Fortress Maxmus from The Transformers (2017 TV Series).
Despite his great power, size, and rank, Fortress Maximus is a weary and reluctant warrior. Fighting is against his pacifist nature, even for the most noble of causes. Over time, the endless conflict on Cybertron has worn him down, to the point that he's willing to walk away from the war entirely to preserve himself and his ideals.
During the long absence of Optimus Prime, Megatron, and their respective troops from Cybertron, unit commander Fortress Maximus established a headquarters in the Manganese Mountains and continued the fight against Scorponok's Decepticon contingent.
One fine day, Fortress Maximus's troops staged an ambush on Scorponok's Decepticons, who had just leveled an Autobot city and were marching their prisoners toward the smelting pools. Maximus's troops cut a swath through the Decepticon ranks, quickly driving them into retreat.
Though his troops were jubilant at their victory, the battle was the last straw for Fortress Maximus. He had become so sick of the war that he decided to leave it. He didn't care if it made him a coward or not, he simply believed that the war would go on regardless of whether or not he was in it. Maximus declared that no matter what the others decided, he was traveling to the planet of Nebulos, a world he had long studied and which seemed to be at peace. His stunned troops agreed, and together constructed a starship dubbed the Steelhaven to propel them across the void.
Fortress Maximus immediately sent Highbrow as an messenger to the Nebulan natives; however, an accident made it appear that the giant robots from outer space came with hostile intent. Some of the more reactionary elements among the Nebulan leadership conspired to make Fortress Maximus's envoy, Blurr, also appear to have hostile intent, and thus were able to incite their fellow Nebulans to arms.
Fortress Maximus and his troops thus found themselves under a full attack from the Nebulans. Maximus ordered his troops to not fight back, despite complaints from the likes of Kup, and covered them as they retreated into the woods.
Faced with a newly hostile enemy, Fortress Maximus resolved to wage peace, not war. Gathering ten of his followers, he marched up to the Nebulan capital of Koraja, begged to be heard out, and had his group discard their weapons. When that didn't work, he did the next logical thing and pulled his head off. Seven other Autobots also resorted to this grotesque stunt before Galen, head of the Nebulan World Watchers, was convinced they weren't a threat. |Ring of Hate|
The eight Autobots' heads were stored in a warehouse, and Galen occasionally consulted with Fortress Maximus, keeping him up to date on outside events as anti-robot protests rocked the capital city.
Soon after, a horde of the Autobots' Decepticon foes appeared before the city gates. Maximus advised Galen that turning the Autobots over to Scorponok would not prevent him from attacking, and under the Autobot-Nebulan peace agreement, Galen could not simply restore the eight Autobots to their bodies. But together with Arcana, the pair came up with another plan. Eight volunteer Nebulans were bio-engineered to combine with special armor, and transform into likenesses of the Autobots heads, connecting with and controlling them through the Headmaster process. Galen himself became Fortress Maximus's new partner. Fortress Maximus led his newly enhanced troops against Scorponok, and soundly defeated his numerically superior squad. |Broken Glass|
Fortress Maximus remained inert while Galen performed his various duties. He came back online to lead the Headmasters to the Grax Communications Facility, where a number of Nebulan leaders were apparently being held hostage by the Decepticons. It turned out to be a trap, however, as the Decepticons had also become Headmasters, with Galen's rival Zarak now bonded to Scorponok himself. Using several Nebulans as a distraction, Scorponok's troops overpowered Fortress Maximus and the others, taking them hostage. |Love and Steel|
Maximus remained out of commission until Zarak, briefly overcoming Scorponok's influence on his mind, freed Galen and the other Autobot-allied Nebulans. Fortress Maximus and company smashed their way out of the holding facility, then ran straight into the newly formed Decepticon Targetmasters. Maximus briefly led his troops against the Decepticons, but opted to retreat rather than fight it out. To spare Koraja the carnage of a full-scale fight to the finish, he covered their retreat with the time-honored technique of smashing his enemies with Koraja's metal sculpture of the planet Nebulos. |Brothers in Armor|
During their voyage to Earth, Fortress Maximus underwent a radical reconstruction to alter his size considerably, increasing himself from a slightly tall dude to a very tall dude, about twice the height of the average Transformer. Of course, with his larger scale, Fortress Maximus needed a new head (Galen still being stuck at roughly human size). For this reason, an Autobot drone, Cerebros, was added to serve as a secondary stage between Galen and Maximus. As the head of Cerebros, Galen could transform Cerebros into the larger head of Fortress Maximus.
Arriving on Earth, Fortress Maximus led his fellow Headmasters to Mount St. Hilary, source of the Autobot distress call that had drawn them to Earth. After recovering the damaged Goldbug, the group encountered Spike, who had come in search of his missing younger brother Buster Witwicky. Spike asked for the Autobots' help in finding his brother, but Fortress Maximus was more interested in their primary mission of locating the Autobots of Earth, and he led his troops off to follow the fuel trail of the missing Ark.
Scorponok's crew soon followed Maximus to Earth, however, and to the same cave. When Spike replayed Goldbug's distress message, Fortress Maximus and company returned to the cave, apologizing to Spike for his failure to consider the danger he had brought to Earth's natives by leading the Decepticons there.
In the ensuing battle, Spike retreated further into the volcano's caves to seek shelter. Scorponok followed, seeking a hostage, and Fortress Maximus pursued him. As the caves narrowed down, Maximus was forced to send Cerebros onward, and eventually Galen himself had to leave Cerebros to cross a fragile rock bridge. Scorponok used the distraction to blast rocks down on Galen, killing him. As the Decepticon leader left, laughing, Galen passed on his control helmet to Spike, allowing the Earthling to assume control of Fortress Maximus and drive the Decepticons off. |Trial by Fire|
Spike soon underwent the full binary bonding process and became the leader of the Steelhaven's crew of Autobots. With his new partner, Fortress Maximus led the Autobot Targetmasters in an effort to locate Buster, first visiting his father at a shady motel, then heading to a spot in the tropics where the Decepticons had set up an island base.
With Kup worried about the inexperience of Fortress Maximus's new partner, Maximus held back while the Targetmasters landed on the island. They were driven back by automated defenses, however, and the island revealed itself to be a rocket ship, launching into the atmosphere with Buster still aboard. Maximus resolved to take matters into his own hands, and took off after the rocket (who knew he could fly?). Unfortunately, once in space, the ship's defenses made shishkabob out of him, forcing Spike to resort to using Cerebros instead. Cerebros was likewise trashed by an attack from Shockwave, though Spike was able to use Maximus's guns to send Shockwave falling to his apparent demise. Maximus and his partners were subsequently rescued by the Targetmasters, and for his gusto, Spike was welcomed as the group's new leader. |The Desert Island of Space|
As Fortress Maximus underwent repairs, his crew caught wind of a floppy disk in possession of one Ethan Zachary, which contained the memories and personality of Optimus Prime. With the aid of a computer-generated version of Prime, Fortress Maximus gathered a lot of data from Scorponok's Pretender experiments and gave that ability to some of his own crew. |Pretender to the Throne|
With the disk in their possession, Fortress Maximus oversaw efforts to build a new body for Optimus Prime's mind. However, the Steelhaven's resources were depleted after creating the Pretenders, causing the effort to fail explosively. Thus when Hot Rod located the Ark nearby, Fortress Maximus was eager to contact its Autobots and forge an alliance.
Unfortunately, Grimlock developed an immediate dislike for Fortress Maximus, partially because he was a possible threat to Grimlock's leadership, partially because he was part human, and partially because he was harboring the fugitive Goldbug. He challenged "Fruitloop Multipuck" to a duel for leadership on the moon. Faced with the prospect of a divided Autobot force, Fortress Maximus agreed, though his unhealed injuries made victory an unlikely prospect. Luckily for Maximus, the imprisoned Blaster agreed to fill in for him.
Ratbat led a Decepticon assault on the Autobots during the duel, catching them completely off-guard. While fighting off the attackers, Fortress Maximus ordered Goldbug, Joyride, Getaway, and Slapdash to take the disk to Nebulos to restore Optimus Prime. The Decepticons were sent into a retreat, but in the battle's aftermath, Maximus announced that he had found all other Autobots lacking in the leadership department, and eagerly awaited Optimus Prime's return. |Totaled|
- Stephen Keener reprises his role as Fortress Maximus.