Vortex (Transformers)

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Vortex is a fictional character from the Transformers series.

Transformers: Generation 1

Transformers character
Name Vortex
Series Transformers: Generation 1
Transformers: Generation 2
Transformers: Universe
Transformers: Generations
English voice actor Johnny Haymer
Alternate modes Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, Helicopter similar to a Boeing AH-64 Apache
Function Interrogation
Motto "I'm Vortex, fly me -- if you dare!"
Partner Brawl, Onslaught, Swindle, and Blast Off
Rank 6
Sub-group Combaticons, Elite Guard, Scouts

Vortex is the most out-and-out sadistic of the Combaticons, and functions as their interrogator.[1] A favorite tactic of his is to trap Autobots in the huge wind funnels he creates in helicopter mode until they tell him what he wants to know. He combines with fellow Combaticons to form Bruticus and forms left arm of this giant super-robot. He uses a semi-automatic glue gun.

Animated series

Vortex debuted in the second season episode, Starscream's Brigade. In the episode, Starscream is banished again from the Decepticon HQ after his just another conflict with Megatron. In that time it comes to Starscream's attempt on Megatron's life. The attempt fails, but Megatron is finally made frantic with rage and deports Starscream to the island of Guadalcanal. Here the exiled 'Con discovers old World War II vehicles and decides to use the wreckage to build his own army. He raids a Decepticon detention center on Cybertron and steals the personality components of several renegade Decepticons. Vortex is оne of them; the others' names are Onslaught, Brawl, Swindle and Blast Off. Vortex is placed in an old WWII fighter plane and the body is reformatted into a helicopter. Also Starscream endowes his creatures (named the Combaticons) with the ability to link up and form an enormous super-robot Bruticus which is much more mighty than Devastator himself.

At the head of his improvised army, Starscream attackes Megatron and even forces him to recognise himself as the new Decepticon leader. Only with the aid of the Stunticons Megatron succeedes in managing the insolent ex-Air-force Commander and his fighters. After Bruticus is defeated by Menasor, Megatron banishes Starscream and the Combaticons from Earth and sends them to a distant asteroid. Starscream quarrels with the Combaticons and abandons them on the asteroid. After he flies off into space, the Combaticons arrive to Cybertron. Here they attempt to exact revenge on Megatron by using the space bridge to alter Earth's orbit, sending it towards the Sun. The plot fails. Starscream reveals the weak points of Bruticus to Megatron in exchange for his forgiveness. Megatron captures and reprograms the Combaticons to obey him.

Vortex was later involved in a Decepticon plot to capture the Middle East oil fields. The Aerialbots arrive on the scene and the Decepticons use their new jet drones to attack them. Vortex is assigned three of these jets. However, these drones proved to be no match for the Aerialbots and are destroyed. The Combaticons then engaged them as Bruticus, but lost to Superion.

Later in the third season episode, The Ultimate Weapon the Autobots attempt to steal Trypticon's transformation cog. They send Spike Witwicky and Daniel Witwicky into Trypticon disguised as mechanics. Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus try to sneak past Vortex, who was guarding. A suspicious Vortex picks up Rodimus and shakes him, causing Daniel to fall out and into a ravine. Ultra Magnus, however, manages to save him.

Vortex made various other appearances as a member of the Combaticons, throughout the remainder of the series, as well as in the Japanese series Transformers: The Headmasters


Dreamwave Productions

Dreamwave Productions' 21st century re-imagining of the Generation 1 universe took its inspiration for the Combaticons from the original animated series, casting them as Decepticon prisoners who were reduced to protoform stasis because they were too dangerous to be released.

Onslaught, Brawl, Blast Off and Vortex originally appeared as part of Shockwave's attack on Iacon in the first War Within series. At the same time Swindle was with Starscream, Motormaster, Runabout and Runamuck after Starscream head sent Megatron and Optimus Prime down further into the depths of Cybertron.

Later, when Optimus Prime led a rebellion against Shockwave's domination of Cybertron in 2003, Starscream took the opportunity to form a power base, taking the protoform Combaticons to Earth and outfitting them with new alternate modes taken from an abandoned military base, then leading them in an attack on the Ark in order to acquire parts to make the Decepticon space cruiser, the Nemesis, spaceworthy. Confronted in battle by Brawn, Bruticus was caught in an explosion as Ratchet self-destructed the Ark, but he survived the conflagration, only to be knocked out by artillery fire from an incoming Autobot shuttle. After a battle with the evil clone, Sunstorm, Brawn opted to work out some of his stress on Bruticus's unconscious body, punching the gestalt about the head until his comrades yelled at him to stop. Bruticus would return, battling Sky Lynx for Starscream's amusement - until the Predacons appeared in their combined form of Predaking. The two gestalts battled as Starscream fled and Bruticus lost. The ultimate fate of the Combaticons in the Dreamwave universe was not revealed, due to the company's closure.

Fun Publications

Nine million years in the past on Cybertron, Vortex is assigned to the Autobot Elite Guard Combaticon unit, designed to seek out and stop the leadership of the Decepticon forces.

The Elite Guard Alpha Team and Strike Team did battle against a horde of ferrovorous bugs in one of Cybertron's city-states. Magnum then ordered the Strike Team to escort the Alpha Team to Space Port Bravo for their next mission. The Strike Team then reported to Magnum and Sentinel Major, who introduced them to the new Elite Guard Special-Ops Team, also called the Combaticons.[2]

While on patrol Onslaught told Metalhawk the story of how his Elite Guard team captured Thunderwing. Metalhawk then told Onslaught about how his team captured Blue Bacchus. The teams of Elite Guardsmen then came across a Decepticon who was separated from his group. Brawl was able to get the location of a Decepticon base from the captive before he went offline. The Guard teams around the base and were able to kill Shadowcaster, the base's leader. Metalhawk's team reported to Magnum, but the Combaticons stayed to investigate, Onslaught thinking their victory was too easy. They were captured by Decepticons.[3]

Metalhawk and his Strike Team were searching for Decepticons when they ran into a crazy "empty" who ranted about the coming of the "brute". They received a distress signal from Sentinel Major ordering all Elite Guard units to return base. When Metalhawk's team arrived at the base Ricochet told them of a Decepticon attack. Among the attackers are the Combaticions, but when Sentinel Major orders them to surrender, they combine into Bruticus and crush Sentinel Major.[4]

When most of the members of the Autobot Elite Guard confronted Bruticus they were nearly wiped out, with Bruticus killing most of the Guard. Dion was able to blind Bruticus, forcing it to separate into the Combaticons, but the Combaticons finished off most of the remaining Guard, including Metalhawk, who was killed by Onslaught. This left only Dion alive, buried in the rubble, and Thunderclash's team, which was off planet at the time.[5]

IDW Publishing

Banzai-Tron, Gutcruncher, Axer and the Combaticons help Arcee attempt to recapture Monstructor.[6]

Marvel Comics

Vortex debuted in issue #24, Afterdeath. In this issue, Megatron and the Combaticons are battling Optimus Prime and Protectobots near a computer lab. A human named Ethan Zachary convinces the robots to settle their dispute in a video game. They agreed on the condition that whichever side lost, their leader was destroyed in the real world. The object of the game was to destroy the leader of the group. The Combaticons and Protectobots were sent to different levels of the game. In each scenario, the Combaticons would lose and the Protectobots would win. This allowed them to merge into Defensor and destroy the virtual Megatron. However, Megatron uses a cheat code (which was discovered by Vortex) to reenter the game. Optimus defeats Megatron again, but this time he allows innocent lives to perish. Feeling guilty, Optimus forfeits the game and orders himself destroyed.[7]

Vortex appeared in issue #41 "Totaled!" He was among the Decepticon forces that attacked the Autobots on the moon.

Vortex appeared in issue #47 "The Underbase Saga Part 1 - Club Con!" He is seen joking with Drag Strip in the Decepticon base.

Vortex remained a simple foot soldier the remainder of the comics, with no major plot or character development. He was eventually killed by Jhiaxus' forces in the Transformers: Generation 2 comic.


  • Generation 1 Combaticon Vortex (1986)
The Vortex figure was recolored and redistributed in the Robots In Disguise toy line and was renamed Ro-Tor.
  • Generation 2 Vortex
The Vortex figure was recolored and redistributed in the Generation 2 toy line.[8]
  • Universe Generation 1 Series Scout Vortex (2009)
A redeco of Energon Blackout and Storm Cloud. When the first pictures of this toy make it to the internet in August 2008 it was incorrectly identified as Whirl.[9]
  • Combiner Wars Vortex ()
A new figure that shared its mold with several Combiner Wars and Unite Warriors figures.
  • Generations Generation 2 Bruticus
  • Generations Deluxe Whirlwind (unreleased)

Transformers: Energon

Vortex was the Japanese name for Energon Stormcloud, who transformed into an attack helicopter.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers character
Name Vortex
Series Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Alternate modes Boeing AH-64 Apache
Function Interrogator
Partner Onslaught, Brawl, Blast Off, Swindle
Sub-group Combaticons, Scouts, Deluxe Vehicles

Early leaked scripts of the 2007 Transformers film had a Decepticon helicopter named Vortex. This would have been the most logical name for a helicopter Decepticon since Vortex was the Generation 1 Decepticon helicopter. At some point the name was changed to Blackout.

Little is known about the toy versions of Vortex yet. The packaging of the Revenge of the Fallen version simply lists him as a Decepticon interrogator.

IDW Publishing

Vortex appears in Transformers: Reign of Starscream #5, he was just standing around as Starscream went about creating his new AllSpark. When Arcee destroyed the newly built cube, Vortex leapt into action to draw his pals attention to the sniper, but he was shot Arcee in chest. This was the second killed Combaticon after Brawl.


  • Hasbro Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Scout Vortex (2009)
A repackage of the toy previously released as Universe Vortex in other countries, this toy was released as a Target store exclusive in the U.S. as part of the Revenge of the Fallen toy line. This toy was in turn a redeco of the mold used for Energon Blackout and Stormcloud and Timelines Topspin.
  • Hasbro Transformers: Dark of the Moon Deluxe Vortex (2011)
A Japan exclusive gray redeco of the Deluxe Tomahawk figure from the 2010 toy line.

Transformers: Prime

Transformers character
Name Vortex
Series Transformers: Generations
Alternate modes Helicopter
Partner Blast Off, Brawl, Onslaught, Swindle
Sub-group Combaticons, Deluxe Vehicles


Vortex appears among the rest of the Combaticons in the 2012 video game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. He is playable in Chapter 6, "Death From Above". He transforms into a helicopter and can use a special shockwave ability that destroys most enemies. In the level, your mission is to destroy a bridge, cutting off the Autobot transport.


  • Generations Fall of Cybertron Deluxe Vortex (2012)


  1. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. p. 43. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9. 
  2. Jesse Wittenrich & Pete Sinclair (w), Dan Khanna (p), Frank Milkovich (i), Thomas Deer (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair (ed). "The Coming Storm: Part 2" The Transformers Collectors Club 32 (April/May 2010), Fun Publications
  3. Jesse Wittenrich & Pete Sinclair (w), Dan Khanna (p), Frank Milkovich (i), Thomas Deer (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair (ed). "The Coming Storm: Part 3" The Transformers Collectors Club 33 (June/July 2010), Fun Publications
  4. Jesse Wittenrich & Pete Sinclair (w), Dan Khanna (p), Josh Warner (i), Thomas Deer (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair (ed). "The Coming Storm: Part 5" The Transformers Collectors Club 35 (Oct/Nov 2010), Fun Publications
  5. Jesse Wittenrich & Pete Sinclair (w), Dan Khanna (p), Josh Warner (i), Thomas Deer (col), Jesse Wittenrich (let), Pete Sinclair (ed). "The Coming Storm: Part 6" The Transformers Collectors Club 36 (Dec/Jan 2011), Fun Publications
  6. Spotlight: Sideswipe by IDW Publishing
  7. The Official Overstreet Comic Book Companion, 11th Edition, Page 257, by Robert M. Overstreet, 2010
  8. Brereton, Erin (2006). Transformers: The Fantasy, The Fun, The Future. Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-983-1. 
  9. TFW2005.com - First Look: New Transformers Universe Whirl, Sandstorm and Optimus Prime on eBay

External links