Soundwave is a character from the Transformers franchise. Along with Starscream, he serves as a lieutenant of Megatron and is the communication's officer of the Decepticons, serving as their eyes and ears.
Unlike Starscream however who wishes to overthrow Megatron, Soundwave is depicted as having an undying loyalty to Megatron. As well as serving as the Decepticons' eyes and ears, he apparently never speaks except when mocking the Autobots.
Soundwave is one of the most recognizable characters from the original Transformers line, because of his alternate mode – a microcassette recorder – and his distinctive monotone, computerized voice.
He is able to detect and jam transmissions across the entire energy spectrum, a talent that makes him suited to his position as Decepticon Communications Officer. Additionally, he has a photographic memory thanks to the vast data storage capacity of the magnetic disks in his chest compartment, and he is armed with a shoulder-mounted laser cannon and hand-held concussion blaster. His first alternative form - which involves an apparent loss of mass - is that of an Earthly microcassette deck. Within the tape compartment, which becomes his chest in robot mode, he stores a variety of Decepticon spies, all of which take the alternative form of a microcassette.
In the Surgeon stories however, this changes into a supercomputer which was first shown at the Decepticon base in the parallel world as shown when he puts The Fallen through to Starscream and later is moved to an electronics store which is where the Surgeon eventually comes across him. His spies are also disguised as electronic items (for instance Ravage is disguised as a printer) and have animalistic features (of Soundwave's original spies, Rumble and Frenzy have more human appearances in G1).
These spy characters include Ravage, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ratbat, Rumble, Frenzy, Slugfest, and Overkill, all of whom are under Soundwave's command in the original television series (only Ravage and Laserbeak appear with Soundwave in the Surgeon stories). Soundwave's cassettes are quick to serve and defend Soundwave in a crisis, and generally relate to him as servants or even pets. However, when his cassette Ratbat became leader of the Decepticons in the Marvel Comics series, Soundwave fully shifted his trademark loyalty from Megatron to him.
The Surgeon stories:
Along with Shockwave, Soundwave serves as one of the main leaders of the Decepticons in a parallel world with the full set also involving Starscream (made leader by The Fallen who is stuck in limbo until he comes to the parallel world as their trump card as their trans-dimensional portal device has been destroyed) and Slipstream who leads an Amazon brigade consisting of female Decepticons and female Autobot prisoners during the Decepticon take-over.
Of Soundwave's drones, only two original drones are brought back for the Surgeon stories: Ravage and Laserbeak. Under Soundwave's command are fifteen drones which transform into electronic items such as computers; these additional drones are known as Abomination, Behemoth, Acidsiren, Doomwatch, Thunderbeam, Stormrunner, Paradox, Savage, Cannonbuster, Skystream (not to be confused with Starscream) and Hydracrusher.
While Shockwave was meant to stay on Cybertron in G1 while Soundwave went to Earth, the roles are switched owing to Starscream's change in rota: Despite his initial loyalty to Megatron, Starscream promotes Shockwave to his own second in command along with Slipstream, clones Soundwave and has the clone form stuck in its alt mode acting as communications. The real Soundwave ends up being "kicked upstairs"; he is also given a promotion, but unlike Shockwave who commands an army, Soundwave only given authority over his drones.
While Soundwave appears as an un-named character at the end of The Sins of Doom, he plays a very minor role. The Robot Saga's third story Revelation, gives Soundwave a slightly larger role where he is revealed as being involved in the only surviving building at the end of the Earth apocalypse with a series of fifteen drones, including two already under his command Ravage and Laserbeak.
As the Surgeon is exploring this hidden area in the electronics store, Soundwave's voice startles him by asking him to identify himself; the Surgeon refuses to do so and instead asks who asked him to identify himself to which Soundwave replies:
"Observe the computer around you. You are standing with me, and thirteen drones of mine."The Surgeon turns round and sees the computer before him and despite still refusing to go along with the coputers orders to identify himself, the Surgeon refuses to do so anyway. Both sides soon begin a conversation with Soundwave seemingly offending the Surgeon by asking him whether he himself is a machine after the Time Lord refuses to talk to "a machine".
But the Time Lord tells Soundwave that him and other humans are much more than machines, to which the computer replies, in that case, him and his race are also far more than machines; when the Surgeon asks him to identify himself, the computer replies:
"I am Soundwave. I am Decepticon."The Surgeon's tranquil fury dies inside him since he thought the Pretender he encountered in Latveria was the last and dies even more when it's revealed the Decepticons are the masters of Earth. Suddenly, his conversation with the Surgeon is interrupted by another voice ordering him to dispatch two of his minions to hunt down the humans on top.
In response, Soundwave dispatches Ravage and Laserbeak to deal with them; all the while, Soundwave broadcasts the ordeal to the Surgeon which makes him essentially watch the drones hunt down and apparently kill his own companions. But Soundwave denies the accusation that they are dead as they are loaded into Barricade, the police car that was stalking the two women.
He further helps his cause by showing the Surgeon footage of his companions beginning to wake up from their assault from Ravage and Laserbeak, albeit strapped to operating tables ready to have seemingly horrible experiments done to them which makes the Surgeon go after them to see if he can prevent the experiments; but in spite of him being sent to a computer store, Soundwave also re-appears at the Decepticon headquarters.
In this instance, he is merely a background character and appears merely to broadcast Starscream across the telescreens around the United Kingdom to try to meet the Surgeon face to face. At the Decepticon base, the Surgeon apparently meets Soundwave again which he claims is impossible...but Shockwave reveals that the Soundwave at the Decepticon base is actually a clone, one of several clones he has made in fact:
Along with Soundwave, Shockwave is revealed to have made the combiners permanent which he has done by cloning the Combaticons, Predacons, Insecticons, Constructicons etc., forcing the clones to transform into their ultimate form and fusing them into their combined form which means they are stuck like that. Unlike Starscream and other Decepticons, this is the last appearance of Soundwave.