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Series: War for Cybertron: Siege
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Leader
Year: 2018

Prelude: Shockwave is one of those characters who “suffers” from the fact that his G1 toy was already pretty perfect and very hard to improve upon (Soundwave knows what it’s like). Also, he was a gun and Hasbro no longer makes gun-mode Transformers if they can help it, even if it’s funky space guns instead of realistic ones. This resulted in Shockwave getting a bunch of very strange alternate modes over the years, most of them bad. Now we’re in Siege and Shockwave transforms, well, not into a gun, but something very close. And, spoilers, it’s not bad this time.

Robot Mode: Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: despite being sold as a Leader-class figure, the actual Shockwave robot is a Voyager-class robot and even that just barely. He comes with a lot of extra parts to make up the overall mass of a Leader-class figure, more on that later. Scale-wise he is a bit smaller than Siege Megatron, which works nicely.

Size issues aside, this is clearly Shockwave we’re seeing here. The figure is pure G1 Shockwave, including the hose connecting his backpack to his gun arm. The figure is very nicely articulated and can pull off all manner of poses, no problem. Thankfully the dreaded battle damage is restricted to, interestingly enough, his toes. I guess he stepped on a few too many shredded carcasses. Anyway, the “naked” robot is very clearly Shockwave, no doubt about it. And probably the nicest Shockwave in this size class ever.

As mentioned above, Shockwave comes with quite a few extra parts that the robot mode can utilize in two different ways. One, he can put them on as armor, which... yeah, looks quite strange. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of Shockwave getting an extra pair of arms with guns instead of hands. Sounds like something he would do. The execution doesn’t look that great, though. The armored-up figure looks very awkward and I can’t really get behind it. What does look cool is to use the “boots” as an extra pair of guns, which can attach to Shockwave’s forearm.

The, to me, far better use of the extra parts is to combine them into a sort of drone or glider. Shockwave can perch on top of it like the Green Goblin from Spider-Man and, unlike the armored-up mode, this looks extremely cool. I can fully imagine Shockwave gliding across Cybertron like this, picking off Autobots as he goes. Very nicely done and something I hope we’ll see in some TV show or comic book in the future. Side note: this is shown in the back of the package, but not mentioned in the instructions.

So bottom line for the robot mode: excellent! Best Shockwave in this size class ever.

Alternate Mode: As mentioned above, Shockwave has had a bit of trouble with his alternate modes across the years. More recently Hasbro has started making gun-mode Transformers with “submarine” alternate modes, which are basically still gun-mode Transformers, just with the gun turned upside down. Shockwave also has a submarine mode, but in his case it actually does look more like a submarine than an upside-down gun. This is largely thanks to the side rudders on the submarine’s “tower”. Of course the presence of the hose works against the submarine image a bit, but it’s still a far more convincing submarine than Sixshot managed, for example. So bottom line, best gun-mode Transformer disguised as a submarine-mode Transformer yet.

The alternate mode really does come into its own, though, once you apply the armor parts and turn it into a bad-ass space cruiser. Leave all thoughts about scale aside, Shockwave was born to become a space cruiser. In this form he looks exactly like the kind of ship you’d imagine the Decepticons to use to fly across space and conquer helpless planets. It has plenty of guns, it has the control tower that kind of looks like Shockwave’s face a bit, and it is incredibly fun to fly it across the room, making TIE-Fighter-sounds. While I wouldn’t trade in G1 Shockwave’s space gun mode for anything, this one here is clearly my favorite post-G1 alternate mode for Shockwave ever. Extremely well done!

Remarks: Shockwave was a rather wimpy, ineffectual character in the original G1 cartoon, where he was the “Guardian of Cybertron” who utterly failed to guard Cybertron, be it from Autobots, Combaticons, female Autobots, or Unicron. In the Marvel Comics, though, and pretty much ever since he’s been a cold, calculating, highly-competent and very dangerous Decepticon, who more than once took over Decepticon leadership from Megatron. In many iterations he is also the Decepticons’ resident mad scientist. Through it all he has become a staple of the Transformers, so it’s not surprising to see him here in Siege.

The first stock pictures of Siege Shockwave mostly showed him with his armor on in robot mode, which kind of turned me off. Once it became apparent, though, that he was actually a near-perfect replica of G1 Shockwave with extra parts that could make a kick-ass glider and a very cool space cruiser mode, I was sold. Apart from the armor looking kind of ridiculous in robot mode, there is really nothing wrong with this figure at all. So bottom line: buy this figure! Do it now! You’ll regret passing on him, I promise.

Rating: A-

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