|“||The least likely can be the most dangerous.||„|
|~ Bumblebee's motto.|
|“||Prime told me there'd be days like this.||„|
|~ One of Bumblebee's phrases.|
Bumblebee is a small, yellow Autobot with the altmode of a Voltswagen Beetle. He is a major recurring character in both the Generation One cartoon and Marvel comic. At some point, he gets rebuilt into Goldbug.
Bumblebee was voiced by Dan Gilvezan, who also voiced Spider-Man in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends.
Bumblebee holds the distinction of being the second character to appear on-screen in the original Transformers animated series, while on a mission to recover a small clutch of energy conductors with Wheeljack, illustrating the energy crisis holding sway over their home planet of Cybertron. Bumblebee is subsequently among the Transformers aboard the Ark as it set off searching for new worlds and new energy sources, which crashed on Earth, causing the Transformers within to be trapped in stasis for four million years. Awakening in 1984, Bumblebee helps Ironhide quell a raging river and uses his small size to help Sparkplug Witwicky plant explosives in the midst of a Decepticon mining operation.
He later befriends Sparkplug's son Spike, but on their first adventure together they are both kidnapped by the Decepticons, and Bumblebee is brainwashed into luring the other Autobots into a trap.
As a regular character throughout the show's first two seasons, spanning 1984-1985, Bumblebee's escapades were almost always carried out alongside Spike. His adventures take him back to Cybertron, to the prehistoric Dinobot Island, the sunken city of Sub-Atlantica, a world of alien giants, a debaucherous gambling asteroid locale and more. He is scorched by acid rain, fights as a mindless gladiator, is mauled by a monstrous alien cat, quests for "robotic insecticide" and, in one of his most significant roles, is one of the few Autobots to survive a brainwashing scheme by the Decepticons, leaving it up to him to save his comrades.
In "Prime Target", the big game hunter Lord Cholmondeley captures a secret Soviet jet, leading to panic of possible war. Cholmondeley then set his sights on the ultimate trophy, the head of Optimus Prime. In order to lure Optimus in, Cholmondeley captures Bumblebee and several other Autobots. Optimus Prime accepts Cholmondeley's challenge and defeats the big game hunter, freeing the Autobots.
In "Trans-Europe Express", a charity auto race from Paris, France, to Istanbul, Turkey, is held. The Autobots Bluestreak, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Smokescreen, Sunstreaker, Tracks, and Wheeljack participate alongside several human racers including Augie Canay. Meanwhile, Megatron has discovered the whereabouts of the Pearl of Bahudine, the power core of a Cybertronian weather control machine. Megatron has the Stunticons eliminate the Autobots from the race while stealing Augie's car to use its experimental engine's metal to make a control device for the pearl. Bluestreak, Tracks, Bumblebee and Augie are able to stop the Decepticons by unleashing the power of the pearl, but to stop the pearl Bumblebee has to destroy it. Augie has the gold shell of the pearl sold and the money given to charity when he learns the race was a fake set up by the Decepticons merely to get his car.
By the time of The Transformers: The Movie, set in 2005, the Autobots have been forced off of Cybertron, and Bumblebee and Spike man Moonbase Two on one of the planet's satellites as the Autobots prepare a strike to take back the planet. The attack is scuppered by the sudden appearance of the giant planet-eating robot Unicron, who consumes Moonbase One. As Unicron turns on their moon, Spike and Bumblebee set a cache of explosives to detonate in his maw and abandon the base in a small shuttle, but the detonation fails to even scratch the chaos-bringer and he inhales their ship. Deep in his digestive system, the pair are trapped on a conveyor that threatens to drop them in an acid vat, but they are saved by Spike's son Daniel, and they and the other Autobots escape Unicron's body as it is destroyed through the power of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
Bumblebee was one of the few characters from the beginning of the series to continue appearing in the show's third season, set in 2006, in which he could regularly be found performing duties in Autobot City on Earth. This was mainly due to his popularity, which resulted in his toy's continued production throught the end of 1986. He and Spike are reunited for another adventure when the ghost of Starscream invades the city in order to steal the eyes of the giant Autobot Metroplex, but they are unable to stop the villain from accomplishing his task.
When the body of the deceased Optimus Prime is recovered from space by a pair of Transformer-hating human scientists who intend to use it to lure the Autobots into a trap, Bumblebee is part of the rescue team led by Rodimus Prime to recover it. Entering the lab, some of the Transformers are exposed to rage-inducing alien spores that cause them to run wild, and although Bumblebee avoids infection, he is seriously damaged by the rampaging Superion. A member of the alien race called the Quintessons subsequently repair and restore Optimus Prime to life, so he can stop the "Hate Plague" and repair Bumblebee. The little Autobot has been so severely damaged, however, that he requires an entire reconstruction. In his new, shiny body, he comments that he has gone beyond just being Bumblebee, and is now a "gold bug", prompting Optimus Prime to redub him "Goldbug." As Goldbug, Bumblebee travels with Optimus Prime to the planet of Chaar in order to secure a heat resistant alloy that can protect him from the plague, only to be infected on the mission and later cured when Prime uses the power of the Matrix to purge the plague.
Goldbug also makes a brief appearance in the fourth and final season of the series, defending Autobot City and Cybertron against a massive Decepticon attack. Because of a scene showing Bumblebee instead of Goldbug (this was an animation error made by AKOM, a studio notorious for making many, many animation errors), it still makes him one of only nine characters to appear in all four seasons of the show. And Bumblebee was seen jumping and cheering with Goldbug standing next to him on Cybertron after the Autobots won and Cybertron began a second Golden Age.
The Headmasters cartoonGoldbug and the Throttlebots appear a few times; their only real actions of note are attempting to deal with a strange metal-warping asteroid and being horribly twisted and warped by it. They were retrieved and repaired, and in the penultimate episode, the whole Throttlebots team tried to stop a Predaking bent on sinking ships and raiding villages, but were again defeated.
Marvel's the Transformers
Making first contact
After crashlanding on Earth, Bumblebee and the Autobots were left in stasis for 4 million years, until a volcanic eruption in 1984 reawakened them, and Bee was given a Volkswagen Beetle vehicle mode. Bumblebee was part of Prowl's mission to investigate their new world, eager to be the first to meet the native inhabitants. However, Bumblebee accidentally rear-ended a car full of teenagers watching A Kiss for Us at the Community Drive-In. Before he could introduce himself, he was under attack by Decepticons and damaged badly. One of the teenagers, Buster Witwicky, brought the car back to his father's auto repair shop. Bumblebee weakly pleaded to them to fix him, as he had been almost mortally wounded.
In Power Play, Bumblebee was fixed by Buster's father, Sparkplug Witwicky, and Bumblebee explained his people's history to his new friends. Sparkplug offered to help the Autobots convert their native fuel resources into a form that Transformers could use. Bumblebee relayed the message to the Ark, and Optimus Prime brought the Autobots to the garage. Soon, a Decepticon attack began, and Prime charged Bumblebee with keeping the humans safe. Unfortunately, Bumblebee was struck down from behind by Megatron, and the Decepticons then made off with Sparkplug.
The New Order
With the Ark having been captured by Shockwave at the end of The Last Stand, with most of the Autobots lying inactive on board from a lack of fuel, Bumblebee would remain offline for some time until being reactivated by Ratchet shortly before the events of DIS-Integrated Circuits. The Autobots determined that Optimus Prime, who was still a prisoner of Shockwave, had transferred the Creation Matrix to Buster Witwicky and, in Brainstorm, Bumblebee and Bluestreak were assigned to protect him, helping him gain control of Shockwave's drone Jetfire.
Following Optimus Prime's return, he remained uncertain about himself in Crisis of Command. When the Decepticon spy Ravage was captured and then escaped, Bumblebee took it upon himself to try and recapture him, only to be led into a trap and captured by the entire Decepticon contingent, now under Soundwave's temporary command. However, this succeeded in restoring Optimus Prime's confidence as he rescued Bumblebee single-handed. After the Decepticons interfered in the Autobots' search for the feral Dinobots in Dinobot Hunt, Bumblebee joined Optimus Prime and Prowl in trying to break up a fight between Grimlock and Sludge. After discovering the sonic lance that was sending them crazy, Bumblebee realised it was probably booby-trapped and removed the deactivated Gears, Cliffjumper and Windcharger from the scene before destroying it from a distance.
In Rock and Roll-Out, Bumblebee was assigned the task of showing four newly-created Autobots around Earth. In the process, they discovered Shockwave's plan to harness the sound energy of a rock concert and chose to stop him themselves rather than wait for back-up. In I, Robot Master, Bumblebee was sent to contact the Autobots' human ally G.B. Blackrock to discuss the human authorities' attempt to portray the Transformers as working for a human terrorist. Blackrock's influence failed to be enough to convince the authorities to trust the Autobots, and they drove Bumblebee and the others away when they attempted to stop Megatron being reactivated.
This experience caused Bumblebee to wonder if the Autobots really needed him and, in Plight of the Bumblebee, he struck out on his own only to come under attack from the Decepticons. When the other Autobots came to his rescue, he realised they did value him. In Command Performances, he spied on an Autobot attack on the Decepticon base from a distance to help develop combining technology.
In the G. I. Joe and the Transformers miniseries, Bumblebee was sent by Optimus Prime to keep an eye on the new Power Station Alpha, a potential Decepticon target. He broke cover to save a human boy and was identified as a threat by the G.I. Joe team, who blew him apart. After being informed of their error by Blackrock, they managed to repair him enough to communicate and, with the aid of Ratchet, rebuilt him in a new body which he named Goldbug. He was able to ferry Scarlett and the Baroness to plant the explosives used to destroy the now-Decepticon-controlled power station.
In UK continuity, he was shown to still be Bumblebee as he witnessed First Aid being shifted into limbo by the arrival of someone from the future. He aimed to warn the other Autobots but was stopped by the time traveller, bounty hunter Death's Head, who blew him apart. He was repaired by Wreck-Gar and teamed up with future Autobots Rodimus Prime, Kup and Blurr, together with Ultra Magnus, to stop Galvatron harnessing the power of a volcano. The future Autobots managed to return Death's Head to the future but Galvatron was left behind. Goldbug confronted him alone, inspiring Ultra Magnus to follow him and hold Galvatron in place as Goldbug escaped before the eruption buried them both.
On the run
With Grimlock now in command of the Autobots, he sent Goldbug and Blaster to track down human criminal the Mechanic, who had stolen Autobot weapons, telling them to eliminate any humans who got in their way. They failed to capture the Mechanic but did help the police catch a number of criminals. Unwilling to face up to Grimlock, they decide to desert and battle the Decepticons in their own way. They contacted Blackrock for advice and traced a crater where the Decepticon Triple Changers were receiving a cargo. However, the group had been infected with metal-eating lifeforms, the Scraplets, who also infected Blaster. Goldbug reluctantly headed out with his new friend Charlie Fong to search for a cure but was disrupted when first he was infected himself and then Throttlebots Rollbar and Wide Load attempted to euthanise him. Charlie convinced them the Scraplets were vulnerable to water and everyone involved was cured and the Scraplets destroyed.
Still operating independently, Goldbug's group learned of the discovery of Ultra Magnus and Galvatron encased in lava and stopped Soundwave and the Combaticons destroying them. This led to them being pursued by the Combaticons and taking refuge in a used car yard. The owner, Big Steve, agreed to help them but ended up betraying the Throttlebots and selling them to the government anti-robot team RAAT. With the Decepticons becoming ever more hostile and no Autobots around to stop them, the government agency Triple I decided to execute the Throttlebots, believing they were working with the Decepticons. Their bodies were destroyed but their brain modules were implanted in toy cars by Triple I agent Walter Barnett, who enlisted Buster's help to return them to the Autobots. However, an attack by Ratbat and the Predacons meant only Buster and Goldbug made it to the site of the Ark, only to find the ship had left Earth. Ratbat attacked again and captured Buster, but Goldbug was retrieved by Fortress Maximus' newly-arrived Autobots from Nebulos.
Rebuilding Optimus Prime
Shortly after Goldbug was given a new body by Highbrow and Brainstorm, they learned that Optimus Prime's brain had been saved on a computer disc. They recovered the disc and convinced Optimus Prime to direct the Autobot Pretenders in battle but were unable to convince him of his reality. After failing to build him a new body, the group decided to contact Grimlock's Earth Autobots, now stationed on the moon, for help. Goldbug even surrendered to Grimlock to try and get his co-operation, after which Goldbug convinced Blaster to challenge Grimlock's leadership. However, when the Decepticons attacked, Goldbug ended up leaving the battle for Nebulos with a skeleton crew comprising Getaway, Joyride and Slapdash.
Arriving on Nebulos, Goldbug enlisted the aid of scientist HiQ and managed to revive Optimus Prime. The local fuel had been poisoned and while Goldbug was fuel efficient enough to still function, the others underwent the Powermaster process with HiQ and his assistants. They defeated the Decepticon Powermasters Dreadwind and Darkwing before setting off back to Earth. En route, they rescued Sky Lynx and a group of human children from a carnival. Goldbug was part of the taskforce put together by Optimus Prime to confront Galvatron, but it was disrupted by the arrival of Rodimus Prime and some future Autobots, resulting in Optimus Prime and other members of the team being shunted into limbo. When this led to a clash between the two Autobot groups, Goldbug was shot by Misfire while trying to restore order, but managed to join with Ultra Magnus to talk Rodimus Prime and Fortress Maximus into a truce.
When Starscream gained the power of the Underbase, Goldbug was part of the joint Autobot/Decepticon team led by Blaster and Ratbat sent to defend New York. He led a team of Autobots into battle only for them all to immediately be deactivated by Starscream.
Together with Jazz and Grimlock, Goldbug's deactivated form was taken to Cybertron by Ratchet, who rebuilt him as a Pretender and also turned him back into Bumblebee. They instantly ended up in battle with a returned Megatron, keeping his forces busy while Ratchet sacrificed himself to destroy Megatron's base. They joined up with the local Autobots led by Emirate Xaaron, helping defeat a group of demons in the sewers and inspiring the Autobot resistance to the point that Thunderwing sent the Decepticon Mayhem Squad after them. This occurred at the same time that the three Pretenders, together with the Rescue Patrol, were attempting to return to Earth. Instead, they were transported to the heart of Cybertron, where a battle with the Mayhem Squad briefly woke Primus and attracted the attention of Unicron.
Bumblebee was sent with Jazz and Grimlock to search for the Creation Matrix, needed to defeat Unicron. They tracked it to the planet VsQs but came under attack from Thunderwing, with Bumblebee's Pretender shell being destroyed. They managed to get hold of the Matrix but ran out of fuel on the way back to their shuttle and were abandoned on the planet by Thunderwing until the other Autobots could retrieve them.
Due to irreconcilable continuity with the main US run, Earthforce occurs in a slightly different timeline. That being said, it is possible some of the events did occur in a different way in the main timeline.
Bumblebee was part of the Autobot Earthforce, consisting of older Autobots left behind on Earth under Grimlock's command. Along with Jazz, Ironhide and Sunstreaker, he played a key role in preventing a truce between Shockwave and Megatron's Decepticon factions by framing Headstrong for an attack on Megatron. He was later part of the group that pursued the Stunticons after they kidnapped journalist Irwin Spoon: After a number of casualties, Bumblebee and Tracks were the only ones left on their feet to recover Irwin from a crashed Motormaster.
Post Unicron War
Bumblebee survived the battle with Unicron and was last seen in Exodus among the Autobots preparing to evacuate Cybertron in the aftermath.
Original future (UK)
The events seen in the UK comics are initially seen as the definitive future of the series, until time travel rewrites the timeline to become a potential future.
In Wanted: Galvatron - Dead or Alive, Bumblebee was among a group of Autobots waiting in ambush to save Rodimus Prime's group from a quartet of Decepticons.
- Bumblebee, along with Optimus Prime and Spike Witwicky are the only major characters to appear in the four seasons of The Transformers cartoon (especially the first and final episode). Although Bumblebee himself appeared in the final episode as an animation error, but it still makes him as a major character to appear in the finale.
- Bumblebee's transformation into Goldbug is different between the US and UK comics; in the US comics, Bumblebee was bady damaged by GI Joe due to a misunderstanding, and they and the Autobots would rebuild him. The UK stories did not print this crossover, so they depicted Bumblebee being torn apart by Death's Head, and repaired by Wreck Gar.
- Bumblebee is similar and has been compared to Sakura Kasugano from Street Fighter:
- Both are the most popular characters in their series.
- Both are young, brave, cheerful and energetic who love fighting in order to become stronger.
- Both are taught by their leader/master and deeply care for them. (By Optimus Prime in Bumblebee's case and by Ryu in Sakura's case).
- Both nearly got killed by their enemies but their leader/master saved them in time.
- Both successfully saved their leader/master from being brainwashed by their nemesis (Bumblebee saved Optimus Prime, who was brainwashed by Megatron, prevented him to detroy the humans in "Attack of the Autobots". And Sakura saved Ryu, who was affected by the Satsui no Hado, prevented him to kill a S.I.N. agent in Street Fighter IV movie: The Ties The Bind).
- Both appeared in their western animations, films, comics, manga and video games prominently.
- Both always frequently paired up with their leader/master in other media. (Bumblebee always pair up with Optimus Prime and Sakura alwaysbpair up with Ryu).
- Both are good friends with their rivals (Cliffjumper in Bumblebee's case and Karin Kanzuki by Sakura's case).
- Coincidentally, Bumblebee's rival, Cliffjumper shares similarities and compares to Karin Kanzuki.
- Both love spending time with their friends, playing video games with them and are very protective of them (Spike Witwicky and Buster Witwicky by Bumblebee's case and Kei Chitose by Sakura's case).
- Both are playable characters in all of their games since their debut and are light characters.
- Both have a bright future.
- Both served as the main protagonists in some media titles in their series (For Bumblebee: Transformers IDW: Bumblebee, Spotlight: Bumblebee, and Bumblebee - Go for the Gold and Win If You Dare. For Sakura: Sakura Ganbaru! manga, the Street Fighter Zero 2 manga and Legends Sakura).