Nightbeat, a self-declared detective, loves mystery, suspense, and conspiracy. When Nightbeat is on the trail for clues, nothing else matters. This monomania has famously gotten him into trouble over his head more times than he can count. Yet in the face of adversity, he remains cool, confident, and even irreverent. He has insulted creatures many times his size and committed huge faux-pas to uncover the truth. It is not so much that Nightbeat is brave, but more that when the thrill of the hunt has him -- and he will not be denied.
- French-Canadian name: Veillure
Marvel Comics continuity
(Events from the UK-only comics are in italics.)
Shortly after being made a Headmaster and joining Optimus Prime's crew on Earth, Nightbeat learned of a mysterious robot corpse which had seemingly washed up on the California shoreline. He decided to investigate, bringing along Siren to serve as his personal "Watson". At the scene of the crime, they found a pair of Transformers hovering over the body, and who quickly burned rubber once they spotted the Autobots. Sending Siren off to chase them down, Nightbeat pulled out the giant retractable magnifying glass in his sleeve and went to work collecting evidence from the body.
Finding a serial brand from a Decepticon prison on the body, and identifying a signature Decepticon blaster as the murder weapon, Nightbeat concluded that a lone, well-armed Decepticon was hunting down escaped Autobot prisoners. Siren returned at that moment, correcting Nightbeat's analysis by informing him the prisoners weren't escapees, but deliberately let loose as prey to be hunted down. His source? The surviving prisoner, Hosehead, and the lone, well-armed Decepticon named Thunderwing who was right on their tails. Thinking quickly, Nightbeat had his Nebulan partner Muzzle binary-bond with the dead Autobot in order to partially reactivate his motor functions. Caught off-guard by his prey supposedly coming back to life right in front of him, Thunderwing left himself wide open when Muzzle disengaged and Nightbeat blew up the Autobot's fuel core at close enough range to send Thunderwing packing into the waves to dose the flames. Hosehead then returned to the Ark with Nightbeat and Siren.
During the Matrix Quest, Nightbeat led Hosehead and Siren on a search of the planet Pz-Zazz for any sign of the Matrix. Pz-Zazz was on file as a vibrant, lush world; in reality it was a cesspool, festering with mob violence and untamed decadence. While questioning the wrong sort of people, the Autobots were caught in the middle of a crossfire between B'hgdad's men and Gutt's boys. One alien on the street fared worse than they did, passing on a mysterious bird statue to Siren before dying in his arms. Despite Nightbeat's keen interest in the clear film noir plot developing around them, Siren and Hosehead convinced him to put the bird aside and continue searching for the Matrix.
At the next bar they were canvassing, the Autobots were confronted by the delightful Miss Fatale. Fatale informed them of a legendary Font of Life which had once lit a nearby mountaintop. The sick and weak would pilgrimage to the mountain in order to touch a "sacred idol" and heal their wounds. She offered to lead them to the temple on the mountain in exchange for the bird, which she claimed was her property. Suspicious, Nightbeat sent Hosehead and Siren ahead to the mountain with Fatale while he retrieved the bird from where they had stashed it. Confronted by B'hgdad and his men, Nightbeat only managed to escape after chipping off a piece of the bird's outer enamel, revealing the radiant life-source within. Briefly considering keeping the bird as a replacement for the Matrix, to help heal all his comrades aboard the Ark, Nightbeat quickly rejected the idea and returned the bird to its rightful place on the mountain's altar, releasing waves of pure light and hope to revitalize Pz-Zazz and its people.
Then he got shot in the back. No good deed goes unpunished.
Thunderwing and his Mayhem Attack Squad had gotten wind of Autobot parties searching this one area of the galaxy, and his curiosity was piqued. Hooking Nightbeat and the others up to his torturous Mind-Leech device, Thunderwing extracted all he needed to know about the Matrix Quest and the possible planets on the search list. The Autobot trio remained captives on board the Mayhem ship until Thunderwing backhanded his minion Ruckus into some equipment. This caused a short circuit which, unknown to the Decepticons, freed Nightbeat and his team. Learning that Thunderwing had successfully found the Matrix in their absence and was planning to sneak aboard the Ark in a stolen Autobot shuttle, Nightbeat and pals stowed away on the shuttle in the hopes of disrupting the Decepticons' schemes somehow.
The situation was worse than they thought. The Matrix was corrupted from a series of unstable hosts, and now had an evil sentience that had overwhelmed Thunderwing and made him a puppet to its will. With the combined forces of the Ark unable to best the Thunderwing / Matrix combo, Nightbeat devised a desperate plan. As Siren triggered the shuttle's self-destruct sequence, Nightbeat fired the ship's grappling harpoon straight through Thunderwing's chest and shut off the docking clamps, just as Hosehead turned off the artificial gravity in the hangar bay. The result was the shuttle being sucked out into the black void, taking Thunderwing and the Matrix along with it before exploding. Thunderwing was last seen hurtling through space, still harpooned to a piece of flaming debris.
Optimus Prime next gave Nightbeat an investigational assignment to look into the disappearance and supposed death of Ratchet and Megatron in a massive explosion on Cybertron some months back. After review witness statements and making a few leaps of deductive logic, Nightbeat reached the hypothesis that Ratchet may have been cast into a dimensional portal they knew had been active at the time of the explosion, and then been caught between space as the explosion destroyed the delicate portal mechanism. To test his theory, Nightbeat arranged for an inter-dimensional probe to search for and retrieve Ratchet's spark signature in unspace, assuming it was anywhere to be found.
It was. Ratchet reappeared on the Ark fused at a molecular level to Megatron. This wasn't a "pure, strong, and fast" fusion; it was a horrific blending of two mechanoids, both in constant and indescribable agony. Prime managed to subdue the creature, and Autobot medic Fixit took steps to separate the pair, who were then placed in stasis chambers.
Nightbeat continued serving as one of Prime's most steadfast warriors. He was personally teamed with Optimus during the Decepticon Civil War, and was blasted by Circuit Breaker while trying to keep Scorponok, Shockwave and the Neo-Knights from tearing each other apart. He survived the war with Unicron, and remained part of the Autobot army afterwards as well.
Nightbeat worked on a computer console as Optimus Prime and Megatron observed some data on the Swarm. As Jhiaxus's Cybertronian army attacked the base, Nightbeat's console exploded, sending him flying across the room.
He later appeared among the Autobot forces just long enough to sacrifice himself futilely against the Swarm, self-destructing alongside Dirge. Moments later, Megatron showed up with the rheanimum that could have saved him.
While being driven by Muzzle on the surface of an unidentified planet (with Siren and Hosehead at his sides), Nightbeat transformed into robot mode. Shortly thereafter, three Decepticon Headmasters burst through a wall, and Nightbeat engaged Horri-Bull in battle.
Dreamwave comics continuity
One of the few remaining Autobots battling the Decepticons during the Age of Internment, Nightbeat was leader of a strike team consisting of Hosehead, Siren, Slapdash, Joyride, and Getaway. Their mission was to acquire a member of the Aerospace Extermination Squadron for Perceptor to study and, hopefully, find some sort of defense against.
IDW comics continuity
Nightbeat, passing the time by trying to answer the mystery of the first Ark, was lured into an apparent trap on Gorlam Prime. He found a strange dimensional portal deep beneath the world, but got captured by an unknown villain before he could tell anyone. They put something in his head, erased his memory, and then sent him back out into space. Shortly thereafter he was contacted by Optimus Prime and ordered to head for Earth.
Aboard Ark-32, Nightbeat arrived in Earth orbit with Hot Rod and Hardhead in tow just as Optimus Prime and his troops were confronting Megatron head-on in the breakaway Soviet state of Brasnya. While his two rather over-eager companions headed to the surface, Nightbeat remained aboard the ship.
Planetside, Hot Rod succeeded in carrying out his primary mission, the capture of the Decepticons' facsimile avatar. Anxious to re-join the battle, he requested Nightbeat to send him through a double orbital bounce -- transporting him up to the ship just long enough to drop off his captive, then returning to the planet. Nightbeat was rather bemused at the thought of the thrill-seeking Hot Rod abandoning a combat zone, but complied. At that instant, though, Skywarp and Thundercracker arrived and attacked Hot Rod. Nightbeat reported back to Prowl that Hot Rod was in a C.R. chamber, and the facsimile -- injured by flak -- had expired.
Spoilers for Devastation #1 follow.
After Sunstreaker's disappearance, Nightbeat began investigating the sequence of events that led to his capture. Examining the SM-40 Notepad stolen by Verity Carlo, he discovered a homing device that had allowed Sunstreaker's unknown assailants to discover the underwater location of Ark-19. Nightbeat ordered Bumblebee on a scouting mission along the shores of Lake Michigan; Bumblebee discovered a great deal of advanced surveillance equipment. Deducing that Ark-19's location was compromised, Nightbeat advised Optimus and Prowl to move the ship immediately.
- Nightbeat with Muzzle (Headmaster, 1988)
- Nightbeat transforms into a blue and yellow Porsche 959. The roof is hinged and can be opened to reveal an interior that his Headmaster unit, Muzzle, can sit inside of. His head guns can be stored just above the headlights while his rifle can be plugged onto the roof.
- In robot mode, like all Headmaster toys, Nightbeat has a flip-down panel on his chest which covers a spring-loaded mini tech spec meter which gives reads for Speed, Strength and Intelligence. The tumblers are activated when Muzzle (or any other Headmaster unit) is plugged into his neck socket. Muzzle has Nightbeat's face plainly visible on his back because, as a smaller Headmaster toy, he lacks the flip down panel featured on larger Headmasters.
- He shares a mold with the Japanese Headmaster Junior Minerva, but was also available in Japan as a mail-order exclusive.
- In the comics, Nightbeat and Siren's head designs were inexplicably switched, which explains Nightbeat's goggles and Siren's lack of goggles in their appearances.
- Nightbeat has worn the trenchcoat quite a few times.