| "A Reliable Warrior!? Vortex, the Lookout from Hell" |
(Tayoreru Heishi!? Jigoku no Mihariban Vortex)
|First published||September 2013|
The third episode of Takara Tomy's Transformers Webcomic: Vortex stands guard at the entrance to the Decepticon base as a beaten and dented Megatron stumbles home. However, because Megatron said not to let anyone enter the base until he was back inside, Vortex refuses to let anyone past him: not even Megatron himself. Reasoning that Megatron could be an imposter, Vortex Block Transforms a helicopter into Mega-Vortex and menaces Megatron. Desperate, Megatron calls the Autobots for help, and watches as they join with Mega-Optimus and Mega-Bumblebee to fight off Mega-Vortex's helicopter mode. Later, a thankful Megatron offers the Autobots refreshments inside his base, before wondering if he may have made a mistake, even as a smoking and battered Vortex weakly welcomes him back.
In order of appearance:
- Starting in this episode, Vortex speaks with a distinctive verbal tic, ending every sentence with an "-ex" derived from his own name. Such a quirk is not unusual in Japanese media, where it is known as キャラ語尾 (kyara-gobi), meaning a "chara"(cter) word/suffix. A comparable character trait in English might be if he constantly spoke in self-referential puns.
- Even with how little of it can be seen, the Decepticon base is clearly styled after the third "city" alternate mode of the original Scorponok toy. Similarly, the under-construction Autobot base is styled after the city-former Metroplex.
- Hoist appears in his Micro-Changer form, but he's not yet available in Japan; the appearances of Rodimus and Kup here both predate their debut in the Micro-Changer line, and the differences from their actual physical kreons suggest that their appearance here is a coincidence and not an early reveal.
- For the first time, the fiction-only kreons in the webcomic include Transformers: Grapple, Kup, Rodimus, Omega Supreme, Whirl, Ultra Magnus, and Jetfire are all drawn to use existing Kre-O parts including helmets and backpieces, but with unique coloration that in some cases would require far more paint applications than is usually seen on kreons.
- The non-Transformer robot NUL-A also appears among the Autobots, demonstrating that Sakamoto really loves to include obscure characters: NUL-A appeared in only a single episode of the original Transformers cartoon, and briefly at that.