Some people are team players, and some, well, aren't. Prowl falls into the latter category. A loner at heart, he has little interest in teamwork, something Optimus Prime finds extremely frustrating. Prowl feels cooperation with the loud and unsubtle Autobots around him would cramp his style: a keen Cyber-Ninja prowess with elements of Circuit-Su and Metallikato.
Seemingly bound up in his martial-arts philosophy is his deep, deep fascination with Earth's natural environment. His quarters on Earth is missing most of its ceiling, allowing him a permanent window into nature. In fact, he seems to have a deeper appreciation of his new surroundings than the humans who grew up with them. The phrase "stop and smell the roses" is a life truth for Prowl, and he can spend hours motionless, watching the organic world play out around him.
When called to battle, Prowl uses an array of throwing weapons, such as cutting discs, that he can hurl with high accuracy. While useful as projectiles, these weapons tend to be far more damaging at close range and will occasionally bounce off their target with little damage if thrown from too great a distance. He can project holograms of himself, using them to misdirect his enemies. He is also the only member of his team with a jetpack, granting him limited flight.
Prowl is probably the most skilled fighter of his comrades, but this might not be saying much, as they were a mere space bridge repair crew before finding themselves suddenly defending the AllSpark against the resurgent Decepticons. In fact, Jazz, witnessing him in action, remarked that Prowl must not have finished his cyber ninja training. Perhaps that might provide a clue as to why a martial artist like Prowl was assigned to that oft-maligned repair duty.
|“||Stillness... then strike.||”|
—Prowl getting past motion detectors, "Home Is Where the Spark Is"
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The bot that would become known as Prowl was active during the time of the Great War where he lived a solitary life which did not involve him fighting the Decepticons. His lack of actions led to his arrest but he was pardoned and taken to Sensei Yoketron by Warpath who showed nothing but disgust for Prowl's actions. Prowl believed that no one looked out for him so why should he have looked out for others to which master Yoketron informed him that if he could get past Yoketron then he would be free to go where ever he wished. Prowl then transformed and attempted to leave the fortress but was stopped by Yoketron who took Prowl as an apprentice and trained him in the arts of the cyberninja. During his training, he was stripped off his upgrades in order for him to learn to combat foes without them. Eventually, he progressed under his training and eventually completed it. Whilst away on a mission, Prowl returned to his master's fortress only to discover it badly damaged and Yoketron fatally wounded as well as most of the chamber full of protoforms stolen. In an attempt to save his dying master, he retrieved one hidden protoform and transplanted Yoketron's spark to it. However, he was scolded by his master who told him that he should not sacrifice the future for a piece of the past and that when his time came, he would understand after which Yoketron passed on to the Well of All Sparks.
Bumblebee and Bulkhead found Prowl meditating when clearing some rocks blocking a space bridge. Due to an accident with some explosives, Prowl's ship was destroyed, and with no other option he had to join Optimus' crew. His service with them was meant to be temporary, until they could drop him off on Cybertron.
Prowl showed a lack of interest in both teamwork (as a loner type) and in the motivational (kinda long-winded) speeches of Optimus Prime. He did not obey orders at first and learned of the consequences firsthand as he was nearly killed by a nanite-enhanced cockroach. After his revival at the hands of Sari and the AllSpark-empowered Key, he showed that he had become a valuable team player when he headed out with Sari to save Bumblebee, Professor Sumdac and Captain Fanzone from Starscream.
Later, Prowl was watching a cat stalk a bird. He found it fascinating, but was aggravated when he was interrupted by human fans. Returning to base, he hid out in his Japanese-themed room, only to be interrupted by Prime and Bumblebee. Even worse, Sari threw a slumber party, pushing Prowl to the edge with the commotion. Ironically, when Megatron took over the factory, Prowl was able to show Bumblebee the value of stillness in battle, something the pair would work on later in a game of Twister™.
In an attempt to get Bulkhead to be less bumbling and destructive, he tried to teach his comrade how to move with ninja-like grace as he did. It did not go well, and Prowl was continually on the ground or under things, such as trees, and Bulkhead. Bulkhead's effectiveness in battle was undermined until Prowl realized Bulkhead's approach had its place and encouraged him to "do what you do." He also sensed sparks within the Dinobots and, unwilling to let them be destroyed, secretly hid them on a small island before they were melted down. As he explained to Bulkhead, "Just because something's big and lumbering and destructive, doesn't mean you give up on it."
Reasoning correctly that the Decepticons would target Sari to get at the Key, Prowl took to instructing her in the art of "ninja nerve blows." It was shortly after one of these sessions that his decision to save the Dinobots seemingly came back to haunt him when the gargantuan robots kidnapped the girl. He headed to their island home with Bulkhead in tow, the suspicious Captain Fanzone shadowing them somewhat clumsily the whole way. However, the police captain was not prepared for the environmental hazards of the secluded island and had to be rescued by the pair of Autobots. Together, the three of them discovered that the Dinobots had been coerced into kidnapping Sari by Prometheus Black, whose corrosive touch they had come to fear. Forced along with Fanzone to fight the mad geneticist's creations in a gladiatorial arena, Prowl began to develop a bond with the captain, who in turn came to trust Prowl.
When Decepticon energy signals were detected, the Autobots quickly realized that they were outnumbered. Bulkhead mentioned that the Dinobots might be able to help, not aware that Prowl hadn't told Optimus they had moved them to Dinobot Island. Prime was furious and ordered the two to take him there at once. After searching the island, the Autobots found the Dinobots. Prime's introduction was less than friendly, and Prowl was forced to smooth things over with Grimlock. They were unwilling to help, so the Autobots left, unsure of their next move. When Bumblebee contacted Prime, saying that Starscream was at Sumdac Tower, he ordered him to stand down. When they arrived at the tower, they saw Bumblebee fighting Starscream. Prime dryly noted that disobeying orders was becoming a habit, but Prowl wasn't too insulted.
He was too busy being shocked by Megatron bursting through Sumdac Tower.
Quickly regaining their composure, the Autobots attacked, only for Megatron to defeat all three of them himself. After the battle, Sumdac revealed that he had helped rebuild Megatron. Prowl was furious, but Prime said that it was unimportant. Using residual Key energy in Sumdac's lab, the Autobots repaired themselves, and Prime apologized for his harsh words. Ratchet and Sari came in the ship, but it was shot down over Dinobot Island. During the subsequent battle, Prowl noticed that Blitzwing's multiple personalities were connected to his alternate modes. To cause his hotheaded side to emerge and transform into a tank, Prowl suggested that Bumblebee use his greatest strength— his obnoxious personality.
While responding to a report of rampages on Dinobot Island, Prowl and Bulkhead were given Ratchet's EMP generator and stasis cuffs to detain the Dinobots. Discovering that Grimlock had a metal shard wedged in his foot, Prowl used the generator to dull Grimlock's sensors and remove the shard. However, they then received a call from Ultra Magnus that Starscream had escaped. Heading to the Autobots' crashed ship, Prowl used Teletran 1 to scan for Starscream, discovering him on the Moon. Prowl suggested that they go after Starscream, but Bulkhead thought it was suicide. So Prowl stole a shuttle and went off by himself. Locating Starscream on the Moon, he managed to place stasis cuffs on the Decepticon, but Lockdown appeared to take Starscream off Prowl's hands. During their fight, Starscream escaped and destroyed Prowl's shuttle. Stowing away on Lockdown's ship, Prowl suggested an alliance to capture him. Lockdown gave him a set of armor that would assist him in the hunt. Discovering a purple (and frightened) Starscream, they captured him, but Lockdown revealed that he was working for Megatron. Prowl would not allow Starscream to be taken, but Lockdown tied Prowl up and left.
The other Autobots arrived and chewed out Prowl for his actions, but Prowl insisted that they retrieve Starscream first. During their pursuit, Starscream somehow showed up and offered an alliance against Megatron. Prowl took down Starscream, but in his actions, he destroyed a bird's nest. Realizing that the modifications he had were going to his head, he resolved to abandon them - once they got Starscream. Prowl initially flubbed an attempt to spy on the meet between Megatron and Lockdown and quickly found himself outgunned until the other Autobots arrived with the second Starscream. During the standoff that followed, the two Starscreams revealed that they had bombs inside them. Prowl used the armor he had been given to send them into the sky, saving Detroit from destruction. Lockdown then contacted Prowl, offering him a partnership, but Prowl declined and returned Ratchet's EMP generator.
When Bulkhead was kidnapped, Bumblebee brought the Autobot intelligence agent Blurr to the plant, who revealed that Megatron was building a space bridge to conquer Cybertron from within. As Sari and Ratchet went to repair the ship, Prowl went with the others to rescue Bulkhead and shut down the space bridge. However, they were incapacitated by the Constructicons - just in time for Starscream and his clones to attack.
Escaping the Constructicons, Prowl was able to lock stasis cuffs on a lying clone, but was soon occupied with Mixmaster. When Prowl managed to disengage long enough to check on an injured Prime, a fawning clone managed to place stasis cuffs on him. Once he came back online, Prowl began a processor over matter technique to disable his stasis cuffs, which would theoretically work if he had completed his training. Fortunately, it did work, and Prowl was able to throw a shuriken at Prime's stasis cuffs as he was being thrown through the space bridge. Unfortunately, power problems with the bridge arose, causing Megatron to add Starscream's AllSpark infused head to the mix. This caused a power overload which sucked up Megatron and Starscream, and nearly sucked up the Autobots as well. Fortunately, Omega Supreme arrived and sacrificed himself to save the Autobots by allowing himself to be sucked into the portal. After escaping from the self-destructing bridge, Optimus Prime asked if everyone was okay, and Prowl gave an affirmative nod. Unfortunately, Sari was not okay, for the skin of her right arm had been torn, revealing robotic circuitry underneath!
When Optimus repeated to the Autobots Isaac Sumdac's story of finding Sari as a liquid metal body in his lab, Prowl recognized the description and left. His destination: Sumdac Tower, where he logged into the Professor's computers and took a scan of Isaac himself, remarking that his findings were "interesting." Upon Isaac's return to the tower with Optimus and Sari, Prowl revealed his findings: Sari was a protoform who absorbed Isaac's DNA to create an alt-mode for herself.
The Autobots were then faced with the problem of finding Bumblebee, who had accidentally grabbed a space bridge component and was being randomly warped around the galaxy. He returned in the belly of a creature made out of living rock, which the Autobots were unable to defeat until Sari, having upgraded her Cybertronian form using her key, arrived. She then lost control of her new power, going on a rampage that forced the Autobots to contend with her. Prowl attempted to help her regain control using his processor over matter technique, only to be knocked back by a shock wave that resulted. Prowl then worked together with Optimus and Bulkhead to try and stop Sari, but they were successful only in removing the now powerless key from her. Prowl took it to Ratchet in order to help a badly wounded Bumblebee, only for the key to prove ineffective. He then provided moral support for a distraught Ratchet, who in the heat of the moment doubted his surgical abilities without the key. Prowl proved right, and remained with Bumblebee while Ratchet used his EMP to knock Sari unconscious long enough for him to bypass her circuitry and prevent her from rampaging again.
Unfortunately, an even bigger problem arose as Megatron, having commandeered Omega Supreme's control systems, returned to Earth to exact his revenge. When Optimus suggested returning Sari to normal in order to unleash her on Omega, Prowl balked at the plan and suggested another. Prowl and Optimus infiltrated the giant Autobot, Prowl using his processor over matter technique to help Omega push Megatron out, only for Starscream to overwhelm them both and jettison Prowl and Prime. Fortunately, quick thinking on the parts of Bumblebee and Bulkhead allowed them to attach the device Bumblebee had recovered to Omega, sending him and the two Decepticons warping randomly through space.
Along with the other Autobots, Prowl soon did battle with Lugnut and then the Constructicons.
They then had to deal with Wasp, an old classmate of Bumblebee's who blamed Bumblebee for his wrongful imprisonment in the Cybertron Stockade. After a bit of a mixup with Bumblebee and Wasp switching appearances, they were able to uncover the truth.
Joined by the Elite Guard under Sentinel Prime, Prowl and his teammates then set out to capture the remaining Decepticons on Earth along with Wasp. When Sentinel miraculously captured Sunstorm, Optimus mentioned seeing a helmeted silhouette just before finding the Decepticon. Checking a database back at their headquarters, Optimus was able to ID the helmet, which Prowl himself recognized as belonging to Yoketron. Joined by a skeptical Jazz, who had also studied under the cyber-ninja, Prowl followed Sentinel Prime only to lose track of him, during which time he took custody of Lugnut. When Prowl, growing suspicious as he noticed that the various Decepticons Sentinel had "captured" were missing their armaments, he confronted Sentinel Prime only to have his case seemingly thwarted by Sentinel's possession of Lugnut's weapons. However, upon following Sentinel to Tigatron Stadium, Prowl had his suspicions confirmed: Sentinel was being aided by Lockdown, who had succeeded in locating the Liar Starscream and was in possession of Yoketron's helmet. However, Sentinel was then double-crossed by the two Decepticons, whom Prowl then confronted.
As Prowl battled his old opponent, he was shocked to find Lockdown identifying, by name, the moves he had been taught by Yoketron. It then came out that Lockdown was a former student of Yoketron's who had proven a disgrace to the cyberninjas, and thus had his holographic image removed from their hall of honor. Prowl demanded that he turn over the helmet, which turned out to be a boobytrap which immobilized Prowl. Lockdown took him aboard his ship, eager to relieve him of his most powerful upgrades. However, Prowl was able to use processor over matter to free himself, at the same time claiming a set of armor identical to the one Prowl had given him before, this time with Yoketron's helmet serving as a top piece.
No longer overawed by the power of his upgrades thanks to his training, Prowl continued to battle Lockdown, and performed an incredible feat of processor over matter by holding up the fragments of the stadium scoreboard with telekinetic abilities. Lockdown managed to escape in the confusion, but for his role in uncovering Sentinel's dirty deal and in helping subdue the Liar Starscream, Prowl was credited with the capture of all the Decepticon lieutenants that Lockdown had apprehended. Afterwards, while tending the tree in his room, he was approached by Jazz, who complimented his armor and added his assertion that Yoketron would have been proud to see his old student wearing his helmet.
In the end though, all of that armor, cool guy behavior, and long history of punk-kid behavior had to be sacrificed along with Prowl's spark in order to rebuild the AllSpark and destroy a Lugnut Supreme. However, his spirit rescued Optimus from the Lugnut Supreme's destruction. His body was later taken back to Cybertron by his Autobot friends. May he find peace, and his master in The Well of AllSparks.