#27 (King of the Hill)
Wipe-Out, "Yes, Trypticon. Anything you say, commander. As you wish, exalted--"
Trypticon, "Just shut up and go!"
Car. He closely resembles Tailgate, who is a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. However Wipe-Out himself seems to have a relatively generic car mode.
Remember that Trypticon's toy came with a little robot who transformed into both a car and Trypticon's chest? It turns out the comic version of Trypticon also came with a sidekick. That sidekick was Wipe-Out.
Wipe-Out's basic purpose in the story is to act as a kind of literary third eye for Trypticon. Trypticon is far too big to have him going off and grabbing random humans. He can really only follow his mission. (In his UK comics appearance he pretty much has the same limited movement, same in the cartoon.) So Wipe-Out allows Trypticon to find subplots. Very useful guy to have around.
Wipe-Out is, to be blunt, a yes-man. Worse than that, he's a hi-then-die yes-man. The poor guy shows up, captures a human, then gets wasted. Sad state of affairs for such a well-designed obscure.
Did I say well-designed? Oh yeah, Wipe-Out could be the best obscure design ever. He has a nice car mode, a realistic transformation, and a realistic robot mode. He looks so much like a Transformer that I didn't realise he wasn't Trypticon's vehicle sidekick until around 1998 when I saw pictures of Full-Tilt. Whacky.
So why does he look so good? Well as far as we can tell it's because Wipe-Out is based on Tailgate's toy. His robot mode is incredibly similar, down to having the same decals, a simplified Tailgate head and the same basic back as Tailgate.
Wipe-Out also stands out as one of the few obscures with a specific power-based weapon. Wipe-Out's gun shoots grease, obviously to confuse and disable foes, allowing Trypticon to more easily destroy them.
When Ratbat decided that he wasn't going to let Shockwave use the Space Bridge any more (it was too fuel-expensive), the one-eyed monster asked for a last chance to bring through the only Decepticon who could destroy the Autobots once and for all. Trypticon was that Decepticon.
When Trypticon arrived on Earth he brought with him (in fact, seemingly inside him) the Decepticon known as Wipe-Out. Wipe-Out referred to Trypticon as his commander, acting as a flunky for the massive Deception battle-platform. After sending Wipe-Out out to "scout the area for any interlopers," Trypticon launched his attack on the Autobots' base, the Ark.
Wipe-Out did in fact find an interloper, in the form of a human named Rachel Becker. Wipe-Out snuck up behind her in vehicular mode (and I do mean snuck, she didn't even notice him until the sound of his transformation set her off; very quiet vehicle mode), then transformed and grabbed her, bringing her back to Trypticon.
Having pretty much pounded the Autobots into submission, Trypticon decided to take a break and kill Rachel. Rachel made a run for it, only to be stopped when Wipe-Out shot grease from his pistol in her path.
It was about then that Grimlock appeared, attacking Trypticon to get him to leave the human alone. (His reasoning behind this is a subplot I won't go into here.) Trypticon smashed Grimlock away from himself, then Wipe-Out greased the Dinobot leader's feet, preventing him from getting up. Still, despite this prone position, Grimlock was successful, Rachel Becker running to safety.
The other Dinobots were to save the day, though. They attacked, giving Grimlock time to right himself. Snarl used his tail to destroy Wipe-Out, then the combined might of all the Dinobots drove Trypticon back to Cybertron.
Well, I looked through Trypticon's Transformers Universe description pretty carefully, and it doesn't mention Wipe-Out, Full-Tilt, or even Tailgate. It's a really neat profile, though, making Trypticon a genuinely interesting character. It mentions that Trypticon believes that he will one day be Decepticon leader. Comic Trypticon you must remember is not the "Trypticon smash!" moron from the cartoon. He's an arrogant, hate-filled powerhouse. It makes perfect sense for the comic Trypticon to keep toadies like Wipe-Out (and presumably Full-Tilt) around. It's someone weak-willed to kick around.
Trypticon's tech specs also fail to mention Wipe-Out (or Full-Tilt).
Because Wipe-Out is probably based on the Tailgate toy, I got Monzo to dig up Tailgate's tech specs. Here are his stats, just for reference:
Interestingly enough, these stats aren't too unreasonable for Wipe-Out. One might guess a smaller courage would be in order, but the rest seem about right. His endurance might be closer to 4 because he was killed by one tail-swipe by Snarl. But, c'mon, it was Snarl after all. Even Wipe-Out's gun probably wouldn't afford him a higher firepower than 2, considering he only seems to shoot grease.
On a final note, one might also speculate that Wipe-Out's vehicular mode has a stealth device of some sort, to prevent it from making any noise. When he's sneaking up on Rachel Becker, Wipe-Out goes totally unnoticed until the whirr of him transforming alerts her to his presence. Considering he drove up behind her, that suggests an unreasonably quiet engine.
Holy heck! Wipe-Out looks just like Tailgate!
If the pictures above aren't proof enough for you, take a look at TFU.info to look at bigger versions of the toy pictures.
Monzo was once told by Don Perlin that when he was working on the Transformers comics he didn't have character model sheets for the Transformers' backs. To make up for this Perlin was given access to the toys by Hasbro. So Perlin had the toys to draw Transformers from... and a black Tailgate appeared in issue 27. One wonders if this is because Tailgate was just on hand when needed, or if Perlin quite liked the toy.
Also, it must be noted that Wipe-Out is most definitely based on the Tailgate toy and NOT the Tailgate comic character model. Tailgate's character model is quite detailed, but Wipe-Out's is not. He's a simplified version of the same toy. Yet Wipe-Out has some sticker-based details on his chest that the character model for Tailgate doesn't have. They're present only on the toy.
So what does all this mean for Wipe-Out as a toy? It means, boys and girls, that Wipe-Out could easily be created by repainting Tailgate black. This also means that Wipe-Out is the single most simple Obscure character to make into a toy next to Hauler. Hauler didn't need any recolouring to be made into a toy (though he got it anyway), Tailgate just needs a black paint scheme. And we know how much Takara loves those. The best thing is, Wipe-Out's colour scheme even matches that of Tailgate's toy. Where Tailgate is white, Wipe-Out is black, where Tailgate is chrome, Wipe-Out is silver. Brilliant. (Okay, so where Tailgate is green Wipe-Out is black, but black repaints are always bland, right?)
If they were ever to re-release Trypticon I would just die of joy to see them release him with a black Tailgate named Wipe-Out in addition to Full-Tilt.
Wipe-Out is not Full-Tilt's comic counterpart. For one thing, Full-Tilt never appeared in any media (well, apart from the Japanese Manga), unless you count the fact that he was Trypticon's breastplate in all media. And that brings up another thing. If you remember that Full-Tilt is actually the robot who forms Trypticon's car-based breastplate, then you'll also remember that Trypticon appears in dino mode, with his breastplate, alongside Wipe-Out.
Wipe-Out and Full-Tilt are completely separate characters, and Wipe-Out looks like Tailgate.
US Issue #27
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