Character » Bombshell appears in 105 issues.

    Bombshell is one of the three classic Insecticons along with Kickback and Shrapnel. Bombshell has the ability to hypnotize his victims with the use of his cerebro shells.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Bombshell last edited by downinthesewer on 06/25/23 10:39AM View full history


    Bombshell is a master of mind-control using his "cerebro-shells". He is considered the leader of the Decepticon team of Insecticons. He was originally stationed on Cybertron under the command of Lord Straxus. Once he was converted to his insect alt-mode he gained the ability to shift his mass and become the size of an Earch insect. His Action Master partner is Needler.


    Bombshell was created by Hasbro for The Transformers (1984) Cartoon. He was first seen in 1986 Marvel Comics' The Transformers issue #17 by writer Len Kaminski and editors Mike Carlin and Jim Shooter. In 2009, Bombshell was renamed Hardshell for trademark reasons.

    Major Story Arcs

    Generation 1 Continuity

    Marvel Comics

    Bombshell and Vasquez
    Bombshell and Vasquez

    Bombshell was first seen as a soldier on Cybertron, operating out of Darkmount under the command of Lord Straxus. After Straxus joined in an alliance with Megatron and the Decepticons of Earth, Bombshell was transported by the Space Bridge to Earth. Along with the other Insecticons Kickback, and Shrapnel, they were then reformatted into insect alt-modes. This granted impressive mass shifting powers that enabled them to shrink down to the size of actual insects when transforming.

    The Insecticons' first mission on Earth was to set up a conduit between Cybertron and Hoover Dam, stealing the hydro-electrical power. Bombshell tracked down the assistant chief engineer, Ricky Vasquez, and implanted him with a cerebro-shell so that the Decepticons could infiltrate the plant. Vasquez suck Megatron and the Insecticons into the control room where Shrapnel was able to take electronic control of the dam. Vasquez eventually managed to reassert his free will and, assist the Aerialbots in stopping the Decepticons.

    Bombshell took advantage of the opportunity to infiltrate the Ark by riding Silverbolt back to the Autobot base. While inside, he planted one of his cerebro-shell inside Optimus Prime when Ratchet was cleaning a recent wound. He was unable to control Prime, but managed to connect a radio link to Megatron through Soundwave. Bombshell's implant was also able to divert some of the Creation Matrix to the Decepticons, bringing life to the Stunticons. Bombshell's implant was eventually discovered, but the damage was done.

    Later, Megatron commissioned Bombshell and Dirge to take control of Power Station Alpha. Sighting Bumblebee in the installation, Bombshell inserted a cerebro-shell in a human boy as a distraction, sending him off into danger while the Decepticon infiltrated Alpha and placed a specially-modified shell inside. The Autobots were unable to retrieve it then, because G.I. Joe took hostile action against Bumblebee. Superion came to Bee's rescue, but later that night the remote control was triggered and Power Station Alpha was activated. Unfortunately for the Decepticons, Doctor Mindbender of Cobra was able to lock onto the electronic frequency of Bombshell's shell and bring Alpha to Cobra Island instead. Dirge and Bombshell were forced into the position of emissaries for the Decepticon cause, proposing an alliance between them and Cobra in order to share Power Station Alpha's potential.

    While Mindbender was acting as Cobra's "ambassador", he uncovered the severity of their plans for Alpha, and the devastating effect it would have on the Earth. Cobra switched sides and joined in an alliance with G.I. Joes and the Autobots. Mindbender was deemed unnecessary and Bombshell attempted to execute him. Instead, the Insecticon was disabled by a blast from one of the Baroness's cannon weapons. As the two Cobra agents left to join Serpentor, Mindbender scooped up the unconscious Bombshell in his tiny insect mode, in the hopes of dissecting his circuitry later. After arriving at the Joe base they discovered the connection between Bombshell and his cerebro-shells. When Mainframe inspected the shell that had been surgically retrieved from the boy Bombshell tagged earlier, it caused the still-inactive Insecticon to spontaneously transform out of his own control.

    How Bombshell eventually regained control of his systems and returned to the Decepticons is unknown. He was later seen participating in a raid on an oil tanker. He used his cerebro-shells to quickly locate the vessel's control room. Unfortunately, the tanker turned out to be empty. When Decepticon leadership eventually passed to Ratbat, Bombshell joined his troops.

    IDW Publishing

    Bombshell has not yet appeared in Regeneration One.

    IDW Continuity

    Spotlight: Blaster

    Shortly after Thunderwing's assault on Cybertron, a prototype of the Insecticons called "Bombshell" injected a cerebro-shell into Beachcomber under Soundwave's orders. The shell enabled Soundwave to make Beachcomber into an assassin, sending him after Blaster.

    All Hail Megatron

    "What is your purpose?" - TF: All Hail Megatron #7

    Bombshell was created on Cybertron as the first non-insane Insecticon. After his creation, he constructed a portal between Cybertron and Earth, which the Decepticons used to transport defeated Autobots. After using the portal to get rid of the Autobots on Earth, the Decepticons attacked New York City. During the assault, Bombshell tore apart Air Force jets in his giant beetle mode. He later attended Megatron's victory speech in the ruins of the city.

    Battle lines started being drawn between the Insecticons and the Seekers. In Beijing, Bombshell began mocking Skywarp and the Seekers, as being ignored by their flight commander and cast aside by Megatron in favor of the Constructicons. Despite his mind games, Bombshell and the Insecticons quickly scurried off when both Skywarp and Thundercracker attacked them. After returning to New York, Bombshell was approached by Starscream, who apologized for the behavior of his fellow Seekers, and told the Insecticons about how he envisioned the future of the Decepticon Empire, with him as leader. Bombshell was eventually captured by former Headmaster Hunter O'Nion and started performing experiments on him.

    Bombshell was eventually freed and used Jhiaxus's technology, given to the Decepticons by Sixshot, Bombshell constructed a space bridge in New York. In addition, he managed to use Hunter to create a "hub", which the Decepticons used to find Autobots all across the galaxy and deactivate their defenses. When Megatron complimented his work, Bombshell explained that human minds intrigued him, and that he found experimenting on them to be quite "delicious". He then eventually betrayed Megatron, as he had been convinced by Starscream's and took the Seeker's side in his rebellion. To escape Megatron then threw Kickback at him.

    When the Autobots returned to Earth, and a massive battle broke out in New York. Bombshell jumped Sideswipe and taunted the Autobot by claiming to have toyed with his brother's mind with information he had extracted from Hunter. He was punched out by Kup before he could kill Sideswipe, and the Decepticons soon found themselves defeated. As the Decepticons fled the planet aboard Astrotrain, Bombshell cheered for Starscream when he revealed that he was in possession of the Matrix of Leadership.


    Despite Starscream's "ascension", the Decepticon army began to crumble without clear direction. Bombshell and the rest of Starscream's followers eventually retreated to a lifeless planetoid in a distant solar system. Refugees from the broken Decepticon war machine began to trickle in over the next three years. Starscream ordered Bombshell to find some way to strengthen their meager energon reserves and keep what remained of the army properly fueled.

    Bombshell regarded this as a fool's errand, and left the Decepticons to find their own way to conserve fuel. As the strong cannibalized the weak for resources, Bombshell worked on perfecting his cerebro-shell technology, and cobbled together a prototype to present to Starscream. It proved highly effective against Quake, who had decided to attack Starscream. Bombshell incapacitated Quake long enough for Starscream to eliminate the mutineer. Intrigued, Starscream requested Bombshell begin production of more cerebro-shells.

    Later, Bombshell reported to an uninterested Starscream that an approaching Autobot ship had crashed into their defenses. Being Tempted by the Matrix, Bombshell made an offer to take care of it, but Starscream violently repelled him. Together with Shrapnel and Acid Storm, he went to scavenge the ship's wreckage for anything useful, only to be attacked by the pilot, Rodimus. Bombshell tried to fire one of his new cerebro-shells at the intruder, who blocked it with a piece of metal and defeated him.


    Megatron would later use space bridge technology built into in his new body to summon Bombshell and the rest of the Decepticons to him on Cybertron. At first they did battle with the Autobots, but were soon mind-controlled by Galvatron into combining with his Sweep army and forming a huge monster. Once this monster was defeated by Megatron, the Decepticons were left weakened and easily captured by the Autobots. After three weeks in captivity, they were released to help the Autobots with a NAIL riot and had I/D chips implanted to keep them from going overboard.

    Robots in Disguise


    Needlenose, fed up with working as an enforcer for the Autobots, accused Bombshell, Soundwave and Shockwave of just sitting around instead of doing something about the Decepticons' situation. In reality, all three of them were secretly in on Ratbat's plan to assassinate the Autobot leader and rise up against their captors. When Ratbat was then mysteriously found dead, the Autobots claimed it was suicide, but Bombshell and the other Decepticons didn't believe them.

    With Ratbat gone, Bombshell made his own plans, intending to use the peace to his advantage. His first step was to use a cerebro-shell to turn Sunstorm into his slave. When Skydive disagreed he was forced to murder him. Later when Dirge found the body, Bombshell placed another cerebro-shell on him to prevent him from telling anyone he was responsible. Unfortunately Prowl found the device and tracked him back to his lair. Ordering Sunstorm to keep Prowl and Arcee busy, he fled into the reclamation tunnels and recruited the Constructicons's help. Escape was no use as Prowl eventually cornered him and demanded to know what he was doing and who he was working with. When Bombshell refused to answer, Prowl executed him on the spot by shooting him in the head.

    Powers & Weaknesses

    Bombshell is able to change his side, and in his insect form, Bombshell is particularly adept at using his tiny size to infiltrate secure areas. He has a flying range of 5.7 miles in his alt-mode. He uses his stinger to inject a tiny "cerebro-shell" into human targets. The micro-circuited shell attaches to the brain, and allows Bombshell complete control. In his robot-mode his stinger's laser torch can cut into the Autobots and allows him to inject his cerebro-shells. His robot-mode also carries a head-mounted mortar that can throw a 50-pound explosive shell 8 miles. Unfortunatley successful removal of one of Bombshell's cerebro-shells allows its possessor to use it against him by sending false signals back to him. His torch is also unable to cut through tougher metals. Bombshell can be easily distracted when he is using mind control and can be taken in battle.


    • Allegiance: Decepticon
    • Sub Group: Insecticon
    • Function: Psychological Warfare
    • Alt-Modes: Cybertronian Tank, Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle, Boll Weevil, Giant Hercules Beetle, Train
    • Color Schemes: Purple/Yellow/Black (G1, IDW, Prime)

    Alternate Versions

    Devils Due

    G.I. Joe vs. Transformers

    Bombshell-type Insecticons were part of the Insecticon swarms on an alternate future Earth ruled by the Decepticons.

    Dreamwave Publications

    War Within

    Bombshell, in his Cybertronian Tank-mode, was on Cybertron as part of a commando group being directed by Soundwave in a raid on Iacon. During his first mission they ran into Optimus Prime. Durining the Dark Ages, Bombshell and his fellow future Insecticons served under Shockwave as part of the primary Decepticon faction. At one point, they assaulted Bludgeon and the Chaos Trinity in Altihex to stop the chaos unleashed by The Fallen. Bombshell was also present at Tyger Pax during the aborted peace treaty between the Autobots, Decepticons and Ultracons. Megatron's sudden arrival with the Aerospace Extermination Squadron put a quick stop to those peace talks. Bombshell was later assigned to guard Autobot prisoners.

    Generation 1

    After Bombshell arrived on Earth he began operating outside his mission parameters. Having taken over a small town in rural America, Bombshell had begun mass production of techno-organic Insecti-clones being grown from special pods. His actions drew the attention of Earth Defense Command and Jazz's Autobot faction, leading to an investigation of the town. The Autobots managed to uncover the Insecticons' schemes, free the townspeople, and capture their opponents.

    Fun Publications


    The Nemesis launches after the Ark and after a brief battle the Nemesis is shot down and crashes on Earth, with the crew escaping in stasis pods. Bombshell is a member of the crew of the Nemesis.

    Bombshell makes his appearance as one of the Decepticons on Earth, with Sideswipe, and Blitzwing stopping a scheme by Elita One and Brawn to make attack drones from human cars by implanting control devices in the cars in a Roll-N-Wash car wash.

    Shattered Glass

    Bombshell is one of the heroic Decepticons in the Shattered Glass Universe

    IDW Publishing

    Hearts of Steel

    Insecticons from HoS
    Insecticons from HoS

    Bombshell awoke in the late 19th century when a sunken human submarine crashed onto their submerged ship. He spent some time helping his comrades construct things underwater before being ordered by Starscream to obtain "money" for their human ally, Tobias Muldoon. Taking on a new alternate mode alongside Kickback and Shrapnel, Bombshell transformed into the middle portion of the "Insectrain", which used his head-mounted cannon as a turret. The Insecticons attacked a train carrying money and gold from the Denver Mint, shrugging off the primitive weaponry of its human guards. Although he didn't see the value in tiny sheets of paper, Bombshell followed orders and delivered the loot to Starscream and Muldoon.

    Fall of Cybertron

    A swarm of Insecticons including Hardshell ambushed and captured Swoop during his infiltration of Shockwave's citadel. Hardshell, Kickback and Sharpshot later stood by Shockwave's side when Grimlock's Lightning Strike Coalition Force arrived to save Swoop.

    Mars Attacks: The Transformers

    The three Insecticons were among Decepticon forces who formed an alliance with the Autobots during a Martian invasion. They saved Ironhide and Jazz from some of the Martians' giant ants.

    Other Media


    The Transformers (1984)

    Bombshell and Shrapnel
    Bombshell and Shrapnel

    Bombshell and the rest of the Insecticons jettisoned themselves out the Decepticon cruiser when it and the Autobot ship crashed on Prehistoric Earth. The Insecticons were altered by their idento-computers to possess insectoid beast modes, and had the ability to convert organic matter into energon. Bombshell often alternated leadership with Shrapnel.

    Episode Appearances

    • A Plague of Insecticons
    • Traitor
    • Enter the Nightbird
    • The Insecticon Syndrome
    • Quest for Survival
    • Five Faces of Darkness, Part 5

    Transformers Animated (2007)

    Mentioned in the Allspark Almanac II

    Transformers: Prime (2010)

    Hardshell vs. Wheeljack
    Hardshell vs. Wheeljack

    Hardshell and the other Insecticons found their way to Earth and locked themselves in stasis later to be discovered by Airachnid. The Insecticons were temporarily controlled by Airachnid but declared their allegiance to Megatron and joined the crew of the Nemesis.

    Episode Appearances

    • Toxicity
    • Crossfire
    • Armada
    • Flying Mind
    • Hurt
    • Out of the Past


    Transformers: The Movie (1986)

    Bombshell would ultimately be mortally wounded during the battle of Autobot City and was ejected with the other fallen Decepticons, into deep space, where Unicron reformatted him into Cyclonus.

    Video Games

    The Transformers (PS2)

    Bombshell is a non-playable character. He appears among the legion of Decepticon duplicates in the Autobot campaign.

    Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (PC/PS3/360)

    Hardshell FoC
    Hardshell FoC

    As Cybertron's core shut down, the Insecticons made their way up further to the surface to find Energon. Shockwave came across Hardshell, Sharpshot and Kickback and convinced them to join the ranks of the Decepticons.

    Hardshell and his brothers accompanied Shockwave as they ran a test on Grimlock. However the subject withstood the tests and Hardshell left with his brothers and Shockwave. Later Hardshell was sent by Shockwave in order to challenge a recently escaped Grimlock and Swoop. Using a battle-suit he attempted to blast the two Dinobots away, but luckily Swoop provided Grimlock explosive fuel pods to fling at the Insecticon. When Hardshell was defeated, Grimlock pulled the Insecticon out of his seat and smashed his face into a panel, using his optics to unlock a door.


    Find Your Fate™ *Junior: Transformers #1 - Dinobots Strike Back

    Find Your Fate™ *Junior: Transformers #3 - Attack of the Insecticons

    Find Your Fate™ *Junior: Transformers #9 - The Invisibility Factor

    The Transformers Adventure Game Books - Peril from the Stars

    Transformers: Annihilation

    Transformers: Exodus


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