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Vortex is a fictional character in the various Transformers continuities in the Transformers franchise. Characters with this name are typically Decepticons who transform into helicopters.

Transformers: Generation 1[edit]

Transformers character

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

Vortex is the most out-and-out sadistic of the Combaticons, and functions as the Decepticons’ 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. Vortex is the only G1 Transformer whose motto includes his own name.

Marvel Comics[edit]

Vortex debuted in issue #24, Afterdeath. In this issue, Megatron and the Combaticons are battling Optimus Prime and the 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.[2]

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.

Animated series[edit]

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. On this island he 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 one of them; the others' names are Brawl, Swindle, Blast Off, and Onslaught. Vortex is placed in an old WWII fighter plane and the body is reformatted into a helicopter. Also Starscream endows his recruits (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 first Starscream hatches a plan to capture two Transformers. He and the Combaticons crash into an unveiling ceremony for the statue of Autobot Leader Optimus Prime, where two Autobots, Jazz and Cliffjumper, were being interviewed. As the Combaitcons start attacking, they each start showing off their power and abilities. At last, Jazz and Cliffjumper are sucked into Vortex in helicopter mode.

At the head of his improvised army, Starscream attacks Megatron and even forces him to recognize himself as the new Decepticon leader. Only without the aid of the Stunticons, Megatron succeeds 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. When Megatron teams up with Optimus Prime, Starscream reveals the weak points of Bruticus to them 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 his son Daniel 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[edit]

War Within Vortex.

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.

IDW Publishing[edit]

Banzai-Tron, Gutcruncher, Axer and the Combaticons help Arcee attempt to recapture Monstructor.[3]

Fun Publications[edit]

Magnum introduces his new Elite Guard Combaticons to Metalhawk's team.

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]


Generation 2 Vortex toy.
  • 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 1 Kabaya Gum Vortex & Brawl (1986)
Part of the original gum toy series by Kabaya and bundled with Brawl. Two additional packs (Onslaught and Blast Off & Vortex) are needed to complete Bruticus. Each package comes with a stick of chewing gum and an easy-to-assemble kit. The completed robot looks and transforms almost the same as the larger, original Takara version, but is molded in olive green instead of gray.[8]
  • Generation 2 Vortex
The Vortex figure was recolored and redistributed in the Generation 2 toy line.[9]
  • Transformers 3D Battle-Card Game Vortex (2007)
Produced by Wizards of the Coast, wave 2 of their Transformers 3D Battle-Card Game included a Vortex card, who was a redeco of Blackout from wave 1.
  • 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.[10]

Transformers: Robots in Disguise[edit]

Transformers character
Voiced byNeil Kaplan[11]

Warning: Display title "Ro-Tor/Whirl" overrides earlier display title "Vortex". Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon.

Ro-Tor is the name of a Decepticon who turns into a helicopter. The team's reconnaissance specialist.

Animated series[edit]

Ro-Tor was one of five Transformers that actually began life as Autobots, sent to Earth along with a sixth to lead them in a mission to reactivate the legendary Autobot battle station known as Fortress Maximus. However, their craft malfunctioned and crashed, and the six Autobots were entombed in protoform state, joining Fortress Maximus in slumber until their ship was unearthed by Megatron and his Predacons. Absconding with the Autobot protoforms right under Optimus Prime's nose, Megatron took them to a nearby military base, intending to scan alternate modes for them. Mega-Octane was the first to be reactivated, infused with a portion of Megatron's own spark energy to create the first of a new breed of Transformer that Megatron dubbed the "Decepticons." The other four members of the team followed, and eventually the sixth, Scourge, who took leadership of the team from Mega-Octane with a show of force.

Simply referred to as the Commandos, they soon demonstrated their skills by blowing up dams across the country, debuting their combining abilities against Rail Racer and later attempting to harness the energies of a volcano on Montrose Island. As part of a string of failed attempts to locate the Autobots' hidden base, Movor was launched into orbit to track Side Burn from space, and the Decepticons then pretended to have reverted to their original Autobot selves in an effort to make the Autobots take them in. Later, Decepticon corruption of the Autobots' global spacebridge led Ruination into conflict with Landfill.

It soon became apparent that Scourge sought to overthrow Megatron's leadership, and the discovery of Fortress Maximus, buried beneath the Earth's surface accelerated the process as exposure to his energies, and those of the O-Parts - the keys to Maximus's resurrection - awoke memories of Scourge's original mission. His new Decepticon programming turned it on its head, however, as he now wished to command Maximus's power for his own, and soon had the other Decepticons thinking the same way, conspiring with Mega-Octane to get Cerebros, the power key of Fortress Maximus, under his control. As a series of chases to acquire control of Maximus began, Scourge eventually revealed his treachery by trying to have the giant attack Galvatron (Megatron, in a new form), only for the plan to fail. In retribution, Galvatron again brainwashed the Decepticons, turning them back into his loyal servants, who followed him so completely that they were even willing to take his orders after he attempted to kill them as a belated punishment. With Galvatron's defeat, the Decepticons and Predacons were all taken back to Cybertron for imprisonment.

3H Enterprises[edit]

His only appearance in the official storyline of Transformers: Universe was as a member of the Ruination combiner team in the 2004 BotCon voice actor play, where he was commanded by Reptilion.


  • Car Robots Heptor
  • Robots in Disguise Ro-Tor
His toy is a redeco of Generation 1 Vortex. With Ruinations official height being given as 15 meters (49.2 feet) tall, and the toy measuring 25 centimeters tall, the toy would have a scale of about 1/60. This would mean Mega-Octane would stand 11.4 meters (37.4 feet) tall, while the other Commandos would stand about 4.8 meters (15.7 feet) tall.
  • Robots in Disguise Ro-Tor Redeco
The Commandos were packaged together in a uniform "urban camo" redeco.[12]
  • Universe Ruination (2004)
A recolor of the Robots in Disguise Ro-Tor was released in Wal*Mart stores as part of a Ruination gift-set. He is painted in desert camo.

Transformers: Universe[edit]

Transformers character

Warning: Display title "Ro-Tor" overrides earlier display title "Ro-Tor/Whirl". Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon.

The name Ro-Tor was used again on a helicopter Micromaster as part of the Aerialbot team and forms an arm to the teams combined form Superion (Sixwing).

The Micromaster toy packaging was lacking in bios and no official bio has been released from Hasbro.

According to the story for Berserker Sixwing, a computer virus briefly turned the Sixwing team into Decepticons.


  • Generation 1 Micromaster Chaingun
He was packaged with his 5 partners.[13]
  • Generation 1 Micromaster Chaingun reissue
A reissue of Chaingun as a Decepticon.
  • Generation 1 Micromaster Berserker Chaingun
A white redeco of Chaingun Run as a Decepticon.
  • Universe Ro-Tor (2005)
Ro-Tor is a recolor of the Generation One Japanese exclusive Chaingun. Because the Universe toy line wasn't released in Europe, this toy was labeled as a Cybertron toy in some markets.[14]

Transformers: Energon[edit]

Vorter (G1 Vortex's Japanese name) was the Japanese name for Energon Stormcloud, who transformed into an attack helicopter. When Stormcloud appeared on the 3D Battle Card Game, he was actually named Vortex.

Transformers Cinematic Universe[edit]

Transformers character

Warning: Display title "Vortex" overrides earlier display title "Ro-Tor". Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon.

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[edit]

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 by Arcee in chest. This was the second killed Combaticon after Brawl.


  • 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.
  • Dark of the Moon Deluxe Vortex (2011)
A Japan exclusive gray redeco of the Deluxe Tomahawk figure from the 2010 toy line.

Aligned continuity family[edit]

Transformers character

Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon. Search Vortex (Transformers) on Amazon.

Vortex isn't much of a fighter. Instead, what Autobots fear is being caught in his magnetic grapples. Once they are in his clutches, Vortex will execute a series of terrifying maneuvers that leaves his victims scared oilless, shortly before dropping them to the planet surface, shellshocked, to their deaths. Along with the other Combaticons, he can form Bruticus.


Vortex appears in The Covenant of Primus. The Combaticons remained behind on Cybertron after the launch of the Ark and the Nemesis. Vortex and his comrades fought against the Wreckers to help Shockwave maintain control of Cybertron.

Vortex appears in Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe. Vortex and the rest of the Combaticons had the ability to merge into the mighty Bruticus! It is not known whether they followed Megatron to Earth in his quest for the Allspark or if they remained behind on Cybertron, as they had yet to have been seen adopting an Earth vehicle mode.

Video games[edit]

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 (released November 2012)
  • Generations Fall of Cybertron Decepticon Bruticus (multi-pack, 2012)
  • Platinum Edition Fall of Cybertron Grimlock vs Decepticon Bruticus (Multi-pack, 2013)


  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. Search this book on
  2. The Official Overstreet Comic Book Companion, 11th Edition, Page 257, by Robert M. Overstreet, 2010
  3. Spotlight: Sideswipe by IDW Publishing
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. - Kabaya Gum Bruticus
  9. Brereton, Erin (2006). Transformers: The Fantasy, The Fun, The Future. Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-983-1. Search this book on
  10. - First Look: New Transformers Universe Whirl, Sandstorm and Optimus Prime on eBay
  11. Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (Third ed.). Infobase Publishing. p. 657. ISBN 978-0-8160-6599-8. Search this book on
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2012-11-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Generation 1 Chain Gun image gallery and review |".
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2013-02-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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