On Cybertron, Vertebreak was a member of Crystal City's science council. To his colleagues' horror, he studied and intended to use surgical knowledge from other worlds to perform cyber-grafting experiments, and was imprisoned on the Alchemor before he could put his plans into motion. Lucky for Vertebreak, the ship's crash landing on Earth freed him from his incarceration. Taking the form of a train, he set up a new laboratory in Crown City's subway network, and began his experiments anew.
Sideswipe entered into his territory alone. Vertebreak attacked him while the Autobot was busy boasting, before dragging him back to his lair. There, he placed Sideswipe on his operating platform, restricted of course, and performed his cyber-grafting technique by attaching his head to Sideswipe's body. While the process gave Vertebreak access to Sideswipe's natural agility and learned fighting techniques, he elected to keep the young Autobot's head intact in order to have continued access to a needed "brain enzyme" in the event his grafting process didn't take. Vertebreak attacked Sideswipe's companions with little effort. Vertebreak was unconscious when the Autobots helped him evade a passing train. He thanked the Autobots and eventually he was defeated when Sideswipe realized he could predict each of Vertebreak's movements and tell his teammates moves against him. He was subsequently recaptured and both his and Sideswipe's heads were restored to their proper bodies. Vertebreak was placed back in stasis.
Vertebreak has an appearance of a copperhead snake (or viper for some), with a heavy chin and has 2 thin arms. He also has a 3rd thin arm, which is located in the middle of his chest. His alt-mode is an earth train.
Vertebreak is quite ambitious and scientific. He has gained some knowledge from other worlds, which led him to perform unspeakable techniques of mad science. Even with his peers forbidding him to perform such acts, Vertebreak went his own way. Vertebreak went as far as to kidnap Sideswipe and perform one of his cyber-grafting experiments on him. Vertebreak also seemed to be hysterical when Sideswipe wanted to make a deal with Vertebreak in freeing him. When the experiment was a success, Vertebreak was thrilled to test his new body out on the Autobots, which ultimately resulted in his defeat.
- While he was not stated to be one on the show (and their existence was not established until "Pretzel Logic"), Adam Beechen has stated that he considers Vertebreak to have been a Snaketicon.