Slag (Transformers)

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Transformers character
Box art for the original Slag toy
Name Slag
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Generation 2
Transformers: Generations
English voice actor Neil Ross[1][2]
Alternate modes Mechanical Triceratops, Cybertronian Tank
Function Flamethrower
Gender Male
Motto "I have no need for friends, even less for enemies."
Rank 4
Sub-group Dinobots, Dynobots, Lightning Strike Coalition

Slag is a fictional character from the Transformers series. Introduced in 1985, he is a heroic Dinobot, a robot who turns into a fire breathing robotic dinosaur. In the animated Transformers series he was voiced by Neil Ross. Later homages to Slag have been renamed Snarl, because of the offensive meaning of the word slag in some countries, or Slug to differentiate him from fellow Dinobot Snarl.

Transformers: Generation 1

Slag (Scories in Quebec, Canada, Tricex in Italy) is very tough, strong and possesses impressive firepower.[3] In dinosaur mode, Slag can spew from his mouth a bolt of 3,000 degrees Celsius flame up to 80 feet (25 m) 2 degrees to left. He possesses enormous strength and can shatter a brick building with a single blow from his armored head. His horns can also shoot high powered lasers. In robot mode he carries a high-energy laser rifle, an energo sword and a rocket poom. [4]

Slag's biggest weakness is his over-aggressive behavior, which can cause problems relating with other Autobots. He is also noticed for being the only Dinobot who would dare argue with the leader Grimlock over his commands (ironically, he is usually seen as the group's second in command). He joined the Autobots in the cartoon and comics in their first year (1984), but his toy wasn't released until 1985.

He sometimes is depicted as a combiner, and becomes part of Super Robot or Volcanicus.

Slag sometimes forms an unnamed Inferno Combiner with Jazz, Moonracer, Sludge and Inferno.

Animated series

In The Transformers Slag was created by Wheeljack and Ratchet on Earth in 1984. He was created along with Grimlock and Sludge as the original three Dinobots. It has not been explained why he or the other Dinobots were able to be fitted with personalities, which can only be found on Cybertron from Vector Sigma. Apparently there is a difference between the brain and personality in Transformers. Their brains are simple, yet still it is the personalities that make them sentient. It is evident that the addition of personalities, or "sparks" and their origin was after the fact, and was hoped that this inconsistency would be overlooked.

When brought online, the Dinobots rampaged through the Ark, causing Optimus Prime to order that the they be rendered inert, but when he and the other Autobots were captured by Megatron, Slag and the other Dinobots were given cerebral upgrades and thus were able to rescue Optimus and the other Autobots. Shortly after, Megatron convinced the Dinobots that Optimus and the Autobots were their enemies and ordered the Dinobots to kidnap Optimus Prime. Wheeljack and Ratchet, with the help of Chip Chase, created Swoop and Snarl and the two new Dinobots were used to rescue Prime from Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge. During that battle, Optimus saved the original Dinobots' lives and they then realized that the Autobots were really their allies.

In 1985, an island with real dinosaurs was found by Powerglide and Bumblebee. Optimus decided that "Dinobot Island" would be a good place for the Dinobots to train and practice their fighting skills and avoid damage to the Ark. Moreover, they were also placed there so they could learn how to co-exist together as one group. Megatron and the Decepticons found out about the island and wanted to harvest it for all the energy it produced. The Dinobots were thrown into a tar pit, but they all survived and used real dinosaurs to help them attack Megatron.

Later, the Cybertronian Autobots and Decepticons began to malfunction because they ran out of Cybertronium, a crystalline substance only found on Cybertron. The Dinobots, having been created on Earth, were not affected and were sent to Cybertron to get some. Once there, they disappeared and Spike and Carly went to Cybertron to find them. They found Swoop, who led them to the other Dinobots that were captured and working for Shockwave. Eventually they were freed and brought the Cybertronium back so that the Autobots could be restored.

In The Transformers: The Movie, the Dinobots traveled in the shuttle with Optimus Prime towards the end of the attack on Autobot City and fought with Devastator. Slag was the Dinobot that knocked Devastator down. When Galvatron later attacked, they accompanied Kup and Hot Rod, but their shuttle was shot down on Quintessa and Kup and Hot Rod were captured by the Quintessons. On Quintessa, the Dinobots met Wheelie, led them to save the others Autobots. They took a ship to the planet of Junk and accompanied the Autobots when they attacked Unicron.

In the post-movie episode "Call of the Primitives", Slag briefly took on the leadership role of the Dinobots, when it was presumed that Grimlock was destroyed.


Slag was featured in the 1985 Find Your Fate Junior book called Dinobots Strike Back by Casey Todd.[5]

Slag appeared in the 1986 Kid Stuff Records & Tapes story Jaws of Terror by John Braden.[6]

Marvel Books

Slag appeared in the 1985 Marvel Books story Battle for Earth by Max Z. Baum.[7]

Modern Publishing

Slag was featured in the 1993 Transformers: Generation 2 coloring book "Decepticon Madness" by Bud Simpson.[8]


1984 Marvel Comics

Slag was among the crew of the Ark when it crashed on Earth four million years ago. Along with the other future Dinobots, he was reformatted into the form resembling an Earth dinosaur by the ship's computer, Teletraan I and sent to stop the Decepticon Shockwave in the Savage Land, where they were all eventually left deactivated in a tar pit. He was the first Dinobot to be reactivated by Ratchet in 1984 to fight Megatron and later liberate the Ark from Shockwave. [9]

Snarl, Slag, Sludge and Grimlock on the cover of Transformers #47 by Marvel UK

Following the assumed death of Swoop, the Dinobots went AWOL. Unknown to them, the years in the tar pit had corroded their neural circuits and they reverted to animalistic savagery; the Autobots instigated a Dinobot Hunt and Slag, threatening cowboys in the badlands, was taken down by Jetfire. The Dinobots were rebuilt but spent time in a coma, with Slag reliving the battle against Shockwave over and over (this particular storyline was exclusive to the UK series and may not fit into US continuity).

When they awoke, they grew tired of Optimus Prime's leadership and Slag joined his comrades in going AWOL once more, where they battled against corrupt intelligence organization Triple-I, the Decepticons and Galvatron.

Following Optimus Prime's death, they returned to the Ark and supported Grimlock's regime, fighting the Predacons and also helped pursue Sky Lynx and the Spacehikers in order to force Blaster to surrender. Slag was deactivated by the Underbase-powered Starscream but was eventually revived by Nucleon, arriving to help Unicron's assault in 1991 (Transformers #75). In the final issue, he was one of the few surviving Autobots after the disastrous ambush on Klo.

In the Earthforce stories in the UK comic, it was revealed Slag has a "four million year itch" that, similar to Dinobot Hunt, causes him to lapse into primitive homicidal rages. The first time this happened, he wiped out the unit he was in and the other Dinobots covered it up. He also made several appearances in the future-set, post-movie stories.

In the Transformers: Generation 2 comic, he was one of several Autobots who had left Cybertron to find new wars to fight and ran into the Cybertronian Empire under Jhiaxus. He fought viciously against the Empire before finally being attacked and presumably killed by the Swarm in the final issue.

Devil's Due Publishing

In 2004, Slag was among the Autobots under the leadership Optimus Prime who attempted to take back the planet Cybertron from the Decepticon tyrant Shockwave. After an accident with the teleportational systems of the supercomputer Teletran-3, Slag found himself sent back in time and on the planet Earth. He was reformatted in the form of an Earth dinosaur with several other Autobots. A group of humans were able to bring the new Dinobots back to Cybertron and they helped overcome Shockwave (G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers vol II, #4).

Dreamwave Productions

Slag first appeared in Dreamwave's Transformers: The War Within. When Autobot leader Optimus Prime and Decepticon leader Megatron disappeared in an accident with the space bridge 7.4 million years ago, the Autobot and Decepticon forces broke up into factions. Slag joined the Lightning Strike Coalition (L.S.C) under the command of Grimlock. Slag's Cybertronian form is a tank.

Grimlock lead L.S.C. members in stealing a shipment of Energon from Starscream and his Predacon faction at the Moon Alpha Space Port (Transformers: The War Within - The Dark Ages #1).

Ultra Magnus later reunited the Autobot factions, with Grimlock working as one of his advisors. Slag became a member of the Dynobots, a special Autobot unit directly under Grimlock's command. The Dynobots were assigned to security at the peace talks between the Autobots, Decepticons and Ultracons 6 million years ago. It was their actions which saved the participants from being destroyed in a sneak attack by Starscream and his Predacons (Transformers: The War Within - The Age of Wrath #1).

After Optimus Prime and the crew of the Ark were lost in space 4 million years ago, the Dynobots formed a search party to recover them. They tracked the Autobot ship to the planet Earth, where the Dynobots were reformatted into mechanical dinosaurs, and Slag gained his current form. The Dynobots were ambushed by the Insecticons, and were left in stasis lock until they were discovered by Prime and his crew in the 1980s. Because of their new alternate forms they were renamed the Dinobots.

Fun Publications


According to a biography printed in the Transformers Collectors Club magazine, Slag and Sludge were part of Grimlock's band of Decepticon hunters on board the ship Graviton. When Grimlock left Ultra Magnus in charge to join Optimus Prime on Earth Slag and Sludge departed the Graviton, not wanting to be under the command of Magnus. The two Dinobots went off on their own, and happened across Nightbeat. Nightbeat offered them a job as muscle, which they took because they figured Nightbeat has a nose for finding trouble, which they enjoy.

The Fun Publications 2008 Timelines Summer Special, entitled "Cheap Shots", features Slag.[10] In this story Nightbeat's crew are hired by a sentient ship named Amory to relocate her pilot. After investigating they find the whole job is a trap set by the Decepticon Ruckus, now leading the Mayhem Attack Squad. Ruckus is holding the pilot hostage, but Slag cuts Ruckus' arm off and recovers the pilot, for which Amory pays them.

Wings of Honor

Kup told the Dinobots and Rodimus the story of how he became a member of the Autobot Elite Guard.[11]

IDW Publishing

In a flashback in Maximum Dinobots #1 Grimlock lead the Dynobots in taking a Decepticon energon silo in Sub-Sector Nine on Cybertron.

In The Transformers: Spotlight issue on Shockwave, Grimlock and the 'Dynobots' (sporting Cybertronian designs much like their War Within designs) appeared in a story that partially pays homage to their Marvel G1 origin. Seeking payback for a humiliating defeat by Shockwave, Grimlock pursued him to prehistoric Earth (which Shockwave was seeding with Energon). In order to protect themselves against Energon surges, the Dynobots required alternate modes covered by a layer of synthetic flesh; Grimlock refused to transform into Ice Age mammals and made the decision to go with dinosaur forms instead, as he thought them more impressive. The Dynobots got the initial jump on Shockwave, as their attack was too illogical for him to understand, but he quickly recovered and blasted the entire team into stasis lock with their synthetic skins destroyed. Grimlock got the final laugh, as the Dynobot ship fired a pre-programmed blast into the surrounding volcanoes to unleash a flow of lava that engulfed all six Transformers until they were uncovered by human paleontologists in 2006.

TFcon comics

Springer and Slag in the TFcon 2012 live script reading prelude comic

Slag appears in the TFcon 2008 voice play prelude comic called Ground Effects where Grimlock orders the other Dinobots to dig up a Transformer on Dinobot Island.[12]

Slag appeared in the TFcon 2012 live script reading Days of Wreckening. In this story he appears on future Cybertron as as a Maximal.[13]


  • Generation 1 Dinobot Slag (1985)
Based on a Diaclone toy mold sold in Japan.
  • Generation 1 Zhong Jin Clear Slag
An unlicensed reproduction of Slag done in mostly clear plastic made by Chinese toy company Zhong Jin.
  • Generation 1 Zhong Jin Diaclone Slag
An unlicensed reproduction of Slag done with a blue chest made by Chinese toy company Zhong Jin.
  • Generation 1 Zhong Jin Pink Slag
An unlicensed reproduction of Slag done in mostly pink plastic made by Chinese toy company Zhong Jin.
  • Generation 2 Dinobot Slag (green) (1993)
A recolor of Generation 1 Slag in green, with the shoulder missile launcher left out. [14]
  • Generation 2 Dinobot Slag (red) (1993)
A recolor of Generation 1 Slag in red, with the shoulder missile launcher left out.
  • Platinum Edition Slug
A set of recolored Age of Extinction figures in homage to the Generation 1 incarnations of the Dinobots; Slag is a repaint of Age of Extinction Slug.
  • Hasbro Transformers: Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe Slug (2017)


Transformers Animated

A direct homage to Generation 1 Slag was released in the Transformers Animated line. Although Hasbro initially called the toy Slag at Botcon 2007, it was changed to Snarl after it was realized that "slag" is a swear word in the United Kingdom (as well as post-Beast Wars Transformers culture, though the real-life term is more of a sexual nature), which might have a negative effect on toy sales. This is referenced in the series when Scrapper says he was originally going to call Snarl "Slag", but feared that the Dinobot had taken it as an insult.

Shattered Glass

Transformers character
Name Slag
Alternate modes Mechanical Triceratops
Sub-group Dinobots

Slag is described as being "ugly and stupid" by the Decepticons. Just like his Generation 1 counterpart, he is a Dinobot.


In Dungeons & Dinobots by Fun Publications, Cliffjumper's reaction upon first seeing Goryu was "Oh slag". Goryu believed Cliffjumper mistook him for Slag. Goryu said that Slag was "ugly and stupid" while he was "handsome and awesome". Presumably he subsequently became a member of the Dinobots under Grimlock.


  • The Loyal Subjects Shattered Glass-Evil Dinobots (2014)
A SDCC 2014 exclusive.

Other Uses of Slag in Transformers

  • The word slag was also used in the extended biography of Generation 1 Megatron, where he was nicknamed "The Slag Maker".
  • The Decepticon Skullgrin carries a Slagmaker Carbine weapon.
  • Starting in Beast Wars, the word "slag" has come to be used as a common slang word in Transformers fiction, used in such expressions as: "Piece of slag", "What the slag?", "slaggin'", "Holy slag", "Eat slag", etc.. In the smelting process, pure metals are extracted from ores and the byproduct left behind when the pure molten metal is removed is called slag. This is not unprecedented as Starscream used the word "slag" in the original cartoon television episode The Immobilizer. For the same reasons as the change for the character name this has been replaced with other terms, "scrap" being the most common.
  • In the Beast Wars series, a character named Ramulus carried a Slagmaker Cannon.
  • The pirate ship commanded by the Decepticon Cannonball is called the Sea Slag.


  1. Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Third Edition. Infobase Publishing. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-8160-6599-8. 
  2. "The TCC Presents: Screamers Retro-Views - G1 Interview with Neil Ross". Transformers Collectors Club Magazine 1 (37): 3. 
  3. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. p. 27. ISBN 0764313649. 
  4. Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc.. p. 30, 66. ISBN 1405304618. 
  6. Braden, John (1985). Jaws of Terror. Kid Stuff Records & Tapes. ISBN 0876601832. 
  7. Baum, Max (1985). Battle for Earth. Marvel Books. ISBN 0871350629. 
  8. Simpson, Bud (1993). Decepticon Madness. Modern Publishing. ISBN 1561443468. 
  9. "Transformers" #4 (March 1985)
  10. New Club Exclusive And Transformers Timeline #3 Announced!
  11. Forest Lee & Rik Alvarez (w), Guido Guidi & Dan Khanna (p), Guido Guidi & Josh Warner (i), Thomas Deer & Josh Perez (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair & Brian Savage (ed). "Wings of Honor" Transformers Timelines v2, 4 (Spring 2009), Fun Publications
  12. Meesum Abidi (2008). Ground Effects. Illustrator Dylan G.. TFcon. 
  13. Philip M. Gervais (w), Ninjatron (a). Days of Wreckening (July 25th, 2012), Toronto, Canada: TFcon
  14. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Japanese and International Transformers. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. p. 126. ISBN 0764312820. 

External links

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