At #5 is Squawkbox who is the combined form of Squawktalk and Beastbox. What’s makes him unique is not only is he the only combiner of the group but he can manipulate sounds which have served well on the battlefield. He can disorient Autobot forces with his sounds to give his fellow Decepticons a tactical advantage. However, he has a tendancy to get ahead of himself, due in part to Beastbox’s overzealous personality, which has lead his him also hindering the Decepticons with his unique sound. Like all his Minions, Squawkbox brings information he has gathered back to Soundwave. What keeps him from being higher up on the list is when he was turned into road pizza by Hot Rod.
Hey there Bot fans, your resident Cybertronian is bringing you another article in the yearlong celebration of our favorite “robots in disguise”, the Transformers 30th Anniversary. It’s the holidays and many of my fellow Trans-fans are searching for that perfect gift for that special someone (still working on mine, btw). So here’s my gift to you. Now, Transformers’ lists have been done before but a lot of them focus on main or big name characters. This list will focus on the Decepticon Communications Specialist Soundwave. Now we all know Soundwave is the most loyal of the Decepticons as he is Megatron’s most trusted soldier. His skills for espionage are unmatched and because of this he has become an invaluable asset to the Decepticon cause. How did he get to this position? His faithful minions, of course. Each one has a skillset that has (sometimes) proven useful to Soundwave. He’s commanded several in each Transformers storyline but with every group there are a select few that stand out. Let’s take a look at the Top 5 of Soundwave’s Minions.
Coming in at #4 is Rat Bat. Making his first appearance in the original 1986 animated movie, he has slowly replaced Lazerbeak as the top spy for the Decepticons due to his smaller size and quieter approach. Like his predecessor, Ratbat was able to sneak into Autobot strongholds virtually unseen to spy on the Autobots and return with the gathered info just as discreetly. In other storylines, he is depicted as a senator serving on the Cybertronian Council and subsequently helps Megatron rise to power. His reward, his spark is placed in a cassette body. Unlike the comics, Ratbat hasn’t shown his combative side other than in the animated movie as his role is solely for spying and reconnaissance. Despite this, he fills in nicely for Laserbeak yet the same lack of engagement also keeps low on the list.
Rumble, Frenzy, whatever he is called, he is the big mover and shaker of Soundwave’s minions. However, a common mistake that is made is that Rumble and Frenzy are one in the same. This was due to the fact that Rumble’s color scheme was originally red and black when his action figure was first released. His widely recognized blue color scheme was used in the animated series while the red/black colorized version became Frenzy. The personality between to the two of them is relatively unchanged. They like taking part in the action when battling the Autobots and are unafraid of tackling larger Autobots. Rumble went gear to gear with Hound in the series premiere coming out on top but gets paid back in the third part of the same mini-series. He’ll even take on a human without hesitation. During the battle at the oil rig, Rumble slams Sparkplug against the wall and at Sherman Dam, he goes after Spike. Both times he was knocked down by the humans, however. When he is teamed with Frenzy, the two of them together can wreak all kinds of havoc. In the animated movie, Rumble and Frenzy battle Blaster and his cassette team along with Ratbat and Ravage. Their first act is taking down Preceptor with little effort, not that the Autobot scientist is much of a fighter anyway. Following the battle, they prove their might when they take down the combined form of the Constructicons known as Devastator when Hook insults Soundwave. Of the two, Frenzy was featured in the live action film but he as killed in the cheesiest way possible—decapitated by his own weapon. They get the #3 spot more for their tenacity than spying skills.
Every evil master needs a loyal pet and none come more faithful than Ravage. The sleek black panther/jaguar claws his way to the second spot on the list. Super quiet and capable of concealing himself in the shadows, Ravage’s abilities in spying are nearly unmatched. Like a good watchdog, he hears and processes everything that he transmits. When captured by the Autobots in the series premiere, Ravage attentively listens to Hound and Mirage’s conversation which led to the Decepticons sniffing out the Autobots deception after Optimus Prime “allowed” Ravage to escape. But eavesdropping isn’t his only skillset. Ravage is able to infiltrate any computer to gather valuable information for Soundwave to report to Megatron whether it’s info on Earth’s resources or Autobot traps. Like the predator he is, he is sent on retrieval missions by Megatron to collect the Autobots’ human friends. In the episode “Roll for it”, it was Ravage who was sent to collect Chip Chase from his home with Soundwave and Skywarp. He will fight any bot who stands in his way, even the leader of the Autobots Optimus Prime. Any Decepticon who tangles with the big guy deserves serious props. But he is still below the best of the best in cassette team.
And now for the number one minion in Soundwave’s crew. He is fiercely loyal and dedicated and the most efficient in intelligence gathering which makes Megatron appreciate him above all others under his command along with Shockwave and Soundwave. Laserbeak has time and again proven his worth amongst the Decepticons. He is the first of Soundwave’s minions we see in the original series premiere who is sent to spy on the Autobots at Iacon. He was the first to find a source of energy for his leader Megatron after they reactivated following their crash landing on Earth. He served as the Decepticons’ chief spy, infiltrating the Ark on numerous occasions, spying on their human allies and even knocking out Optimus Prime so that Megatron could make a copy of him. He has also proven to be successful against Optimus Prime on numerous other occasions. Laserbeak was used countless times as a reconnaissance platform, uncovering key plans of the Autobots throughout the war. He was also used to pursue and attack individuals attempting to escape. He once made use of a self-guided cannon to attack one Autobot while simultaneously pursuing another personally. He has also captured several humans during his stay on Earth. Unfortunately, Laserbeak’s appearances in season three were diminished, mostly due to the introduction of Ratbat, whose bat mode could fit into crevices Laserbeak couldn’t, making him a more effective spy.
Also, Laserbeak has been present in nearly every Transformers arc following the end of the original series including Transformers: Armada and most recently Transformers Prime. Now that’s staying power. Nevertheless, the fact that he has tangled with Optimus more so than any of Soundwave’s minions earned him special spot right on Megatron’s shoulder. The Big “M” is always pleased to see Laserbeak whenever he returns from a mission because as Megatron has stated, “Unlike some of my other warriors, you never fail me.” For that and the fact that he come closer to killing Optimus Prime than any one before Megatron caked him in the movie, Laserbeak is the undisputed champion and number one go-to bird of Soundwave’s minions.