Kickback is a Decepticon. A member of the Insecticons, he prefers to spend his time cozying-up to others, so that once they've warmed up to him and he has his own circle of friends, he rewards them with blackmail. He's a manipulative, psychotic, and dangerously unpredictable creep.
When Swoop infiltrated Shockwave's citadel in the Sea of Rust, he was ambushed by Insecticons and suffered some major damage to his chest thanks to Kickback. Secrets Kickback, Hardshell and Sharpshot later stood by Shockwave's side when the rest of the Lightning Strike Coalition Force arrived to save the captured Swoop.
After the rest of the Coalition had been captured and experimented upon, Kickback was sent by Shockwave to dispose of Sludge, who the scientist considered too weak to bother reactivating. The Insecticon happily obliged, sticking the stasis-locked Autobot to the wall of an underground tunnel.
Sometime later, after Cybertron's remaining population retreated under the surface, Kickback led a group of Insecticons. They coexisted with the Forged, a faction of Shockwave's personal acolytes, until Insecticons began turning up dead, with the energon drained from their corpses. The Insecticons accused the Forged of cannibalism, which they denied, so the hive proceeded to attack and wipe out the acolytes in what they believed was an act of self-preservation.
Shortly after the battle, the Dinobots Sludge and Snarl arrived, investigating the same spate of cannibalism, and the Insecticons attacked them. Kickback wound up in single combat with Sludge, whereupon he taunted the Dinobot with his casual disposal by Shockwave and the time it took for him to be found. However, Sludge was able to overpower the Insecticon and proceeded to interrogate him. Kickback repeated his belief that the Forged were the cannibals and that his Insecticons had killed them in defense. Although Snarl verified the Insecticons had indeed not fed on the Forged, Sludge executed his prisoner anyway, citing the atrocities he would almost certainly commit in the future.
As Cybertron's core shut down, the Insecticons made their way up further to the surface to find Energon. Shockwave came across Kickback, Sharpshot, and Hardshell and convinced them to join the ranks of the Decepticons.
Kickback and his brothers accompanied Shockwave as they ran a test on Grimlock. However the subject withstood the tests and Kickback left with his brothers and Shockwave. Later Grimlock escaped captivity so Kickback volunteered his services to stop him and help unlock his beast modefunction. Kickback led Grimlock through the Insecticon layers of Shockwave's tower and ambushed him with multiple Insecticons at once. However Grimlock was able to override Shockwave's programming and transformed into a T-rex. After Grimlock destroyed all the Insecticons, Kickback attempted to escape, only for the exit door to come slamming down on him thanks to Slug. The Autobot proceeded to walk over Kickback with a cry of "Excuse me."
When Shockwave happened upon Kickback and his companions while searching for the Dark Spark, Kickback was the second to attack the Decepticon after Hardshell fell. Kickback attacked Shockwave from the air but fell just as quickly as his brother had. He then agreed, along with Hardshell and Sharpshot, to join the Decepticons.
- Kickback was the only Insecticon to retain his original G1 name. Shrapnel was renamed to Sharpshot, while Bombshell was partially renamed Hardshell.
- Kickback's beast mode head is available in Fall of Cybertron multiplayer as a Parasite-type component for Destroyer-class characters, whereas Kickback's armor set and individual parts are available for the Scientist class after purchasing the Massive Fury DLC which was released on September 25.
- In Fall of Cybertron, Kickback has a speech pattern quirk that sees him repeat words at the end of his sentences like Shrapnel did in the original The Transformers cartoon. This was almost certainly a screw-up on someone's part, as it's hard to imagine that Shrapnel's speech pattern was not intended to go to his direct counterpart Sharpshot, though there is a slight difference, as Shrapnel's was a sort of echo, and Kickback's is a psychotic repetition. Interestingly, however, the same manner of speech is heard again before fighting Sharpshot.