Blackjack's review: Cyclonus
Motto- "Compassion is the Autobots' downfall."
"You wan' me to gut Ultra Magnus for you?"
-- Cyclonus, Transformers the Movie
Cyclonus has always been a fan favourite, and I was no exception. Well, originally I read the US Marvel comics first. Let's be frank--Cyclonus was nothing
in there. In fact, he appeared in Nebulos and promptly disappeared. Despite being part of the main cast in the movie and cartoon, Cyclonus was not used much in the comics. Krunix anybody?
In the UK comics and the Cartoon, however, Cyclonus was legendary. The UK comics portrayed Cyclonus as Scourge's partner. The duo arrived from the future first in Target-2006, and harassed the events, his death in the hands of Megatron eventually leading to the Time Wars. In the Comics he was portrayed as the less smart partner to Scourge. In both the cartoon and the UK comics he was recreated from the wreckage of Skywarp or Bombshell by Unicron, depending on your point of view. Regardless, if anything of Skywarp or Bombshell remained in Cyclonus, it was not shown. Cyclonus relieved Soundwave of his position as Galvatron's unwavering and fanatical right-hand mech, taking a Ubu-style role. Cyclonus is shown to be more powerful than the average Decepticon and smart as well, although he's devoted to Galvatron.
Later in both comic and cartoon, Cyclonus would receive a Nebulan Targetmaster partner named Nightstick. More on him later.
Anyway, the Cyclonus in the cartoon (and later in Target: 2006 and IDW's Spotlight- Cyclonus) won me over. Cyclonus strikes me as the ideal Decepticon. No matter how many times Galvatron slags him, beats him up for no good reason and generally using him as a punching bag, never once did he doubt Galvatron, unlike his partner Scourge. Cyclonus may be a bit stupid... but at least he's a competent second-in-command.
Cyclonus is a rarity in which he saw two toys in the Generation One toy line. The first was released in 1986, at the peak of Transformers- the Movie. The second toy appeared a year later, this time as a Targetmaster with Nightstick. The name Cyclonus was next used in the first Universe toyline as a redeco of Beast Machines Jetstorm, because--come on, Jetstorm's vehicle mode is a dead ringer for Cyclonus anyway. The first alternate-universe Cyclonus was in Armada. Nothing like the G1 version, Armada Cyclonus is a maniacal gun-toting maniac, his character seemed to be based on Triggerhappy. Armada Cyclonus transformed into a helicopter. Ironically, when G1 Cyclonus served Unicron (well, as long as Galvatron does anyway), Armada Cyclonus was part of the group which attacked Unicron head-long. That Cyclonus appeared in Energon until he got reformatted into Snow Cat. I don't think there is any more Cycloni...
Then came the Dreamwave comics. G1 Cyc was scheduled to appear, rescuing Scourge from the clutches of the humans, but Dreamwave went bankrupt before the story could be finished. Damn. IDW proved to be more successful, though, and came out with Spotlight- Cyclonus. I like it. Cyclonus looks badass now, and personally I like Cyclonus being something like a reaper than Galvatron's errand boy. Universe 2.0 came, and G1 Cyclonus was among those who got reincarnated with a new toy. Coincidentally, this ties in with the confirmed appearance of Cyclonus in Animated Season 3.
So how does the Classics treatment fare for our favourite bunny-eared Decepticon? Pretty well I must say.
Hypersonic Jet mode
Finally, they've given Cyclonus' jet mode a name. It's less annoying than saying 'space jet' or 'Cybertronian jet'. Sure, Hypersonic Jet sounds stupid, but hell, at least it got a name.
Animated Starscream's swept-back wings have been the subject of discussion in many places. Yet this has been used more than twenty five years ago, with Cyclonus. He's a sleek jet, with a streamlined nosecone and two swept back wings. Well, the Universe version is not that streamlined. In fact, that's my little problem with Cyclonus. Over-detailing and a slight clunkiness robs Cyclonus of his signature streamlined vehicle mode.
Although Cyclonus' alternate mode, once you got over its not-so-streamlined shape, is just precious. It has the dangerous and fast look of a killer jet. And although without Nightstick it looks unarmed, Cyclonus seem to have artillery ports on his nosecone and various other places.
That's about it for vehicle mode. Not too shabby, but it's a good thing that they've put all their effort into...
Cyclonus' robot mode is perfect. Simply perfect. End of story. Like the likes of Classics Optimus Prime or Megatron, Cyclonus sacrifices a bit of his alternate mode to create a wonderful and picture perfect robot mode.
Our little bunny-eared harbinger of death is exactly how we remembered him in the small screen, with the ears, the wings behind the shoulders, the fists... unlike Galvatron or Prowl, the transformation is not needlessly complicated.
It's very simple, like Mirage or Starscream. The end result is satisfying. Cyclonus is very poseable, and is also very stable. He's everything Galvatron is not. While Galvatron is chock-full of unnecessary kibble and over-detailing, Cyclonus maintains a smooth and sleek body share that makes him look much more dangerous than Galvatron.
The wings behind his back, and the smaller wings are attached to his hands like razor blades. Very little vehicle kibble (other than those present in his character model) can be seen.
Universe Cyclonus seems to take pointers from IDW's Cyclonus, but not that much. His stern expression and glowing red eyes, coupled with the bunny horns, give him a powerful and dangerous look.
Seriously. Compared to Galvatron, Cyclonus looks much more menacing. With his slim and not-so-blocky legs and menacing lower arms, coupled with his evil looking expression, Cyclonus stands out in a crowd.
That said, anyone with bunny ears does stand out in a crowd.
In Generation one, there are two Nightsticks. The first is the Nebulon thief-turned-Targetmaster that is partner to Cyclonus. The second is the Autobot Targetmaster partner to Artfire, a redeco of Fracas.
The original Nightstick is not dark purple, surprisingly. He's actually black and white. However, the Universe release of Nightstick chose to obey the less dull cartoon colours of dark purple. Nightstick is a welcome bonus to Cyclonus, and unlike most bonus toys (i.e. Minicons) is heavily detailed.
Nightstick has red eyes and a golden face. Surprisingly, considering the treatment Nebulans got in G1, Nightstick is a fair amount of articulation. His legs and ankle, and most noticeably he has shoulder and elbow joints. This still amazes me.
Nightstick's transformation is nearly identical to the original toy, and he transforms into a triple barreled Black Beam Gun. The long barrel and two shorter ones (Nightstick's legs) sure look menacing.
In gun mode, Nightstick uses a Minicon-style port, amusingly, the sort usually found in bigger robots, to peg itself onto Cyclonus' cockpit in jet mode, or his right hand in robot mode. Only Cyclonus' right hand has a peg hole, but not the left one. Why? Beats me...
Also, undocumented in his instructions, you can fold Cyclonus' hand into his arm and attach Nightstick Headmaster
Anime style directly into the wrist socket. This is a feature I learned of recently. It is a nice feature, and Cyclonus looks wicked cool.
Marks out of ten for the following:
4/10 for Cyclonus, 1/10 for Nightstick, in terms of hardness. In terms of design, Cyclonus gets a whooping 9/10, while Nightstick gets a 3/10 for copying.
9/10 Paint wear is all you have to watch out for. My Cyclonus has chipped paint. Either that or losing Nightstick.
11/10 Nice toy. A major characterization. Targetmaster. No comment.
10/10 You get what you're paying for, plus you even get a bonus Nightstick. Of course it gets a perfect mark.
9.5/10 Cyclonus is a very good toy, I'll go as far as to say it's an excellent toy. The only mope I've got about him is his vehicle mode's not-so-sleekness, but that only subtracts half a mark. Go get him... He's a much better choice than, say, Cheetor.