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IDW Continuity

Escalation

A hard-line Autobot soldier, Hardhead was among those summoned to Earth by Optimus Prime to support the covert team of Autobots already on-planet. He arrived in a shuttle along with Nightbeat and Hot Rod as a open fighting was in progress between Autobots and Decepticons in the former Soviet state of Brasnya. Their orders were to hold position, but Hot Rod and Hardhead teleported down into the fray. Hot Rod took off to acquire the genetic fascimile the Decepticons were using to manipulate human events while Hardhead gave the Autobots artillery support.
 
Hardhead and other Autobots took the fight straight to Megatron when it appeared that Optimus Prime had been beaten and killed. Fortunately, this was not the case. Optimus and the Autobots drove back Megatron's forces, but their war had escalated out into the open on Earth.
 

Devastation

Hardhead remained on hand on Earth and served on the bridge of Ark-19 as Optimus Prime. The Autobots were going to relocate it from its position in Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico. Their flight path was intercepted by Sixshot, possibly the most destructive Decepticon in existence.  Ark-19 was shot down en route.
 
Hardhead and the rest of the Ark's crew resurfaced soon after their apparent deaths and engaged Sixshot. Many Autobots suffered damage, but Hardhead held his own against Sixshot and came out of the battle as one of the very few fully functioning Autobots.
 
A Decepticon attack on an Autobot penitentiary on Garrus-9 forced Optimus Prime to pull the Autobots' focus away from Earth. Hardhead was dispatched to retrieve Hot Rod, Wheeljack and Ironhide from their operation to retrieve Sunstreaker, who had been captured by a cabal of humans. Hot Rod refused the order to leave, and Hardhead reluctantly allowed him to remain on Earth, going with Hot Rod's suggested story that he was already in the wind when Hardhead arrived.
 

The Dead Universe

Nightbeat requested Hardhead's assistance on a personal matter. The Autobot detective had suspicions he was being manipulated, because he had come to realize a block of his memory had either been suppressed or erased. He wanted ot return to the scene of the crime, where he could last remember being before the memory lapse, and retrace his steps. However, he could not know how deeply he had been manipulated. Elements of mental control could be involved. Should this prove to be the case and he became dangerous, he wanted Hardhead there to eliminate him.
 
Hardhead agreed.
 
Hardhead and Nightbeat took a shuttle to Gorlam-Prime, finding an entire planet with a civilization that appeared frozen in stasis. Nightbeat speculated that there was activity happening there they simply could not see because it was internalized. The two Autobots headed off to the last spot Nightbeat could remember. They were intercepted along the way by a horde of small-scale Cybertronian and driven underground where Nightbeat last remembered going. Hardhead collapsed the tunnel to delay their pursuers, and that was where Nightbeat turned on him. Not Nightbeat, but those who were able to take control of him. He attempted to kill Hardhead, and Hardhead was forced to retreat as the horde up to them. He was driven back to a strange pool that served as a portal to the Dead Universe, where any living being would become an undead shade of who they once were. Cornered there, Hardhead was faced with the choice of surrendering to death or a death-like existence in another universe.
 
Hardhead did what he said he would do and shot Nightbeat through the head before descending into the Dead Universe.
 
He later emerged from the pool as Jhiaxus was entering it to escape from Arcee, effectively cornering Jhiaxus and leaving the scientist to Arcee's nonexistant mercy.

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