Silverbolt's character is defined by his extreme fear of heights and by his refusal to bow to it. He constantly struggles to project the image of a brave, determined soldier to hide his fear from others. Optimus Prime named him leader of the Aerialbots in the hopes that worrying about them would give him something else to focus on besides his own phobia. This has proven true and, not surprisingly, the mature, responsible Silverbolt makes an excellent commander.
He can combine with his fellow Aerialbots to form Superion.
- French name (Canada): Éclairo
- Italian name: Radiant
- Chinese name (Taiwan): Yín Shǎn-dìan (銀閃電, "Silver Bolt" or "Silver Lightening")
- Chinese name (China): Yin Jian (銀劍, "Silver Sword")
- Hungarian name: Ezüstnyíl ("Silver Arrow")
Silverbolt's body was constructed out of a low-flying cargo transport vessel, which was modified to resemble an Earthen Concorde. He was later given life by Vector Sigma, along with the other Aerialbots, then returned to Earth with the Autobots via Omega Supreme. It was soon discovered that Silverbolt had a crippling weakness: an intense fear of heights, due to his low-altitude origins. Conversely, he also proved to be the only newborn Aerialbot without a superiority complex. Because of this, Optimus made him commander of the Aerialbots, reasoning that it would give him something to worry about other than his acrophobia. He proved worthy of this role when he persuaded his mutinous teammates to help the Autobots protect humanity, by showing them how Sparkplug was able to disregard his fatigue at will due to his concern for Omega Supreme's well-being, something robots cannot do.
As the combined forces of the Autobots and Aerialbots sent the Decepticons into retreat, Silverbolt bravely went after Megatron and destroyed the Key to Vector Sigma, despite his great fear of heights. As he fell, he was saved at the last moment by Slingshot, who was impressed by his courage.
As a leader, Silverbolt was something of a killjoy to his fellow Aerialbots, encouraging moderation and self-control over daredevil flying and adventuring. One day, though, he congratulated Air Raid on strategically getting himself set on fire by Trypticon, and then personally flew down the monster's throat, throwing out laser bolts and imaginative taunts all the way down his gullet. Someone slipped a little too much caffeine into Silverbolt's oil that day.
Silverbolt participated in the early stages of the battle for the Plasma Energy Chamber along with the other Aerialbots. They were all quickly taken down by Sixshot. Silverbolt, in particular, being reserved for last. Silverbolt somehow survived Sixshot's direct hit, and was finally defeated two episodes later by Blast Off. The Combaticons then took his power pack to use as fuel for the giant rocket engine they were constructing for Galvatron.
Marvel Comics continuity
The Aerialbots were created when Bumblebee filmed Devastator's combining sequence, following a Matrix-sent vision by Buster Witwicky of new Special Teams. Using the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, Optimus Prime gave the Aerialbots life. The leader, Silverbolt's alternate mode is that of a human transport airplane. After being given life and during testing, Prime ordered them to stop the Decepticon assault on the Hoover Dam.
The fight went well, but Dirge used his super-sonic ability to bring out a Transformer's deepest fear, it warped Silverbolt's fear of heights (ironic for an Aerialbot) and forced him to land. The Aerialbots prevailed the fight, however, and as the Decepticons fled, Silverbolt combined them all to form Superion, trying to stop the drill from absorbing all of the Hoover Dam's electricity.
Superion's reflex was to strike out and kill the human who held Megatron in his gun form, but Silverbolt mentally stepped in and prevented him from doing so. He forced the Aerialbots to disassemble. The human fired Megatron's gun at the drill, winning the day for the Autobots.
Nonetheless, Silverbolt's mind was wiped along with his fellow Aerialbots shortly afterwards, due to Optimus Prime's dissatisfaction with the mission. Silverbolt would appear in other later battles with his teammates, usually getting blown out of the sky, if not to pieces.
Later, when Skids was transporting the human Donny Finkleberg home, Silverbolt and the Aerialbots were sent to do battle with the Stunticons. Both combiners fused, creating Menasor and Superion. Josie Beller, known as Circuit Breaker, fired upon Superion, however, crippling him heavily and leaving Menasor the victor.
They would battle Menasor again at a Blackrock plant, and this time the fusion worked so well everyone found out the others' weaknesses and neuroses. Horrified at his fear of heights being found out, Silverbolt drove Superion into a vicious, brutal fury. Jetfire's command to investigate enemy activity in Charlston. They would combine into Superion for the fourth and final time - their collective neuroses and loathing of each other's weaknesses made it impossible for Superion to focus on more than one thing at a time. Superion would never be seen after this. Silverbolt would later work to get over his fear.Following this, Silverbolt and the other Aerialbots would come under
With Optimus dead, Silverbolt was one of the high-ranking Autobots gathered by Perceptor to decide their new leader. Silverbolt voted for Grimlock - nice one... He later got killed by the Underbase-powered Starscream.
During the Unicron War, Grimlock revived Silverbolt along with other fallen Autobots to help in the battle against the Dark God, and when the Decepticons tried to strand the Autobots on a ruined Cybertron, Silverbolt was one of the pilots for Grimlock's reserve ships.
Kept in inactive rest after his destruction at the hands of Starscream, Silverbolt was revived by Galvatron when the future Decepticon infiltrated the Ark and attempted to reprogram several Autobots into working for him, using their darker impulses as a focus. Galvatron succeeded in reactivating Silverbolt and several others, but failed to command their loyalty, and they turned his own dream bug technology against him. When Optimus Prime took the Ark out into space shortly thereafter, leaving Grimlock in charge of Autobot activity on Earth, Silverbolt joined the new Earthforce in opposing the remaining Decepticon factions, led by Megatron and Shockwave. Perhaps at Silverbolt's request, the other Aerialbots were also revived in short order, and joined Earthforce as well. When Wheeljack's new defense grid for the Earthbase went awry, Silverbolt assembled the Aerialbots to fly air support for Prowl as he attempted to re-enter the base and shut down the system from the inside.
Sometime later, Silverbolt and the Aerialbots were operating as Superion when Bombshell zapped them with a cerebro-shell, causing the super-robot to rampage through the countryside. A human named Irwin Spoon eventually managed to climb inside and remove the shell from Superion's cerebral circuitry.
Sent on a mission to Yanix with five other Autobots, he was captured by Megadeath, who had tortured his comrades millions of years ago. Silverbolt got them to face their fear and move past it, saving their lives.
Another Time and Place
Silverbolt was part of the Autobot force who travelled to Hydrus Four to rescue the Dinobots. Along with his fellow Aerialbots, Air Raid and Skydive, he performed a bombing run on the Decepticon held medcenter where they were trying to revive Megatron.
After the defeat of Bludgeon and his Decepticons on Klo, the Autobots split into smaller combat units throughout the universe. Once Optimus Prime and Grimlock learned of the threat posed by the second generation Cybertronian army, though, the Autobot forces reconsolidated under their command. Slingshot and the other Aerialbots were first seen after the Autobots had retreated to an asteroid sanctuary for retraining. They were, um, outsmarted by Hot Rod.
Later, when Grimlock decided to countermand Prime's orders and come to his aid against the Decepticons on Earth, Silverbolt was part of the rescue team he assembled.He was also involved in the two major offensives against the Cybertronians, on Ethos and at Autobase Earth.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Although they were apparently not part of the Ark's original crew, Silverbolt and the Aerialbots somehow arrived on Earth and were part of Optimus Prime's unit in the 1980s. They were left inactive for roughly a decade after the explosion of the Ark II, immobile in the Arctic waters until Prime revived them with the Matrix. As Superion, the Aerialbots fought against Devastator in California, but were called away to deal with a tactical missile strike that was being launched at their position. Silverbolt and his teammates stopped the missile, but were apparently destroyed in the process. Their remains were collected secretly by Earth Defense Command and held in Area 51.
IDW comics continuity
With Optimus Prime leading the Autobots in the field, Silverbolt became Operation Commander on the Autobot Orbital Command Hub; Perceptor was one of his senior officers. He was involved in trying to find the attempted assassin of Blaster, deducing the assailant had to be an Autobot. To catch the would-be killer, Silverbolt and Blaster concocted a plan where the Autobot morale-booster set himself as bait. Silverbolt and his men waited as backup while Blaster dealt with the assassin (who turned out to be a mind-controlled Beachcomber), but he nearly stormed into the room when he saw that "the Voice" was not armed with a weapon.
- Silverbolt (Aerialbot, 1986/1991)
- Team ID number: A1
- Japanese ID number: C-50
- Accessories: Gun, chest plate, Superion's head, 2 fists (left & right), 2 feet (left & right) and waist plate
- Silverbolt transforms into a Concord SST jet liner, and also has a third launcher/base mode for use with the other Aerialbots. A particular weakness of Silverbolt's design is the way both his legs are connected to his hips by a long pin going through several very small (and weak) plastic hinges that are put under stress as the immediate joint underneath this assembly is a swivel used during transformation. His Takara release has a spring powered launcher mechanism for the "base" mode that was removed from his Hasbro releases, leaving only a piece that flopped around uselessly on his chest. He was available both alone and in a gift set with his teammates.
- In Japan, the entire Aerialbot team were offered (as individual purchases) as mail-order items during Return of Convoy. Silverbolt cost 2000 yen and three robot points.
- The Aerialbots were later sold as part of the European Classics toyline in 1991.
- Superion (1986)
- Japanese ID number: C-55
- Silverbolt was also available with the other Aerialbots as part of a Superion giftset. All of the toys in the set are identical to their individual releases.
- Silverbolt (1994)
- Team ID number: A5
- Accessories: 2 Missile launchers, 2 missiles, chest plate, Superion's head, 2 fists (left & right), 2 feet (left & right) and waist plate
- For the Generation 2 toy line, Silverbolt's toy was redecoed in blue and red, and his wings were retooled to hold a new pair of spring-loaded missile launchers (reused from the Generation 2 versions of Starscream and Ramjet).
- Magnaboss (Ultra, 1997)
- Silverbolt transforms from an eagle into a robot, with portions of his wings turning into a pair of swords. Each wing also contains a spring-loaded missile launcher. He is able to combine with Ironhide and Prowl, his package buddies, forming part of the torso and helmet to the giant robot Magnaboss.
- The Magnaboss toy included no information about its 3 components beyond their names. The character was finally established by IDW to be Generation One Silverbolt a decade after its release in 2007.
- Silverbolt (Ultra Class, 2008)
- Part of the second wave of 2008 Universe Ultra-class toys, Silverbolt transforms into a sleek, supersonic jet bomber similar to an XB-70 Valkyrie. As an Ultra-scale toy, he comes with various light and sound gimmicks, including a machine gun type sound when one presses the big red button on the fuselage, and different classic transformation sound effects depending on whether he is being transformed from vehicle mode or vice versa.
- For his size, Silverbolt has a stunningly simple transformation sequence, not much more complex than some Mini-Cons (which are much smaller, much cheaper toys). His vehicle mode essentially has his robot body folded up underneath while his robot mode has the plane strapped to his back. In Silverbolt's defense, the underside of an XB-70 Valkyrie is a huge engine with a plane strapped to its back. Silverbolt in alt form captures the shape and size of the source material's powerful engines very well. His spring-loaded missile-launching blaster features a B2 Stealth bomber as a decorative shape.
- The Japanese Transformers USA version of this toy features much brighter white plastic, replacing most of his grey plastic with the same white for a better match with his cartoon model. Also, the red on his chest is now a matching shade of red rather than the two tones seen on the Universe version.
- Special Team Leaders (Legends Class multi-pack, 2008)
- A redeco of the Legends-class Cybertron Thundercracker toy, Silverbolt transforms into a Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet. He is only available in a Target-exclusive gift set along with Legends-class versions of Hot Zone, Scattorshot, Hun-Grrr and Razorclaw.
- Due to the size of his original toy's alternate mode, in that form he should be one of the biggest Transformers around (approximately 164 feet, 5 inches tall!). This means he's one of the most out-of-scale Generation One characters, both as a toy and in all of his depictions in fiction.
- Silverbolt's character model is based on the toy with Superion's chest plate attached. Even Silverbolt's packaging art includes the Superion chest plate, though his robot mode is without it on the back-of-the-box art and in his own instructions. Attaching Superion's chest plate results in limited elbow positioning, so it would appear he was not designed to use it in this mode, though it wouldn't be out of the question. Either someone along the way made a mistake or realized that he looked really terrible without it.
- Because the Superion chest plate was used with Silverbolt's robot mode so prevalently, his Universe toy incorporates details from it.
- Oddly, the Beast Wars Sourcebook depicts him with the eagle head for his robot mode head. It also reveals that Silverbolt had lost most of his fear of heights by the time he gained this form.