Soundwave is one of Megatron's most reliable troops, and he has positioned himself comfortably and irreplaceably in the Decepticon upper command structure. Though "only" Communications Officer, Soundwave stands at Megatron's side as a confidant, comparable in rank to Starscream and Shockwave. Though stoic and possessed of little outward personality (aside from the occassional moment), Soundwave is not without drives: he has worked hard to get where he is, and he guards his place in the Decepticon hierarchy fiercely. On top of hearing all in his role as Communications Officer and Decepticon spy-master, he is actually capable of "reading minds" by scanning and decoding the electrical impulses that carry "thoughts" in both organics and Cybertronians, and he will not hesitate to use what he learns as blackmail to keep himself high in Megatron's esteem. As such, Soundwave is not popular among the rank-and-file Decepticons, who see him as a two-faced snake and wouldn't mind abandoning him on the battlefield—if they thought Megatron would let them get away with it.
Soundwave commands an ever-growing legion of cassette troops to carry out tasks big and small. Stored within his signature chest compartment and called forth on Soundwave's whim with a push of a button, these miniature menaces are most commonly employed as spies for either the Decepticon cause or Soundwave's personal objectives, but are just as effective as warriors.
Millions of years ago, Soundwave was one of the first members of the Decepticons; after sowing discontent among the masses, he, Megatron and Ravage began the war that would tear the planet itself out of its orbit. |The Beginning| Soundwave was at Megatron's side during his assault on Iacon and updated his leader with information throughout the course of the battle. |And There Shall Come...a Leader|
The Decepticons, including Soundwave, attempted to hijack the Ark four million years ago, only to fail and fall into stasis lock for four million years. |The Beginning| |Cold Comfort and Joy| In 1984, the detonation of the volcano, Mount St. Hilary, reactivated the Autobots and Decepticons, unleashing their war on Earth. Learning the inhabitants of this planet had access to its vast energy sources, Soundwave joined the Decepticons in raiding a drive-in movie theatre. |The Beginning| Soon after, Soundwave participated in a raid on Harrison Nuclear Power Plant, and after helping the Decepticons make off with large chunks of its machinery, helped use their bounty to build a new headquarters atop a cliffside. |Power Play| After returning from S. Witwicky Auto Repairs & Tow Service with Sparkplug Witwicky, a human the Decepticons kidnapped to help them convert human fuel to Transformer fuel, the Decepticons' headquarters were infiltrated by a rescue party of Gears and the human superhero Spider-Man. While Spider-Man caused a diversion in front of Soundwave, Gears was able to suckerpunch him. |Prisoner of War|
At some point, Soundwave devised a means to develop a crude fuel out of electric power. The Decepticons staged an attack on Sherman Dam to put Soundwave's formula to use, and the communications expert oversaw the production and extraction of the fuel while others prevented the Autobots from interfering. |Decepticon Dam-Busters|
Due to Sparkplug's efforts during his kidnapping, the Decepticons were able to refuel, and Soundwave and his comrades attacked the Autobots. However, Sparkplug had poisoned the fuel, and Soundwave shorted out along with the others. As Soundwave lay deactivated, it was only the surprise arrival of Shockwave that turned the tide. |The Last Stand|
Shockwave assumed command, and immediately began restoring Soundwave and the other poisoned Decepticons. Soundwave was ordered to prepare the bodies of the fallen Autobots to serve as spare parts for Shockwave's new army of Decepticons. |The New Order| Megatron objected to this new order and rebelled, but Shockwave quelled him quickly, and paraded Megatron's broken body in front of Soundwave and his peers as a warning to those who would cross him. |The Worst of Two Evils| Under Shockwave's command, Soundwave installed a thermo-nuclear bomb into the Guardian droid that guarded the Ark, programming it to detonate should any surviving Autobots or traitorous Decepticons turn on Shockwave. |The Wrath of Grimlock| Soundwave then infiltrated the Blackrock Aerospace Assembly Plant Number One by having a hapless worker bring him inside in his tape deck mode. Once he had breached the facility's defense systems, Soundwave attacked and secured the plant for Decepticon use. |Warrior School| Despite the human slave-workers under his command not being as efficient as he had hoped, Soundwave prepared an assembly line to Shockwave's specifications. |Repeat Performance| The plant's facilities were used to create the Constructicons, who built a massive radio dish that Soundwave used to beam a message back to Cybertron. However, the radio dish was destroyed when Soundwave was defeated by Huffer and the human trucker Bomber Bill. |The Next Best Thing to Being There|
After Soundwave had returned to the Harrison Nuclear Power Plant, Shockwave had him search the facilities for any proof that the Autobots were spying on them; he had deduced that their continued interference was more than just coincidence. Sure enough, Soundwave discovered that the plant's phones had been tapped, and through them the Autobots had been eavesdropping on the Decepticons' plans. Shockwave then had Soundwave build a false head for Optimus Prime, one which would control the Autobot leader's body for the Decepticons. After the Autobots were made to believe that the real head would be dumped into a nearby swamp, they came to put the false head onto Prime's body, which immediately turned on them. Soundwave and the other Decepticon troops then joined in pulverizing the Autobot forces. Their rampage came to a halt when Buster had Jetfire bring the real head out to the battlefield, and it was swapped out with the duplicate without anyone noticing. Optimus Prime, once again whole, turned on the Decepticons and beat them all back single handedly. |Prime Time|
Post Arc 1
A short time later, Soundwave assumed leadership of the Decepticons, happily slagging off Starscream's ambitions of leadership. His first attempt at manipulating Autobots into a trap failed, as Optimus Prime once more took on their ranks on his own, and sprung Bumblebee from the Decepticons' headquarters. |Crisis of Command|
Separated from the other Decepticons and lacking his higher brain functions, Megatron told the human Joey Slick the story of how his troops, including Soundwave, came to Earth. |Shooting Star|
When Starscream nearly caused the death of Ravage, Megatron (who was eventually found) rallied the other Decepticons, including Soundwave, to enact vengeance for his treason. |The Enemy Within| Later, the Decepticons unleashed a surprise attack on the Ark. After Soundwave defeated Jazz, the battle was halted when Aunty, the Ark's computer system, turned rogue. After the crisis was averted, Soundwave and the others were able to retreat. |Raiders of the Last Ark|
Taking the leadership role again (with Megatron blasted into Earth's atmosphere by Windcharger), taking advantage of the "Dinobot Hunt" was a major success — Soundwave and his minions captured Gears, the aforementioned Windcharger, and Cliffjumper while the three Autobots were in the process of wrangling Sludge, who had been reduced to an animal-like state. Taking the Dinobot captive as well, Soundwave then made use of a sonic lance to agitate him into fighting Grimlock near Doonstown, endangering the local humans. While the Autobots were distracted by the clash, Soundwave secured a plenty of fuel for the Decepticons. Though the sonic lance was destroyed and the hostages rescued, six Autobots were left badly injured, not counting two of the Dinobots. On the way out, Soundwave proudly declared their victory, a turn of events that Optimus Prime did not enjoy. |Dinobot Hunt| Left in stasis lock following these events, both Grimlock and Swoop dreamed of defeating Soundwave, though in each case they were ultimately beaten by their own pride. |Victory|
When Megatron resurfaced, rendered immobile in a Wyoming coal mine due to lack of fuel, Soundwave sped to his rescue, re-energizing him. |I, Robot-Master| Using the splintered state of the Decepticon forces to his advantage, Soundwave worked both sides of the field, reporting to both Megatron and the returned Shockwave, each without the other's knowledge. Under Shockwave's orders, he began training the Constructicons so that their integration into Devastator would yield a more capable soldier. Pleased with their progress, Shockwave ordered the Constructicons to seek out a human... which outraged Soundwave; the very thought of sending their crack troops on such a mundane errand appeared as a total mismanagement of resources. Shockwave clarified that he was not after any human; he planned to abduct Buster Witwicky, and use the Autobots' friend as leverage. Soundwave and the Constructicons tracked Buster down to a demolition derby. Though several Autobots were present, Devastator took care of distracting them while Soundwave made his advance on the boy. Buster had collapsed into a comatose state upon seeing Devastator, and intrigued as to why, Soundwave used his mind-reading abilities. He was shocked to find within Buster's mind a Matrix-induced vision of the Transformers' future. Soundwave considered this revelation too big a variable to proceed as initially planed, and ordered an immediate retreat. Shockwave was furious over Soundwave's decision, but upon hearing what Soundwave had uncovered, his anger likewise turned to curiosity. |Devastation Derby| The vision, Soundwave and Shockwave deduced, showed the next leap in Transformer evolution. Soundwave reported his findings to Megatron as well, prompting him to battle Shockwave for leadership. The Decepticons' human ally, Robot-Master, televised the battle, much to Soundwave's distaste, and in order to prevent the Decepticons from looking like fools, he interrupted the duel and insisted that they agree to a joint leadership. |Second Generation|
As the Decepticons began constructing a new base of operations, Soundwave helped Finkleberg broadcast another one of his supervillain-style monologues to the entire North American continent. Finkleberg was increasingly dissatisfied with his lot in life however, and demanded to speak with Megatron about how the Decepticons treated him. Soundwave warned the human that Megatron would not tolerate dissent among his ranks, but Finkleberg went off to rant at the Decepticon leader nonetheless. |The Bridge to Nowhere|
A Decepticon group on Cybertron then made contact with Megatron's Earth-bound forces, informing them that several soldiers were teleporting over via Space Bridge. Megatron left to meet the new arrivals, only for the Autobots to attack in his absence. Soundwave suggested that Megatron return to deal with the situation, but Megatron instead opted to attack the Ark, which he incorrectly believed was unguarded. Though the Decepticons faced defeat on both fronts, Megatron managed to spin the situation to make himself appear more successful than Shockwave. Soundwave was thus present for Megatron resuming complete control of the Decepticons. |Command Performances|
When the Robot-Master hoax the Decepticons were perpetrating was threatened by the investigative work of Joy Meadows, Soundwave was instrumental in ending the conflict that ensued between the Decepticons and the Dinobots by holding the reporter hostage and destroying her footage, and making it clear she'd be dead if she tried this again. |In the National Intent| Not long thereafter, when the deranged future Decepticon, Galvatron, traveled back in time, Soundwave was intrigued by the fact that he was unable to scan his mind to discern the truth of his identity. Siding with Megatron when conflict erupted, Soundwave and his leader were buried under an avalanche by Galvatron and then rescued by the Autobots in the name of forming an alliance to defeat their common enemy. |Target: 2005|
After sending Bombshell to take control of Optimus Prime, Soundwave and Megatron received a communique from Bombshell alerting them that his cerebro-shell had failed to subjugate the Autobot leader. The mission was far from a total loss, however, as the cerebro-shell allowed Megatron to tap into the Creation Matrix whenever Optimus activated it. The Autobot did so in order to give full life to the Aerialbots, allowing Soundwave to aid Megatron in bringing on-line his own latest creations, the Stunticons. |Heavy Traffic|
Megatron recruited Runamuck and Runabout from Cybertron, and instructed the duo to deliver a challenge to Optimus Prime; Megatron desired to duel him to the death! Soundwave questioned Megatron's methods, as he pointed out he could easily open a channel to the Autobots' base and issue the challenge with no hassle. Megatron responded by clobbering Soundwave for his insolence. |Decepticon Graffiti|
Soundwave's loyalty to Megatron was shaken when the latter became increasingly paranoid. Consequently he manipulated his leader into summoning the Predacons to Earth as part of a scheme by Shockwave to ensure a weaponless Megatron was killed by Optimus Prime. |Prey| With Shockwave once more in charge, Soundwave soon found himself pitted against yet another contender for leadership of the Decepticons: Galvatron, once more back from the future. Upon detecting Galvatron's explosive arrival on Earth, Shockwave mobilized the Decepticons to aid the Dinobots in battling the mad time-traveler. As soon as Soundwave and the other Decepticons joined the fray, Galvatron fled, unwilling to kill his own future-troops. |Fallen Angel| Afterwards, Megatron was revealed to have survived and soon returned to Decepticon leadership, albeit with his memories of the betrayal that had lampooned him on Cybertron lost. At Shockwave's behest, Soundwave had a cursory glance inside Megatron's mind, confirming that his amnesia was not an act. |Resurrection|
Soundwave again served as co-conspirator when Shockwave once more used the Predacons to kill Megatron. In the process a deranged Megatron seemingly committed suicide on the Space Bridge. |Gone but Not Forgotten|
Soundwave then came into contact with Ratbat, who had seized control of the Decepticon forces on Cybertron, and patched him through to Shockwave so the two commanders could communicate regularly between the two worlds. |King of the Hill|
While patrolling on the Decepticons' mobile island base, Soundwave found himself attacked and subdued by the time-traveling freelance peace-keeping agent, Death's Head, and tricked into giving up information on the whereabouts of Galvatron. |Hunters| Although Death's Head's attempts to track down the Decepticon met with failure, Galvatron was ultimately entombed in lava, where he was later discovered by Susan Hoffman. Soundwave observed a televised broadcast of her discovery, and he and the Combaticons attempted to destroy Galvatron with explosives planted around the volcano in question. After a battle with the Throttlebots, Soundwave found that he was unable to remote-detonate the explosives thanks to Blaster jamming his signal. |Ladies' Night|
After the Seacons had been called in to aid in underwater operations, Galvatron returned, making a bee-line for the Decepticons' command center. Soundwave rushed to Shockwave's side to receive his orders on how to deal with the situation, nearly getting his head blown off in the process; Shockwave had been left a nervous wreck by the prospect of facing down Galvatron once more. Though Soundwave's advice was to negotiate with Galvatron, Shockwave acted out of self-interest and instead told Soundwave to have the Seacons bar his advance. This wound up working to Galvatron's advantage; having anticipated such a reaction, the future-Decepticon easily tore through any opposition and breached the headquarter's walls, only to announce he had only wished to talk. This was a complete lie, but it served to sow the seeds of rebellion among the Decepticon ranks. |Enemy Action|
When the Autobots launched an attack on the Decepticons' island headquarters to rescue a recently captured Buster Witwicky, Shockwave converted the landmass into its rocket-ship mode and had it blast off into space. Soundwave was standing at the ready, within the ship's control room, as this took place. |The Desert Island of Space|
When Shockwave was removed from power, Soundwave smoothly transitioned to serving under the new Decepticon leader, Ratbat. While attending his post, Soundwave detected both the Steelhaven and Ark Autobot spacecrafts on the Earth's moon, and alerted Ratbat to his find. Seizing the opportunity to catch the united Autobot forces unawares, Ratbat had the bulk of his troops launched a surprise attack. During their assault, Soundwave lamented that he couldn't hear his opponents' death-screams in the vacuum of space. They were eventually forced back when Blaster and Grimlock rallied their forces, and the Decepticons absconded to their vessel. |Totaled| Upon returning to Earth the Decepticons relocated their base to the Caribbean Sea and opened it as a holiday resort for humans. Soundwave participated in this charade, as it allowed the Seacons to search the the nearby sea bed for an Autobot data disk. |Club Con|
Soundwave helped to operate his Realvision playback system to decode data from the disk. |The Flames of Boltax| The disk, it was discovered, contained information on the Underbase, the power of which was desired by Starscream so badly he sparked off a Decepticon-Decepticon war to cover himself. Soundwave ended up having his fuel pump torn into by Bomb-Burst. |Cold War|
This Soundwave is from a future where events similar to the original The Transformers: the Movie occurred.
In 2007, Soundwave was under the command of Shockwave on Cybertron. When the bounty hunter named Death's Head arrived with the deactivated bodies of the renegades Scourge and Cyclonus and demanded an audience, Shockwave had Soundwave wait nearby as a precautionary measure. Sure enough, Soundwave's monitoring abilities alerted Shockwave that the two Decepticons were not as dead as they seemed, and the three invaders began an assassination attempt on Shockwave. Soundwave summoned the Stunticons, hoping that Menasor could breach the sealed doors of the audience chamber in time, but wasn't swift enough. Death's Head killed Shockwave, and together the trio demanded that the Decepticons accept Scourge and Cyclonus as their new leaders. Faced with superior firepower and a hefty dose of explosives, Soundwave was reluctantly forced to accept on behalf of the Decepticons.
Wasting no time, Scourge and Cyclonus commanded the Decepticons to begin a full-scale assault on Autobase. This was effectively suicide, as the two armies were just about evenly matched. That, of course, was the point—Scourge and Cyclonus's true master, Unicron, wanted the children of Primus exhausted and depleted in number by the time of his glorious resurrection. After Rodimus Prime and Death's Head took the fight straight to the recuperating Unicron on Junk, however, he summoned his two minions back to his side. Seeing their "glorious leaders" abandon the battle, Soundwave and Astrotrain sounded a retreat. In the absence of Unicron's spawn, Soundwave became the new permanent leader of the Decepticons. |The Legacy of Unicron|
Aching to make a name for himself in Decepticon military history, Soundwave soon fell into a Quintesson trap. A lone Quintesson arrived at Decepticon headquarters, seeking an alliance against the Autobots, who supposedly had assembled most of their fleet and were on their way to Quintessa. Instead of helping the Quintessons, Soundwave saw this as an opportunity to invade and destroy the Autobot territory on Cybertron, when most of their warriors were off-world. He assembled his various sub-commanders and set out aboard Astrotrain to claim a glorious victory.
Instead, Soundwave and the Decepticons walked right into an ambush. There were no Autobots on Quintessa: it was a ruse to draw them out of their base, where legions of Allicons and Trident Attack Crafts waited to overwhelm the Decepticons. Seeing the danger his troops were in, Soundwave was forced to call in the Autobots. Sending a garbled distress beacon to Autobase, Soundwave hoped to draw a suitable fighting force of Autobots to their location. He was successful, as Ultra Magnus and his men remained to fight even after learning who the distress call came from. Autobot and Decepticon fought side-by-side until the Quintesson invaders were either destroyed or driven off-world. In a moment of introspection, Soundwave realized how effective the two armies were when fighting as one instead of as enemies... but quickly brushed aside the idea. Simply too much had happened between the Autobots and Decepticons to ever hope for a peaceful end to the war. |Space Pirates|
In 2008, Soundwave and the Terrorcons were on Earth, prepping a new energy extraction system to leech the planet dry. A surgical strike led by Kup and Ultra Magnus destroyed all their equipment, however, leaving their power cells empty of energon. Looking for revenge, the Decepticons pursued the Autobots back to Autobot City, only to find an empty room. Their final fate after reality restructured itself and the timestorm abated is unknown. |Time Wars|
And now, here is a story told by Wreck-Gar in The Big Broadcast of 2006: A Rerun.
Soundwave was drawn to a battle on Junkion after succumbing to the hypnotizing effect of a Quintesson signal. After the Autobots managed to disable the signal, returning all combatants to their senses, Soundwave boarded Blast Off and left the planet behind. |The Big Broadcast of 2006: A Rerun|
- Frank Welker reprises his role as Soundwave.
- As the episodes in the adaptation, compared to the original comic, are out of order: Megatron being found by the Decepticons in The Enemy Within did not actually take place in the comic.
- The episode form of Target: 2006 was renamed Target: 2005, and all references to 2006 were also changed to accomodate.
- Astrotrain replaces Hun-Gurrr's role in The Legacy of Unicron!
- The data disk from Club Con! was originally two mini-cassettes both representing Grand Slam & Raindance.
- The Soundwave and Terrorcons from the Target: 2006 timeline following Rodimus Prime to the past is omitted in the Time Wars's episode adaptation for being ultimately pointless in the story.