#17 (The Smelting Pool)
#29 (Crater Critters, this appearance was a short flashback.)
"I've always been a failure as an Autobot. Now I have the chance to change that... do something worthwhile."
A Wheel. Yep, no kidding. He TFs into a wheel. SIGH.
That said, Don Perlin did an amazing job of making the Transformation from robot to wheel look convincing. Especially considering neither robot nor alt mode share any common features.
Wow! What a tragic character! Scrounge is an Autobot who no one respects, and who no one thinks is worth anything. At least not until after he proves himself, finally doing something worthwhile. Even then he can't bask in his glory because he dies in the process of doing the right thing. Ouch!
Scrounge had one good friend, and even he didn't really trust the guy. But he had contacts, and was a fairly capable spy. After all, how many of the other 'peeping tom' type spies throughout the Transformers canon have contacts? None, only Scrounge. Cool.
As you can tell, I quite like Scrounge. Budiansky wrote him well, and he's one of my favourite obscure characters. Sure he looked like crud, but that's beside the point.
Scrounge was an Autobot spy who lacked respect and who had very few successes. He was known for 'stretching the truth' or 'spinning tales' or, more importantly, for lying about things he's achieved, and things he'd found out. This just increased the lack of respect and even resentment other Autobots had for him.
We meet Scrounge when he's stumbled upon an amazing and for once legitimate discovery.
While investigating information that the neutral scientist Spanner was taken to Darkmount, (He infiltrated Darkmount using his special wire-guided sensor fingers: see picture), Scrounge discovered something bigger than a pathetic scientist's disappearance. He discovered a message from another planet. The planet Earth.
(Just while we're on the subject, Scrounge was very proud of his sensor-arm. It was his unique power, and seemingly the only thing that set the little Autobot apart and (at least in his mind) slightly above the other Autobots.)
He recorded the message just as the Decepticons were playing it back, then trying to escape Darkmount. In his excitement he set off an alarm and was soon pursued by Shrapnel.
Shrapnel captured Scrounge then took him back to Straxus. To his credit, Scrounge refused to tell Straxus what he had discovered, even after having his special sensor arm ripped from its socket (see picture).
Rather than waste more time on Scrounge, Straxus had him thrown into the smelting pool. It was there that Blaster found Scrounge, intending to rescue him. Already half-consumed by the Smelting pool, Scrounge refused to be saved. Instead he gave the information he'd discovered to Blaster, then let the smelting pool finish its work.
It's possible, also, that part of the reason that Scrounge let the smelting pool finish its work is that he'd lost his sensor arm. Could he have lived without the one thing that made him unique?
The information he'd gained was the message sent by Soundwave in #10 of the US comic. (Mind you, the message does NOT sound like it was sent then. At that time Optimus Prime was a prisoner, and Megatron was presumed dead... in the message, though, Optimus Prime was fully in charge and Megatron was the leader of the 'cons...). The Message gave the Autobots more than just information, it gave them the news that Optimus Prime was still alive. And it gave them hope.
In the end, Scrounge had proven himself, though he was now too dead to reap the rewards of all his effort.
Scrounge's final appearance was in a flashback, when Blaster recalled the death of the little wheel-guy to Goldbug.
Surprisingly, Scrounge never got a TFU description. Kranix and Arblus who appeared for a couple of minutes in the TF movie got entries... but not Scrounge. Ooooohhhh no. Not Scrounge.
Scrounge Transformed into... a wheel. Now if that's not reason enough for him to be banned from becoming a toy, I don't know what is!!
And if you want more reason, just check his head. A friend of mine, when he saw a picture of Scrounge I was editing for this page, just could not get over the stupid shape of his head and those big, ugly, eyes. I can understand this, after all, just LOOK at him! Not to mention the fact that he changes in a wheel, probably the worst alt mode ever. Wait, I did mention that, didn't I?
(Well, okay, I'll admit it. A wheel is not the worst alt mode ever. There are two alt modes that are worse, Trains and, of course, rocks.)
Still, the wire-guided sensor-fingers might have been a nifty little gimmick to play with. Maybe they could have been on a string which automatically pulled back after being pulled out to search Decepticon bases?
I really do like Scrounge. He was a tragic character, his name suited him, and he... oh... wait... he Transformed into a wheel. Oh well, we can't all be perfect. At least he had Autobot insignia's, a fair bit of dialogue, and a special power.
In some ways Scrounge was more like a cartoon obscure character than one from a comic book. Like most cartoon obscure characters he was the star of his singular appearance. Unlike most of them, he died.
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