One of the two major factions of the Transformer race. The Autobots descended from the Quintessons' Consumer Goods line of robots. In the First Cybertronian War, the future Autobots' first leader, A3 (later named Alpha Trion) was able to deactivate the Quintesson Dark Guardians. This led to the downfall of the Transformers' masters, who were forced to abandon Cybertron.
The two lines of robots led a peaceful existence for millennia afterwards. The Autobot leaders were entrusted with two objects- the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which stored the knowledge of each leader (and possibly the power of their sparks), and the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. The Autobots apparently founded off-world colonies in the past- however, the Autobots never mentioned these later, and it seems they were all lost.
Unfortunately, the peaceful times did not last- the other production line, Military Hardware, evolved into the Decepticons, and gained a desire to expand and conquer. The Autobots resolved to prevent the Decepticons from conquering other sentient life and pillaging them of their resources. As a result, the Second Cybertronian War broke out.
Many times during this war, an Autobot ruler fell through Decepticon treachery, and a Decepticon tyrant was deposed by Autobot forces. During these wars, the Autobots developed the art of transformation, reconfiguring themselves into vehicles and weapons. The advantages were two-fold- it was excellent for stealth, and it also gave the Autobots more battle ability. However, this advantage was soon replicated by the Decepticons.
Eventually, an uneasy peace was accomplished at the end of the Second Cybertronian War. It was after this that the Decepticons developed their flight technology, an ability that held many Autobots- such as Orion Pax- in awe. When Megatron became Decepticon leader, he quickly started another war, destroying the current Autobot leader. Alpha Trion took the Matrix and kept it safe, until Orion Pax and his friends were badly wounded in one of Megatron's raids. Alpha Trion was persuaded to reconstruct them, but decided to test an experimental process on Pax and his girlfriend Ariel- he converted them into the warrior robots Optimus Prime and Elita-One, giving Prime the Matrix. These Autobots were capable of taking the Decepticons on on their own terms. Thus, the Third Cybertronian War raged.
Optimus Prime became Autobot leader, and the Autobots led the war from Iacon. Unfortunately, this war was the most devastating yet, bringing the fabled Golden Age of Cybertron to an end, and severely depleting Cybertron's once-rich energy reserves.
Then, one day four million years ago, Optimus and a group of his finest warriors set out in the Ark to seek out new energy sources. After the Ark cleared a path through a meteor shower, a force of Decepticons led by Megatron (aboard the Nemesis) ambushed the ship, and both groups crash-landed on the planet Earth.
With the greatest warriors on both sides lost, the war changed significantly. The Autobots on Cybertron broke into small groups, while the Decepticon forces, led by Shockwave, gained more and more dominance on the planet. The Autobot groups became raiding parties- the most signficant such force was a group of female Autobots led by Elita-One and Alpha Trion. However, with energy so low, neither side could make much progress.
In 1984, the Autobots and Decepticons on Earth were awakened, and began the war anew on Earth. Contact was made between the Cybertron and Earth Transformers, and the war was now split between two worlds. As the years passed, the situation for the Autobots on Earth grew steadily better, as, with a few exceptions, the people of Earth were staunch friends and allies. However, the situation on Cybertron grew worse. The Autobots were forced to retreat to Cybertron's two moons, while the Decepticons dominated their mutual homeworld.
By 2005, the Autobots had built Autobot City on Earth. Megatron led a raid on the city, during which Optimus Prime was mortally wounded. He passed leadership on to City Commander Ultra Magnus. When the planet-eating being known as [Unicron|Unicron#us] attacked, both Moonbase One and Moonbase Two were destroyed. Unicron had recreated Megatron and his dying troops into Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps. Powerful as Unicron and his troops were, they couldn't stand up to the might of the Autobot Matrix, which changed the young Hot Rod into the mighty Rodimus Prime. Rodimus destroyed Unicron (save his head) and threw Galvatron into space.
The Decepticons were so weak from Unicron's assault that the Autobots were able to retake their homeworld. There was a year of peace, before, in 2006, Galvatron resumed the War, and the new threat of the returning Quintessons arose. The battles continued, until the Hate Plague crisis. During that, Optimus Prime was resurrected, replacing Rodimus as leader, and the Matrix's energies were released to end the plague. Prime earned Galvatron's respect, earning another brief respite from war.
Events then continued in exclusive Japanese series: Headmasters, Masterforce, Victory, Zone, Battlestars, Mission-Combination, Beast wars 2 and Beast Wars Neo.
One of two factions of the Transformer race, devoted to peace and the freedom of sentient life. All Autobot leaders were entrusted with the Creation Matrix, an object containing the life essence of Primus, the Transformers' creator. The Autobot leaders went from Prima to Prime Nova to Sentinel Prime before the Great War began.
The Decepticons, led by Megatron, believed the Autobots would lead them to decay, and began a war, planning to conquer the world and turn it into an engine of conquest. Sentinel Prime was slain, and the Matrix passed on to Optimus Prime of the city-state of Iacon.
The war continued another thousand years. Then, one day four million years ago, Optimus and a group of his finest warriors set out in the Ark to destroy an asteroid field that threatened Cybertron. After they cleared a path, a force of Decepticons led by Megatron ambushed the Ark, and both groups crash-landed on the planet Earth.
With the greatest warriors on both sides lost, the war changed significantly. The Decepticons broke into sectors dominated by warlords like Straxus, while the Autobots formed resistance cells led by Emirate Xaaron, Perceptor, and others.
In 1984, the Autobots and Decepticons on Earth were awakened, and began the war anew on Earth. Contact was made between the Cybertron and Earth Transformers, and the war was now split between two worlds. Optimus was destroyed, and Grimlock became the Earth Autobot leader.
Optimus Prime was resurrected in 1988 by Nebulan scientists, and reassumed Autobot leadership. In 1989, Primus was reawakened briefly, unintentionally summoning Unicron- the Autobots and Decepticons united to defeat him in 1990. Prime died again destroying the Chaos-Bringer, and Grimlock became leader a second time. The Autobot-Decepticon alliance quickly broke up, and the war resumed. Optimus Prime was resurrected yet again (along with a new Creation Matrix) by the Last Autobot, and once more became leader again.
The Autobots broke up into several strike groups, attacking Decepticon installations wherever they found them. They soon learned these belonged not to the Decepticons they knew, but a [second generation|Second Generation Decepticons], led by Lord Jhiaxus. A second alliance was later formed between the reassembled Autobot army and the reconstructed Megatron's Decepticons to combat these Second Generation Decepticons, but the end of that union is unknown.
In this expanded version of the Marvel US comic, Emirate Xaaron was the overall Autobot commander on Cybertron during Prime's absence.
Eventually Rodimus Prime returning from the 'Time Wars' found himself trapped in this future and remained Autobot leader for the next 500 years. He was forced to absorb Unicron into the Matrix, but Unicron's tainting influence manifested first in two possessions, then in the reduction of Rodimus into a semblance of human old age.
The Autobots finally won in 2510, but (probably thanks to Unicron's influence) they then began to battle amongst themselves until the eventual return of Optimus Prime. The conslusion to the war is explained in 'Alignment'.
Alternate Marvel UK/US Timelines
The original timeline led to the Decepticon conquest of Cybertron, similar to what is seen in the U.S. animated canon, as well the events surrounding Unicron's attack (although the events actually took place one year later than in U.S. animated canon). Galvatron, Cyclonus and Scourge timejump and thus create the main timeline.
The original timeline was eventually erased by a space-time rift and replaced by alternate future, shown in 'Rhythms of Darkness'. Like before the Matrix was passed to Hot Rod, making him Rodimus Prime- however, Galvatron killed him, Unicron attacked again, and the Autobots were reduced to a tiny force of less than a dozen members by 2009. Most of these died attacking the Decepticons' base in an attempt to prevent a nuclear strike from the remaining free world powers on Earth. However, that universe's Galvatron was taken cross-time to help the 1990 Unicron, and the Autobots gained a fighting chance.
The apparent founders of Transformer civilization, led by the Council of Ancients and the Primes empowered by the Matrix. Until the rise of the Decepticons, "Autobot" and "Transformer" were synonymous. During the time of peace before the Great War, the Autobots were led by Alpha Prime, then Guardian Prime. When the civil war broke out 8.7 million years ago, the Autobots were led by Sentinel Prime, who died in combat with Megatron.
In Simon Furman's Omega Point series, it was revealed there was another Autobot leader, Primon, between Primus and Prima.
When Optimus Prime became leader, he shocked his fellows by announcing a plan to leave Cybertron. After facing Megatron within the bowels of Cybertron, and seeing visions of the future, Prime changed his mind and resolved to continue the fight on their homeworld. 7.4 million years ago, Prime disappeared with Megatron in an early space bridge test, leading to the Autobots (and Decepticons) breaking into several smaller factions. Autobot factions during this time included the Wreckers, led by Springer, and the Lightning Strike Coalition, led by Grimlock.
Eventually, leadership fell to Ultra Magnus, and the re-unified Autobots nearly forged a peace with the Decepticons factions- until the return of Megatron. The Autobots were enslaved for a time, until the return of Optimus Prime led to their freedom. The war resumed- combined with decreasing energy supplies, the circumstances led some Autobots to leave Cybertron to find new worlds. Then, one day four million years ago, Optimus and a group of his finest warriors set out in the Ark to destroy an asteroid that threatened Cybertron. After the Ark destroyed it, a force of Decepticons led by Megatron (aboard the Nemesis) ambushed the ship, and both groups crash-landed on the planet Earth.
On Cybertron, leadership of the Autobots fluctuated between Ultra Magnus and Fortress Maximus, until Fortress Maximus left Cybertron to find a better way than war. Magnus commanded the Autobots until the Great Shutdown.
In 1984, the Autobots and Decepticons on Earth were awakened, and began the war anew on Earth. The Autobots eventually united with humankind to defeat the Decepticons in Operation Liberation. In 1999, humans and Autobots built the Ark II, and the latter group headed back to Cybertron in the ship. However, it was sabotaged and exploded in mid-air, destroying the Autobots, their Decepticon prisoners, and the human envoys aboard, including "Sparkplug" Witwicky.
The Autobots were reconstructed by human mercenaries, working for General Hallo, to use as weapons of war, but managed to regain self-control in time to stop the similarly-misused Decepticons from destroying San Francisco. However, Superion died stopping a nuclear missile sent by Hallo. The Autobots soon learned that more had changed on Cybertron; the Great Shutdown led Autobots and Decepticons to unite under the leadership of Shockwave, but the alliance crumbled when the Earth Transformers were captured and Shockwave's true plans for power were revealed. Earth and Cybertron Autobots are now reunited, but face greater threats on the horizon.
Then in the American Headmasters pilot, Galvatron gathered the scattered Decepticons into a massive force, stealing the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber and reconquering Cybertron. The Autobots and their new allies, the Nebulons, narrowly defeated Galvatron before he could use the plasma energy to destroy Earth and Cybertron. The Decepticons were thrown across the galaxy, but the war continued.
Some time later, the Decepticons were finally defeated. During the next 300 years of peace, the Autobots evolved into the Maximals.
The conclusion to the war is shown in the 'Beast Wars' and 'Beast Machines' animated series.