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Highbrow is a character in the Transformers franchise. He is the deuteragonist of Marvel's Headmasters miniseries and "Trial by Fire" storyline.

Generation One


Highbrow was one of the Autobots stationed on Cybertron in the aftermath of Optimus Prime's return, part of a unit led by Hot Rod and Kup. He appeared in the three-part miniseries "The Rebirth". When the Decepticons launched an attack on Cybertron, Highbrow and his unit fled into space with the Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber and ended up on Nebulos. Something of a snob, Highbrow was reluctant to go along with Brainstorm's plan to binary-bond with the native Nebulans, being partnered with the equally reluctant Gort. After the Key changed hands several times, Highbrow and the other new Headmasters returned to Cybertron aboard Fortress Maximus and helped defeat the plans of Galvatron and Lord Zarak.

He was voiced by the late Johnny Haymer.

Marvel Comics

In the Headmasters miniseries, Highbrow was one of the Autobots who accompanied Fortress Maximus to Nebulos to escape the war with the Decepticons. He was the first to encounter a Nebulan, namely Gort, who was so scared by his appearance that he accidentally fell and was injured. This contributed to the Nebulans turning on the newcomers and Highbrow and some of the other senior Autobots removing their heads and deactivating themselves as a gesture. When Scorponok's Decepticons attacked the planet, Highbrow and the others underwent the Headmaster process, with Highbrow bonded with Gort. They were initially successful in containing the Decepticons, but were captured by the new Decepticon Headmasters after being distracted saving the Nebulan council. They were eventually freed by Zarak in the hope they would lead the Decepticons away from Nebulos.

In the Marvel UK exclusive story "Worlds Apart", Highbrow led the other Autobot Headmasters in an attempt to rescue their Targetmaster comrades Pointblank, Crosshairs and Sureshot. However, this turned out to be a trap by Scorponok, who captured Highbrow to analyse the Headmaster process. Highbrow eventually defeated Scorponok when Chromedome convinced him and Gort to work together.

Highbrow made his first appearance in the main Marvel US title in Issue #38, when the Nebulan Autobots reached Earth. He was part of Fortress Maximus' initial landing party who encountered Spike Witwicky and fought the Decepticon Headmasters again. When Fortress Maximus' Headmaster partner Galen was killed during the encounter, Highbrow was one of the first to accept Spike as his replacement. Highbrow remained at the forefront of Fortress Maximus' group, working with Brainstorm to create the Autobot Pretenders and attempt to build a new body for Optimus Prime, before they joined up with the existing Earth Autobots.

In the Marvel UK annual story "All in the Mind", Highbrow was ambushed by Scorponok and Mindwipe but managed to get the better of them and take Scorponok's head. This led into "Time Wars", where Highbrow was pursued by Scorponok's Decepticons and rescued by Optimus Prime's taskforce, with Optimus praising him for being unable to destroy the head in cold blood. Highbrow was shortly after shunted into limbo by the arrival of Ultra Magnus and the other future Autobots.

Highbrow continued to be one of the more frequently seen members of the ensemble, being involved in the attempt to save the Ark from a bomb planted by Megatron's agents, the battle with Thunderwing, the surrender to Scorponok and the subsequent attempt to halt the civil war between Scorponok and Shockwave's Decepticon factions. He was last seen in Issue #75, when he took part in the battle against Unicron. After accidentally causing Cloudburst's death by causing him to swerve into Unicron's eye beams, he launched a full-scale assault that saw him crushed by Unicron.

He made one appearance in Marvel UK's Earthforce storyline in "Break-Away", attending Optimus Prime's meeting to question Grimlock's tactics.

Transformed Animated

Highbrow Animated.jpg

Highbrow's only appearance was in a flashback in the third season opener "TransWarped". He was the Head of Cybertron Intelligence millions of years earlier who asked Ratchet's assistance with a comatose Arcee. This led to them discovering the codes to activate Omega Supreme.

He was voiced by David Kaye, who also voiced Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Cliffjumper and Warpath, along with Sesshomaru in the English dub of InuYasha and James Gordon in Batman: Arkham City.


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Grimlock (G1) | Slag | Sludge | Snarl | Swoop
Silverbolt | Fireflight | Slingshot | Skydive | Air Raid | Superion
Hot Spot | Groove | First Aid | Blades | Streetwise
Scattershot | Lightspeed | Strafe | Nosecone | Afterburner
Rollbar | Wideload | Chase | Searchlight | Freeway
Fortress Maximus | Highbrow | Chromedome | Hardhead | Brainstorm
Pointblank | Crosshairs | Sureshot

Cartoon exclusive
Alpha Trion | Elita-One | Chromia | Firestar | Moonracer

Comics exclusive
Scrounge | Impactor | Emirate Xaaron | Wreckers (Roadbuster, Topspin & Twin Twist, Whirl) | Primus | Waverider | Getaway | Roadhandler | Nightbeat | Siren

Spike Witwicky | Sparkplug Witwicky | Daniel Witwicky

Cartoon exclusive
Carly Witwicky | Chip Chase | Rauol | Astoria Carlton-Ritz | Marissa Faireborn

Comics exclusive
Buster Witwicky | Jesse | G.B Blackrock | Joy Meadows | Susan Hoffman | Cindy Newell