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Bombshell is the name of several fictional characters in the various Transformers universes. Due to trademark issues, he was later renamed Hardshell.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Transformers character

Warning: Display title "Bombshell/Hardshell" overrides earlier display title "Bombshell (<i>Transformers</i>)". Search Bombshell (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Bombshell (Transformers) on Amazon.

Bombshell's toy bio described him as having a vicious sense of humor. Using his cerebro-shells, he can take control of his victim's minds, after which he amuses himself by having them humiliate themselves for his enjoyment.[1][2] he uses a twin ion impulse blaster as a weapon. There has been debate as to whether Bombshell's alternate form is either Japanese rhinoceros beetle or a boll weevil, because it looks very similar to both insects.[3] In 2009, Bombshell was renamed Hardshell for trademark reasons.


Bombshell was named the 25th top unfortunately named Transformer by Topless Robot.[4]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Note: Events exclusive to the Marvel U.K. Transformers continuity are in italics.

In the comics, Bombshell was a soldier under the command of Lord Straxus. Unlike his cartoon persona this one could shape shift, becoming the actual size of an insect. He eventually came to Earth, where his cerebro-shells came in useful when tapping the power of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership in creating the Stunticons and Combaticons.

Marvel U.K. Transformers Annual 1985 contained a story called "Plague of the Insecticons". Optimus Prime lead Prowl and Warpath to a meeting with President Ronald Reagan in Washington D.C. to open a dialog between the Autobots and the U.S. government. However Soundwave had intercepted word of the talks and informed Megatron, who decided send the Ravage and the Insecticons. The Insecticons did not attack the Autobots, but instead attacked the U.S. military in the name of the Autobots. Prowl was badly damaged by one of Shrapnel's grenades during the battle. Although the Autobots managed to chase off the Insecticons Optimus Prime gave up on explaining the misunderstanding to Reagan, thinking he would never be believed. Reagan had been ready to hear what Optimus had to say and was disappointed they gave up so easily.

Animated series[edit]

Bombshell debuted with the rest of the Insecticons in the first-season episode, "A Plague of Insecticons". The Insecticons were a group of Decepticons, who fled the Nemesis four million years ago in an escape ship. The ship landed on Bali island in Indonesia where the Insecticons reformatted themselves to resemble insects. The Insecticons stomachs could absorb most forms of energy and matter and use it to fuel the robots, along with having the ability to create and control an unlimited number of clones of themselves using just small pieces of scrap metal. At first, Megatron was very pleased with meeting the Insecticons. However, once the tide of battle turned in the Autobots' favor, the Insecticons consumed the Decepticons' Energon. This began a feud between the Insecticons and the Decepticons.

Later on, in "The Insecticon Syndrome", Bombshell and the Insecticons were asked to help the Decepticons raid Iron Mountain, a fictional U.S. military installation which contained information regarding the world's energy. In return, Megatron would allow the Insecticons to consume the energy produced by the Nova Power Plant prior to engaging Iron Mountain. The Nova power caused the Insecticons to grow in strength and size.

With their new power, the Insecticons plot to betray the Decepticons at Iron Mountain, which Soundwave overhears. However, before Soundwave could get away, Shrapnel captures him and instructs Bombshell to implant a cerebro shell. The Autobots attack the plant, but are successfully repelled by the Insecticons. Later, the Autobots discover that the nova energy, which is incompatible with their stomachs will cause them to explode, potentially destroying Iron Mountain with them.

As Soundwave attempts to download the data, Bombshell takes the opportunity to inject cerebro shells into the other Decepticons taking over their minds. Once Soundwave is finished, Megatron terminates the alliance with the Insecticons. Bombshell fires two more shells at Megatron and Starscream. Starscream becomes infected, but Megatron manages to intercept the shell before it infects him. Optimus Prime arrives and tackles Megatron before he could fire at the Insecticons. After learning of the imminent explosion, Megatron agrees to assist the Autobots.

Wheeljack and Ratchet arrive on the scene with a cure for the Insecticons. Optimus Prime teams up with Megatron to deliver the antidote via Megatron's alt mode. They manage to cure Kickback and Bombshell, thus weakening his hold on the Decepticons. After knocking Prime away, Shrapnel's condition turns critical, and he doubles over in pain. Spike Witwicky approaches Shrapnel and dumps the antidote into his chest, but he is unsuccessful as Shrapnel explodes. Bombshell reassembles Shrapnel and the Insecticons flee with the Decepticons in pursuit.

Bombshell has made other appearances in the series, usually called upon to use his cerebro shells. In the episode "Enter the Nightbird", Bombshell assisted the Decepticons in stealing a human-built robot ninja named Nightbird. Bombshell reprograms the robot as a Decepticon. Megatron then sends the robot to infiltrate the Ark and steal a disk with a list of all the world's energy sources. In the episode "Traitor", the Autobot Mirage attempts to trick the Insecticons and Decepticons into a civil conflict. The Decepticons find out and capture Mirage. Bombshell injects a cerebro shell into Mirage, thus turning him against the Autobots.

The Decepticon/Insecticon feud continued throughout the second season. In The Transformers: The Movie, Bombshell and the Insecticons were involved in the battle of Autobot City, where he or one of his clones sustained major injuries after getting hit directly with a missile, shot by mass fire power and shot in the back by Springer. As a result, this Bombshell was among the Decepticons who were ejected into space during their return trip to Cybertron, and was later recreated by Unicron into Cyclonus, Galvatron's loyal second-in-command. Bombshell or one of his clones still appeared with the other Insecticons in later season three episodes. An animation error shows Bombshell and Skywarp (in the background) both being built into identical bodies, and both were named Cyclonus. The other two Insecticons were each reborn as a Sweep. After that Cyclonus is only one character throughout the series, and the other Cyclonus is replaced with a third Sweep.


Bombshell was featured in the 1985 Find Your Fate Junior book called Dinobots Strike Back by Casey Todd.[5][6]

Bombshell was featured in the 1985 Find Your Fate Junior book called Battle Drive by Barbara Siegel and Scott Siegel.[7]

Bombshell appeared in the 1986 Ballantine Books story The Invisibility Factor by Josepha Sherman.[8]

Bombshell appeared in the Marvel Books 1986 story and coloring book The Invasion of the Decepticon Camp by Pat Brigandi.[9]

Dreamwave Production[edit]

Bombshell also appeared in Dreamwave Productions' Generation One comics. He chronologically appeared first in the War Within comics hunting Optimus Prime alongside Soundwave and Ravage. Their failure forced Megatron to step in personally. He later stayed with the Decepticons after Megatron's disappearance. His Cybertronian alternate mode appeared to be that of a tank.

In the third War Within series Bombshell appeared among the Decepticon troops under the command of Shockwave.

He and the other future Insecticons later came to Earth, encountering the Dinobots. The two teams battled and knocked each other into stasis. The Insecticons were later revived, receiving their familiar insect alternate modes. Bombshell later used his cerebro shells to take over the population of a town, only to be defeated by the Autobots. The closure of Dreamwave prevented any more stories of Bombshell from being told.

IDW Publishing[edit]

Bombshell was seen among Megatron's troops in The Transformers: Megatron Origin. Bombshell also makes an appearance during a flashback in Spotlight; Blaster. He converts the Autobot Beachcomber into a sleeper-agent, who then attempts to assassinate Morale Officer Blaster before a key radio broadcast.


  • Generation 1 Insecticon Bombshell (1985)
Originally a Diaclone toy.[10]
  • Generation 1 Action Master Bombshell
Later on, Bombshell was released as an Action Master. This figure was only available in Europe and Australasia.
  • Robot Heroes Hardshell (2009)
Bombshell made an appearance in the first wave of 25th Anniversary figures for the Robot Heroes line of PVC figures. Renamed "Hardshell."
  • Universe Insecticon Hardshell (2009)
A Toys R us store exclusive packaged with Sharpshot and Kickback. Renamed "Hardshell."

Transformers: Timelines (Shattered Glass)[edit]

Transformers character

Warning: Display title "Bombshell" overrides earlier display title "Bombshell/Hardshell". Search Bombshell (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Bombshell (Transformers) on Amazon.

Bombshell is one of the heroic Decepticons in the Shattered Glass universe stories by Fun Publications.

Fun Publications[edit]

In Do Over the Nemesis launches after the Ark. After a brief battle the Nemesis is shot down and crashes on Earth, with the crew escaping in stasis pods. Although not directly depicted, Bombshell is a member of the crew of the Nemesis.

Bombshell makes his first appearance in Blitzwing Bop as one of the Decepticons on Earth. Sideswipe, Bombshell and Blitzwing stop a scheme by Elita One and Brawn to make attack drones from human cars by implanting control devices in the cars in a Roll-N-Wash car wash. Although not directly seen, he was mentioned by Cliffjumper.


  • Generation 1 Insecticon Salvo
An ehobby exclusive recolor of Bombshell.

Transformers: Prime[edit]

Transformers character

Warning: Display title "Hardshell" overrides earlier display title "Bombshell". Search Bombshell (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Bombshell (Transformers) on Amazon.

In Transformers: Prime, Hardshell is the fiercest of the Insecticons and appears to be their leader.


Hardshell and the other Insecticons are part of Shockwave's experiments in the novel Transformers: Exodus.

Video games[edit]

Hardshell appears in the 2012 game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. He is one of three Insecticons modified by Shockwave that receive heightened intelligence, and in one of Shockwave's audio logs, mentions that Hardshell prefers using munitions instead of his basic weapons. Hardshell, Kickback and Sharpshot join Shockwave in viewing Grimlock, as witnessed by Starscream before he set the Dinobot free. Hardshell confronts Grimlock and Swoop and uses a battlesuit to attack them, however Swoop provides Grimlock with explosive barrels which defeat him.

Animated series[edit]

Hardshell is the fiercest of the Insecticons who first appears in "Toxicity." When Megatron asks the Insecticons which of them is the strongest of them, Hardshell states that the Insecticons are equal but he is the fiercest. Hardshell is ordered by Megatron to find the fourth and final artifact from the Iacon Vault, and leads some Insecticons to the Equator to locate the artifact. Bulkhead encounters and fights Hardshell, who knows the Wreckers due to killing some of its members. Hardshell proves to be a match for Bulkhead until he is knocked down, but leaves Bulkhead leaking Energon. Hardshell recovers and states that Bulkhead leaving him alive will be the last mistake he'll ever make. When Bulkhead finds the Iacon artifact, which turns out to be a cache of Tox-En (a type of deadly and poisonous Energon), Hardshell catches up and one of the Insecticons with him ends up killed by a combination of Bulkhead's grenade and some Tox-En. Hardshell reports to Megatron that they are after the Tox-En in the artifact and then goes after Bulkhead by following his leaked Energon trail. When Hardshell learns that Bulkhead's trail is fake and confronts the Autobot on the volcano summit, demanding the severely weakened Bulkhead to let them put him out of his misery. Bulkhead managed to expose Hardshell and his remaining Insecticons to Tox-En, weakening them, and Hardshell is knocked down a volcano shaft with the Tox-En, but survives and soon emerges to fire on Bulkhead as he heads into the Ground Bridge.

In "Hurt," Hardshell mentions to Megatron that he had defeated Bulkhead. When walking down the hallways of the Nemesis with some Insecticons, two Vehicons unknowingly insulted them causing Hardshell and the Insecticons with him to attack them, during which Knock-Out accidentally got hit by Hardshell. Knock-Out reported this to Megatron, just as he receives a transmission from Wheeljack, who demands that Megatron hand over Hardshell to him for almost killing Bulkhead, causing Megatron to become enraged to hear the Autobot survived. Megatron sends Hardshell to the coordinates that Wheeljack sent him in order to dispose of Wheeljack (and to makeup for failing to kill Bulkhead). In a canyon, Wheeljack fought with Hardshell where Hardshell ended up getting the upper hand. Before Hardshell could finish off Wheeljack, Miko used the missiles on Wheeljack's ship to finish off Hardshell as she and Wheeljack do a tactical retreat to get away from the other Insecticons. When Hardshell's body was brought back to the Nemesis, Megatron learned from an Insecticon that a "human girl" was responsible for killing Hardshell.

Hardshell is mentioned by Miko while she's still upset in "Out of the Past," and again when Starscream boasts about defeating Cliffjumper in "Chain of Command".


  • Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander Hardshell (2013)
Part of the second wave of Prime: Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander Class toys.


  1. Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. p. 25. ISBN 0764313649. Search this book on
  2. Furman, Simon (2004). Transformers: The Ultimate Guide. DK Publishing Inc. p. 26. ISBN 1405304618. Search this book on
  3. Delta Tenant Farmers sang Boll Weevil Blues as They Lived it The Commercial Appeal, November 11, 2007, Story by Tom Charlier
  4. Kevin Guhl (December 16, 2009). "The 30 Most Unfortunately Named Transformers".
  6. Dinobots Strike Back. Ballantine Books. 1985. ISBN 0345341503. Search this book on
  8. Sherman, Josepha (1986). The Invisibility Factor. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-33391-8. Search this book on
  9. Brigandi, Pat (1986). The Invasion of the Decepticon Camp. Marvel Books. ISBN 0871351021. Search this book on
  10. Lee's Guide to Loose 1985 Transformers: The Decepticons. Lee's Toy Review magazine, issue #201, August 2009

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