently involved in a battle with Galvatron inside Unicron's body, during which he opened the sacred Autobot talisman, the Creation Matrix, and was transformed into Rodimus Prime. With this new strength, he hurled Galvatron through Unicron's hide and opened the Matrix, destroying the planet-eater.
As the new Autobot leader, Rodimus became paranoid about Galvatron's eventual return, since no body was ever recovered from space. He led the Autobot forces high and low searching the universe for the Decepticon leader, neglecting Cybertron in the process. As a result, Shockwave arose as the new Decepticon leader, and total war broke out on Cybertron once again. Unable to take the time to find Galvatron himself anymore, Rodimus rashly placed a bounty on the Decepticon's head. What Rodimus did not realize, however, was that Galvatron had time-jumped again, traveling back to 1987. Death's Head pursued Galvatron back to the '80s, Rodimus was informed of this fact by an Autobot double-agent named Nautilus, and, dismayed at the danger he had unleashed on the past, promptly headed back in time himself to stop the dual threats. Once again teaming up with the present-day Ultra Magnus, Rodimus and his team of Kup, Blurr and Wreck-Gar tracked Galvatron down to Mount Verona, where he was attempting to harness the volcano's molten energy. While arguing with Death's Head, Rodimus and the bounty hunter were both attacked, but when Ultra Magnus opened fire on his power siphon, Galvatron was distracted long enough for Rodimus to escape. Rodimus then arranged a plan that saw the Autobots capture Galvatron's time-jump mechanism, in order to have Wreck-Gar re-engineer it to return all the time-travelers to their point of origin. Rodimus engaged Galvatron in a protracted battle to buy Wreck-Gar time, but when the device was activated, Rodimus, Death's Head and the other Autobots were returned to 2007—but Galvatron was left behind.In 2007, when the freelance peacekeeping agent
Some time later, a disgruntled Death's Head accepted a contract from the Decepticons on Rodimus Prime's head, and ambushed him while he was inspecting Autobot lines. Their battle subsequently went underground, where Cyclonus and Scourge intervened, downing Death's Head in hopes of being the ones to defeat Rodimus, in order to reclaim their lost standing in the Decepticons' ranks. Rodimus was able to lead Death's Head through the underground tunnels, right into the heart of the Autobot camp, where he offered him advance payment for a different contract—on Cyclonus and Scourge. Death's Head proceeded to track the two Decepticons for the remainder of the year, until the three of them fell under the mental control of Unicron when they discovered his disembodied head on the planet of Junk in the early days of 2008. Under his control, they assassinated Decepticon leader Shockwave and reignited the stalemated Cybertronian civil war in order to keep the Autobots busy while Unicron worked on rebuilding his body. Rodimus, however, learned of the situation thanks to Smokescreen, and led a small Autobot force to Junk, where Death's Head fought against Unicron's control long enough to project Rodimus's mind into a battle with the demi-god on the astral plane. During the battle, explosives planted by Wreck-Gar destroyed Unicron's head, and his mind was sealed within the Matrix.
Later in 2008, the alien Quintessons targeted Cybertron for colonization, and attacked the Autobots with a two-pronged assault on both Cybertron and Earth. When Arcee shirked her guard duty at Autobot City, the Quintessons were given an opening that allowed them to take over the city, and when she returned, they gunned her down as bait for a trap for Rodimus Prime. Arriving at the city, Rodimus discovered the injured Arcee and opened his chest compartment to heal her with the Matrix, only to have it yanked from his grasp by the Quintesson general, Ghyrik, causing him to revert to Hot Rod. Liberating Blaster's cassettes for back-up, Hot Rod and Arcee proceeded to fight their way through the Quintessons to Autobot City's control room, where Hot Rod activated Metroplex to smash the alien threat. In battle with Ghyrik, Hot Rod duped the Quintessons with a bit of amateur ventriloquism and reclaimed the Matrix; transformed back into Rodimus Prime again, he routed the Quintessons.
Unbeknownst to Rodimus, the Quintessons had sought to colonize Cybertron because their own homeworld was being destroyed by a rift in space and time caused by the Transformers' repeated time-travel. The rift continued to grow in size until it threatened both Earth and Cybertron at the beginning of both 2009 and 1989. To put an end to the threat, Rodimus and a squad of Autobots traveled back to 1989, only to wind up mass-displacing Optimus Prime (since the Matrix could not exist in two time periods at once) and a group of other Autobots to limbo, leading to a brief but violent misunderstanding with the present-day Autobots. Optimus Prime was able to stabilize the situation by communicating with all involved through the power of the Matrix. Subsequently, Autobots and Decepticons from both the present and future teamed up to battle Galvatron and Megatron, but one by one they fell, until Optimus Prime used the Matrix to return himself to reality for a final showdown. After absorbing Galvatron, Cyclonus and Scourge, however, the rift was sealed by Shockwave, and Rodimus and the other future Autobots returned to 2009, vowing to destroy their time machines to prevent this from ever happening again.
As it transpired, however, things would not be that easy. In the wake of the massive chronal damage caused by the rift, time had attempted to heal its wounds, but reality was no longer as it had been. The future that Rodimus and the other Autobots came from no longer existed—in its place was a world where Galvatron had never traveled back in time, and had conquered Cybertron after Unicron's destruction. Rodimus quickly established a rebellion, but when Galvatron tracked down their headquarters, he killed Blurr and all others present, goading Rodimus into a ferocious battle in hopes of corrupting the Matrix within him. Rodimus realized what he was doing, however, and ended the fight before more damage could be done.
Rodimus and the Autobots escaped to Earth via hyperspace, only to find that their craft's guidance systems had been damaged. During the flight, Rodimus Prime vanished, and Kup discovered that he was the saboteur, deducing that he had been corrupted by an evil force from within the Matrix. Inside the Matrix, Rodimus battled with the essence of Unicron, trapped there since the events of 2008, until Kup wrenched the Matrix from his chest, freeing him from the chaos-bringer's influence. But now, Rodimus knew that the evil of Unicron would be waiting for him within it... ...and in 2010, Unicron's essence succeeded in taking over Rodimus's body, transforming it into a duplicate of his own and attacking Cybertron once more, until Rodimus was able to defeat him from within and re-seal him within the Matrix.
Centuries later, in the year 2356, Rodimus, his body withered and weakened from the continuous harmful influence of Unicron from within the Matrix, lectured a young Autobot student on the nature of evil, unwittingly setting the youth on the path towards villainy himself.
In an unidentified timeline in the year 2510, a healthy Rodimus Prime was overjoyed to announce that the Cybertronian war was finally over, and planned to step down as leader to allow Springer to take over. The sole remaining Decepticon, a double-agent named Triton, spoke out against the decision to cause dissension, and succeeded—as Rodimus could only watch in dismay, arguments escalated into conflict, and the war was born again as Technobot fought Wrecker, and the Autobot Civil War began.
After the defeat of the Decepticons on Klo, the Autobots' forces scattered throughout the galaxy as virtually independent splinter cells. A small group under Optimus Prime's command encountered Bludgeon and his soldiers on a desolate world, both sides looking for new weapons or technology, and were in danger of being overrun. Prime sent Hot Rod into a nearby mausoleum building in the hopes that he could conjure up some form of "graven image" to distract the superstitious Decepticon leader. Hot Rod emerged empty-handed from the ruins, only to find that just such a graven image had conjured itself, chased off the trespassing Decepticons, and was now prepared to do the same to the Autobots. They managed a dignified, if rushed, scramble to safety.
Sometime after, Hot Rod was operating somewhere in the universe with Optimus Prime and Kup when Grimlock summoned them to deal with the threat of Jhiaxus and his Cybertronians. Together, they formed the initial Autobot resistance to the Liege Centuro. Once Optimus's visions convinced him there was a much greater threat at work in the universe, however, he took the Autobots into hiding until they were ready to deal with the bigger picture. Stuck on a distant asteroid base, Hot Rod amused himself by running training with the Dinobots, Aerialbots, and other soldiers as the army slowly regrouped and reorganized, but chafed at the lack of real action. Luckily, the Autobots soon joined forces with the old Decepticons, the fight ramped up to epic proportions...and Hot Rod proceeded to do nothing of import for the rest of the war.
Ladybird Books continuity
Hot Rod was one of several troops stationed on Earth when Ultra Magnus was in charge and the Transformers' war was still a secret one. He got along well with Spike Witwicky, the two spending their downtime looking at car magazines together, and was quite pleased to receive some snazzy gold wheel-trims from the boy.
In the time following this campaign, Hot Rod would mature into a more sensible warrior and even a team leader. During the early stages of the war on Nebulos, Hot Rod was Autobot commander against Cyclonus' Decepticons before the return of Optimus Prime. At one point, he prevented the Decepticons causing Nebulos' destruction via cosmic radiation.
Dreamwave comics continuity
From the Wastelands, Hot Rod, Blurr, and Springer observed an incoming Decepticon shuttle carrying the Dinobots. Shortly afterward, the cell rescued Optimus Prime from Runamuck and Runabout, and took him to their base. After awakening, Prime attacked Gnaw, Blurr, and Wheelie, forcing Hot Rod (who didn't recognize him) to hold the Autobot leader at gunpoint. After being admonished by Kup, Hot Rod apologized.
After Shockwave unleashed the Guardian Robots on Iacon, Prime organized the resistance cell and other Autobot forces on the planet in an assault on Shockwave's citadel. Fighting alongside the Autobot leader, Hot Rod was amazed that the stories Kup had told him about Prime's courage and heroism had all been true. As an injured Prime breached the citadel, Hot Rod, Ironhide and Springer provided cover fire, taking down a number of Guardians in the process. Along with the rest of Iacon, they witnessed the divine light of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership when Shockwave activated it.
As Prime and Ultra Magnus battled Shockwave within the citadel, Hot Rod and Grimlock took down Astrotrain and Blitzwing. Immediately afterward, they were confronted with the looming threat of a remaining Guardian Robot—a threat that was soon neutralized by the arrival of the Wreckers, the Autobot High Council, and Defensor. The unified Autobot group soon breached the citadel.
Some time later, Hot Rod ran a simulation combat scenario against Kup, and won using tactics that, in Kup's opinion, would have killed them both had it been real. Only after his victory did Hot Rod remember that he'd promised to take Arcee to see an Earth-bound shuttle launch—a duty Springer was happy to relieve him of. Soon afterward, he was assigned to perimeter guard duty at Autobase with Gnaw and Wheelie, separating him from Arcee.
Universe: The Wreckers
A few months after the destruction of Unicron in 2005, Rodimus Prime spearheaded an effort to establish multiple recon posts to watch for advancing threats... even though some of his scientists said he shouldn't. When only two of the five launched ships were ever heard from again, Rodimus blamed himself for the loss of the ships.
After the Great Wars ended and the Pax Cybertronia was signed, he changed his name to simply "Rodimus" and decided to check out the new "Maximal upgrade". His relationship with Arcee effectively ended shortly after, as the latter went through dark gripping emo depression over the death of Daniel Witwicky and vanished.
Rodimus joined the Wreckers at some undetermined point afterward. After Megatron took over Cybertron with his Vehicon drones, Wrecker leader Apelinq got stranded on prehistoric Earth, leaving Rodimus in charge. True to form, he ditched leadership duties to Primal Prime as soon as possible.
After Primal Prime got his marching orders from the Oracle, he met Rodimus deep inside Cybertron's caverns, where an even more gothy-emo Arcee — in a new Maximal body — lurked and stewed in her depression. Realizing he couldn't convince her to give a damn about anything, he left, rejoining the main Wrecker force in battle. Making it onto an ancient Autobot shuttle, the Wreckers blasted off... with late-arrival Arcee.
Rodimus recognized the homing beacon emitting from Archa Nine as one of those missing exploration parties mentioned before. When the shuttle landed, Rodimus stayed behind to help repair the damage the ship had suffered. The entire Wrecker team later gathered in an Akalouthan village, where Rodimus was reunited with Glyph, who took them to see the artifact known as the Divine Light. The Wreckers' analysis of the item was cut short, as it was stolen by the traitor Cyclonus. Rodimus saw the back-in-his-old-body Devcon off, who was sent to chase after Cyclonus, while the Wreckers made for their next destination... even though several of them were now leery of the visions Primal Prime had been getting. Because they'd really done so well by the Wreckers so far.
Upon landing on the frozen planet, Rodimus was part of the search party immediately dispatched to look for... something. Primal Prime wasn't too specific. They came across Al-Badur, an exiled Quintesson, who gave them a little history lesson. They were then promptly attacked by a school of Sharkticons, but the Wreckers made short work of them. They made their way back to the ship, with Al-Badur in tow, and made for their next destination...
IDW comics continuity
Years ago, Hot Rod was put in charge of a mission to the planet Ki-Aleta to obtain a powerful artifact named the Magnificence so as to keep it out of the hands of the Decepticons. The mission started off smoothly enough, with Gizmo using a holomatter generator to distract the defense systems while the rest of the team went after the Magnificence. Unfortunately, after that everything that could go wrong did go wrong. First, the generator malfunctioned, then Download tripped the security lasers around the Magnificence itself. Gizmo, Download, and Backbeat were destroyed by the security systems while Hot Rod and Dealer fled. Hot Rod, nearing the exit tunnels they had previously drilled, got a call from Dealer—he had been ambushed by a Decepticon attack squad and needed help. Unfortunately, Hot Rod had been given his own, top secret orders: the Magnificence was to be the top priority of the mission, and placed before all else. With a heavy heart, Hot Rod abandoned Dealer to his fate as he left Ki-Aleta with the Magnificence.
Years later, Hot Rod learned that Dealer had not died that day; he was being held prisoner at the Decepticon penal colony known as Styx. Hot Rod stealthily infiltrated the prison complex, using a holomatter generator to disguise himself as a guard and then short-circuiting the power grid to cause all the cell doors to unlock. During the chaos he snuck in, extracted Dealer, and took off while the Decepticons were busy getting the prisoners under control.
Recently, Hot Rod was called to Earth to aid the crew of the Ark-19 in procuring a Decepticon facsimile from Brasnya, a former Soviet state in eastern Europe. He and Hardhead went down to Earth from the Ark-32 against Nightbeat's wishes, and proceeded to join the battle unannounced. As Hardhead went to support the main battle, Hot Rod went after the facsimile... which led to him colliding with Prowl as they both tried to stop the Georgi Koska facsimile from letting himself get gunned down by Soviet soldiers. Prowl and Hot Rod managed to defuse the situation and secure the facsimile in the end , but before he could return to his ship he was attacked by Thundercracker and Skywarp, unable to defend himself because he had to keep the facsimile alive. After returning to the Ark-32, he had to be put in a CR Chamber to recover. His injuries were for nothing, as the facsimile melted during the bounce.
After Hot Rod was repaired and reformatted into a Dodge Viper, his "friend" Dealer tried to convince him to pull some strings to get him to Earth, but Hot Rod and Wheeljack had the more important task of rescuing Ironhide. They ran into a bit of trouble with the Machination's Headmasters. They managed to escape temporarily, but were found and Wheeljack was incapacitated. Hot Rod easily held his own with the Headmasters , and noted that for some reason they had lost their "edge". He received a little help from Hardhead, who was mainly there to take Hot Rod and the others back to the Ark-32 for evacuation to Garrus-9. Hot Rod refused to go, wanting to see the Headmaster mystery through to the end. Hardhead reluctantly let him go.
Hot Rod's search was interrupted by Dealer's arrival on Earth, with orders for Hot Rod: find the Magnificence and use it to learn what they could about the Expansion. Hot Rod took Dealer to his hiding spot, which turned out to be the planet where they first found the device. As Dealer and Hot Rod closed on the Magnificence, he went over his first visit to the planet in his mind, and how things could have gone so wrong. Eventually he began to have suspicions, and upon locating the Magnificence, asked it the question that haunted him: had Dealer betrayed him? Sadly, it revealed the truth, and Hot Rod was forced to kill Dealer as the traitor attacked. Looking down on his remains, Hot Rod realised the truth had been staring him in the face, he just hadn't wanted to accept it. He then used the Magnificence to find out all he could about the Expansion, and relayed the information to the Autobots.
Hot Rod eventually hooked up with Kup's team. After crashing on Cybertron, he sent a distress signal. He later ran into Wheeljack and Bumblebee, thinking they were responding to his call. He was disappointed to find that they were stuck on Cybertron along with the other Autobots.
Referred to only as "The Protector", Rodimus Prime sent a special spark back in time in order to ensure the survival of the Binaltech timeline created by Battle Ravage's machinations. It seems the Binaltech project was destined to produce warriors of considerable merit and power, who would do much good in the universe. To accomplish his goals, Rodimus had the time-traveling spark possess the "Black Optimus" Binaltech body that Doctor Arkeville had been creating. Once it had physical form, the new "Black Optimus" intervened on Operation: Distant Thunder, bisecting the timeline to both restore the original history and allow the Binaltech history to continue. The evil Binaltech body soon rejected the purely good spark possessing it, however, and vanished. Optimus Prime recovered the spark sent by the Protector and encased it in a preserving crystal...
- Hot Rod might be the Transformers character with the most names in the US. From "Hot Rod" to "Rodimus Prime", to "Rodimus Major" to just plain "Rodimus". Varieties of "Rodimus" appear to be how he will be for a while, as Hasbro appears to be unable to secure the trademark on "Hot Rod".
- Aside from the Energon namesake character, Hot Rod has also been paid homage twice (or possibly thrice depending on how you look at it) in the Unicron Trilogy. For Armada, the "Powerlinx" upgrade of Hot Shot was given a very Hot-Rod-inspired deco. In Cybertron, Takara made a redeco of Hot Shot (well, "Exillion"), who already had some Hot Rod homage elements in his toy design, with Hot Rod deco as a DVD-pack-in exclusive. Hasbro then took this deco, altered it, and released it in the US line at mass retail as the new character Excellion. And he received yet another homage in the form of Rodimus Prime in the Transformers Animated continuity.
- Outside the Unicron Trilogy, Side Burn was released in a color scheme that also resembles Hot Rod.
- One of the first concepts for Classics Rodimus was based around the Pagani Zonda supercar, before the Dome Zero design was decided upon.
- In The Transformers: The Movie, Hot Rod doesn't transform the same way twice.
- At just under one year, Rodimus Prime served the shortest term as Autobot Commander ever (besides Ultra Magnus). By comparison, Optimus Prime served in this capacity for 8-10 million years, depending on which continuity you're referencing.
- In at least one version of Marvel UK continuity, however, Rodimus Prime was Autobot Commander for over 500 years.
- His character: young, brash reckless, impulsive, very fast etc., can be on par with somebody.
- Hot Rod at TFU.info
- Prime/rodimus prime.htm Rodimus Prime at TFU.info
- Hot Rod's Universe profile at NTFA.net