In a past life, it is very possible that Vortex was a roller coaster of some sort. He is the interrogator of the Decepticons, and his favorite method of divulging secrets from trembling Autobots is to take them on Mr. Vortex's Wild Ride. Laughing like a maniac, Vortex will treat Autobots held hostage within his cargo hold to a psychotic helicopter ride of twists, turns and near-death experiences. Then, once he has learned everything they have to tell: kerplop!
- Japanese name: Vorter
Marvel Comics continuity
Vortex was first seen in a vision Buster Witwicky received from the Creation Matrix, confronting him with the other Combaticons and combining to form Bruticus. After Optimus Prime had joined Buster for a more coherent vision, Vortex was again seen joining with the other Combaticons to join a battle between Menasor and Defensor. The vision was monitored by Shockwave, who began construction on Vortex and the others.
Vortex was finally activated under Megatron's command and joined his leader and the other Combaticons in attacking the Energy-Z plant in order to gain the hydrothermocline, only to find themselves opposed by Optimus Prime and the Protectobots. They ended up continuing the battle in a virtual reality computer game to avoid destroying what they had come for, with Vortex partnered with Blast Off. They ambushed Blades and Groove but ended up being defeated by a sentient cloud. Despite this embarrassment, the Decepticons ultimately triumphed and gained the hydrothermocline.
Vortex was among the Decepticons who relocated to their new base in the Florida Keys, where he seemed to show remarkable patience by hovering over the smaller moving vehicle Decepticons for the entire trip. Ramjet to hijack an oil tanker. They succeeded in that they hijacked it but not in it being empty at the time.After Shockwave took charge of the Decepticons, he sent Vortex as part of a team led by
Vortex was later sent with the other Combaticons under Soundwave's command to blow up the volcano containing the frozen bodies of Galvatron and Ultra Magnus. He appeared to suffer damage during an attack by the commando team of Joy Meadows, Cindy Newell and Susan Hoffman but was on his feet in time to observe their explosives failing to detonate. Following this humiliation, Vortex scouted ahead and located the Throttlebots on a freeway. His attack was fought off by Blaster using his electro-scrambler to confuse his sensors. Reunited with the other Combaticons, he tracked the Throttlebots to a car lot where they ended up fighting the Protectobots. A blast from Streetwise left Vortex blinded and the group were soon forced to retreat. They took refuge in an abandoned railway yard where Vortex again acted as scout, witnessing the arrival of first Streetwise and then the other Protectobots. After avoiding a missile fired his way by Blades, he joined with the other Combaticons to form Bruticus.
Later, after Ratbat had taken over as Decepticon commander, Vortex took part in the attack on the Autobots massed on the moon and the plan to pose as holiday resort staff in order to mask their attempts to recover the Underbase tapes. He disappeared soon after that so was probably deactivated during the Underbase Saga.
Marvel UK future timelines
Vortex and the Decepticon air force were led into battle by Astrotrain in 2008. They planned to strike back against the Autobots, but were instead ambushed by the Quintessons in what could have been a massacre. Putting aside his pride, Decepticon commander Soundwave radioed the Autobots for assistance, and soon the two factions were fighting side-by-side on Cybertron against the invading Quintesson forces. After the fight was over, Soundwave left the battlefield in Vortex's ridiculously-oversized helicopter mode.
Vortex, along with the other Combaticons, formed the first line of defense against Jhiaxus's attack on Warworld. While Vortex's ultimate fate is unseen, the fact that Jhiaxus's troops ultimately took Warworld makes it likely he was destroyed.
Vortex was one of five Decepticon renegades liberated by Starscream in the Air Commander's latest attempt to unseat Megatron. Rebuilt into new bodies based on WWII-era human military vehicles and dubbed the Combaticons, the renegades worked with Starscream primarily to gain the energy absorbers the schemer left out of their new forms. While Vortex and the others were at first successful, the Stunticons' intervention meant the brigade's defeat, and all six were exiled to a remote asteroid.
Vortex and his fellow Combaticons soon escaped the asteroid and invaded Cybertron, defeating Shockwave's defenses as Bruticus. After Onslaught modified the space bridge to pull Earth into the sun, the Combaticons were attacked by unknown forces, which were actually holograms. Vortex was quite happy, as he loved sneak attacks. Once again, however, the Combaticons were defeated by outside intervention, as the Autobots and Decepticons temporarily allied against the renegades. While Megatron allowed the Autobots to believe the Combaticons had been destroyed, he secretly had Bruticus (and his components, we guess) reprogrammed to serve more loyally.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Millions of years later, Vortex, along with his fellow Combaticons, was imprisoned by Shockwave until he was released by Starscream.
When Sunstorm appeared on Earth, the battered Combaticons were ordered by Starscream to combine into Bruticus and deal with the crazed zealot. It did not end well.
The repaired Combaticons were brought to Guadalcanal, where they could hone their somewhat lackluster combat skills and listen to Starscream's long-winded aspirations of glory. Starscream ordered them to defeat the Autobot Sky Lynx as a means to train themselves for greater battles. Blast Off ordered Vortex to "take [Sky Lynx] down", but the crafty Autobot split into his two forms, and Blast Off was embarrassingly grabbed in the flying form's jaws while Vortex looked on.
This was the least of their troubles, however, as Predaking showed up as soon as Sky Lynx was deactivated. This encounter also did not end well.
Devil's Due G.I. Joe vs the Transformers comics continuity
IDW comics continuity
He was part of the Combaticons' assault on the Garrus-9 penal facility to seize the Pretender Monsters. When Arcee turned up to kill them all, it was Vortex who reacted quickly and sprang the Monsters while under fire. He then dissed Fortress Maximus on the way out.
- Vortex (combaticon, 1985/1986/1991)
- Team ID number: C4
- Japanese ID number: D-66
- Accessories: Pistol, left & right cannons
- Vortex transforms into a SH-2 Seasprite helicopter. He is armed with a small, chin-mounted semi-automatic glue gun and two large, tri-barrel Gatling guns mounted astern on his tail.
- In robot mode, Vortex is armed with his helicopter chin gun, and along with fellow Combaticon Blast Off, is one of the first Transformers figures to utilize ball-joints, located in his shoulders. Vortex normally becomes the left arm of Bruticus, but as a Scramble City design, he can also occupy any other limb slot on Bruticus.
- There are a few variations of this toy. Initial releases of Vortex gave him a die-cast metal chestplate painted deep purple. Later releases replaced the metal with lighter-purple plastic. In 1991, the entire Combaticon team was re-released as part of the European "Classics" line; like many toys released in this series, Vortex was retooled to remove the rubsign indent from his vehicle mode.
- This mold was redecoed as Operation Combination Target Hawk, Robots in Disguise Ro-Tor, and Universe Ro-Tor.
- Vortex (Combaticon, 1994)
- Team ID number: C4
- Accessories: Pistol, left & right cannons
- During the Generation 2 line, Vortex was redecoed blue with purple camouflage paint. His weapons were also redecoed purple, and his chest was changed to a different shade of purple, making him totally inconspicuous.
- Bruticus (2009)
Vortex is a repaint of the Energon Blackout with a color scheme resembling his G1 colors. Interestingly, his energon weapon's side-guns can pop off and attach to his arms like somoene else's. At least his Universe toy isn't grounded as a tank.