Season 2 Episodes
"I am a bounty hunter searching for Decepticons who must be brought to justice."
I'm glad we have this little chance to talk about Devcon. I feel that this is my opportunity to restore the balance on a character who has been sorely misrepresented in the fandom since his first appearance. I'll explain, shall I?
I never saw The Gambler when I was a kid. It was one of a handful of episodes that I just missed completely. In fact I didn't see The Gambler until I got it in one of the DVD box sets. But that didn't mean I hadn't heard of Devcon. Devcon is everywhere in the fandom, yet still somehow obscure. He was obviously a character who'd made some impact. Probably the term I heard most often used in association with Devcon was 'Badass'.
I've read profiles on his toughness. I've read episode reviews of The Gambler that make the episode sound like Devcon: The Movie. The image that always seems to prevail is that Devcon is a tough loner, who has a vindictive violent desire to destroy all Decepticons. A mechanoid of few words and much action!
I was lied to.
Don't believe the lie people. Devcon is not a Wolverine-style mysterious loner character. In fact he's much more interesting than that. He's a guy who's chosen a hard lifestyle, and who buckles down and does what he has to do. He's tough as nails, but he'd clearly rather be elsewhere, doing something else. He's a Bounty Hunter, and unfortunately that puts him in the same class as the Star Wars Bounty Hunters, who are tough mysterious loners, just by default. But Devcon ain't like that. In fact, at the first opportunity he picks up a partner to join him. Devcon's a nice guy doing a tough job. Sure he kicks butt, but he's not a hardarse about it.
In the story Devcon is in fact simply a subplot character. He's brought into a story already teaming with plotlines to pad it out further. The Gambler is one of the most interesting TF episodes, not simply because it has Devcon in it, but because Devcon is just one of many characters spicing up the mix. Devcon is a bounty hunter on the case of Dirge, Astrotrain and Ramjet. Why? They're Decepticons who have to be brought to justice, and that's Devcon's job.
Devcon left Cybertron during the great war...
More than that we don't know about his past. Not because he didn't want to tell us, or was being mysterious. He was just interrupted by a slything lizard-creature called Slizardo.
Our knowledge of Devcon begins on the planet Monacus. He arrived on the planet following, in secret, the Decepticons Astrotrain, Dirge and Ramjet. Where he pursued them from and why is unknown. What is known is that Devcon is a Bounty Hunter. More than likely he was hunting the Decepticons after some sort of "criminal" activity on another planet. (Activity that no doubt saw a price put on their heads.)
Upon arrival Devcon followed the Decepticons until they (unknowingly) evaded him. Walking into a bar (perhaps looking for information, perhaps looking for something to drink) Devcon beat the snot out of two mechanoids who were picking on Slizardo, the henchman of a local mob boss.
Moments later Devcon met up with the Autobot Smokescreen, stranded on Monacus by a convoluted plot line that doesn't bare examination here. Devcon was delighted to meet another Autobot after so long away from the fold, and was about to tell his whole life story, starting from when he left Cybertron when Slizardo showed up again. He was fawning over Devcon, pledging his life to the Autobot who saved him. Devcon didn't seem to like being pawed and knocked the poor fella away. After all, he really wanted to tell Smokescreen his life story dammit.
A little while later, after events which involved gambling, arena battles and various brainwashed Autobots Smokescreen was being chased down by Ramjet and Dirge. The two Decepticons had Smokescreen and his companion Bosch dead to rights, firing a volley of missiles at them when Devcon showed up again. He blasted the missiles out of the air, then followed it up by blasting the Decepticons out of the air, thus demonstrating far better aim than usually seen in the Transformers series.
Smokescreen was suitably impressed by Devcon and told him they could use their power back on Earth. Devcon's reply (which is my favourite line in the episode) was a regretful, "I must leave the protection of Earth to you and your comrades, but I can help you rescue your friends here."
Devcon and Smokescreen (and let's be fair, Slizardo and Bosch too) teamed up, chasing after the Decepticons. Together they were able to defeat the Decepticons, forcing them to give up their Autobot captives and retreat. Not wanting his quarries to get away, Devcon transformed into his spacecraft mode to fly after them.
Then, in a sudden and interesting moment Devcon calls back to Slizardo, inviting him to join him on the hunt as his partner. Slizardo, who obviously sees Devcon as his personal hero, accepts immediately.
High skill, high firepower, I'd expect he'd...
But wait, there are tech spec stats out there for Devcon. Sadly these are not based on Gen1, nor are they produced by Hasbro. They're OTFCC stats. (Official Transformers Collectors Convention.) Why is this sad? After all, this they're official right? Yes, but OTFCC has its own Transformers continuity. While the Devcon in their continuity is based on the one from The Gambler he is a radically different character. He's a lot more like Marvel's Wolverine.
For example, in The Gambler Devcon immediately trusts Smokescreen simply because he's an Autobot, with no other evidence to support his trust. He allows Slizardo to join him, without knowing much about him. He even accepts Bosch, without a word, simply because he's with Smokescreen. Yet the OTFCC profile describes him as, "distrustful to a fault". This doesn't mean that the OTFCC profile is any less official or legitimate, boys and girls. It simply means that either their Devcon is a very different character, or he's changed a LOT since the events of The Gambler, and therefore their profile doesn't really cover who he was in those episodes. The latter is probably more true; after all, Arcee became a brooding goth queen in the OTFCC fiction, but she's still Arcee.
That said, this is Devcon's only official tech spec, and you can find the tech spec by searching through this site: http://www.otfcc.com/
Devcon's stats, as listed under the OTFCC profile are:
I wonder if I'm the only one who finds it strange than an interstellar spacecraft has a speed of 6? Guess these stats are for his OTFCC race car type form.
Well, the OTFCC character is a theoretical recolour of Beast Machines Mirage.
But the original?
He has an alt mode, but like so many other characters from the cartoon he has no alt mode features. He doesn't transform into his alt mode so much as blob into it. That said his alt mode does have robot features, his arms quite clearly at his sides. Would he make a good toy? Probably not, no. Then again, with today's engineering...?
Funny, I never liked the Devcon that was described to me over and over through fan-produced media. He was pure cliche. The mysterious loner who fought his own battles, and never asked for help. I've seen it all before, heard it all before and yawned at it all before.
Then I actually sat down and watched the episode. I was struck by how little Devcon was in the episode, and how unimportant he was. He had even less screen time that Nightbird. Yet he was striking, and interesting. He wasn't a cliche. He wasn't the loner who couldn't work with others. Dude worked with others just fine. In fact he seemed to really like working with others.
He's mysterious in a way; he didn't get much air time to explain himself. But watch the episode again, the only reason he's mysterious is because Slizardo interrupted his life's story.
Oh, and he sounded just like Kup. I love Kup.
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