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The Cybertronians who became the Combaticons were originally renegade Decepticons, individuals who, for political reasons, Megatron had their personality components removed and their bodies destroyed. After being ejected from the Decepticons for his latest attempt to usurp his leader, Starscream washed up on Guadalcanal and discovered several abandoned military vehicles. After using a Spacebridge to travel to Cybertron and recover five of the personality components, Starscream implanted them in the vehicles to create the Combaticons, whom he forced to serve him by refusing to provide them with energy absorbers, vital components in the refueling process. After several successful battles they managed to capture Cliffjumper, Ramjet, Jazz, and Thrust, but were then attacked by the Decepticons. While they were able to defeat Devastator by combining into Bruticus, they were taken down by a sneak attack from Menasor and exiled from Earth along with Starscream.
The Combaticons eventually managed to reach Cybertron, where they overthrew Megatron's regent Shockwave and set about on a plan to destroy their enemies. However, an unlikely alliance between the Autobots and Decepticons defeated them, and they were then reprogrammed to be subservient to Megatron. From then on the Combaticons fought for the Decepticon leader, often battling against the Protectobots and their combined form of Defensor, though they also engaged the Aerialbots and their united form of Superion.
Devil's Due Publishing
Robots in Disguise
In Robots in Disguise, the original Combaticons were recolored into the Commandos, a new team of Decepticons. Formerly Autobots, these five and their leader Scourge were infused with Spark energy from Megatron and turned evil. The Commandos could also combine to form Ruination.
In this continuity from Transformers: Timelines, the Combaticons were originally an Autobot unit, with their name intended to signify that they "Combat Decepticons, though it was later changed. They were eventually captured by the Decepticon commander Deathsaurus, who subjected them to torture for a time before offering them a place in the Decepticons, which they accepted. They soon launched an assault on the Elite Guard, who proved no match for Bruticus.
In Transformers: Exodus, the Combaticons were an early Combiner experiment by Shockwave, which was scrapped due to its unstable nature. He eventually revived it and Bruticus proved a serious menace to the Autobots, until they managed to form Defensor to counter him.
The Combaticons appear in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.