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By inflatable dalek

"You've killed Springer and you deserve to die. But he wouldn't have wanted that. So you're going to stand trial, just like I did. And you're going to go down... Because, like me, you're as guilty as hell."

Percentage of vote: 12.4%
Average ranking: 10.8

In terms of pure mathematics, Impactor is the most controversial entry on our list as the percentage of people who voted for him was much, much lower than for any other character. He sneaks in by the skin of his teeth thanks to being on average placed much higher up people's charts than all but six of our final top ten.

But that's the sort of thing that suits Impactor well, defying impossible odds to sneak in a victory where there really shouldn't be one. It's effectively what he did his entire life, and indeed carried on doing after he died.

"Brilliant and well loved UK created bot,
I enjoy any story with him in dead or alive."

--Mark Lawrence

Impactor was of course created to die, brought into the Big Sweeping Epic that was the British Marvel story Target: 2006; he was the designated sacrificial lamb in that story at a point where characters with actual toys were bulletproof. But he made a huge impression on readers, by being a pragmatic no-nonsense leader of the Autobot's crack commando team with a nice line in deep snark and, more importantly when you're 8, having a harpoon for a hand.

The scenes on Cybertron were mainly built around the interaction between Impactor and his superior Emirate Xaaron, who made politics in a kids comic exciting as the later constantly circled round Impactor like... well like a wily old buzzard, testing and manipulating him to get the results he wanted. Impactor's constantly frustrated yet ultimately filled with an unspoken respect reaction to this made him a deeply likeable and engaging character.

His death at the end of the story, taking a bullet for Xaaron, was the icing on the cake in terms of his, well, impact on readers. After three months he'd become just as much, if not more, a proper Transformer than the toy based likes of hardly featured bots like Tracks, and seeing him with half his face missing was something that was going to stick with readers for a long time.

"...a wily old buzzard. Died TWICE
to save the day. Also purple

--Rack n Ruin

His death made such an impact (that joke won't get old) on readers that two years later writer Simon Furman decided to do it all over again in a victory lap for the character, bringing him back as a zombie under the mind control of evil Autobot Flame in the City of Fear storyline. Being the only zombie who could overcome his conditioning, and thus saving the day by sacrificing himself once again in an even bigger and bolder (and, let's face it, very Spock) way by wrestling with a nuclear reactor made him seem even more larger and life and iconic.

The scenes of him confronting Springer over what's been done to him, and the sheer rage as he goes off to confront Flame over it (and by "Confront" I mean "Put a harpoon through his head") are some of the best, and most overlooked, material Furman ever wrote.

With the comic ending a couple of years later that could, and indeed most likely should, have been the end of Impactor, the point where he'd fade into the relative obscurity of being a character remembered by the diehard British fans but not by much more.

"More for his IDW appearance than the original.
As the Autobot who went too far, he fills a
unique niche and pushes the envelope on what
the Autobots are allowed to do."


But in 2010, during a dark and terrible period of the IDW comics, Irish writer/artist Nick Roche had the novel idea of doing a Transformers comic that didn't suck and, with the help of partner in crime James Roberts, produced the rightly lauded Last Stand of the Wreckers. Which ended issue one with a surprise cliff-hanger of Impactor coming out of an exploding spaceship. The guy sure knows how to make an impactful entrance.

Across the remaining four issues Impactor showed all his old character traits, but with added layers as the series explored some difficult issues over whether war crimes can actually be justified as readers were handed the quandary over him shooting a bunch of unarmed and tied up enemies who he'd been ordered to release despite being insanely dangerous if let lose.

It was something that caused a lot of debate, and the difficult corner he'd been put into coupled with some fantastically realised cool action scenes earned him a whole new army of international fans, and it's this (along with him finding a form of redemption at the end of the series) that has almost certainly earned him his place on this list. A later issue revealing he was once Megatron's BFF and was there the day things started to go Very Wrong for the future Decepticon was just that little bit of extra awesome.

Such is the impact of Impactor (see, I told you it would never get old), that current Marvel super star writer Kieron Gillen once included him on a list of the top ten British comic characters of all time. That's pretty damn impressive in and of itself.

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