Drift (Deadlock)

DriftThere’s yet another character barely seen in the new Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer: when Optimus Prime gathers his forces, a blue Autobot with a samurai-like mask and helmet can be seen right next to him. That’s Drift, who will be voiced in the movie by Ken Watanabe. In the film, Drift will be one of Optimus’ new subordinates, a former Decepticon who will help him fight against the man-made Transformers who are seeking to conquer Earth. Nothing else is known about him as for now, except that he’ll be able to transform into a cool 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, quite a flashy car for such a serious warrior. In the comics, Drift’s backstory is pretty much the same, but his appearance is quite different, as with most of the movie-version of the Transformers. Let’s see together who he is.

Drift was born on planet Cybertron, during the events that immediately preceded the Great War. A common citizen, Drift lived on the streets with his friend Gasket, and didn’t care about politics: the only thing he knew was that people were getting poor and hungry, and that the High Council didn’t help them; among the parties, the Decepticons seemed the only ones to be actually caring for regular guys, accusing the Government of failing Cybertron’s citizens and ignoring the social plight they were going through. Once, while hanging around with Gasket, Drift met an Autobot security guard on patrol: things soon got troublesome, and before somebody realised what had happened, Drift had tried to take the gun away from the guard, and an accidental shot had killed Gasket. Overwhelmed by a blind fury, Drift killed the guard, and also all the driftcomics1reinforcements that had arrived hearing the shot: he discovered quite an innate ability in the use of firearms. After hearing about the “incident”, the leader of Decepticons, Megatron, sent his men to collect Drift and to bring him before him: the rebel offered him a place among the Decepticons, and Drift, full of rage, accepted his offer. Gifted by nature with an incredible aim, Drift became an even better marksman with the Decepticons’ training, and became one of the most feared warriors on Cybertron; Megatron himself appointed him with the name Deadlock, officially welcoming him among his ranks. A bane for the Autobots, Deadlock killed many enemies, serving as a second in comand for Decepticon Turmoil. It was during a mission with him that Deadlock was seriously wounded, and left for dead on the battlefield; his body was found by Wing, a mysterious warrior who brought him on another planet, to a secret location, the New Crystal City, where a third faction of Cybertronians lived. It was the beginning of Deadlock’s new life.

The Crystal City was inhabited by a neutral group of Cybertronians who refused to take part in the Great War, the Knights of Light, who felt that a life had a sacred value, being it from the Decepticons’ or the Autobots’ side. They underwent a severe discipline under the tutelage and training of their leader, Dai Atlas, who wasn’t happy at all with Wing, who had brought a Decepticon in their sanctuary: Wing, however, assured his master he could change Deadlock, feeling that something good was still buried in his soul. Deadlock was rebuilt with the Crystal City’s technology, and, once back to his senses, he couldn’t help but being fascinated by Wing’s ideals and philosophy: the warrior taught him that all life is sacred, and that the mission of driftcomics2the strong ones is to protect those weaker than them, quite the opposite of what Megatron had taught him. He also discouraged his disciple from using ever again his guns, despite his skill, and trained him in the Knights’ martial art, aimed to inflict the least possible damage to an enemy and to put him down without killing him; he also trained him in the use of swords, weapons far more noble than guns. With time, Deadlock came back to be simply Drift. When the Knights intercepted a signal they couldn’t identify, Drift recognized it as a Decepticon one, and secretly followed it: he found an old teammate, Lockdown, trading with some local slavers, and he told him he would have revealed the secret location of the New Crystal City in exchange of a ride to Cybertron. Drift’s plans were actually to ambush and defeat the slavers who had hunted the Knights for so long, but Dai Atlas and his men refused to fight, since they used their martial arts only for self-discipline; only a bunch of warriors decided to join Drift, who led them in combat against his former allies. During the battle, Wing died, and just before Drift was ready to sacrifice himself to protect the remaining Knights, Dai Atlas and the others intervened, defeating the slavers once and for all. Dai Atlas, recognizing Drift’s value, gifted him with Wing’s katana, telling him to use it only when it was strictly necessary, as it drove its power from the spark of its user. Feeling he had been given a second chance, Drift started traveling the universe as a lonely warrior, hunting his former allies, the Decepticons, and protecting the weak ones they lorded over.

Drift is a noble and tormented warrior, who consecrated his life to redeem himself from a haunting past and to protect the weak ones from the domineering tyrants he himself served in his youth. Serious and disciplined, Drift is a master of a secret martial art similar to Diffusion (a Transformer martial art that uses the opponent’s strength against him); he is also a proficient swordsman, who uses his double short swords in battle, and seldomly his katana, a sword able to cut through anything, but that consumes his spark (life energy); he’s also an infallible marksman, but he chose not to use a gun ever again. On Earth, he can transform into a sport car (usually a Nissan Silva S15), gaining speed. Respectful of life and justice, Drift sometimes allies with the Autobots to pursue his mission, but fights on his own against all the horrors the Great War has brought on both sides.

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