Thundercracker claims the skies as his arena. He looks down in contempt on those who cannot leave the ground -- he considers them lesser beings. He will often attack the flightless beings below him for no other reason than to satisfy his scorn.
Though more intelligent than his close friend and partner Skywarp, his superiority in this realm is the only thing he is sure of. Thundercracker is not entirely committed to the Decepticon cause, and even has some seemingly contradictory sympathy for the humans they terrorize. Fear of retribution from Megatron and the influence of his peers is usually enough to bury these doubts. Regardless, he needs constant reassurance that he's where he needs to be. Sometimes, his heart's just not in the job.
- French name (Canada): Coup de Tonnerre (Thunderclap)
- Chinese name (Taiwan): Lìeh Léi (裂雷, "Cracking Thunder") / Léi-gōng (雷公, "Duke of Thunder")
- Hungarian name: Villámcsapás ("Lightning strike")
- Italian name: Vampiro
- Portuguese name (Portugal comics): Grande Trovão
- Portugese name (Brazil comics): Arrasador
- Russian name: Gromoverzhets (Громовержец, "Thunderplunger")
Marvel Comics continuity
Thundercracker was one of Megatron's troops who attacked the Ark during its mission to clear a path for Cybertron through an asteroid field. He was deactivated when it crashed on Earth, and he lay dormant for four million years. When he and his fellow Decepticons awoke, Thundercracker was given a new altmode, that of an Earth jet. He aided the Decepticons in their building of their new base constructed of parts from Harrison Nuclear Power Plant and joined in their attack on Sparkplug Witwicky's auto repair shop. After the successful abduction of Sparkplug Witwicky, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Starscream defended their base from Autobots, though Gears and Spider-Man were able to sneak through and rescue Sparkplug.
On another occasion, he and Skywarp made a strafing run on two Autobot spies, Jazz and Sunstreaker. Jazz was deafened and blasted off the road, but Sunstreaker led them into a human military zone, prompting Megatron to call them back to base.
Though Sparkplug Witwicky was able to devise a way for the Decepticons to convert Earth fuel into a usable substance, he also poisoned the result, so Thundercracker and his fellow Decepticons were immobilized at the climax of their would-be final battle with the Autobots. Shockwave took command of the Decepticons and the Ark shortly thereafter, and nursed Thundercracker and his comrades back to full health. Thundercracker may have helped Shockwave attempt to capture and brainwash Bumblebee into a Decepticon, or it may have been Skywarp. It's hard to tell.The Decepticon
He served the Decepticon cause up until he was deactivated while battling Omega Supreme and placed in prison stasis at Autobot headquarters.
Like Starscream and Frenzy, he revived early and soon quickly escaped from the Ark. He, Frenzy and Shockwave were then temporarily displaced to Limbo when Hot Rod, Kup and Blurr time-jumped from 2006.
During a massive battle between the Autobots and Decepticons on Earth's moon, Thundercracker and the other Decepticons held in stasis aboard the Ark were liberated by the Constructicons and subsequently brought back on-line.
Thundercracker was active on Earth during the Decepticons' major offensive against the human population, and was present when Megatron stole the Creation Matrix from Optimus Prime.
After being revived from a state of near death, Thundercracker couldn't bring himself to serve with Starscream, the bot who killed him, and so he joined Bludgeon's Decepticon faction instead of his old leader Megatron's group. Of course, he ended up dead anyway at the hands of his latest maniacal boss, Bug Bite, so...tough break.
American cartoon continuity
Thundercracker was one of Megatron's elite warriors, participating in the attack on the Ark and joining the rest of the Earth-bound Transformers in their several-million-year nap under an inactive volcano. He awoke when the rest of the Decepticons did, and took part in their attempts to gather energon and escape the planet Earth, which he loathed for being too "flat". It was he and Reflector who spotted the first "potential Autobot", when in fact they had discovered the planet's native inhabitants, two humans, in an unliving vehicle.
One of the few things he seemed to loathe even more than the world he was stranded on was the attitude of his commander, Starscream. Thundercracker often started fights with the Air Commander, usually over whether or not Megatron's latest plan was a waste of time (Thundercracker took Megatron's side). At one point, Thundercracker's distaste for "that geeky Starscream" became so strong that he was willing to let Skyfire destroy one of the Decepticons' greatest weapons, just in the hopes that Starscream would get blamed for it! Despite these brushes with treachery, however, Thundercracker just never had it in him to do anything more than complain about his fellow Decepticons.
Thundercracker was present for the Decepticon assault on Autobot City in 2005. After the battle, the injured Thundercracker was tossed out of Astrotrain with the rest of the injured and weakened warriors, who were jettisoned for ballast in order to preserve fuel.
That was not, however, entirely the end of Thundercracker's story. Unicron was waiting in space for a chance like this, and when the newly reborn Galvatron needed some new troops to command, Thundercracker was among the old Decepticons chosen to use as raw materials. His body was used to create Scourge, and was thus given a new lease on life.
Later Octane would show concern when he ran into a Decepticon Crypt to hide from some Cyclonus, the Sweeps and Scourge and found a statue of Thundercracker there. After paying his respects and apologizing for the intrusion, Octane decided it would be better to hide behind someone else's statue. It is funny to note he may have visited his own grave.
Japanese cartoon continuity
Robot Masters online mini-comics
Machine Wars toy bio
The mysterious Machine Wars were a tumultuous time for Thundercracker. At long last he was convinced of and committed to the truth of the Decepticon cause, but Thundercracker now ironically found himself in open rebellion against Megatron's leadership of the faction. It is unknown what events lead to his reversal of heart about the Decepticons and his being branded a "Rebel Warrior."
Dreamwave comics continuity
One of the first Decepticons recruited by Megatron. Early in Megatron's scheming, Thundercracker was sent to Sector Zero-Six with Skywarp and Starscream. On the way, Starscream unintelligently leaked the plan to Grimlock.
In 2002, he was one of several Transformers who survived the disastrous launch of the sabotaged Ark II, and was later captured and reprogrammed by arms dealer Adam 'Lazarus' Rook, who intended to rent out the services of the enslaved robots to various terrorist groups. In a demonstration of their power to a group of prospective clients, Thundercracker participated in an attack on the Arctic division of the Smitco Oil Refinery by blowing something up.
After Megatron reactivated himself, he freed his Decepticon subordinates in order to put forward his plans to infect Earth with a metallic virus of doom. To pass the time while this happened, Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp busied themselves by tearing apart the Autobot Mini Vehicle team.
Thundercracker later participated in Megatron's attack on San Francisco, where he followed Starscream's orders to maintain formation and drop cluster bombs on the Autobot giant Superion, forcing the Aerialbots to split into their separate component robots.
Thundercracker stood watch over the defeated Autobots while Megatron tried to persuade Optimus Prime to help the Decepticons conquer Earth. After some human firefighters distracted the Decepticons long enough for Optimus Prime to free the Autobots, Thundercracker was presumably beaten up and escaped when Superion sacrificed himself to stop a nuclear missile launched by rogue US General Robert Hallo.
After Shockwave had defeated Megatron and brought the Decepticons back to Cybertron, Thundercracker and Skywarp spent their time relaxing and bathing, though Thundercracker was skeptical of Shockwave's new order, and compared its promised benefits to the benefits originally promised by Megatron.
Starscream eventually brought several Decepticons back to Earth and led them in a battle against the Autobots who had stayed behind there. Thundercracker was among those captured by the Autobots, but was eventually freed in exchange for Starscream's assistance in fighting against Sunstorm.
Devil's Due G.I. Joe vs Transformers continuity
IDW comics continuity
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Thundercracker and his fellow Seekers were recruited into Megatron's underground fights when Soundwave was sent to recruit flight capable warriors. However, Megatron did not intend for them to be pit fighters, but his new warriors. After being given weapons systems by Hook, the Seekers went and kidnapped Senator Decimus, who was to be executed at Megatron's recruitment rally. However, Sentinel Prime and the Autobots arrived and arrested the whole of them. . After Starscream killed the Kaon Council and liberated them, Megatron launched his new "Decepticons" in an "Everything burns" offensive on Kaon. Thundercracker and Skywarp were sent to target a ship carrying the wealthy and elite. Thundercracker expressed some reservations about attacking the ship, but Skywarp gave him simple advice: "Don't think. Just do it."
Thundercracker operated as part of a Decepticon insurgent cell that had operated covertly on Earth for at least four years, working to destabilize Earth's governing organizations and create global anarchy. He was known to the Autobots as a professional soldier, in contrast to the likes of the Battlechargers.
He, Runabout and Runamuck were assigned by Starscream to intercept the human Stoker and retrieve his SM-40 palmtop PC, containing data on their Nebraska operation. The team caught up with and killed Stoker outside Phoenix, AZ, but the SM-40 was missing. Thundercracker tracked the device to Hunter O'Nion and Verity Carlo, but was driven off by Ratchet, who managed to temporarily lose him and the two Battlechargers. After picking Ratchet up again, Thundercracker was later shot down by Prowl, Sunstreaker and Ironhide. When Megatron arrived on Earth to take command of Starscream's infiltration team, Thundercracker, along with the other Decepticons, were unwilling to stand against him when the Decepticon leader ordered them to stand down.
After Megatron trashed Starscream, Thundercracker and the other Decepticons were only all too willing to accept Megatron's leadership once again. Thundercracker and Skywarp were sent to destroy the El Jira power plant in the middle east to inflame global tensions and spark a global energy shortage. Brasnya, the sorely-pressed Skywarp teleported Thundercracker in to try and stop Hot Rod from escaping with the Georgi Koska facsimile.During the battle of
Thundercracker was among the concerned Decepticons who feared that Megatron had made a serious error in judgement by bringing the destructive Sixshot to Earth, and so conspired to bring Starscream back into the fold to talk some sense into their leader. Though outnumbered and outgunned, the Decepticons fought valiantly when the Reapers attacked, and with a little help from a mysterious combatant, they managed to defeat the alien invaders.
A year on from the Reaper battle, Thundercracker was part of the Decepticon attack on New York City. Unlike his comrades, he showed no enthusiasm for mindless slaughter and could be seen staring at the devastation Megatron left in his wake.
After the utter defeat of the Autobots, Thundercracker seemed to be quite listless, fighting when commanded or attacked directly, but otherwise avoiding the destructive pleasures of the other Decepticons, even those of his brother Seekers. When Starscream staged his takeover attempt at first it seemed that Thundercracker was with him, but it soon became evident that he was still loyal to Megatron and apparently had served as a spy. As the battlelines changed from Decepticon vs Decepticon, to Decepticon vs Human, to Human and Autobot vs Decepticon, Thundercracker took to the air but somehow missed the skyscraper sized Omega Supreme coming in for a blow against Devestator. That's a heck of a blind spot. Going against orders, Thundercracker offered to stop the atomic weapon drop on New York. Not out of any feelings of compassion but because he was a warrior and couldn't stand the idea of pointless slaughter of a species that couldn't fight back, that it was a dishonor to the Decepticon name to have massacred so many humans instead of fighting a worthy foe. Unfortunately, Skywarp didn't quite agree and attacks his fellow Seeker after Thundercracker successfully stops the bomb.
By some means, bad shooting, recovery, or reluctance on Skywarp's part, Thundercracker was still active on Earth two years later, and fought along with Scrapper and Swindle during their attack on Omega Supreme.
War For Cybertron Trilogy
Thundercracker, Starscream, Jetfire, and the Decepticons track Bumblebee and Wheeljack to sector seven. Thundercracker scans Bumblebee, but he registers as unknown, while Wheeljack on the otherhand is a known collaborator with Optimus Prime. Starscream tries to get the Seekers to turn on Jetfire, which allows Wheeljack and Bumblebee to try and escape. However, Megatron blocks their path. After they refuse his offer to join the Decepticons, he orders them to kill the bots.
Thundercracker, Jetfire, Starscream, and the Decepticons take aim, but Optimus arrives just in time to save them from execution. Megatron returns and demands that Optimus surrender, but he refuses, and so they fight. As Megatron attempts to kill Prime, Elita One arrives, taking fire at the Decepticons, allowing Optimus, Bumblebee, and Wheeljack to escape.
- Thundercracker (Decepticon Jet, 1984/1985/1986/2001/2003/2008)
- Japanese ID number: 24
- Accessories: Left & right fists, landing gear, 2 rocket launchers, 2 rockets, 2 "Incendiary Gun" missiles
- Originally a Diaclone "Jet Robo Acrobat-Type", Thundercracker transforms into an F-15 Eagle fighter jet, sharing his mold with his teammates Starscream and Skywarp. Many parts need to be removed completely from transformation from robot to jet and back, which nowadays is considered a major drawback of the toy. It is difficult to find it complete, as neither mode can hold all the pieces required. There are a few minor mold variations of this toy (common for the first two years of Transformers, really), the most immediately noticeable being that early versions did not have visible "clip-tabs" on the inner face of the gauntlets.
- In 1986, he was made available as a mail-away item (as he was no longer shipping to retail shelves) in the "Digital Doom on the Highway to Destruction" flier packed with most boxed Transformers toys. He cost $10 and two robot points.
- In 2001, Thundercracker was given a short-run re-issue by Takara as a convention-exclusive item. The toy would later be more extensively released as part of the Hasbro Commemorative Series line, though due to US toy-safety regulations, his missiles were made extra-long.
- In August, 2008, Thundercracker was once more reissued with Skywarp as number 11 in Takara's Transformers Encore line.
- Thundercracker (Action Master) (Action Master Exo-Suit, 1991)
- Accessories: "Solo Mission Jet Plane", 2 missiles
- Released only in European and Australasian markets, once again Thundercracker was a redeco of Starscream, a non-transforming action figure that combined elements of both the character's cartoon model and toy-form. Like all Action Masters, Thundercracker was a non-transformable action figure with a transformable accessory — in his case, a Solo Mission Jet Plane vehicle that converted into exo-suit battle armor. However, unlike most of Thundercracker's appearances, Action Master Thundercracker is not in his traditional blue and silver colors, but rather in magenta, purple, blue, gold, and two shades of green. (Oy.) Also the colors for this figure appears for the colors of Shattered Glass Thundercracker.
- Thundercracker (Basic, 1996)
- Accessories: Two-part rifle
- Sharing a mold once again with Skywarp, Thundercracker transforms into a green Dassault Rafale fighter jet with spring-loaded one-step transformation from jet to robot. The two halves of his rifle store in his lower legs. Like all Machine Wars toys, Thundercracker was an exclusive to Kay-Bee stores and related stores like Toy Liquidators.
- This mold was also used to make Beast Wars II Dirge, Robots in Disguise Skyfire, Robot Masters Wing Stun, and the "Dawn of Future's Past" version of Waspinator.
Smallest Transforming Transformers
- Thundercracker (Smallest Transformers, 2004)
- Part of the third wave of Smallest Transforming Transformers product (dubbed wave "2.5" and available only at CVS stores in Japan), Thundercracker is again a redeco of Starscream. Like all toys in the line, Thundercracker is a tiny, even more simplified version of the original toy, transforming into an F-15 fighter jet. These toys were sold in "blind-packed" boxes, so you could not know which one you had until you actually opened the box. To complicate matters further, Thundercracker was a chase figure, one of two in his wave (the other was a cartoon-colored version of Optimus Prime's trailer).
- The same mold is used by Smallest Transforming Transformer Skywarp and Thrust.
- Skywarp & Thundercracker (Multi-pack, 2005)
- Accessories: 2 rifles, 2 missile pods
- Robot Masters Thundercracker is a redeco of Starscream from the same series, a smaller yet more advanced version of the original toy, adding more articulation and reducing the amount of part-forming required. He was available only in a two-pack with Skywarp, which also came with a Decepticon sigil pin and chromed missile pods. This set was the very last product released in the Robot Masters line, and wasn't even strictly sold in a box from that series; instead, it used an e-Hobby Generation One reissue box, with a small "Robot Masters" sticker in the corner tab noting its origin from the front.
- Thundercracker (6" Cybertron Heroes, 2006)
- Titanium Series Thundercracker is based upon his appearance in Dreamwave's The War Within. He transforms into a Cybertronian 'tetrajet', as reimagined by Don Figueroa. As with all 6-inch Titanium Cybertron Heroes, he is constructed mostly of fully painted die-cast metal.
- This mold was redecoed into War Within Starscream, Sunstorm and Skywarp.
- Yes. Thundercracker was here first.
- Games of Deception! (Multi-pack, 2007)
- Accessories: Left & right launchers, 2 missiles
- Thundercracker is part of the Classics-themed BotCon 2007 box set, along with Bugbite, Dirge, Dreadwind, and Thrust. Thundercracker is a redeco of the Classics Starscream toy using the modified version first seen with Skywarp.
- Classics Thundercracker is a faithful reproduction of his original toy, but with modern standards of toy engineering, transformation, sculpting detail and articulation. He transforms into an F-15 Eagle, but has the nose of an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet. His color scheme is inspired by the original figure released in 1984, but with a shade of blue closer to that of the original Diaclone version.
- In robot mode, Thundercracker is essentially a very detailed version of his cartoon robot mode. He is armed with two (overly large) null-ray missile launchers, which are so large that they restrict his arm movement due to them bumping into his wings.
- There were only 1500 Classics Thundercracker figures produced.
- This mold was used for Henkei! Thundercracker.
- Thundercracker (Deluxe, 2008)
- Accessories: 2 missile launchers (left and right), 2 missiles
Soon after release, there were numerous complaints from both Japanese and Western collectors about the poor quality control for both Thundercracker and Skywarp. Thundercracker in particular suffered from a widespread issue where his missile launchers did not fit into the holes in his shoulders, due to the holes being too big. This problem is most probably due to the shoulder pieces not fitting together tightly enough, and in some cases can be fixed by taking apart the shoulders with a screwdriver, supergluing the two halves of the upper arm back together tightly over the shoulder joint (taking care not to get any glue on the parts that are supposed to move), and re-securing them with the screw again. Some reported both toys suffering misassembly issues such as having two left or two right thighs.
- Thundercracker (2008)
- Japanese ID number: MP-7
Apart from the exact same display stand done in the exact same black and clear plastic, he also has the exact same accessories as the other two Masterpiece Seekers (a clip for attaching the MP-1 Megatron accessory to the underside of his nosecone, two cannons, two racks of missiles, and a tiny Dr. Archeville), except these are cast in his own metallic-flake royal blue palette.
And, like the other Masterpiece Seekers, Thundercracker also has a face-change feature. His expression can go from the standardized neutral look seen on the other MP Seekers to a vicious grimace showing even more teeth than Skywarp's snarl. In his instruction manual / detail booklet, the reason for this grimace is shown as coming from a screenshot of the G1 cartoon series where Ratchet is giving him a flying karate kick to the nuts . . . and bolts. Poor guy can't even get any respect in his own pamphlet.
Oh, and to further annoy the "Bombshell vs. Skywarp: Who Is Cyclonus?" debaters, one pair of Masterpiece Thundercracker's optional squadron stickers is an "Armada" shield showing a prominent central Cyclonus and a couple of smaller, background Sweeps. Make of that what you will.
- Thundercracker (2007)
Thundercracker is a redeco of the mold used for Starscream and Skywarp. He was available in a two-pack with Jazz.
- Thundercracker statue (2007)
Redeco of the Starscream statue
- NYCC Exclusive Thundercracker Bust (2008)
- The mold for Machine Wars Thundercracker was originally developed for Generation 2, but was canceled when that line went under. It is unknown if it was intended to be a new character or a recurring one, though odds are it would have been later redecoed into a recurring character if the former was true.
- Despite his profile data, there are no documented cases of Thundercracker being sympathetic towards humans. Unless this counts.
- Thundercracker somehow appears at Starscream's coronation in The Transformers: The Movie.