Cyclonus is a Decepticon in the Transformers series. Most incarnations portray him as turning into a purple Cybertronian Starfighter, being Galvatron's second-in-command as Starscream was to Megatron, and forming the torso of the combiner Galvatronus, though only this latter trait is only seen with Generation 1 Cyclonus in the Combiner Wars toyline and "Aligned" Cyclonus in the 2015 Transformers: Robots in Disguise cartoon.
The tech spec from the box art of the Cyclonus toy describes him as a compassionless Decepticon air warrior and saboteur. He has nuclear-powered turbine engines that can propel him at speeds of mach 2 and carries an oxidating laser that fuses an enemy robot's internal mechanisms. It makes no reference to the concept that he was built from another Decepticon by Unicron (as is his usual portrayal in fiction) because at the time of release, this would have been considered a spoiler to the movie.
In the year 2005, after an abortive attack on Autobot City, the evil Decepticons found it necessary to jettison excess mass from their craft to make it back to their homeworld of Cybertron. The injured and dying Decepticons, including the Decepticons' leader, Megatron, were chosen to be ejected into the void of space. When their bodies were recovered by the world-eater, Unicron, they were reborn as deadly new warriors in the service of the recreated Megatron, now known as Galvatron.
In The Transformers: The Movie, having suffered heavy battle damage and abandoned in space, Megatron cuts a deal with Unicron who grants Megatron and his other badly damaged Decepticons new bodies. Due to an animation error, it's ambiguous which one of the damaged Decepticons (either Skywarp or Bombshell) becomes Cyclonus, and the topic is still hotly debated to this day.
Cyclonus is a being whose loyalty to Galvatron is so intense as to exclude most other emotions and interests from his mind. Dedicated to destruction in his leader’s name, Cyclonus transforms into a nuclear-powered multi-turbine-engine jet fighter, capable of space flight and able to expand in size to convey Galvatron. In robot mode, he wields an oxidating laser that fuses the internal mechanisms of its targets, and in vehicle mode is additionally armed with an incendiary bomb rack. Immediately following his creation, Cyclonus served as little more than Galvatron’s personal ship, carrying his leader to Starscream’s coronation, into the battle in Autobot City, and pursuing Autobots on the Planet of Junk, as well as attacking and crippling the shuttle carrying Hot Rod and Kup in the midst of it all. After the destruction of Unicron, however, when Galvatron was lost, Cyclonus came into his own, his loyalty to the Decepticons' absent leader shaping his character in different ways.
Disgusted with how far the leaderless Decepticons had fallen as they eked out a miserable existence on the barren world of Chaar, Cyclonus resolved to locate Galvatron, daring even to enter Unicron's deactivated, disembodied head and replaying its memory banks, tracing Galvatron to the world of Thrull. Unfortunately, once extricated from a pool of the planet's plasma-lava, Galvatron proved to have been driven insane from exposure to it and brutalized Cyclonus and Sweeps before being talked down and returned to his position as leader.
As 2006 settled in, Cyclonus was captured by a Quintesson scientist for study, along with Ultra Magnus, Wreck-Gar and Marissa Faireborn, but when the entire group was sucked through a black hole into a negative universe, they were forced to work together to escape; Cyclonus and Magnus developed a grudging respect for each other as warriors, but vowed that when they met again on the battlefield, it would be as enemies.
Some time later, outnumbered and fleeing from the Aerialbots, Cyclonus and Scourge took refuge inside a vortex, which transported them to the pacifistic, energy-rich planet of Paradron, which had been settled by Cybertronian refugees. Naturally, the duo immediately overthrew the planet and summoned Galvatron and the other Decepticons there; the plan was ultimately foiled by the Autobots, but at the cost of Paradron itself, which was destroyed.
Cyclonus later had his body possessed by the ghost of the deceased Decepticon air commander, Starscream, and went on to clash with Ultra Magnus again aboard the Autobot records asteroid with the fate of Daniel Witwicky in the balance.
When a group of Decepticons, tired of being beaten and abused by the deranged Galvatron, confronted Cyclonus and demanded that he do something about the situation, Cyclonus was so short on options that he accepted the advice of a Quintesson, and tricked Galvatron into accompanying him to the therapeutic mental institution on planet Torkulon. It pained Cyclonus to see his leader so demented as each attempted therapy met with failure, but when the Torkuli attempted to cure Galvatron by removing the damaged part of his mind, thereby leaving him a vegetable, Cyclonus sprang into action, only to be restrained. Patched into the sentient network of the planet, rather than be cured, Galvatron infected the world itself with his madness and freed himself, destroying the planet and decided to turn his attention back to fighting the Autobots, rather than dwell on Cyclonus's deception.
Despite Galvatron’s mental instability, it is evident that he values Cyclonus above all other Decepticons. For example, to escape the clutches of the Trans-Organic Dweller, Galvatron hurls a couple of Sweeps to the beast, which gives both himself and Cyclonus a chance to escape. Although the Dweller eventually captures Cyclonus, Galvatron turns back for a moment and seems to consider going back to help him. Also interesting to point out is that earlier in this episode Galvatron is seen to be taking his frustrations out on Scourge and the Sweeps while leaving Cyclonus completely unscathed.
Later still, he, along with a group of Autobots and Quintessons, were transported into a region of space cordoned off by the Quintessons, landing on the planet Zamojin, where Cyclonus aided the Quintessons in acquiring Perceptor's Universal Emulator, in order to repair their systems and return to normal space.
When the Hate Plague swept the Universe, Cyclonus was infected and took leadership of the afflicted Decepticons, hunting down Galvatron and tracking him and a group of Autobots into the depths of Chaar and infected scientist Jessica Morgan.
In 2007, Cyclonus participated in the massive Decepticon attack on Autobot City which culminated in the theft of the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. When the chamber was then opened, the energy released blasted the key and a group of Autobots across the galaxy to the planetNebulos, and Cyclonus and Scourge led a team of Decepticons in pursuit, attacking and capturing several of the Autobots. To battle them, the remaining Autobots joined with a group of Nebulan rebels to become "Headmasters" and bested them in combat. Having learned of this fusion of Transformer and Nebulan, the Hive, the evil ruling council of Nebulos, approached the Decepticons to repeat the process, but Cyclonus argued them down to taking the heads of only the animal-mode Decepticons, and merely the weapons of himself and the others. Consequently, Cyclonus became a Targetmaster as his oxidating laser was converted into an exo-suit for the Hive member Nightstick, giving them enhanced targeting abilities and firepower. Reclaiming the chamber key with their superior powers, the Decepticons headed back to Cybertron aboard the giant robotScorponok, where Cyclonus attempted to convince the disgusted Galvatron of the benefits of being bonded to the Nebulans. The Autobots soon arrived back on Cybertron and invaded Scorponok, only to be captured by the Decepticons, and almost executed by Cyclonus before being saved by Spike Witwicky and Fortress Maximus. The Decepticons' plan was subsequently thwarted by Spike and the Nebulans, and they were sent spiralling off through space aboard Scorponok by a tendril of plasma energy.
In the movie and for the majority of the third season, Cyclonus was voiced by actor Roger C. Carmel, who frequently displayed an inability to maintain consistency with the character's voice, noticeably rising and dropping in pitch and tone from episode to episode. When Carmel died towards the end of the series, Jack Angel took over the role of Cyclonus for the final five episodes of the series.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Cyclonus appears in the series finale to the 2015 Robots in Disguise cartoon as the leader of the Autobot High Council and the true main antagonist of the entire show. Cyclonus led the Decepticons that made up the Autobot High Council- Cyberwarp, Skyjack, Treadshock, and Riotgear-in their plots to invade Earth from pardoning Steeljaw and some of his accomplices to destroy the Bee Team to orchestrating Soundwave's freedom from the Shadowzone so that he can contact Megatron to lead the Decepticon forces once more, unaware that Megatron has renounced conquest to start a new life.
Following the restoration of Cybertron, a new High Council came to rule the planet. Unfortunately, Cyclonus and his troops easily usurped the original new Council and used Light Benders to conceal their true identities so as to assume control of the planet. They also put into motion plans to make Steeljaw their errand-bot, braking him and several of his associates out of imprisonment to torment the Autobots on Earth as a distraction, and Soundwave their ally, freeing him from the Shadowzone with the help of Decepticon Hunters given to him by genetically reprogrammed a small group of Mini-Cons and giving directive to summon back Megatron to lead their conquest of Cybertron, in order to usher in a new Cybertronian age.
With their plans reaching fruition, Cyberwarp asked why aliens, notably the humans of Earth, had to suffer for Cybertron's ascension to which Cyclonus responded that they did not have to suffer because it was just "a happy bonus" before he told her to play her part and make another broadcast. However, when Cyberwarp hesitated in making her broadcast, Cyclonus took over and finished it before shooting down her concerns about morality and ordering Skyjack to activate the Space Bridge to Earth. To their surprise, the Bee Team infiltrated the Council chambers and Slipstream deactivated the Light Bender technology to which Cyclonus has Treadshock and Riotgear try to capture Slipstream and Jetstorm to use as hostages.
This idea bore him enough to open fire on the Mini-Cons to their mentor Drift's shock. Sideswipe notes that the camera is still broadcasting to the planet, but as the mind control is still in effect, the populace is unable to react. When fighting the Autobots one-on-one failed, with Riotgear being taken out by Drift and his pupils using a deployed technique they have been practicing, Treadshock getting knocked over by Grimlock's tail smash, and Sideswipe getting Skyjack and to crash into Cyclonus (knocking them both out of the sky) while Cyberwarp watched on out of uncertainty of what to do, Cyclonus ordered his troops to combine into Galvatronus; the Autobot reply by merging into Ultra Bee. Galvatronus proudly accepts the challenge of a combiner fight.
After Optimus Prime and his All-Stars (Windblade, Ratchet, Bulkhead, and Jazz) destroy his spacebridge receiver on Earth, Galvatronus spots the alarm from the portal's destruction whereas Fixit finally locates the mind control transmitter, which Steeljaw-who formed a truce with his enemies to exact revenge against the council for trying to take a planet he wanted to rule-promptly destroys. The population are freed from their stupor in time to see the broadcast of an enraged Galvatronus pounding Ultra Bee while outlining every phase of Cyclonus' plan that the Autobots have foiled. His attempt to finish off Ultra Bee is suddenly put on pause to Cyclonus' shock when Cyberwarp suddenly turns on him, giving Ultra Bee an opening to fight back. Galvatronus is defeated and splits into his component parts, as around Cybertron the Autobots cheer.
The Bee Team splits as well and, as Bumblebee asks why she helped them, Cyberwarp expresses hope that both sides can work together instead of fighting. It is never shown what happened to the council after this, but it is possible that Cyclonus, Skyjack, Treadshock, and Riotgear are incarcerated for their treachery against Cybertron whereas Cyberwarp plays a vital role in reuniting Autobots and Decepticons.