Ratchet (Generation 1)

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Ratchet
Transformers character
Ratchet.jpg
Generation 1 Ratchet box art
First appearance

Transformers #1 by Marvel Comics
Created by

Hasbro
Voiced by

Don Messick
Wally Burr (in the episode Masquerade)
Masashi Ebara (Japanese)
Information
Species Transformer
Gender Male
Abilities

Affiliation

Autobot
Alternate mode

Nissan Onebox Vanette Ambulance, Cybertronian Amblance, Medical Train Car, SUV ambulance
Function

Medic
Motto

"You break it, I'll remake it."
Partner

Flareup
Series

Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Timelines
Transformers: Universe
Transformers: Generations
Sub-group

Autobot cars, BotCon exclusives, Combiners, Deluxe vehicles
Tech specs

ST04 IN08 SP04 EN05

RN07 CO09 FB03 SK10

Ratchet is s fictional character in the Transformers series. He is an Autobot medic who was introduced into the Generation 1 stories in 1984. Ratchet is sometimes referred to by the trademarked names "Autobot Ratchet" or "Rescue Ratchet."[1]

Transformers: Generation 1

Ratchet (Mécano in Québec, Racsni in Hungary, Храповик in Russia and Doc in Italy) is the chief medic of the Autobots in the Transformers television and comic series based on the popular toyline produced by Takara and Hasbro. His vehicle mode is an ambulance. Named after Nurse Ratched by writer Bob Budiansky, who originally intended the character to be female, an idea rejected by Hasbro. Ratchet is well-remembered by fans of the original comic series, in which he played a major role.

Ratchet would transform into an ambulance (cargo van type) and was colored white with red stripes and emergency lights. Ratchet had two robot modes, though only one was usually seen in the comic run and the television cartoon. The Ratchet toy transformed into the second form.[2] Ratchet was one of the original and the longest-lived of all Transformers in the Marvel Transformers comic series. Often a fan favorite, he was a healer first, but a soldier nonetheless. His courage and loyalty are demonstrated time and again.[3]

Ratchet sometimes helps form the combiners Defensor, Lynxmaster and Modulus.

According to the original creator of the Transformers names, Bob Budiansky, Ratchet was named after the character of Nurse Ratched from the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.[4]

Reception

Ratchet was voted the "Top Transformer Who was Badass in the Comics" by Topless Robot.[5]

Fictional biography

Profile: Ratchet was known as the best tool-and-die man on Cybertron. In his work-area bay, he can fashion anything from a pin to a cruise missile and repair most of the Autobots and their specific parts, given the right materials. His rough language and manners belie his gentle touch on the operating-assembly table. He knows how to have a good time despite his involvement in a combat group. "When does the party begin?" is his usual query after he's completed patching up his latest fallen comrade. He's more prone to giving his leader, Optimus Prime, a lot more backtalk than the other Autobots, but does his job as well as anyone.

Abilities: Ratchet has an assortment of laser scalpels, arc-welders, electron microscopes, electrical circuit sensors and fluid dispensers (both lubricating and super-cooled) at his disposal.

Weaknesses: His preference for partying to anything else sometimes interferes with getting his job done. Otherwise he's only limited in doing his work by time and materials available.

Animated series

Ratchet was the Autobot medic, and therefore he seldom was ever seen in battle. He usually spent time at the Autobot base with Wheeljack creating and repairing other Autobots. The two of them were credited for creating the Dinobots in an attempt to bolster their ranks versus the Decepticons.

Ratchet was eventually killed in The Transformers: The Movie in an attack by the Decepticons on an Autobot shuttle. The Decepticons penetrated the hull of the shuttle that he, Ironhide, Prowl, and Brawn were flying in. Ironhide and Ratchet attacked the invaders together after Prowl and Brawn's death. The two suffered the same amount of fire from the Decepticons; due to Ironhide's strong armor, he survived the first strike but ultimately died. Ratchet, on the other hand, was killed easily. Luckily, his role as medic is taken by Junkion leader Wreck-Gar, who formed an alliance with the Autobots, and First Aid of the Protectobots.

Books

Ratchet is featured in the 1985 Transformers audio books Autobots' Lightning Strike, Autobots Fight Back, Laserbeak's Fury and Satellite of Doom.

Ratchet appears in the 1985 story Autobots Fight Back by John Grant, published by Ladybird Books.[6]

Ratchet appears in the 1986 story book Galvatron's Air Attack by Ladybird Books.[7]

Comics

Devil's Due Publishing

Ratchet as a Cobra HiSS from Devil's Due Publishing

In this reimagining of the Generation One story, the Ark was discovered by the terrorist Cobra organization, and all the Transformers inside were reformatted into Cobra vehicles remotely controlled by the Televipers. In this storyline Ratchet turned into a Cobra HiSS tank.[8]

In the second series, he appeared as "The Autobot", the sole Autobot guardian of a future Earth over-run by Decepticons. This Ratchet had been changed by his experiences, ruthlessly gunning down several Decepticons and even destroying one in hand-to-hand-combat. He is located by a team of G.I. Joes trying to repair the damage done by the time-displaced Transformers. They forcibly teleported him back to Cybertron - where he was promptly gunned down by Shockwave. This Ratchet had reverted to his traditional ambulance-themed body.

He evidently survived, as he appeared again in the third series as part of the combined Autobot/G.I. Joe force attempting to rescue Optimus Prime.

Dreamwave Productions

Ratchet appeared in much the same capacity as he did in the TV series, acting as the Autobots' chief medic. Joining the Autobot faction at the outbreak of the civil war, Ratchet accompanied Optimus Prime to search for survivors in part of Iacon city after Megatron had activated the planetary engines. He later remained with the Autobots under Prowl after Optimus Prime's disappearance in a Space Bridge accident.

Prime returned, and four million years ago, Ratchet was one of the Autobots aboard the Ark when it crashed on Earth, entombing all aboard in stasis until they were reawakened in 1984.

Subsequently, after nearly twenty years of war on Earth, the Autobots defeated the Decepticons and headed back to Cybertron aboard the new spaceship, the Ark II, only for it to explode as it left Earth's atmosphere in 2001.

Later, Ratchet and many of the other Transformers presumed lost in the explosion were recovered by the terrorist Lazarus, a former US Army officer who had developed a means of controlling the Transformers. When Megatron and the Decepticons predictably broke free, they hooked Ratchet and many of the other Autobots up to a machine that drained their energy to power Megatron's technorganic virus. He was later rescued by Prime.

After battling the Decepticons in the Arctic over a mysterious pod (unbeknownst to all containing Scourge), Ratchet and all the other Transformers were taken prisoner when Shockwave arrived to brand them all as war criminals. Ratchet was one of the few Autobots under Jazz that managed to escape to the original Ark. They subsequently battled Soundwave and the Seekers, capturing most except Starscream. The giant Combiner Bruticus was another matter, however, and all the Autobots save Ratchet and Brawn, who were forced to self-destruct the Ark to stop the giant Decepticon. Later, after the arrival of Sunstorm, Ratchet was forced to save Starscream to help stop the rampaging clone. Later, after Sunstorm's defeat, Ratchet was one of the Autobots who helped Prowl to begin building Autobot City on Earth. Dreamwave's closure meant that any further tales of Ratchet would go untold.

Fun Publications

Classicverse

The Classicverse comics published in the Official Transformers Collectors Club magazine is set in the Marvel Comics continuity, but in a timeline where the events of Generation 2 did not occur. Ratchet's seemingly lifeless body appears behind Megatron's throne.

In Tranformers Invasion Ratchet is among the Autobots in Canada who help get people to safety from an Earthquake caused by Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus using the Terminus Blade.[9]

Ratchet appeared in Another Light where he was among the mixed Autobot and Decepticon team stationed at the Ironworks base on Classicverse Earth. He evacuated on a shuttle commanded by Grimlock when the planet was attacked by Shattered Glass Primus.[10]

Ratchet was called out as a member of the Modulus team on the instructions for Shattered Glass Combiner Wars Starscream.

Wings of Honor

Ratchet oversaw the repair of Dion after he was injured battling the Combaticons.[11]

IDW Publishing

Generation 1
Ratchet from IDW Publishing

Ratchet plays a significant role in IDW's new G1 continuity. His updated form is an ambulance that bears a close resemblance to a Ford Transit Van. In The Transformers: Infiltration, he picks up three humans who have evidence of their presence on Earth, protecting them from Thundercracker and the Battlechargers. He clashes with Prowl over the issue of the humans and calling in Optimus Prime. Disobeying orders alongside Bumblebee, he is wounded in battle with Skywarp and Blitzwing (at one point being run over by the Triple Changer's tank mode), but recovers before the end of the limited series.

He reappears in the subsequent series The Transformers: Escalation, discovering that the "corpse" of Sunstreaker was in fact a fake. He disobeyed orders once again to let Verity and Jimmy find the location of the decoy's manufacturer - but was interrupted by Ironhide. However, instead of stopping them, Ironhide accompanied them to find the garage that had made the fake Sunstreaker. However, when the two humans failed to reappear, Ironhide went in personally, while Ratchet warned him of approaching police. With Verity and Jimmy out cold, Ratchet assisted in cutting open the ceiling of hidden room they were in. While they saved the humans, Ironhide was too slow in getting out, and was destroyed by the blast.

Bumblebee, Jazz, Optimus Prime, Prowl and Ratchet are slated to appear in the upcoming New Avengers/Transformers crossover by Marvel Comics and IDW Publishing in 2007.

Optimus Prime leads Bumblebee, Drift, Kup, Prowl, Ratchet and Wheeljack in Las Vegas when a Cybertronian ship crashes containing Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge and an infestation of zombies from another universe. Galvatron attempts to take command of the Autobots, and after fighting them explains his mission to stop an undead infestation. Wheeljack sets up an energy shield around the city to keep the infestation contained, but it will only last for 24 hours. Kup recognizes a Decepticon named Bayonet in Galvatron's command as not being right, and she is revealed to be the extradimensional vampire Britt.[12]

Hearts of Steel
Hound, Trailblazer and Ratchet combine to form a train in Infestation 2: The Transformers #1

An alternate version of Ratchet would appear in IDW's Hearts of Steel. Here he seems to be willing to follow Prowl's lead in not contacting the humans, However, when Starscream's plan is discovered Ratchet followed Bumblebee's lead in following the Decepticon train convoy, and was present at their defeat. Following this, he and the other Autobots went back into stasis.

Ratchet was among the Autobots who opposed the Decepticons serving the the elder gods in the IDW Publishing Infestation 2: Transformers comic.[13]

Marvel Comics

Ratchet made his first appearance in issue #1 of the Marvel Comics Transformers comic book series. Originally this was intended to be a 4-issue series, but became a monthly series that ultimately lasted 80 issues. In issue number 4, he transported Sparkplug Witwicky to the hospital after Witwicky had a heart attack aboard the Autobot base, the Ark. Because of this, he was not at the final battle between the few remaining Autobots (having transferred their low fuel resources into a selected group of 5 Autobots) and the fully powered Decepticons. At that battle, the Autobots were winning when their foes suddenly began falling from fuel that had been tainted by Witwicky. Before the Autobots could celebrate their victory, the Decepticon Shockwave appeared (his first appearance in the comic series) and destroyed the remaining Autobots.

As the sole surviving Autobot, Ratchet sought some way to resurrect his comrades to defeat the Decepticons. An initial foray revealed that Megatron had been humiliatingly defeated by Shockwave and relegated to second-in-command status. Megatron made a deal - Ratchet would destroy Shockwave, and Megatron would free his comrades. Knowing Megatron would betray him, Ratchet searched for some way to get out of it. To this end, he came across information from The Ark's initial search for "life" on the planet when the craft first crashed. While in the "present" (1984), the probes read moving metallic objects as life (as it would expect, being from a mechanical-life based world), accounting for the recreation of the Transformers as vehicles, aircraft, etc.), in a prehistoric attempt it had found none and instead determined the only moving, seemingly sentient objects of similar size to the Transformers, dinosaurs, to be life. The Ark thus created the Dinobots based on these beings. Finding information on the Dinobots, Ratchet sought out their location, finding them and fixing them back up. (It was his first probe for the Dinobots that had awoken Shockwave, dooming his comrades.) When he had completed this task, he confronted Megatron and ambushed the enemy robot with the five Dinobots (Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Snarl and Swoop). Megatron quickly dispatched them and laughed at the weak medic. As a final resort, Ratchet flung himself into Megatron, hoping to throw them both off the tall cliff, destroying them both, but instead bounced off. Megatron laughed at him again, though commending him for his courage. While laughing, the cliff edge Megatron was standing on collapsed and he fell to his deactivation. To this end Ratchet was a hero, though he didn't feel particularly victorious. He later returned to the Ark with the Dinobots and repaired his fellow Autobots, with the exception of Optimus Prime, whose head was mysteriously missing (kept by Shockwave to tap the powers of the Matrix).

His workload increased drastically as the Autobots suffered casualties brought on by Circuit Breaker (a woman with electromagnetic powers and a searing hatred of all robots), the Constructicons (as Devastator), a Shockwave-controlled Jetfire, and even a Decepticon doppelganger of Optimus Prime.

Jetfire, Perceptor, Blaster, Hot Spot, Ratchet and Silverbolt decide on a new Autobot leader

In issue #27, "King of the Hill!", Perceptor summoned his fellow Autobots Blaster, Hot Spot, Jetfire, Omega Supreme, Ratchet and Silverbolt in order to decide who should take leadership of the Autobots. After an attack by the giant Decepticon Trypticon the leader was chosen - Grimlock.

Ratchet later ran afoul of the presumed-dead Megatron once again. Megatron abducted him via the Space Bridge and set him to work on a top secret project - resurrecting Starscream as a Pretender and sending him to attack both Prime's forces and the Decepticons under Scorponok, who he considered a usurper. Ratchet double-crossed him, as he reprogrammed Starscream's mind so that his original personality re-emerged, and the traitor ended up begging for mercy from Scorponok. Ratchet also restored Grimlock, Jazz, and Bumblebee, as Megatron tasked him to create Decepticon Pretenders. Ratchet chose these three Autobots of the many deactivated ones based on his experience and loyalty to them; he only had three Pretender shells that he could use. Though Bumblebee had previously been upgraded in size and strength with a new name of Goldbug, Ratchet restored him to his original Bumblebee configuration because he "always liked [it] better". The three battled Megatron's troops, although he defeated them all. Ratchet then revealed the base had been set to self-destruct. Megatron tried to escape through the Space Bridge, but Ratchet sacrificed himself to keep him from escaping, something that affected Optimus Prime deeply.

Near the end of the original comic run, it was revealed the explosion had knocked both of them into the Space Bridge, fusing them into a nightmarish hybrid. Located by the Autobot detective Nightbeat, the hybrid rampaged around the Autobot ship before Prime stopped it. Against the wishes of Prime's crew, who knew that saving Ratchet meant saving Megatron, the two were surgically separated and put in stasis to keep him alive. Later he was infused with Nucleon along with other Autobots. His final action in the series was causing The Ark to crash-land on Earth to prevent its Decepticon stowaways - Megatron, Galvatron, Shockwave and Starscream - from landing and plundering Earth, presumably being killed in the process. Many times over, Ratchet was a hero, but he never gained nor sought such recognition.

Although there was no Ratchet toy for Generation Two, Ratchet did make several appearances in the memories of Optimus Prime in the Generation Two comic book series by Marvel Comics. Despite being dead, he would make two flashback appearances - one in his fused form with Megatron, and the other showing him protecting two humans, likely Buster Witwicky and his girlfriend Jesse.

Other media

Ratchet appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Junk in the Trunk" voiced by Seth MacFarlane. In the segment he's in, he tells Optimus that he has prostate cancer and that he will die. It turns out that it was just a segment acted out by the Autobots.

Toys

  • Hasbro Transformers: Generation 1 Autobot Car Ratchet (1984)
The toy that was to become the Autobot Ratchet was originally released as part of the Japanese Diaclone series. The toy of Ironhide has the same mold as Ratchet.
  • Hasbro Transformers: Timelines Deluxe Ratchet (2005)
A remold of Energon Towline. A BotCon 2005 exclusive packaged together with Flareup.
  • Hasbro Transformers: Universe Generation 1 Series Deluxe Autobot Ratchet (2009)
A white recolor of Universe Deluxe Ironhide with a different head sculpt and the addition of an ambulance light bar.[14][15] His yellow license plate reads "H3L PU2" (Help us), a reference to the cover of the U.S. Marvel Comics' Transformers #70.
  • Takara Henkei! Henkei! C-14 Deluxe Ratchet (2009)
The Japanese version of the Universe Deluxe figure by Takara Tomy has the front grille, headlights, taillights and gun molded in chrome silver. In addition, the head antenna is painted black instead of red, the license plate is omitted and the ambulance mode's side panels have one red stripe instead of two.[16]
  • Takara Transformers Unite Warriors Lynxmaster (2016)
A box set of 5 Autobots released by Takara.
  • Hasbro Transformers: Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe Ratchet (2016)
This version of Ratchet was one of several figures that could be assembled at the BotCon 2016 customizing class. It is a remold and recolor of Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe First Aid. He could be made in several variants depending on the colors used, including a version based on his Shattered Glass incarnation.

References

  1. "Transformers - More Than Meets The Eye, Robots In Disguise - Transformers @ The Moon". www.transformertoys.co.uk. 2008-12-26. http://www.transformertoys.co.uk/content.php?/transformers-trademarks/USPTO/76598643/autobot-ratchet/autobot-ratchet.html. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  2. Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc.. p. 22. ISBN 1405304618. 
  3. Bellemo, Mark (2007). Transformers Identification and Price Guide. Krause Publications. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-89689-445-7. 
  4. "bwtf.com: Ben's World of Transformers (Interviews)". Web.archive.org. 2007-11-18. Archived from the original on 2007-11-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20071118042233/http://www.bwtf.com/interviews/bb204.shtml. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  5. http://www.toplessrobot.com/2009/04/10_transformers_that_were_only_badass_in_the_comic.php 10 Transformers That Were Only Badass in the Comics By Rob Bricken, Apr. 14 2009 By Kevin J. Guhl
  6. Grant, John (1985). Autobots Fight Back. Ladybird Books. ISBN 0721409423. 
  7. Galvatron's Air Attack. Ladybird Books. 1986. ISBN 0721409881. 
  8. "G.I.Joe Vs. Transformers" #3 (2007)
  9. Benson Yee & Pete Sinclair (w), Dan Khanna (p), Jake Isenberg (i). "Transformers Invasion" Transformers Timelines v2, 7 (2012), Fun Publications
  10. Jesse Wittenrich & Pete Sinclair (w), Eryck Webb (p), Eryck Webb (i), Evan Gauntt (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair (ed). "Another Light Part 6 - The Future Buried" The Transformers Collectors Club 66 (December/January 2016), Fun Publications
  11. Pete Sinclair (February/March 2011). "Battle Lines Part 1". Transformers Collectors Club Magazine 1 (37): 9–14. 
  12. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (w), Nick Roche (p), Joana Lafuente (i). Transformers: Infestation 1 (February 2011), IDW Publishing
  13. Chuck Dixon (w), Guido Guidi (p), John Wycough (i), Joana Lafuente (col), Chris Mowry (let), Bobby Curnow (ed). Infestation 2: The Transformers 1 (February 2011), IDW Publishing
  14. Hasbro Transformers at Toy Fair, Hasbro Transformers Collectors Club magazine, issue #26, April 2009/May 2009, page 4-5
  15. 06:34 AM. "Autobot Ratchet - Transformers Universe Classics 2.0 - Transformers Resources". Tfw2005.com. http://www.tfw2005.com/resources/universe-classics-20-autobots-262/autobot-ratchet-1897/. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  16. TFW2005.com - Henkei Ratchet

External links