Firebolt is a fictional character in the Transformers series. He is an Autobot allied Nebulan Targetmaster, and partner to the Autobot Hot Rod. In the US Marvel Comics The Transformers series he was known by the name Sparks. In the 2011 Masterpiece toy he was called Offshoot (not to be confused with Offshot) He should not be confused with the Titan Master known as Firedrive.
Transformers: Generation 1
Firebolt is an electrostatic discharger rifle, who led a quiet scholarly life as Nebulos' top atomic physics scientist until he became a thrill-seeker. As Hot Rod's partner, Firebolt is excited, but nervous, about the prospect.
In the Marvel Comics Transformers stories Nebulans are depicted as human-looking aliens, while in the animated series they are green-skinned aliens. In the Ladybird Books stories the Nebulans are human-sized robots.
Firebolt first appeared in the Transformers episode "The Rebirth, Part 1" as a sharpshooter among the rebel Nebulan group lead by Gort. In part 2 the Autobots copy Targetmaster technology from the Decepticons and Firebolt is converted into the gun used by Hot Rod. In part 3 the Autobots and their Nebulans travel to Cybertron for the final showdown with the Decepticons. He then returns to Nebulos to rid the planet of the Hive's machines.
In Dreamwave Productions Transformers: The War Within issue 4 Optimus Prime saw a vision of the future, and in it Hot Rod had become a Targetmaster with Firebolt as his partner.
Hot Rod and Firebolt had a single page biography printed in issue 7 of Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye comic series.
The biography printed for Classic Rodimus in issue 15 of the Transformers Collectors Club Magazine mentioned that Rodimus no longer uses his partner Sparks. Rodimus carries a handgun based on Sparks, but less powerful and accurate.
Events exclusive to the Marvel UK Transformers comics appear in italics.
Sparks (as he is called here) first appeared in issue 4 of the Marvel Comics Headmasters comic in a story called "Brothers in Armor!!" where he volunteered to be binary bonded to Hot Rod as his Targetmaster partner. The Autobots then fled Nebulos for Earth in an attempt to lure away the Decepticons.
Although Sparks is not depicted, in issue 38 of The Transformers the Autobots and Decepticons from Nebulos arrive on Earth.
In issue 39 Spike Witwicky introduces Fortress Maximus and the Autobot Targetmasters to his father Sparkplug.
In the Marvel UK Transformers comic story "Headhunt" Firebolt is depicted as being killed in battle with the Decepticons.
- Hasbro Transformers: Generation 1 Targetmaster Hot Rod with Firebolt (1987)
- A remold of the original Hot Rod toy with an added Targetmaster partner Firebolt and new holes to mount him in vehicle mode.
- Hasbro Transformers Masterpiece Rodimus Prime with Offshoot (2011)
- A larger sized set that is a homage to Targetmaster Hot Rod and Firebolt. A Toys R Us store exclusive.
- Shapeways Drawn-Steel Hero Sparks (2011)
- A 3D printed design done as an homage to Firebolt.
- Takara Transformers Legends Targetmaster Hot Rodimus (2017)
- Hasbro Transformers Siege Battle Master Firedrive (2019)
- Grant, John (1988). Decepticons at the Pole. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721410685.
- Bob Budiansky (w), Frank Springer (p), Ian Akin & Brian Garvey (i). "Headmasters" Brothers in Armor!! 4 (January 1988), Marvel Comics