Optimus Prime is the awe-inspiring leader of the Autobot forces. Selfless and endlessly courageous, he is the complete opposite of his mortal enemy Megatron. Originally a mere civilian, he was chosen by the Matrix to command, the first in a number of heavy burdens he has been forced to bear. Another is his bringing of the Transformers' conflict to Earth. Every casualty, human or Cybertronian, weighs heavily on his spark. He does not show this side to his soldiers, and he never succumbs to despair. The Autobots need a decisive, charismatic leader, and that is what he gives them. It was that leadership which turned the tide of the Great War.
On the battlefield, there are few who rival Optimus Prime's prowess. He is easily the strongest of any Autobot his size, and his ion blaster and his energon-axe are deadly weapons. He would sacrifice his life to protect his fellow Autobots or those under their care, and does so on a regular basis. His compassion for other sentient beings is his only real weakness, and one the Decepticons have taken advantage of time and again... though it's also the source of his strength!
Prime carries within him the Creation Matrix.
Before being rebuilt into a Powermaster, his robot mode split into three components:
- A sentient robot module, the Brain Center.
- A wheeled drone module known as Roller.
- A Combat Drone
Although Optimus Prime can function as three independent modules, injury to any one module is felt by the other two. As a Powermaster, he's binary-bonded to Hi-Q, a process that combines Hi-Q's intellect with Optimus's own wisdom.
Gladiatorial Games were commissioned between the city-states to increase good will as the planet's population outpaced its resources. Optimus Prime was the gladiator champion of Iacon, and he shared a sporting rivalry with a young champion from Tarn called Megatron. During a match in Tarn, Optimus intervened to stop Megatron killing his opponent, Sunstreaker. But sabotage plunged Tarn and Vos into an inter-city war that night. An Autobot Overlord was damaged while trying to sort it out, so Optimus Prime left to get help. However, the Overlord "mysteriously" perished while under the care of Megatron and Overlord's bodyguard, Ravage. |State Games|
Optimus Prime saved the life of an Autobot named Divebomb from another flying Decepticon who had previously beaten him and taken his name. "Divebomb" hated Prime with a passion, and was humiliated by his rescue, and so he kept this to himself. |Grudge Match|
Lieutenant Commander Optimus Prime of the Autobot Fourth Computerized Division quickly made a name for himself as a combat leader. He decided the neutral Boltax could help the Autobots win the war and, ignoring the risk to the neutral and Override's concern this could escalate the war, went with the Triggerbots to recruit him. This not only violated a neutrality agreement, and thus meant Megatron could claim Boltax's Underbase databank himself, but also allowed the Decepticons how to get past Boltax's defences. The circuit sect were butchered and Prime was forced to jettison the massive databank into space to prevent anyone acquiring its power. This "victory" helped make his career but he knew he'd been driven by pride and glory-seeking. The shame of what he'd done always remained with him. |The Flames of Boltax|
As a general, Optimus proved to be the only one capable of rallying the rag-tag forces into a proper army. |The Beginning| As the Great War intensified, Autobot territories began falling under Decepticon dominion, one City-State at a time. The last City-State to be taken was the Autobot capital of Iacon.
As Decepticons besieged Iacon, the Council of Elders prepared to surrender. Councilor Xaaron suggested that High Councillor Traachon step down and allow a military officer to assume Autobot leadership. Traachon then used his powers of veto and effectively elected himself out of office, allowing Optimus Prime to assume supreme command of the Autobots, becoming the first soldier to ever hold the mantle of Autobot leadership. This came when Optimus had already set in motion a plan behind their back: using shatter bombs to collapse the bridge into Iacon after the Decepticons had 'triumphantly' begun crossing it. To ensure this worked, Optimus fought Megatron personally to keep his attention away from advancing: their first meeting since the Vos-Tarn war. |And There Shall Come...a Leader|
After over a thousand years of war, Cybertron — shaken from its orbit and drifting through space—came under threat when it floated into the path of a massive asteroid swarm that could potentially devastate the planet. Prime led a group of his most powerful Autobot warriors on the Autobot starship, the Ark, on a mission to destroy the asteroids. Although the Autobots were successful, in the aftermath of this mission the Ark was attacked by Decepticon warship Nemesis, hoping to overcome their weakened foes. The resulting fight lead the Ark to crash onto the nearby planet Earth. After lying dormant for four million years, the Ark was awakened by the eruption of Mount St. Hilary in 1984, and Optimus Prime was rebuilt so that he could reconfigure his body into a semi-truck. As the Decepticons fled, Optimus Prime called for a roll call of his own troops. Suspecting that after all this time, Cybertron probably no longer existed, Optimus Prime began studying the planet upon which they had landed; he was startled to realize that this planet did have sentient life! He swore that the Autobots would hide themselves from Earth's natives, so that they would be spared the horrors of the Transformers' war. |The Beginning|
Optimus Prime and the other Autobots were all dangerously low on fuel, but thankfully Bumblebee had befriended some humans who could help — Irving "Sparkplug" Witwicky and his son, Buster Witwicky. Leading the Autobots to Sparkplug's auto shop, Optimus Prime introduced himself to the humans. Unfortunately, the Decepticons had the same idea, and the warring factions met in battle. But while Prime was busy shooting Decepticons out of the air, Megatron grabbed Sparkplug, and so Prime was forced to face his nemesis one-on-one. Despite Prime's apparent victory, Sparkplug was snatched away by Starscream, and the Decepticons retreated. Optimus Prime acknowledged Buster's sorrow at the kidnapping of his father, but noted that without fuel, retrieving him would be impossible. |Power Play|
Carrying Sideswipe and Hound in his trailer, Optimus Prime and the other Autobots returned to the Ark, where Ratchet awaited. Optimus and a handful of his soldiers were refueled, and left to confront the Decepticons at their cliffside fortress. With the mysterious Spider-Man's help, Sparkplug was rescued, but not before Sparkplug had converted fuel for the Decepticons! |Prisoner of War| Unfortunately, Optimus Prime couldn't stop the Autobots from overreacting to this bad news, and their actions caused Sparkplug Witwicky to suffer a heart attack. ||The Last Stand|
When the Ark alerted Optimus Prime of a power surge at Sherman Dam, he and his Autobots weren't surprised to find the Decepticons behind it. Afraid of the dam crumbling under the stress of the Decepticons' manipulations, he faced off against Megatron on the top of the dam, brandishing his energy ax. As he trash-talked Megatron, Prime was suddenly distracted by Hound's defeat. Megatron used this moment to his advantage, knocking Prime off the dam and firing his cannon into the dam itself. Prime quickly assembled his troops, directing them to divert the waves by digging trenches and elevating the neighboring humans. Mirage was angered when the humans still vilified them, despite their hard work, but Prime calmed him. |Decepticon Dam-Busters|
Huffer alerted Optimus Prime to information that Ratchet had uncovered from the Ark's databanks: millions of years ago, the Dinobots battled Shockwave to a standstill. This raised some questions, but there was little Optimus Prime could do with this knowledge now. With a Decepticon attack imminent, and the Autobots dangerously low on fuel, Optimus Prime had a desperate gamble. Using the Tubes of Transference, the combined remaining fuel was compiled into five of the strongest Autobots, himself, Ironhide, Huffer, Bluestreak, and Mirage. Sure enough, the Decepticons descended quickly upon them, but even though Prime was still low on fuel, he was still quick enough to grab Starscream out of the air! It was not enough to defeat Megatron, however, and his nemesis hoisted Prime's body over his head in complete victory. ...That is, until Megatron and the other Decepticons doubled over in pain. Sparkplug had poisoned the Decepticons' fuel! Unfortunately, Optimus Prime's subsequent speech was short as he and the other Autobots were blasted into pieces. Shockwave had awakened and returned. |The Last Stand|
Though the Decepticons had taken over the Ark, Ratchet was able to sneak Buster Witwicky inside, and the young human was startled to find Optimus Prime's decapitated head attached to machinery. |The New Order| Optimus Prime, in this weakened state, pleaded with Buster to detach two power cords and attach them to either side of the human's head. This released a tremendous amount of energy, transferring Optimus Prime's Creation Matrix to the human, and Buster blacked out. After Buster awoke, he returned to Ratchet to tell him of Optimus Prime's defeat. |The Worst of Two Evils| Ratchet had to see this for himself, and he was saddened to find out that Buster was correct. The Autobots were defeated, even including the mighty Optimus Prime! But Optimus would not let Ratchet give up or despair. He pushed Ratchet to action, telling him that even though Ratchet was nothing more than a doctor, now was the time for him to learn to be a warrior. |Warrior School| Since Shockwave's return, he had wrested leadership of the Decepticons from Megatron, and so the former Decepticon leader was ordered by Shockwave to prepare to move Optimus Prime's head from the Ark to the Decepticons' base of operations within Blackrock Aerospace Assembly Plant Number One. |Repeat Performance|
Shockwave planned to use the Creation Matrix energies within Optimus Prime's head to give life to a new Decepticon army, despite Optimus Prime's obvious objections. Shockwave didn't know that he had transferred most of the energy to Buster Witwicky, so Optimus Prime took quiet solace in the fact that the last of his remaining energies would be used on only six new warriors. |The Wrath of Guardian| |DIS-Integrated Circuits| Meanwhile back at the Ark, Ratchet and Wheeljack remotely controlled Prime's headless body to prevent Grimlock from setting off Guardian's nuclear arsenal. |The Wrath of Grimlock|
Optimus Prime's head watched helplessly as Shockwave brought his Constructicons to life using the rest of Prime's stored Creation Matrix energies. But Shockwave realized something was wrong when Prime failed to give life to his next creation, Jetfire. |The Next Best Thing to Being There| Shockwave deduced what had happened, and so he sent Jetfire (who was still little more than a drone) out to capture Buster. Optimus Prime realized he had put Buster in tremendous danger, but thankfully Buster prevailed in thwarting his would-be-captors through applied use of the Creation Matrix on them. However, with the Matrix energy within Prime spent, the Autobot leader was useless to Shockwave, and so the Decepticon made plans to dispose of the head. |Brainstorm| In actuality, the head Shockwave disposed of was an impostor. Shockwave had learned that his headquarters were bugged, and so when the Autobots came to retrieve the head from a nearby swamp, the impostor head took control of Prime's body and turned on the Autobots. The day was saved only by the efforts of Buster, who was able to wrest control of Jetfire so that he could deliver the real head to its body. Once again whole, Prime retaliated against the Decepticons battling at the swamp, and one by one, they were destroyed. Shockwave himself arrived to battle Prime, but after they grappled, Shockwave was thrown into the swamps and disappeared. Instead of delivering a final blow, Optimus Prime rushed back to the plant to assure Buster's safety. The nightmare over, Prime transferred the Creation Matrix energies from Buster back into himself. |Prime Time|
Post Arc 1
Optimus Prime questioned his ability to lead after his recent series of trials when a fight broke out amongst the Autobots on whether to use the Creation Matrix to create an army of unstoppable robot monsters. His introspection was interrupted by the intrusion of Ravage. The spy was captured, but it was not known by the Autobots that this was part of a larger Decepticon plot. Ravage escaped easily, and when Bumblebee gave chase, the Autobot was captured by the Decepticons. His disembodied arm was dropped in front of the Ark by Laserbeak, a gauntlet cast. Prime decided to go alone to Decepticon headquarters to rescue Bumblebee, despite the other Autobots' objections. Indeed, Prime bested the Decepticons one-by-one, felling them all, until he arrived, heavily damaged, in the chamber where Bumblebee was held. After making short work of Soundwave, Optimus Prime returned to the Autobots, determined to do things right from then on. |Crisis of Command|
Afterwards, Optimus Prime sent a team of Autobots to investigate the Man of Iron, a local legend in the United Kingdom. After befriending Sammy Harker, and tangling with the Decepticons over the remains of the Man of Iron's ship, Optimus Prime and Jazz were forced to destroy the ship, its inhabitants already dead. |Man of Iron|
Back at the Ark, after Brawn suffered a psychotic break and ran off, Optimus Prime ordered the Autobots to hunt him down before he could harm any humans! After Brawn was cornered, he threatened the Autobots with death, but was quickly overwhelmed, and Optimus Prime carried Brawn's defeated body back to the Ark. Another electrical shock returned Brawn to his senses, but in order to prove Brawn's loyalty, a Trial by Combat was orchestrated between him and the traitorous Decepticon, Starscream. With the help of Mirage's holograms, Brawn's death was faked once he had proved himself, and the two factions returned to their respective bases. |The Enemy Within| The Decepticons did not stay there for long, and suddenly a full-scale attack was launched on the Ark! Mid-clash, the Ark's computer systems, "Aunty", went berserk, and it fell to Optimus and Megatron to team up against the malfunctioning program to save both armies. Megatron used his ability to tap into the power of a black hole, in a bid to free them, only for Ravage and Windcharger to burst in and destroy Aunty themselves. Seeing little reason to put the cosmic energies he had gathered to waste, Megatron turned to finish off Optimus Prime. Thankfully, Windcharge used his magnetic abilities to propel Megatron from the Ark, and the rest of the Decepticons retreated in the absence of their leader. |Raiders of the Last Ark|
The Autobots were surprised to be attacked by the Dinobot Swoop, who was thought to be dead. After Swoop's mind was reclaimed from Professor Morris, Swoop went berserk and left once more. After learning that the Dinobots all would suffer the same involuntary rage, Optimus Prime called for a Dinobot Hunt! |The Icarus Theory| Optimus Prime briefed the Autobots on the Dinobots and their nature and sent them to find the Dinobots in groups. Later, Optimus Prime traveled via Ark shuttlecraft to put a stop to a fight between Grimlock and Sludge that had claimed several Autobot and human injuries. Prime neutralized the rampaging Dinobots, but was saddened to hear that the Decepticons had seized the opportunity to steal large quantities of energy from the humans while the Autobots were kept busy. With the Dinobots in ruin and the Decepticons fueled, Optimus Prime's Autobots had suffered a major defeat. |Dinobot Hunt| Optimus Prime later checked in with Ratchet, who was monitoring the comatose Dinobots. He implored Ratchet to find a way to save them from their constant nightmares. |Victory|
With the Autobot ranks drastically depleted, Optimus Prime performed the Rite of the Autobrand onto Jetfire. He guided Jetfire through the Ark; first into Ratchet's repair bay, and next into Wheeljack's lab, where additional troops were being assembled. Optimus Prime assigned Bumblebee to train these new recruits, but ordered them not to engage the enemy. When the group stumbled onto a Decepticon plot to siphon energy from a Brick Springhorn concert, Optimus gathered every able Autobot to assist. However, Bumblebee had disobeyed orders and his rookies had successfully thwarted the Decepticons. |Rock and Roll-Out|
When a human named Robot-Master appeared on television, claiming he controlled all Transformers, Optimus Prime led a team of Autobots into the Powder River Basin to prevent the human from getting hurt. Megatron, who had frozen, deactivated, at the bottom of the basin, was subsequently re-energized by Soundwave and his minions, and the combined might of their firepower and the human military's drove away Optimus and the Autobots in defeat. |I, Robot-Master| Afterward, Bumblebee felt he had failed Optimus Prime due to his relative lack of size and strength, and so he ran away. When Optimus discovered that Bumblebee had become a target of interest for the Decepticons, Optimus hurriedly led another team of Autobots to the rescue, an act that helped prove Bumblebee's worth to himself. |Plight of the Bumblebee|
Optimus Prime was absolutely appalled to discover that Wheeljack and Ratchet had built Buster Witwicky a battlesuit to aid him in the battle against the Decepticons, asking them outright if they had lost their minds. Though Buster protested, noting that since he was trusted with holding the Creation Matrix he should be trusted with the suit as well, Optimus Prime ordered the armored suit destroyed. But Buster stole the armored suit under cover of night and attacked the Decepticon headquarters, where he defeated Frenzy. The victory was a fluke however, one not to be repeated against Shockwave. Shockwave bested the human, but the arrival of Optimus Prime and the Autobots convinced Shockwave to spare his life. |Robot Buster| Following this incident, Buster began having strange nightmares, and Optimus Prime suspected that these nightmares were induced by the Creation Matrix. |Devastation Derby| Optimus himself featured prominently in Buster's visions, appearing in battle against Shockwave, only to be killed. Wanting to investigate these Creation Matrix-induced dreams, Optimus Prime and Buster were hooked up to machinery so that the human could share them. Optimus Prime and Buster witnessed strange four robot combiners from each faction named Special Teams fighting at the Pullen Power Plant joined by Devastator, and awoke shouting their name. They had seen a vision of the next generation of Transformers... |Second Generation|
In front of all the active Autobots, Optimus Prime and Grapple unveiled their secret project: Omega Supreme! Designed to be their last line of defense, Prime planned to leave Omega Supreme to guard the Ark while Prime led the Autobots to the Decepticon river basin headquarters to steal combiner technology from Devastator and promptly leave. The Dinobots scoffed at this plan, refusing to start a battle they were required to run away from, and so Grimlock and his Dinobots seceded from the Autobots. Though Skids raised concerns, Optimus Prime maintained that he had allowed for this. In fact, he allowed for everything save the interference of the humans, and after the mission was successfully pulled off, one human came after Skids; revenge for an earlier fender-bender with the Autobot. Skids was forced to pause, giving the Decepticons the opening they needed to blast him. Optimus Prime regretfully had to leave Skids behind, having to keep the safety of the rest of his troops in mind. |Command Performances|
Learning of the Dinobots' disastrous solo adventures, Optimus Prime wanted to disown them, but reluctantly acknowledged that they were necessary muscle for the team. Tragically, while speaking to the Autobots about their war thus far on Earth, he, Prowl, and Ratchet mysteriously vanished in a flash of light! |Target: 2005| They found themselves in a strange dimension called Limbo, where they joined a conflict between two factions of creatures whose warring behavior seemed rather familiar. Though Prime agreed to help one tribe in staving off an invading army, he refused to take any life in doing so. The opposing tribe proposed to give Optimus access to a device that would allow the Autobots to return to their world should they eliminate the enemy tribe, but Optimus once more refused to take part in wholesale slaughter. The Autobots soon allied with Shockwave, Thundercracker, and Frenzy, who were also shunted into this dimension. Though Shockwave was more willing to use violence to escape this world, they found out the whole alien war was just an illusion created by native parasites, who fed on their emotions. |Distant Thunder|
As Ratchet sealed up one of Prime's wounds, the Autobot commander was delighted to see Skids was alive, having returned to him along with Donny Finkleberg (previously the Robot-Master). They had news for him regarding the arrival of Autobot reinforcements from Cybertron, but they were interrupted by a news bulletin. Hoover Dam was being attacked by Decepticons, so Optimus Prime leapt from the repair bay despite Ratchet's objections to call the new Aerialbots into service. |Aerialbots over America| Later Ratchet was able to finish sealing Prime's wound, but not before the Insecticon Bombshell was able to implant a cerebro-shell within Prime's body. Through this link, the Decepticons would be able to share use of the Creation Matrix to give life to new troops! By subjecting the Aerialbots with incomplete programming with the Creation Matrix to give full life to them, therefore Megatron gave life to the Stunticons! Shortly afterwards, Prime sent the Aerialbots out to assist Skids but they were thwarted by the Stunticons and all the Autobots present fell into the hands of RAAT. |Heavy Traffic| When Circuit Breaker experimented on the captive Skids's brain module, she was able to access many images of Optimus Prime in his memory chips. |Decepticon Graffiti|
Optimus Prime observed the records of how poorly the Autobots performed in his absence in Limbo, specifically how they went so far as to seek leadership from Megatron out of sheer desperation. Optimus Prime began to consider whether he was too important to the Autobots, and if they could carry on should he fall. To alleviate his doubts, he and a reluctant Wheeljack plotted to fake Prime's death to teach the Autobots how to fend for themselves. While Prime was setting up an impostor version of himself to leave behind destroyed for the Autobots to find, Megatron sent the Predacons to attack Prime. |Prey|
During the scuffle, Optimus and Megatron were transported to Cybertron, while Prime's counterfeit body, torn apart, was found by the Autobots. Optimus Prime surveyed Cybertron for the first time in four million years, and he couldn't believe how terribly it had fallen. Cities and buildings were cut to the ground, and even his beloved Iacon was in shambles. After Prime saved Outback from a roving Decepticon, the tiny Autobot followed him despite Prime's wishes to be alone. Unfortunately, Megatron (in league with Straxus) had spread rumors that an imposter Optimus Prime had infiltrated Cybertron, which were readily believed due to Prime's four-million-year absence. Before too long, Prime was surrounded and shackled by Ultra Magnus and the Wreckers! |...The Harder They Die| With Outback's help, Prime was able to escape, and the two set out to clear Optimus's name. Unfortunately, a couple of Guardian units caught up to them, and though Prime defeated them, he was only able to do so after Outback had suffered mortal wounds. |Under Fire| As Outback began to die in his arms, Prime told Outback of the time he, Prowl, and Ratchet were stuck in Limbo. His story was overheard by the Wreckers, but hearing Prime's words convinced Emirate Xaaron that this was in fact the real Optimus Prime! |Distant Thunder|
The return of Optimus Prime was a welcome boost to the Autobot underground resistance. Not only did Autobot morale increase, but Decepticons were spooked at his very appearance! But after a few strategic victories, Prime knew he had to return to Earth. Prime and Ultra Magnus planned one last raid—they would besiege the Decepticon stronghold in Polyhex and destroy Megatron! But Megatron's "eccentricities" had become too much for Cybertron's Decepticons to handle, and in the middle of their battle, all three were whisked away to Earth by the space bridge. Optimus Prime appeared before the Autobots just as they had finished their Earth-inspired burial of the impostor body he had left behind. |Resurrection|
Optimus Prime met an anticlimactic end in a gambit for Energy Futures Industries' Hydrothermocline. He and the recently-built Protectobots agreed to fight Megatron and the Combaticons in a simulated, virtual world named Multi-World. They agreed whichever leader lost in the virtual world would be blown up in the real world. Originally virtual Megatron was killed. But when Megatron cheated using the game's "Afterdeath" code, Prime resorted to killing virtual beings to gain the upper hand, and despite his victory, Prime believed he had truly lost. Before their eyes, the human Ethan Zachary detonated Optimus Prime's body, as was previously agreed. In secret, Ethan secured away a harddrive that held a copy of Optimus Prime's mind. |Afterdeath| |Gone but Not Forgotten|
Ratchet's subsequent efforts to restore Optimus Prime were unsuccessful, and after much grieving, Optimus Prime's body was launched into space as per Cybertronian custom. Omega Supreme presided over his funeral, and both he and Blaster gave eulogies. |Funeral for a Friend|
When Shockwave and the Nemesis's medic experimented on a clone of Megatron using a psycho-probe, it experienced visions of being defeated by Optimus Prime and Straxus. |Salvage| Around the same time, Springer thought back over the mistakes he had made as leader of the Wreckers, including nearly executing Prime as a Decepticon spy. |Legion of the Lost|
Years passed as Ethan Zachary, who still possessed the harddrive that contained a copy of Optimus Prime's mind, tried to coax it into full sentience. This copy of Optimus Prime believed he was a video game character and nothing more, despite Ethan Zachary's constant prodding. Ethan thought he finally had a chance to jolt Prime back to his old self when he was investigated by Goldbug. The two put Optimus Prime in charge of a real team of Autobots, the Pretenders, and the disk copy Prime led them in battle against Decepticon Pretenders. Prime's delusions were unshaken. |Pretender to the Throne| Goldbug took the disk with him, but all attempts to rebuild Optimus Prime ended in failure. An argument over supreme Autobot leadership erupted between Grimlock's earthbound Autobots and a group of Autobots who had just arrived from Nebulos under the leadership of Fortress Maximus. Ultimately, Fortress Maximus realized that Optimus Prime was the true leader of the Autobots, not anyone else, and so he sent Goldbug, Joyride, Slapdash, and Getaway back to Nebulos where the technology existed to fully restore Optimus Prime to life. |Totaled|
It wasn't quite so simple, however. Fortress Maximus's Autobots had left Nebulos in ruin, and the planet poisoned its fuel supply so that robots could never return and wage war. A loophole was found, however, in the Powermaster process, created by the scientist Hi-Q. As luck would have it, Hi-Q was the exact person Goldbug was searching for to rebuild Optimus Prime, but the scientist refused on the grounds that he would be reintroducing the war to his planet—and he didn't believe the Transformers were any more than clever yet unsentient machines. Optimus Prime was rebuilt anyway, even though he wouldn't live very long at all without unpoisoned fuel. Hi-Q changed his mind on the sentience of Transformers when he saw the rebuilt Optimus Prime (shocked out of his video game persona delusions) interact with Goldbug. Hi-Q underwent the Powermaster process himself to save Optimus Prime's life, and Powermaster Optimus Prime was able to defeat two Powermaster-enhanced Decepticons, Dreadwind and Darkwing. Optimus Prime and his crew left Nebulos with their new Nebulon partners. |People Power|
As they traveled through the void of space, Optimus taught his Nebulon companions about the Cybertronian civil war, only for his history lesson to be interrupted by a transmission advertising the "Cosmic Carnival," an intergalactic traveling show housing acts from many worlds. Optimus was ready to ignore the broadcast and push forward, only to notice that the Autobot Sky Lynx was part of the carnival's line-up. He changed course, and investigated alongside Goldbug. As they poked around, the two Autobots took note of four human children being kept as sideshow attractions. Outraged to see them held against their will, Prime confronted Berko, another human acting as their keeper, and demanded to see his manager. Unfortunately, the head honcho, Big Top, produced an ironclad contract signed by all four children as well as Sky Lynx. They had agreed to work to pay off a debt to the carnival, and were being legally held until they had done so. A conversation with Sky Lynx later, the Autobots decided to disregard any legalese and bust out both him and the children anyways; it was apparent that the carnival would never consider their debts payed, no matter how long they worked. Optimus further learned that Berko was also a prisoner of sorts, and offered him his freedom and safe passage to Earth if he helped them. Touched by the Autobot's show of genuine concern, Berko agreed. Goldbug and Berko went off to liberate the children while Optimus focused on freeing Sky Lynx. During Sky Lynx's next act, Optimus leaped into the circus ring with him, and helped his fellow Autobot ram through any opposition. Many of the other performers tried to stop them, including Rorza, the Rocket-cycle Racer from Rigel III, who vowed to cleave Optimus in half for, allegedly, daring to ignore him. After the Autobots defeated all who stood in their way, the crowd broke into a cheer, and Optimus took a bow at Sky Lynx's suggestion. He reconvened with Goldbug on the Steelhaven, who had been equally successful in his task. |The Cosmic Carnival|
Before reuniting with the other Earthbound Autobots, Optimus Prime and the other Powermasters took a shuttle to Earth on Christmas Day. Optimus Prime, seeing Earth's frozen wasteland, wondered why he even cared about the Earth in the first place, much less fought desperately to defend it. But after recalling the events that first brought him there, he blamed himself for the Ark crash four million years ago, and so any pain and suffering caused by the Transformers' war was his burden. His compassion for Earth renewed, he sought out his troops and announced that henceforth, the Autobots would make greater attempts at bringing more than just violence to the humans. |Cold Comfort and Joy|
Returning to the Ark, Optimus Prime learned via television about the Decepticons' baffling island vacation resort, Club Con. Optimus Prime sent Blaster to investigate. |Club Con|
Despite a mysterious disruption in time and space that threatened all reality, due to Galvatron's adventures in his own past (which was Prime's present), Optimus Prime halted a conference on the matter to rescue Highbrow. While Highbrow apologized for interrupting more important matters, he, Optimus Prime, and a few other Autobots were displaced to Limbo once again, allowing Rodimus Prime and other Autobots from the future to investigate the mysterious disruption. The other present-day Autobots thought Optimus Prime and the others had been disintegrated, and so attacked the "impostor" Autobots under Rodimus Prime's command, but Optimus spoke to them through Rodimus Prime's Matrix and calmed them down. A crazed yet seemingly unbeatable Galvatron attacked them, and Optimus Prime debated whether he should leave Limbo and team up with Rodimus against him, even though two Matrix-bearers coexisting at the same time would accelerate the timestorm's destruction of reality. Eventually, Optimus decided to ignore the dangers, and he materialized through Rodimus Prime's Matrix and engaged Galvatron one-on-one. Finally, Galvatron himself was eaten by the timestorm, and Scourge and the body of Cyclonus were also fed to it, which caused the timestorm to subside temporarily. Rodimus Prime promised to Optimus Prime that he would destroy all time machines when he returned to the future. |Time Wars|
Optimus Prime and Fortress Maximus accompanied Blaster to where Club Con was last situated, but it had been relocated by then. Despite this setback, Prime assured Spike Witwicky that the search for his brother Buster, who had been kidnapped by the Decepticons, would continue. |Cold War|
- Peter Cullen reprises his role as Optimus Prime.
- The Nemesis was never named in the original comic or cartoon, only retroactively given the name from Beast Wars: Transformers.
- Unlike in the original cartoon, in the original Marvel comic (from which the show was adapted from its UK version): Prime deliberately set the Ark on a suicide course to crash onto Earth, fearing the secrets the Ark's computer Auntie falling into Decepticon hands. It was changed to a regular crash in the 2017 series on the grounds this was a stupid decision.
- The Man of Iron's ship's crew were unaccounted for in the original comic. This was changed due to the fact that this is uncharacteristically cold-hearted of Prime considering the comic's circumstances.
- As the episodes in the adaptation, compared to the original comic, are out of order: Optimus doesn't visit Bumblebee in The Icarus Theory as the latter was already repaired before that point.
- The episode form of Target: 2006 was renamed Target: 2005, and all references to 2006 were also changed to accomodate.
- Originally, Optimus Prime wiped the Aerialbots' minds clean after their first mission, even Silverbolt's. You can imagine why that was replaced by Optimus using the Matrix to complete the other Aerialbots' programming.
- In the original Afterdeath! comic, Optimus Prime's mind was stored in a floppy disk. As if th(ose) stor(ies) weren't embarrasing enough.
- The medic of the Nemesis (who disappeared for years after the start of the series) replaces Snaptrap's role in Salvage!