The massive Blackout has been described as the "hound" of Megatron. In better days he was always to be found looming powerful and silent behind his leader's right shoulder. When given a target he hunts it down with fierce determination. Blackout is not happy with the progress Starscream is making towards finding the missing Decepticon leader. He suspects (quite rightly) that Starscream would prefer Megatron to stay lost. Blackout is openly mutinous and will challenge Starscream's leadership at any opportunity, not for his own sake, but to better serve his ultimate goal of finding his lost master. Blackout has a sneaky side and uses his symbiotic companion Scorponok's small size to great advantage.
- Working names: Soundwave, Grimlock, Devastator, Vortex, Incinerator
- Hungarian name: Kisülés (meaning "Discharge"... or "Backseat" depending on how you interpret the compound)
The Blackout Character Profile in Transformers Comic issue 4 (taken from the Movie Guide) mentions that Blackout prefers to sow confusion and disarray before he attacks rather than engage in direct confrontation & risk being killed. He'll only go into ground battles under cover of loud noise and pyrotechnics (which he himself causes with his devastating sonic shriek emitters).
Unfortunately for him, he keeps getting stuck leading the first wave of attacks. To protect himself, he uses an army of drone troopers (presumably Scorponoks to draw enemy fire. On Cybertron, these drones were called "the swarm" and Blackout deliberately encouraged rumours about them so their arrival would strike fear into the hearts of enemies.
In issue 7, following his death in the film, Starscream will make "decidedly unconventional use" of his remains to create a militia.
Ghosts of Yesterday novel
While Starscream is hoping not to find Megatron, Blackout is working against him in hopes of restoring the former leader. Blackout challenges Starscream, but loses.
Prime Directives prequel comic
The Decepticon infiltration unit under the command of Starscream, including Blackout and Barricade, landed on Mars, hot on the trail of the Autobot Bumblebee. There, they destroyed a primative human rover scout.
The unit arrived on Earth in the year 2003. Blackout scanned a USAF MH-53 Pave Low helicopter, but apparently was not detected by the humans, nor caused any casualties, in contrast to his two comrades. When Starscream tells the Decepticons that their mission is to find the All Spark, Blackout reminds Starscream that they must also find Megatron.
Later, after being lured into a trap intended for Bumblebee set by a group of impressively equipped humans, Blackout attacked the organisation's bunker and attempted to hack into their main server, but failed after they disconnected their local systems. The only lead he got was a name...Sector Seven.
Transformers Movie Prequel (Target)
On Cybertron, Blackout fought alongside Megatron, until his master ordered 'this loyal hound' to assist Starscream's unit in keeping Optimus Prime's forces busy, while Megatron pursued his destiny. Arriving soon after Brawl delivered news of Megatron's location, Blackout and Starscream witnessed the sucessful Autobot launch of the Allspark. Blackout restrained Starscream from going after it, the pair nearly coming to blows when Blackout launched Scorponok from his chest. Fortunately, Starscream calmed down, and after witnessing Megatron leave the planet himself, the group took on protoform transition forms and followed.
Making planetfall on Earth in Afghanistan many years later, attracting the attention of an military vehicle of the local creatures. Witnessing the ease in which Wreckage destroys the carrier, Starscream was pondered that Megatron would have been able to subjugate these beings if he was able to, prompting Blackout to reply that they needed to find out why he hasn't. Starscream's unit then attacked the nearby air base where Blackout scanned and adopted the form of an MH-53J 'Pave Low' helicopter, then easily hacked into the files of the human computers. Inside, he found files on something called 'Project: Iceman', which he suspected was related to Megatron. After the base's destruction, Blackout headed towards Qatar, intent on attacking a similar military base there to access the information they needed.
Note: This story contradicts both issue 4 of IDW's own Prime Directives movie prequel as well as the movie with regards to where the Decepticons arrived on Earth (they landed in the United States in the other comic) and when did they arrive. In this story, Blackout immediately leaves for Qatar after the attack, whereas in the Movie itself, he assumed the form three months before attacking SOCCENT Qatar.
- Voice actor: Brian Stepanek
Transformers (2007) film
Blackout flew into the airspace of US SOCCENT Forward Operations Base in Qatar and refused to identify himself, prompting base commander Colonel Sharp to dispatch two F-22 Raptors to escort the Decepticon into their base. One of the Raptors reported that Blackout had the registry number of 4500X on his vertical stabilizer, the number of the helicopter Blackout had scanned and destroyed three months earlier in Afghanistan.
Once landed, Blackout was surrounded by the soldiers stationed at the base and ordered to power down and disembark his crew, or deadly force would be used. Seeing no reason to hide himself any further, Blackout transformed under a hail of automatic weapons fire from the shocked humans. Activating his heavy machine guns and rocket launchers, Blackout made quick work of the soldiers in closest to him, then unleashed a massive EMP wave that killed the rest of the troops and shattered their vehicles and the windows of the operations control tower. Blackout made his way around the base, tossing tanks aside, crushing soldiers underfoot and blowing up aircraft. Eventually, he reached the operations bunker and tore off the roof to link up with their server and download its files in an attempt to find information on Project: Ice Man. Unfortunately, the base commander intervened, cutting the physical hard line of the server, severing Blackout's connection and thwarting the primary objective of his mission.
Still, Blackout carried out his second objective - the destruction of the human base. As he proceeded, a human soldier was nearly crushed. Instinctively, the soldier recorded images of Blackout, the Decepticon indulging this brief moment of curiosity by looking straight back at the human. Blackout then activated a chest-mounted laser cannon to put the fleshling out of its misery, but before he could do so, he was struck by a sabot round fired by another soldier, and the human made his escape. Enraged, Blackout fired flare countermeasures into the sky to confuse any other attempts to attack him, then ejected Scorponok from his back and sent his minion to track the fleeing soldiers. Blackout then turned his attention and his weapons back to the rest of the base, eventually destroying it, leaving no survivors.
Evidently, after the attack, Blackout flew back to the United States, as he was in the vicinity when Frenzy reported the discovery of All Spark's location and Starscream ordered their forces to mobilizet. Blackout was the last to acknowledge the order, then rallied in Megatron's name, perhaps to remind Starscream who his master was.
Blackout arrived at Mission City just as the final battle was getting underway. Megatron's order of "Decepticons attack" must have been music to his ears, and he followed his master's commands whole heartedly. He attempted to block ladiesman217's path as the boy was trying to get away with the All Spark, before he was attacked by Ironhide. The Autobot threw a car at Blackout, who fired his laser cannon to destroy the vehicle and knocking Ironhide over. He flew ahead of ladiesman217, attempting to use his rotor weapon to kill him, but the human moved to quickly. Blackout withdrew from the battle for a few moments, but returned as Optimus Prime and Megatron fought. Seeing his master under attack, Blackout rallied to the defense of his lord by activating his hand-held rotor weapon, but soldiers—including survivors of the SOCCENT base attack—attempted to stop him by painting him with targeting lasers for friendly F-22 Raptors to fire upon. As Blackout activated his cannon, he noticed the lasers targeted on him. Underestimating the fighting spirit and desire for vengeance of the humans, Blackout tried to finish them off until Captain Lennox, using an abandoned motorcycle, charged at him and fired a sabot under his chest armour as F-22s pounded him with missiles, extinguishing his spark.
His remains were dumped in the (second) deepest part of the ocean along with his fellow dead Decepticons.
- (Note: The possible period of time that Blackout acquired his vehicle mode in the movie appears to contradict the origin of his vehicle mode in both IDW's Prime Directives prequel and the Target exclusive prequel comic. See Trivia section below.)
Transformers The Game (console)
In the Autobot campaign he suffers a humiliating defeat from Jazz, even though Blackout had Starscream's help. That's got be the most humiliating thing for any of the characters in the videogame, losing to somebody a third of his size.
Blackout and Scorponok were sent to the SOCCENT Base to destroy the human military installation there and download information from the military servers on the location of the AllSpark. The pair were successful, though Blackout's escape was briefly interrupted by the arrival of a squad of human jet fighters. After blasting them to tiny bits, he made good his escape.
Blackout arrived at Hoover Dam, where his scans failed to detect the energy signatures of Megatron or the AllSpark. Starscream ordered him to break the dam piece by piece. Blackout fired a pair of missles and fought off a squad of Autobot sports car drones that were defending the installation. As Megatron emerged, he bowed before his lord. He then followed the newly-revived Megatron to Mission City, where he got engaged in a final showdown with Ironhide, who had just punted Scorponok. The Autobot warhorse certainly gave the massive Decepticon a run for his money. The huge number of Autobot drones backing Ironhide up didn't make things any easier.
During Megatron's battle with Optimus Prime, Blackout attempted to assist his master by charging Prime. Prime punched the massive Decepticon, sending him flying. How embarrassing.
- Blackout (Voyager Class, 2007)
- Japanese ID Number: MD-01
- Blackout transforms into a reasonably accurate Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low heavy-lift helicopter, though his blue color scheme is quite inaccurate compared to the actual helicopter used in the movie and similar ones in USAF service. An aft "cage" compartment can be opened to release a small PVC figurine of his partner, Scorponok. A button on the very end of his tail can be pressed in a geared action to rotate his rotor blades, but this feature really comes into play when the user attaches the Deluxe-class Scorponok figure to the bottom of Blackout's helicopter mode via two pegs. A geared shaft linked to the rotor mechanism connects to a geared peg on Scorponok's back. Thus, pressing the button on Blackout's tail not only rotates his blades, but also rotates Scorponok's pincers, though this gimmick is actually easier to activate by rotating the geared wheel on Scorponok's undercarriage.
- During transformation, Blackout's (mind-numbingly delicate) Automorphing gimmick is activated when the user swings down his legs, which in turn flips the gray chest section his head is mounted upon up and into position. A better way to activate this feature is to push the tail down, which automorphs the legs and head without breaking the figure. Another, less impressive automorph is in his legs - If you pull his knees down, his shin armor pops out a bit.
- In robot mode, Blackout is not quite as accurate to his final CGI design as some of the other Movie toys are. Instead, it appears that his design is closer to that of his original concept art, back when he was called "Incinerator". Still, as is expected with the mainline movie toys, he features excellent articulation, with multi-ratcheting joints in his shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. The entire rotor assembly on his back can be removed and converted into a gigantic fan weapon, to vaguely represent the hand-held rotor-blade weapon he wields in the film, also seen on the Titanium figurine (see below). Because of the size of his rotor assembly, Blackout is also much smaller than most Voyager-class figures, barely larger than a Deluxe figure (particularly Barricade, only about a head taller).
- There are a couple significant flaws in Blackout's design: Firstly, the pegs that hold the fuselage (his robot legs) to the rotor/tail assembly do not provide enough friction to withstand the weight of the fuselage itself, causing it to detach from the body of the helicopter and droop down. Secondly, the gears in the cockpit's (his chest's) Automorphing gimmick can misalign themselves during transformation back in to vehicle mode, enough so that the chest/head section refuses to align with the cockpit halves.
- An interesting side note is that the two hard points located on Blackout's shoulders, intended to support his abominably large weapon, are actually the same size as the Mini-Con hardpoints on most post-Armada figures. This basically means he is the only Decepticon from the movie continuity who can Powerlinx. Though, considering how far-removed both continuities are, this is most likely something of an accident, as there is a lack of Powerlinx port details at the base of these hardpoints.
- This mold was retooled and redecoed into Evac for the AllSpark Power refresh of the Movie toyline.
- Decepticon Desert Attack (multi-pack, 2007)
- This package, based on their first appearance in the film, features an unchanged Voyager Blackout packaged with an unchanged Deluxe Scorponok, which was exclusively available at Toys "R" Us stores. Since Voyager Blackout was gang-molded with the miniature Scorponok figure the single release came with, this means that the set contains two Scorponok toys in different sizes.
- Gyro Blade Blackout (Fast Action Battler, 2007)
- Blackout (Legends Class, 2007)
- A much smaller and highly simplified version of the character, Legends Blackout features limited articulation and detail, with the helicopter mode not being a particularly faithful recreation of an MH-53 Pave Low (the placement of the fuel tanks, in particular). Even though the robot mode sports an attempt to emulate the movie character's chest design, this does not involve the use of obvious fake elements of the helicopter mode's cockpit, unlike other Legends Class toys of movie characters.
- Blackout Ver. 4500X (Voyager Class, 2007)
- This Voyager class Blackout repaint is exclusive to the Lawson Japan convenience store chain, with the purchase of the movie DVD. He is redecoed in a more realistic colour scheme for vehicle mode, 4500X markings and a drastically changed plastic colour scheme in robot mode (many parts once black are now silver or the same colour as his helicopter hull). Additionally, the mini-Scorponok figurine has been repainted in metallic colours and detailed to resemble the deluxe-class toy (and the movie CG design, of course).
- Also included a set of two brass Autobot and Decepticon insignia pins.
- Blackout (3" Robot Masters, 2007)
- This three-inch figurine, as with all Titaniums, is partially made of die-cast metal and plastic, sculpted holding his rotor-blades as a hand weapon. Interestingly, Blackout has a more unique sculpt to him; the weapon is sculpted as it was briefly seen in the movie, but on the wrong hand. Blackout himself has an altered leg & foot design as well as having the main rotor-blades on his back excluded, matching it up more with the fact that instead of using his tail rotor, he uses his main rotor as a multi-purpose melee weapon, echoing the game render. His articulation is limited to his shoulders, head and waist, and he comes packaged with a movie-style Decepticon symbol display base.
- Optimus Prime vs. Blackout (2007)
- Blackout was originally conceived as Soundwave, hence his symbiotic relationship with Scorponok, who was originally conceived as Ravage. Though this obviously changed, his portrayal in the Ghosts of Yesterday novel is rather Soundwave-esque. Likewise, in the IDW prequel comic, Blackout is the only Decepticon to land on Earth and acquire his alternate mode without any witnesses, whereas Starscream and Barricade had to kill existing witnesses. In the film itself, Blackout's only speaking role has him quickly reporting to Starscream's call... in Cybertronian, with he alone both hailing Megatron upon the All Spark's discovery and attempting to aid him in battle against Prime. What's more, all this "Soundwave-ness" is further enhanced by Hasbro's official bio, calling Blackout "his leader's hound".
- Apart from being a helicopter just like Vortex, which was also his original working name, Blackout's later working name, "Incinerator", is also accounted for in the same Hasbro bio, noting how Blackout will "fill the air with fire and burn the land clear to take his revenge".
- The period of time that Blackout acquired his vehicle mode in the film, three months prior to the unfolding events, appears to contradict the origin of his vehicle mode in IDW's Prime Directives prequel comics, with him apparently having scanned and destroyed the MH-53 Pave Low all the way back in 2003. It's maaaaybe possible that he just kept on destroying different Pave Lows over time to maintain his covert status (with the U.S. government covering it up) until he finally realized how close he was to a military network access point.
- Technically, Scorponok's scorpion mode is his robot mode, whereas his "alternate mode" is actually a part of Blackout's engine, as suggested by the Deluxe toy's various markings (which were also used for the CGI model and the life-sized props of Scorponok's head and tail). Oddly enough, though, those same markings can also be found on props used for the scene which features the US Navy dumping the Decepticons' remains into the ocean. So either Scorponok reattached himself to Blackout after he escaped the US Air Force's counter-attack in Qatar (and was therefore part of Blackout during the final battle), or Blackout somehow magically regrew the parts that were previously made up by Scorponok.
- During a transmission from Burger King's website, Optimus Prime has decreed that we are not to ride this helicopter. The current rideability of other helicopters the world over is unknown. Stand by for further updates as they become available.