Ratchet is the Autobots' Chief Medical Officer. If something's broke, he can fix it. Ratchet is known for his irreverent bedside manner; he loves having a good time, and his party-loving nature has given him a dry wit. He is not a particularly mighty warrior, which sometimes leads him to believe that he is expendable. Optimus Prime has trouble convincing Ratchet that this is far from the truth.
Although he's a healer, Ratchet often finds himself on the front lines of combat and, on occasion, the last hope the Autobots have. These pressures are sometimes too much for him to handle, but Ratchet ultimately never gives up.
- Nicknames: Cool Hand Lube, Greasefinger
- Portuguese name (Portugal comics): Alavanca
- Italian name: Doc
- French name (Canada): Mécano
- Hungarian name: Racsni
- Portuguese name (Brazil comics): Trinco
- Czech name: Zdravotník
Marvel Comics continuity
Shortly after the Transformers arrived on Earth, Sparkplug Witwicky suffered a heart attack, so Ratchet drove Sparkplug and his son Buster to the hospital. It was during this leave that Shockwave freed himself from his four-million-year sleep and completely wiped out the fuel-deprived Autobot forces with one blast.
Ratchet soon discovered, to his horror, that he was the last Autobot still functional on Earth, up against the entire Decepticon army. Covertly invading the Ark, he learned that even the mighty Optimus Prime had fallen. However, Prime's head, though detached, still functioned, and the Autobot Commander told Ratchet that he must rise up to meet this challenge. Ratchet did not believe he could; he was a doctor, not a warrior (dammit, Jim).
Still, Ratchet tried. Shockwave had returned in full strength and deposed the mighty Megatron. In his weakened state, Megatron could not hope to defeat Shockwave and reclaim his leadership, but Ratchet approached him with a possible solution. Ratchet knew how Shockwave had fallen 4 million years ago, and struck a deal: If Ratchet could defeat Shockwave, Megatron would relinquish Decepticon control of the Ark and its wrecked Autobot inhabitants.
Ratchet journeyed to the Savage Land, where the Dinobots had fought Shockwave to a stalemate, leaving all dormant in a tar pit prison. He dug up the Dinobots and repaired them. Soon after, he met with Megatron on a snowy ski slope and announced that he had fulfilled his half of the bargain; Shockwave was defeated. Megatron, of course, went back on his part of the deal and threatened to kill Ratchet. Ratchet declared that he knew all along Megatron would not hold up his end of the bargain and admitted that he had not, in fact, defeated Shockwave. The Dinobots sprung up out of the snow surrounding Megatron and fought him, but did not succeed. Megatron now stood alone, triumphant, mocking Ratchet and his lack of a warrior's edge. With nothing to lose, Ratchet charged Megatron, but he was ineffectual. However, the charge had loosened the ground on which Megatron stood, and the Decepticon leader fell off the cliff side and disappeared.
On their return trip to the Ark, Ratchet helped educate the Dinobots about human/Autobot relations by telling them the story of a recent battle with the Decepticons at a hydroelectric dam. Guardian, an Autobot combat drone which had been reprogrammed by Shockwave. Ratchet rescued the Dinobots from the powerful drone by remembering and exploiting one of its few weaknesses, an access port which could admit a fine laser. Ratchet then began the task of repairing the Autobots, placing priority on those whose command skills would be useful. This put him at odds with Dinobot leader Grimlock, who felt that the fallen Dinobot Swoop should be repaired first.When they arrived, Ratchet and the Dinobots found the Ark defended by
When Prowl devised a plan to use the Matrix to create an army of monstrous Autobot warriors, debate over the plan's ethics threatened to divide the Autobots. Ratchet remained neutral and asked Optimus Prime to step in and provide guidance.
Ratchet and Wheeljack collaborated on a Transformer-sized robotic suit, to be used by Buster Witwicky in battle. Optimus Prime was unamused.
After the destruction of Optimus Prime, Ratchet was not able to repair him. Unable to deal with his failure, Ratchet wandered off on his own during Optimus's funeral. Ratchet decided that rather than moping, he should concern himself with the other damaged Autobots under his care, so he headed towards a junkyard to look for spare parts he could use. However, he was abducted in vehicle mode by the Mechanic and his accomplice Juan when the two thieves were found by the police. Ratchet revealed himself when they arrived at the Mechanic's hideout, but the Mechanic froze Ratchet with his own surgical weapons and headed for the Ark, intent on finding technology that would ensure he would never be threatened by the police again. When he had unfrozen, Ratchet followed the human back to the Ark, but was defeated by his own surgical tools. But using pieces he took from the junkyard, he repaired Prowl, and the appearance of the police car frightened the Mechanic away. The Mechanic escaped with Ratchet's tools and the Power Booster Rod.
When an Underbase-powered Starscream decimated the Earthbound Autobot forces, Ratchet was left with the monumental task of repairing them. During a period of work-induced stress, he began to hallucinate visions of his patients attacking him and accusing him of being worthless. It was during this time that the Decepticon Sports Car Patrol, posing as Autobots, offered to help transport Ratchet to Cybertron, where he could have access to new medical technology that had been created during his 4-million-year absence on Earth. He and three of the Sports Car Patrol took the bodies of Grimlock, Jazz, and Goldbug with him, though Ratchet was curious why Blackjack stayed behind on the Ark. Ratchet's concerns were answered when, upon arrival on Cybertron, he saw standing before him the believed-to-be-deceased Megatron, who had orchestrated the entire scheme.
Megatron brought Ratchet the remains of Starscream, demanding Ratchet repair the Air Commander while Blackjack held the Ark and its medical bay inhabitants hostage. Ratchet agreed, and he used Pretender technology to repair Starscream while secretly repairing Grimlock, Jazz, and Goldbug as well. After Pretender Starscream was sent to Earth, Megatron sought out Ratchet to kill him, but Ratchet had his own Pretenders ready. Ratchet sprung Grimlock, Jazz, and Bumblebee (Ratchet preferred Bumblebee's original form) on Megatron, but Megatron and his Micromasters were too powerful for them. The Pretenders and Micromasters' battle wandered outside the Decepticon base, and Ratchet was left alone. Sacrificing his life, Ratchet warped the bombs Blackjack had put on the Ark into the Decepticon base in an attempt to kill both himself and Megatron. Megatron tried to escape through the warp portal, but Ratchet tackled him, and the base exploded.
Optimus Prime was devastated by the loss of Ratchet. Nightbeat to investigate Ratchet's death, and Nightbeat hypothesized that Ratchet could possibly still be alive. There was an initial blast which could have knocked Ratchet into the portal and into unspace, a netherworld between the warp portal's starting and ending points. A probe was sent to retrieve him, and it succeeded—but it also brought back Megatron, who was fused with Ratchet as a single, monstrous being. The Ratchet/Megatron creature rampaged through the Ark, wounding several Autobots, but Optimus Prime would not let them harm it. This put Optimus Prime in an awkward position: Was the life of Ratchet worth the possible loss of his other troops? The creature fought his way into the engine rooms and began tearing stuff apart, and Prime's choice was made for him: The creature must be stopped. Prime fought Ratchet/Megatron to a standstill, and, alarmingly, the part that was Ratchet took control and pulled Prime's gun to his own forehead, pleading for the Autobot Commander to put him out of his misery. In an unpopular decision, Optimus Prime ordered Fixit to separate Megatron and Ratchet, even if it meant saving Megatron. Bonded at a molecular level, neither could survive without the other, even when separated.He assigned the detective
Separated by Fixit, they remained in stasis on the Ark until Grimlock and his Nucleon-revived Dinobots found the Ark abandoned during the Transformers' battle with Unicron. They filled the entire medical bay chambers with Nucleon, not aware that Megatron lay there in storage. Shockwave and Starscream stole the Ark after Unicron was defeated, in an attempt to return to Earth and conquer it. However, just as Megatron awoke, Starscream and Shockwave were interrupted by Galvatron II, who had snuck on board before launch. While Galvatron and Megatron teamed up on Shockwave, Starscream went to check on any other possible survivors in the medical bay. He found Ratchet, whose mind was still connected to Megatron's, and Starscream fought the confused Autobot easily. However, when Starscream mused that Ratchet was no fun to kill, Ratchet became enraged and defeated him in a berserker state. Determined to end what he had started, Ratchet blew up the Ark as it was approaching Earth's orbit, sending all four Decepticons and himself to a supposed death.
Marvel UK future timelines
The Transformers cartoon
Ratchet served as chief medical officer of the Ark on its mission to seek out new energy sources to fuel the Autobot struggle against the Decepticons. When the Ark was boarded by the crew of the Nemesis, Ratchet attempted to defend his ship by attacking Soundwave, but was thrown into a computer console for his trouble. Ratchet and the other Transformers were forced into emergency stasis lock when the out-of-control Ark crashed into a volcano on a primitive planet. Four million years later, the volcano erupted, activating Teletraan I to rebuild the Autobots and Decepticons. Ratchet was rebuilt into a human-scaled ambulance. After Hound and Cliffjumper's failed scouting mission ended in a counterattack by Laserbeak, Ratchet arrived with Hauler to pull the damaged Hound out of a ravine. Once he finished repairing Hound, Ratchet was part of the battlegroup sent to stop the Decepticons stealing the oil from an off-shore oil rig. However, he did not fare well in this battle.
After the Autobots saved their new human friends, Spike and Sparkplug Witwicky, from the oil rig fire, Ratchet repaired Huffer's damaged arm in the repair bay outside the Ark. When Optimus Prime was caught in the explosion of the Ruby Crystal Mines of Burma, Ratchet helped the Autobot leader recover, but evidently his skills as a medic were not required, as Prime was totally fine after transforming back into robot mode. Soon afterwards, Ironhide was shot by Skywarp, so Ratchet carried the old-timer back to base for repairs.
During an ill-fated Autobot attempt to defend the local solar power plant, Starscream managed to shoot the guns out of Ratchet and Prowl's hands. Smarting from the concussion blast, Ratchet called for the Autobots to fall back. However, Ironhide once again managed to get himself damaged while saving Optimus Prime. Ironhide objected to Ratchet and Sparkplug's diagnosis of his damage, but Ratchet warned him against backtalk or the medic would short out Ironhide's mouth circuit. To prevent further argument, he shut down Ironhide, cutting off the warrior in mid-sentence. After the Autobots were led into a trap by a reprogrammed Bumblebee, Ratchet discovered the tampering done by the Decepticons and restored the little Autobot.
In addition to patching up his fellow warriors whenever someone (usually Megatron) had roughed them up a little, Ratchet was also in charge of helping whenever Wheeljack had another invention in the making. Working together, the two Autobots designed and built the Dinobots more or less from scratch—and did a pretty good job, considering they were working with substandard materials. Ratchet was also responsible for saving Optimus Prime's life, performing a daring surgery on the Autobot leader while subjected to attacks by Laserbeak. When Skyfire refused to assassinate the Autobots and was gunned down by Starscream, it was Ratchet who reconstructed the giant Decepticon scientist and gave him the chance to reform.
In 1985, after Spike was injured during a battle with the Decepticons, Ratchet carried their injured human friend to the metro hospital. While Spike's mind was transferred into the Autobot X experimental body Sparkplug had made earlier, Ratchet repaired the battle-damaged Bumblebee, but was forced to cut short his repairs after Spike went on a rampage in his new body. After Spike's mind was returned to his real body, Ratchet theorised that he could probably fix the problems in the mind-transfer process, but thought it was better left alone. When Megatron captured Gears and unwittingly threatened the destruction of the Earth with his Solar Needle, Ratchet totally fly-kicked Thundercracker. After the Decepticons retreated, Ratchet and Wheeljack argued over which wire they had to disconnect to stabilize the Sun. However, nobody seemed to notice that he and Gears sounded exactly the same.
In the year 2005, while piloting a secret mission to Autobot City in order to gather a stockpile of energon from Earth, Ratchet and his allies were attacked by Megatron. Ratchet and Ironhide returned fire, but they were both shot repeatedly and left for dead on the floor of the shuttle as the Decepticons continued with their attack on Autobot City.
Ratchet's body was evidently recovered for interment, as his grave was housed in the interstellar Autobot Mausoleum. Sadly, it was not Ratchet's fate to rest in peace; along with the mausoleum itself, Ratchet's remains were later plunged into a sun as a side-effect of a Quintesson plot.
Dreamwave comics continuity
8.2 million years ago, Ratchet accompanied Optimus Prime, Prowl, and Red Alert to the Sub-Orbital District of Iacon, which had been devastated after Megatron activated the planetary engines. He found no life signs in the entire blast radius.
600,000 years later, Ratchet remained with the Prowl-led Autobots after Optimus Prime disappeared in a space bridge explosion. He repaired Skids after the theoretician was damaged in a battle with Trypticon.
Ratchet was among the crew of the Ark when it crashed on Earth, and awoke in 1984 to battle the Decepticons. After years of fighting, Ratchet and the other Autobots took part in Operation Liberation in 1998, a joint human/Autobot operation that defeated and captured the Earth-bound Decepticons. However, the Ark II, which was meant to convey the Autobots, the captured Decepticons, and a number of humans back to Cybertron, was sabotaged by General Robert Hallo, sending Ratchet and his comrades to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Years later, Ratchet was brought back by the sinister Lazarus, who had recovered and reprogrammed a number of Transformers for his nefarious ends. However, when Megatron broke free of Lazarus's control, he hooked up Ratchet and a number of other Autobots to a device that generated a deadly "metal virus". Soon after, Optimus Prime detached Ratchet and the others from the doomsday device.
Repaired by his comrades, Ratchet took part in a battle in the Canadian Arctic with the Decepticons over possession of a crashed spacecraft containing Scourge. As the Autobots overwhelmed their foes, Shockwave arrived on the planet and gave them an ultimatum: Surrender and return to a newly unified Cybertron, or be destroyed. The Autobots returned to the Ark, where Optimus Prime assigned Ratchet to a Jazz-led team that was to remain on Earth. After Shockwave's lieutenant, Ultra Magnus, took Prime and others back to Cybertron, Ratchet and Wheeljack remained at the Ark as Jazz, Brawn, and Windcharger attempted to locate Scourge and his ship.
When Starscream and a team of Decepticons arrived on Earth, they attacked the Ark's inhabitants, wanting the starship for themselves. In the initial assault, the Autobots managed to take Soundwave, his cassettes, Thundercracker, and Skywarp prisoner, but eventually all the Autobots but Ratchet and Brawn were defeated by the mighty Bruticus. Expecting a supply ship from Cybertron later that day, Ratchet and Brawn slipped past the Ark's berserk defense systems in order to contact the ship and warn them. Unfortunately, Bruticus arrived soon after, and they were forced to destroy the Ark rather than let the Decepticons have access to Teletraan I. Before the battle could escalate further, it was interrupted by the arrival of Sunstorm, a Seeker seemingly powered by supernatural forces. An uneasy truce was formed between the small group of Autobots and Decepticons, and Ratchet begrudgingly put his medic skills to work on Starscream.
Ratchet later aided in the construction of Autobot City.
G.I.Joe vs Transformers
In an alternate timeline, a newly formed human terrorist organization named Cobra uncovered the Ark buried in a dormant volcano. Finding two armies of giant, transformable robots, they repurposed these aliens for their own use, rebuilding them so they could reconfigure into various Cobra-designed vehicles. Ratchet was reprogrammed and rebuilt into a Cobra HISS tank. Optimus Prime was able to break free from his reprogramming and awaken the other Transformers, and, with the help of the human anti-terrorist task-force G.I.Joe, he defeated Megatron and Cobra. An alliance between the Autobots and the United States government was formed.
A malfunction in Teletran 3 sent dozens of Transformers into various points in history, an act which, if not reversed, would result in a perpetual holocaust being unleashed across Earth. To retrieve one Transformer and bring him home, a team of Cobra and G.I. Joe agents were sent 15 years into an apocalyptic future where Shockwave and his Decepticons ruled. The remaining cyborged humans had formed a resistance which had only one Autobot warrior who stood between them and utter annihilation. The last Autobot alive, Ratchet had grown bitter and battle-hardened after years of guerrilla warfare, and he demanded the team sent to bring him back to the present day help him complete one more mission. Ratchet, the Joes, and the Cobra agents were successful in freeing a factory nearby that was manned by enslaved humans, but Ratchet refused to go home with them and abandon his calling. Barbecue returned Ratchet home against his wishes, and as Ratchet cursed the stupid little creature, the Shockwave of the present day shot Ratchet in the back, putting him out of commission.
IDW comics continuity
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Before the war with the Decepticons Ratchet served with the Security Forces stationed in Kaon. He was present at the funeral of Bumper and Fastback.
Ratchet was part of a detachment of Autobots that had operated covertly on Earth for at least four years, attempting to foil a Decepticon insurgency. Although a loyal warrior, Ratchet's conscience got the better of him when he intercepted a Decepticon pulsewave ordering the elimination of a human being. While he was too late to save that human, he encountered two more—Verity Carlo and Hunter O'Nion—who had stumbled upon the Decepticon plot. Ratchet broke cover to save their lives, subjecting himself to the wrath of Prowl, who threatened disciplinary action.
Ratchet was seemingly alone in his convictions, until Bumblebee agreed to help him and the humans investigate an abandoned Decepticon bunker in Nebraska. Blitzwing and Skywarp arrived while the humans were reconnoitering and began an aerial bombardment of the bunker, intending to destroy it. Bumblebee and Ratchet engaged the Decepticons in order to buy the humans time to escape the collapsing bunker.
The Autobots and humans were leaving the Decepticons to finish their work when an enraged Megatron burst from the buried ruins of the bunker. Thankfully for them, Megatron was more concerned with the treachery of Blitzwing and Skywarp, allowing Ratchet and the others to escape with their lives. Unwilling to risk their safety further, Ratchet subsequently returned the humans to Ark-17, where they met the newly arrived Optimus Prime.
Later, Ratchet and Ironhide, against orders, accompanied Verity Carlo and Jimmy Pink to find the now-missing Sunstreaker and Hunter O'Nion while Prime and the other Autobots went to Brasnya. When the humans set off a trap, the Autobots saved them, though Ironhide was critically injured and Ratchet was forced to abandon him to bring the humans to safety.
When the Autobots decided to relocate the Ark-17, they were attacked by Sixshot, who downed the ship in mid-flight. Ratchet was ordered to take Verity and Jimmy into an escape pod while the rest of the crew piloted the ship into the ocean. Sixshot soon found Ratchet and pursued him relentlessly, forcing Ratchet to abandon Verity and Jimmy for their own safety. When cornered at the water's edge, Ratchet made an apparent last stand, but was saved by the timely arrival of the other Autobots. The humans made their way back to the Autobots to warn them about an air attack by the military, and Ratchet took them with him on an orbital bounce to the Ark-32. Unfortunately, this killed Verity and Jimmy.
Guilt-stricken, Ratchet managed to restart their hearts after more than 5 minutes, but they may have suffered brain damage.
Hearts of Steel
With Optimus Prime in stasis lock, Ratchet and Prowl appeared to be the co-leaders of the Autobots in the 19th century. Despite Bumblebee's pleading, he was reluctant to interfere with the humans, but nevertheless participated in the pursuit of the Astrotrain as it headed to New York.
His "Ice Age Wars" altmode is uncertain, but it clearly has scales and spikes. His 19th-century altmode is a medical boxcar. He may be the very first Transformer depicted with a boxcar altmode, as prior to this, all train-based Transformers were locomotives.
Descent into Evil
Years after the Decepticon and Autobot Wars had ended, Ratchet and five other Autobots were sent to Ceti Alpha Seven to destroy General Deathsaurus's Insecticon clone lab and stop his planned Decepticon uprising. After a team of four (consisting of Fallback, Chromia, Flareup, and Ricochet) failed, Ratchet and Ironhide followed to help. After battling swarms of Virulent Clones and Buzzclaw, they finally met up with Deathsaurus himself. Ironhide stayed to fight the general, and Ratchet separated to find their fallen friends.
Ratchet managed to gather the victims but was captured by Deathsaurus along with Ironhide. Both were restrained inside the lab, which was set to detonate. Before this happened, Ricochet snuck in and freed them, allowing them to gather the wounded and escape as the clone lab was destroyed.
- Ratchet (1984/1986/1990/2001/2007)
- Japanese ID number: 99
- Accessories: Rifle, rifle connector, 3 missiles
- Ratchet was originally a Onebox Ambulance Type toy from Takara's Diaclone line before Hasbro brought Transformers to North America. The toy transforms from an ambulance to a robot and gun-station. A variant of the toy includes red crosses on the top and sides of the vehicle. Ratchet and his retool/redeco buddy Ironhide, like all Diaclones, were designed to be piloted mecha, which is why he has a seat instead of a head. The Transformers version applied a face sticker to the back of the seat in lieu of a real sculpted noggin.
- In 1986, he was made available as a mail-away item (as he was no longer shipping to retail shelves) in multiple offers, including the Digital Doom on the Highway to Destruction flier packed with most boxed Transformers toys. He cost $8 and two robot points. It is worth noting that in Japan, Ratchet was originally only available as a S.T.A.R.S. mail-away, costing 1700 yen and 4 robot points.
- In mid-December 2007, he was reissued again as part of Takara's Transformers Encore line. This particular version came with an illustration on one box flap depicting Ratchet's cartoon-design head and chest windshield. By punching out the image along the perforated edges, folding it just so and tucking it in behind the toy's windshield, one could obscure the circuit-board "face" on the driver's seat and give the toy a "real" head, just like in the TV series. Sort of. It should be noted that this version of the toy was retooled to add a pair of "clips" to the mobile platform's gun-base, designed to keep Ratchet more securely attached when riding it. However, these clips are right where a pair of decals normally go.
- Ratchet Emergency Green (2008)
- Accessories: Rifle, rifle connector, 3 missiles
- A redeco of the original toy (well, the retooled Encore version) which homages the live-action movie Ratchet, Ratchet Emergency Green is a Japanese mail-away exclusive available with a purchase of the book Transformers Visualworks. After the book release on December 4, 2007, purchasers could mail in a ticket from the book and purchase either one (5200yen) or two (10,000 yen) of the item. Ratchet shipped to customers in April 2008.
- He's totally awesome.
- Autobot Ratchet & Flareup (2005)
- Accessories: Lightbar/blaster
- One of two "souvenir" packages exclusive to BotCon 2005, Ratchet is a retooling of the Energon Autobot Tow-Line with a new head, transforming into a large utility van. In robot mode, his lower vehicle portion becomes a mobile battle/repair platform. Ratchet can fold his legs back and up over his shoulders (wow!) and re-attach to this platform for a "battle mode". In this, ahem, position, Ratchet can also form the top half of a two-robot "Powerlinx combiner" with any Energon Deluxe Autobot, and any of them can also use his platform for their own combination.
- The mold's standard "receiver dish" weapon was not produced; instead, he came with a new "light bar" that pegged onto his roof in much the same manner.
- He could only be purchased in an at-show "souvenir" two-pack along with Flareup.
- Ratchet (Deluxe, 2008)
- Japanese ID number: C-12
- A redeco and retooling of the 2008 Universe Ironhide toy, Henkei! Henkei! Ratchet transforms into an "emergency" SUV.
- Ratchet (Deluxe, 2008)
- Ratchet is a redeco and retooling of the Universe Ironhide toy just like Henkei! Ratchet but with a different paint application and a blue American-style emergency lightbar.
- His licence plate reads H3L PU2, a reference to the cover of The Price of Life!
Super Collection Figure
- A non-transformable PVC figurine of Ratchet was made for "Act 6" of Takara's Super Collection Figure line, a slight retooling of the Ironhide PVC with a new head and "gun"-hand (even though Ironhide's pelvis in animation was not the same as Ratchet's). He was placed in blind-packed boxes, and both full-color and all-pewter-finish versions were made in equal numbers.
Heroes of Cybertron
- For the Hasbro Heroes of Cybertron version of SCF, Ratchet was cast entirely in clear-blue plastics, then painted over completely, so a patch of unpainted plastic at the back of his head would emulate the light piping effect of previous toys. He was part of the fifth and final wave of Heroes of Cybertron and came with the right leg to the "build-a-bot" large PVC of Metroplex.
- Bob Budiansky has said that he named Ratchet after the less-friendly medic Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
- In later years, toys sporting the name "Ratchet" require an additional "Autobot" prefix for trademark reasons, hence making the official name "Autobot Ratchet".
- In the Energon cartoon, several possible retools of Ratchet were seen in a crowd shot.
- Simon Furman seems to hate Ratchet.
- ↑ Nicknames found in early Universe-style profiles published in The Transformers Comics Magazine.
- ↑ Except all the Decepticons eventually turn up alive, bar Shockwave.
- ↑ The War Within issue 2
- ↑ The War Within: The Dark Ages issue 5