Optimus Prime is a character in the Transformers universe. He is the commander of the Autobots, a faction of heroic Transformers from the planet Cybertron who wage their battles against the evil forces of the Decepticons for control of their homeworld, and by extension, peace in the universe. Optimus Prime is depicted as a heroic, brave and compassionate character who puts all his talent to use to improve the world around him. Optimus has a strong sense of justice and righteousness, and has dedicated himself to the protection of all life, particularly the inhabitants of Earth; he will battle his foes with unyielding resolve to uphold this belief. He always seems to wear a mask over his mouth.
The original Optimus Prime transforms into a cab over semi truck. The truck’s cab transforms into the robot mode of Prime himself, with vast strength and armed with a laser rifle. Contained within his chest is the mystic talisman known as the Autobot Matrix of Leadership (or Creation Matrix, depending on the continuity), carried by all Autobot leaders and passed down through the ages. The comic book continuities tend to claim that Optimus’ direct predecessor as Prime and thus bearer of the Matrix was Sentinel Prime, a fact which is part of the Dreamwave comics canon. In the cartoon continuity, it is unknown who Optimus inherited the talisman from, as he is already named as a Prime when Alpha Trion rebuilds him from his former self, which appears to indicate that Alpha Trion may have given Prime the Matrix at that point in time just after the transformation of Orion Pax into Optimus Prime. This change is depicted in the episode War Dawn. The truck’s trailer disconnects and transforms into the Combat Deck, a mobile battle-station/command headquarters with an “Auto-Launcher” robot armed with assorted artillery and beam weapons. It can also serve as a radio antenna for battlefield communications between the Autobots. The Combat Deck can launch Prime’s third component, Roller, a mobile scout buggy that can easily slip behind enemy lines. Optimus’ senses are tied into Roller’s, and can perceive what Roller does. Injury to one component is felt by each of the others, and while Prime could survive the destruction of either, despite the slight degree of autonomy they possess, the Combat Deck and Roller would not be able to survive without him.
Additional powers included (somewhat inconsistently) in the animated series and comics are short-range optic blasts, holographic map projections, a palm mounted, triangle-shaped repulsor projector (similar in function to the Marvel Character Iron Man) and deployable hydro-foils designed by Wheeljack which allowed Prime and the other Autobots to traverse bodies of water with ease. One of Prime’s more memorable[who?] abilities from the animated series was the ability to retract his right hand and replace it with a glowing energon axe; although used only once, the axe proved popular enough to be rendered in toy form several times in recent years, and made an appearance in the Dreamwave Productions and Devil’s Due Publishing comic series. In the 2007 live action feature film it appeared as a glowing metallic broadsword.
Across the assorted continuities of the original Transformers universe, there have been various interpretations of Optimus Prime. One of Prime’s most notable characteristics in any form was his adamant commitment to leadership by example, and avoidance of any hypocrisy in his command, but beyond this, the animated series leaned towards Optimus Prime as a straightforward, wise and essentially upbeat battlefield general. The Marvel Comics series, on the other hand, in addition to these more obvious characteristics, suggested a Prime secretly plagued by self-doubt and, more importantly, a conflicted sense of pacifism that often made him an extremely reluctant warrior. It was occasionally implied that the conflict with the Decepticons lasted as long as it did primarily because of his unwillingness to take a more aggressive stance.
The animated series revealed other minor details about Optimus Prime’s personality and personal life – for example, his dislike of rap music (”Blaster Blues” and “Quest for Survival”), which set him at odds with music-loving characters like Blaster and Jazz. Prime also enjoys televised sports, most notably basketball which he even plays (”The Master Builder”), as well as setting up a basketball court outside the Ark. Though Prime’s personality is like that of a human man age 40-50, he is not above watching afternoon soap operas (in the episode “Prime Target”, he is heard groaning out loud when the soap opera he is watching with the other Transformers gets interrupted for a news report).
An undisclosed period of time later, at the beginning of the Transformers: Generation 2 comic book sequel series, Prime was restored to a form resembling his original body, and he and the Transformers found themselves caught in the schemes of a “second generation” of Cybertronians led by the icy Jhiaxus, who were colonizing and cyber-forming other worlds. Plagued by nightmarish visions of a life-destroying entity called “the Swarm,” Prime looked into Cybertron’s past and discovered that Jhiaxus and his kind were the result of further unintentional Transformer reproduction, their nature and intent distilled to the purest, most unemotional form of conquest, and that the Swarm was the by-product of this process. Entering into an alliance with the recreated Megatron’s Decepticons to combat the Swarm and Jhiaxus, Prime was consumed by the abomination and destroyed, but at the last moment, unleashed the energies of the Matrix into the Swarm, purifying it. In parting, the Swarm recreated Prime in a new form, (based on his “Hero” toy), and he and Megatron set out to lead the united Transformers and Decepticons into a new age.
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From Hasbro, we’ve got the new Deluxe Class Transformers 2 movie toys. Included in the collection are standards like Bumblebee (Chevy Camaro), Soundwave (a Satellite) and Arcee segment Chromia (Motorcycle) and they’re joined by Mudflap (Chevrolet Trax), Skids (Chevrolet Beat) and many more. Standing about 6” tall, they’re the first of three classes of Transformers movie Toys and the smallest. But don’t be fooled! Even at 6 inches, these Transformers figures transition smoothly from vehicle to robot mode and make a great addition to any Revenge of the Fallen collection.