Cyclonus (Transformers Generation 1)

Transformers Universe Cyclonus

Decepticons faction symbol
Name: Cyclonus
Partner name: Nightstick
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Saboteur
Sub-group: Targetmaster
Timeline: Generation 1

Compassion is the Autobots' downfall.


Transformers Universe Cyclonus robot mode
Cyclonus is the ever-present, ever-loyal right hand of Galvatron. In many respects, he is the perfect lieutenant - silent, efficient, and unquestioningly loyal. Cyclonus is a cold, consummate professional, often accused by his critics of being completely humourless, an accusation mostly born out of the fact Cyclonus speaks only when necessary, never makes jokes or laughs, and his default facial expression is "glower". Cyclonus ignores these criticisms. He is extremely powerful and intelligent in his own right, but he only ever acts in the interests of his master and the Decepticon cause. In contrast to Galvatron's cruelty, Cyclonus is harsh but fair, even honourable in his dealings with enemies. This has earned Cyclonus a great deal of respect on both sides of the Great War. Some question if Cyclonus would be a more suitable leader for the Decepticons. Cyclonus rejects this notion entirely, and makes no secret of his contempt for those who try to undermine the Decepticon cause through in-fighting, who try to advance themselves at the expense of their fellow Decepticons, or indeed, those whose commitment to the cause is anything less than 100%. With his incredible power and intelligence, Cyclonus is a major threat to the Autobots and their allies across the galaxy.

Transformers Universe Nightstick robot modeCyclonus is partnered with the Targetmaster, Nightstick. Prior to joining the Decepticons Nightstick was a criminal genius who'd masterminded several notorious enterprises aimed at making himself very wealthy at everyone else's expense. In contrast to Cyclonus, he's completely corrupt and dishonourable and there's nobody he won't sell out to advance his own selfish goals - behaviour that Cyclonus finds utterly loathsome. Were it up to Cyclonus, he'd have dissolved his partnership with Nightstick a long time ago - but Galvatron ordered Cyclonus and Nightstick to continue to work together, and Cyclonus never questions Galvatron's orders - even when they concern working with someone as irritating as Nightstick.

Powers and Abilities:

Cyclonus possesses a level of physical strength that belies his lithe appearance. He's reputed to be one of the strongest Cybertronians alive, thanks in no small part to one unique feature - Cyclonus' power core is a nuclear fusion reactor. Cyclonus can draw upon the immense power this gives him in direct proportion to his need - allowing him to always be more powerful than his opponents. Cyclonus is highly intelligent and possesses a keen military mind that makes him an ideal field commander for the Decepticon forces.

In space jet mode, Cyclonus has a cruising speed of Mach 2, but has been observed at speeds approaching Mach 5 in Earth's atmosphere. Cyclonus is able to achieve escape velocity unaided; he can fly between the planets of a standard solar system under his own power. In space jet mode Cyclonus has an array of weaponry that includes twin side-mounted lasers and an incendiary bomb rack. In robot mode Cyclonus' primary weapon in robot mode is an oxidating laser which fuses its targets internal mechanisms. The effects this has on a target are wide-ranging, from causing joints to sieze or disabling a target's ability to transform, to interrupting vital systems which can lead to permanent disability or even death. His array of firepower and strength has earned Cyclonus a reputation as a dedicated destroyer of any who oppose the Decepticon empire.

Cyclonus' Targetmaster partner Nightstick transforms into a black beam gun, similar to the one wielded by Tracks, with a deadly added twist - the black light Nightstick fires is also corrosive. Nightstick's black light blast adheres for several minutes and effectively blinds whomever is stuck by it, while also degrading their armour and damaging their systems. Cyclonus can directly interface with Nightstick, linking his internal fusion reactor to Nightstick's own power cells to greatly increase Nightstick's firepower.


Cyclonus has no physical weaknesses, although his devotion to serving Galvatron and refusal to question his leader's frequently erratic decisions ultimately does more harm than good to the Decepticon cause. Cyclonus' dislike of Nightstick means their partnership is not as effective as it could be, although Cyclonus is disciplined enough to not let his distaste for his partner distract him when they are on missions together.

Starfighter mode:

Transformers Universe Cyclonus Starfighter mode

Author notes:

Cyclonus is a brilliant character. He's the power behind Galvatron. I imagine him as being the one who translates Galvatron's less comprehensible orders into something workable. And he got a lot of great scenes in the original cartoon, including one episode where he showed his honour by working with Ultra Magnus for the greater good. Another enduring memory is the occasion Cyclonus had to deal with a deputation of Decepticons who didn't like Galvatron's leadership / insanity. That's to say nothing of Cyclonus' exceptional depiction in the More Than Meets The Eye comics. I like that take on Cyclonus so much that I want his ultimate fate to involve a redemption and his eventual retirement. We know Cyclonus does survive, since there was a Beast Machines era version of Cyclonus who was a Botcon exclusive. So I'd like to think that's canonical, and in my mind, that's where Cyclonus ends up.

Toys of Transformers Generation 1 Cyclonus

Transformers Universe Cyclonus

Transformers Universe Cyclonus robot mode posed Transformers Universe Cyclonus with Nightstick armcannon

My overall Cyclonus of choice remains the 2008 Universe Cyclonus. It is an awesome toy which has really stood the test of time and holds up exceptionally well to this day. It does the character justice, looking suitably menacing and high-tech, and it has some excellent poseability. I like it so much that the upcoming War for Cybertron Cyclonus is probably going to be a pass, because I struggle to see how it will meaningfully improve on this version.

One thing I love about this Cyclonus is that he is the Targetmaster version. Nightstick is very well made and has been reused more times than I can think of at this point. He goes well with Cyclonus. I particularly like the armcannon option which is a reference to the Japanese Headmasters series, where the Targetmasters replaced their hands with their weapons. I wrote it into my take on the character as a way Cyclonus can boost the power of his attacks. You may have noticed I didn't call Nightstick a Nebulan. In my mind, he's mechanical not organic, but I respect those who like the original backstory so I intentionally left it ambiguous.

More information on Transformers Universe Cyclonus at TFW2005