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Ratchet made his first appearance in issue #1 of the Marvel Comics Transformers comic book series. Originally this was intended to be a 4-issue series, but became a monthly series that ultimately lasted 80 issues. In issue number 4, he transported "Sparkplug" Witwicky to the hospital after Witwicky had a heart attack aboard the Autobot base, The Ark. Because of this, he was not at the final battle between the few remaining Autobots (having transferred their low fuel resources into a selected group of 5 Autobots) and the fully-powered Decepticons. At that battle, the Autobots were losing when their foes suddenly began falling from fuel that had been tainted by Witwicky. Before the Autobots could celebrate their victory, the Decepticon Shockwave appeared (his first appearance in the comic series) and destroyed the remaining Autobots.
As the sole surviving Autobot, Ratchet sought some way to resurrect his comrades to defeat the Decepticons. An initial foray revealed that Megatron had been humiliatingly defeated by Shockwave and relegated to second-in-command status. Megatron made a deal - Ratchet would destroy Shockwave, and Megatron would free his comrades. Knowing Megatron would betray him, Ratchet searched for some way to get out of it. To this end, he came across information from The Ark's initial search for "life" on the planet when the craft first crashed. While in the "present" (1984), the probes read moving metallic objects as life (as it would expect, being from a mechanical-life based world), accounting for the recreation of the Transformers as vehicles, aircraft, etc.), in a prehistoric attempt it had found none and instead determined the only moving, seemingly-sentient objects of similar size to the Transformers, dinosaurs, to be life. The Ark thus created the Dinobots based on these beings. Finding information on the Dinobots, Ratchet sought out their location, finding them and fixing them back up. (It was his first probe for the Dinobots that had awoken Shockwave, dooming his comrades.) When he had completed this task, he confronted Megatron and ambushed the enemy robot with the five Dinobots (Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Snarl and Swoop). Megatron quickly dispatched them and laughed at the weak medic. As a final resort, Ratchet flung himself into Megatron, hoping to throw them both off the tall cliff, destroying them both, but instead bounced off. Megatron laughed at him again, though commending him for his courage. While laughing, the cliff edge Megatron was standing on collapsed and he fell to his deactivation. To this end Ratchet was a hero, though he didn't feel particularly victorious. He later returned to the Ark with the Dinobots and repaired his fellow Autobots, with the exception of Optimus Prime, whose head was mysteriously missing (kept by Shockwave to tap the powers of the Matrix).
His workload increased drastically as the Autobots suffered casualties brought on by Circuit Breaker (a woman with electromagnetic powers and a searing hatred of all robots), the Constructicons (as Devastator), a Shockwave-controlled Jetfire, and even a Decepticon doppelganger of Optimus Prime.
In issue #27, "King of the Hill!", Perceptor summoned his fellow Autobots Blaster, Hot Spot, Jetfire, Omega Supreme, Ratchet and Silverbolt in order to decide who should take leadership of the Autobots. After an attack by the giant Decepticon Trypticon the leader was chosen - Grimlock.
Ratchet later ran afoul of the presumed-dead Megatron once again. Megatron abducted him via the Space Bridge and set him to work on a top secret project - resurrecting Starscream as a Pretender and sending him to attack both Prime's forces and the Decepticons under Scorponok, who he considered a usurper. Ratchet double-crossed him, as he reprogrammed Starscream's mind so that his original personality re-emerged, and the traitor ended up begging for mercy from Scorponok. Ratchet also restored Grimlock, Jazz, and Bumblebee, as Megatron tasked him to create Decepticon Pretenders. Ratchet chose these three Autobots of the many deactivated ones based on his experience and loyalty to them; he only had three Pretender shells that he could use. Though Bumblebee had previously been upgraded in size and strength with a new name of Goldbug, Ratchet restored him to his original Bumblebee configuration because he "always liked [it] better". The three battled Megatron's troops, although he defeated them all. Ratchet then revealed the base had been set to self-destruct. Megatron tried to escape through the Space Bridge, but Ratchet sacrificed himself to keep him from escaping. Something that affected Optimus Prime deeply.
Near the end of the original comic run, it was revealed the explosion had knocked both of them into the Space Bridge, fusing them into a nightmarish hybrid. Located by the Autobot detective Nightbeat, the hybrid rampaged around the Autobot ship before Prime stopped it. Against the wishes of Prime's crew, who knew that saving Ratchet meant saving Megatron, the two were surgically separated and put in stasis to keep him alive. Later he was infused with Nucleon along with other Autobots. His final action in the series was causing The Ark to crash-land on Earth to prevent its Decepticon stowaways - Megatron, Galvatron, Shockwave and Starscream - from landing and plundering Earth, presumably being killed in the process. Many times over, Ratchet was a hero, but he never gained nor sought such recognition.
-- Transformers: Generation 2 --
Although there was no Ratchet toy for Generation Two, Ratchet did make several appearances in the memories of Optimus Prime in the Generation Two comic book series by Marvel Comics. Despite being dead, he would make two flashback appearances - one in his fused form with Megatron, and the other showing him protecting two humans, likely Buster Witwicky and his girlfriend Jess.
First Appearance: The Transformers (1984) #1
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
G.I. Joe and The Transformers (1987)
#1 Iacon Independent (2012)
- 'Blood on the Tracks'#3
- 'Ashes, Ashes...'#4
- '...All Fall Down'
Mars Attacks: The Transformers (2013)
The Transformers (1984)
The Transformers (UK) (1984)
Annual 1986 The Transformers Classics UK (2011)
- 'Transformers Annual 1986'Annual 1987
- 'Transformers Annual 1987'Annual 1988
- 'Transformers Annual 1988'TPB
- 'Space Pirates'#15
- 'The Enemy Within! - Part 3: Crime ... And Punishment!'#29
- 'Decepticon Dam-Busters! - Part 1'#30
- 'Decepticon Dam-Busters! - Part 2'#31
- 'The Wrath of Guardian!'#32
- 'The Wrath of Grimlock!'#42
- 'Crisis of Command! - Part 1'#43
- 'Crisis of Command! - Part 2'#44
- 'Crisis of Command! - Part 3'#45
- 'The Icarus Theory - Part 1'#46
- 'The Icarus Theory - Part 2'#50
- 'Dinobot Hunt! - Part 4'#59
- 'Robot Buster! - Part 1'#60
- 'Robot Buster! - Part 2'#62
- 'Devastation Derby! - Part 2'#63
- 'Second Generation! - Part 1'#64
- 'Second Generation! - Part 2'#65
- 'Second Generation! - Part 3'#78
- 'Target: 2006 Prologue'#88
- 'Target 2006 - Epilogue'#96
- ' Prey! - Part 1'#97
- 'Prey! - Part 2'#98
- '...The Harder They Die!'#100
- 'Distant Thunder!'#103
- 'Resurrection! - Part 1'#104
- 'Resurrection! - Part 2'#229
- 'Hunting Party'#235
- 'Death Bringer'#250
- 'The greatest gift of all'
The Transformers Comics Magazine (1987)
The Transformers Special (1985)
The Transformers Universe (1986)
The Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (2014)
The Transformers: A Message From Outer Space (1985)
nn The Transformers: Battle for Cybertron (1984)
- 'A Message From Outer Space'
nn The Transformers: Battle for Earth (1985)
- 'The Battle for Cybertron'
The Transformers: Decepticon Hijack (1985)
The Transformers: Decepticon Patrol (1984)
The Transformers: Regeneration One (2012)
#80.5 The Transformers: Target: 2006 (2007)
- 'Loose Ends part 2'#84
- 'Loose Ends Part 4'#85
- 'Loose ends part 5'#100
- 'The War to End All Wars Part 5'
The Transformers: The Animated Movie (2006)
#1 The Transformers: The Autobot Smasher! (1985)
- 'Part 1: The Gathering Storm'
nn The Transformers: The Battle At Oil Valley (1986)
- 'The Autobot Smasher!'
nn The Transformers: The Great Car Rally (1984)
- 'The Battle At Oil Valley'
nn The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
- 'The Great Car Rally'
#1 Transformers Reflection (2014)
- 'Les Transformers'#2
- 'Lutte de pouvoirs'#3
- 'Prisonnier De Guerre!'#4
- 'La dernière bataille'#5
- 'L'ordre Nouveau'#6
- 'Le pire de deux maux!'#7
- 'Ecole de guerriers'#8
- 'Deuxième reprèsentation!'
Transformers Robot Heroes (2009)
Transformers The Definitive G1 Collection (2016)
Transformers Universe (2003)
Transformers: Armada (2002)
Transformers: Generation 2 (1993)
Transformers: More than Meets the Eye (2003)
Transformers: Timelines (2005)
#0 Transformers/Ghostbusters (2019)
- 'Descent Into Evil'#7
- 'Ghosts of Cybertron Part 1'
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