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The Decepticon Justice Division

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    The DJD in general 
Find. Kill. Cleanse.
The Decepticon Justice Division is a division that handles justice. And by justice, we mean "unmarked graves". Traitors and deserters to the Decepticon cause are targeted by these feared enforcers of Megatron's will.

In general:

  • All Crimes Are Equal: Any Decepticon that hinders Megatron's quest for galactic domination in any way meets with the same punishment: brutal execution.
  • Badass Crew: The five of them are shown to be capable of Curb Stomping both Phase Sixers and almost the entire crew of the alternate Lost Light.
  • Band of Brothers: Their loyalty to the Decepticon cause is matched only by their loyalty to each other. This in no way diminishes the fact that they're all sadistic mass-murderers — or, in Nickel's case, a mass-murderer facilitator.
  • Berserk Button: Turncoats. They were persuaded by Brainstorm to spare the quantum-duplicate Lost Light crew in exchange for killing Overlord, and were going to do just that, but seeing Drift made them lose their shit and massacre the crew.
  • Blood Knight: They really enjoy their job.
  • The Bus Came Back: They return with a vengeance in Issue #32 to destroy the alternate Lost Light off-panel.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Their specialty. Several of them turn into torture implements, and all of them are torture implements.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: They seem to derive perverse pleasure from inflicting pain on others. Especially noticeable when they're massacring the alternate Lost Light crew; they're all visibly enjoying themselves and making their kills as violent and over-the-top as possible. Tarn, at least, tries to hide it behind a veneer of sophistication.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The DJD execute traitors and deserters in the messiest fashion possible to make an example of them:
    • Tarn's specially modulated vocal processor causes his victim's spark to self-destruct.
    • Vos is able to remove his face, the inside of which lined with numerous spikes, drills, and hooks that deploy at the flick of a switch. He forces his victims to wear it.
    • Kaon can generate thousands of watts of electricity which discharged directly into the cranial chambers of his victim. He also turns into an electric chair.
    • Helex has the ability to smelt his victims inside his chest. He's also fond of removing his victims brain modules and placing them into their mouths to force them to commit death by Autocannibalism.
    • Tesarus has a turbine built into his chest. Victims are lowered into this gnashing pit, but are rarely fully dropped into it. When they are however, Tesarus likes to drag them in feet first. Slowly.
  • Cult: Among other things, they're a cult centered around the Decepticon cause. In The Permanent Revolution, there's a brief moment where they pray to a statue of Megatron shortly after finishing with their latest victim.
  • Death by Irony: Just saying DJD or their names would strike fear in the hearts of Decepticons and Autobots alike, but in Dying of the Light, Megatron kills them as he strips them of their DJD names, metaphorically and literally reducing them to the bunch of nobodies they once were, as their corpses finally get reduced to nothing in an anti-matter explosion.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: On the alternate Lost Light, they could've just killed Overlord and been on their way, but instead they chose to slaughter the entire crew, indulging in their own personal ventures. It's explained that the DJD had every intention of leaving the Lost Light crew alone on their pursuit of Overlord, but encountering Drift (a former Decepticon) "triggered" them, forcing them to kill everyone.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: They don't just kill Decepticons for being imprisoned, or for deviating for whatever insane standards they hold every other Decepticon to - sometimes they inflict, and we quote Tarn here, "preposterously gruesome demises."
  • The Dreaded: Among their own faction to boot. Even 'cons stranded on Cybertron are afraid of them.
  • Dying as Yourself: Megatron forces this trope upon them as a form of mockery, calling each member by their original names just before he brutally murders them.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Their whole purpose. Their targets include Black Shadow, Deathsaurus and Overlord. Though Riptide reassures his fellow crew members that they target Autobots too.
  • Fatal Flaw: Quite possible their one major weakness is that they can never do things the quick and easy way — they always have to make it as bloody, brutal, and prolonged as possible. See Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat. Issue 39 shows that this is at least partly because they power themselves up on Nuke, which is an addictive stimulant that makes its users highly violent and possibly delusional.
    • Their devotion to going through their list of victims in order can be a hindrance. Shockwave tries to trade the lives of thirty one marked Decepticons in return for his own, and is denied.
  • Five-Man Band
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: For the entire Decepticon faction, and with good reason.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: Any Decepticon who wavers from the cause, any Decepticon who so much as gets captured, must die in horrible, horrible agony. And the Autobots, but that one's a given.
  • Hero Killer: They kill every single crew member on the alternate Lost Light, save Rewind. Soon after Kaon kills our Trailcutter.
  • Hypocrite: They apparently make a habit of breaking the same rules they kill others over:
    • They violently murder Black Shadow for taking bribes in return for turning against the Decepticons, but it's perfectly okay for Tarn to take bribes from Pharma in return for letting the Autobots hold a potentially important strategic position. Tarn needed those T-cogs in order to live, but it's explicitly noted that he could easily get his medical condition treated.
    • In Slaughterhouse, Part 1 they ignore a direct order from Megatron and kill the alternate Whirl.
    • Played With in regards to religion. They view religion as a baneful thing and punish Decepticons for practicing it, but they worship Megatron and his ideals in a distinctly religious manner. That said, their main complaint about Decepticons finding religion is that the cons won't be completely devoted to Megatron if they have a god whereas the DJD can't be disloyal because they worship Megatron himself. However it's played straighter with Vos who is suggested to be a believer in Primus.
  • Illegal Religion: No matter how small or quiet or pleasant the religion or its believers may be, even a religion of one must be dealt with. The Decepticon utopia cannot justify religion. It's a form of control, after all.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: Seemingly lesser infractions can land you on their list.
  • The Juggernaut: As issues 32 and 33 demonstrates, they can wade through the crew of the Lost Light without taking so much as a scratch. This cost them though; the Galactic Council and Black Block Consortia's forces managed to nearly kill Vos and Kaon while the DJD were tired from that slaughter.
  • Kill 'Em All: Their attempt to kill Megatron and the Lost Lighters ends very badly for them; Kaon gets killed by Tarn for loving the Pet/Dominus, the Pet's mind gets collapsed by a failed mnemosurgury, and the rest of the team gets horrifically ripped apart by Megatron's anti-matter attack. Only Nickel lives and she only does so by going AWOL mid-battle.
  • Legacy Character: The "First Five" all operate under codenames, and the lineup is implied to change semi-regularly. Two previous holders of the name "Vos" have been mentioned, one who was really big and had hooks in place of his hands and feet and another who was Agent 113.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Nickel's the only one who makes it out of "Dying of the Light" alive.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Subverted. They leave Neutrals alone, but due to Tarn's bigoted beliefs it basically narrows down to "Never Hurt A Cybertronian Innocent". They're totally cool with killing organics.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: They're already almightly powerful, but the flashback in "The Ties That Bind" (set prior to Shockwave reappearing in the first Ongoing) indicate there were limits, as in that issue they retreat rather than take on a combination of Shockwave, Bludgeon and Monstructor. Then they're stated to find Nuke, an unstable from of Nucleon, on Messatine in 2009 or so. The next time we chronologically see them in "Rules of Disengagement" they're shown taking apart Black Shadow, one of the planet-killing Phase-Sixers, like it was nothing.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Some of them can take hits from a Cybernaught, later shown to able to kill someone like Ultra Magnus with ease, and it barely hurts them. Tarn's shown to be able to stalemate Overlord, one of the most powerful Transformers in existence, without taking any visible damage.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Enraged at how they forced him to break his vow at pacifism, Megatron unleashes the power of a singularity upon those foolish enough to enter Trailcutter's panic bubble.
  • Not So Above It All: Even the Terrifying monstrous Knights of Cerebus bicker and act like unruly children much like the Scavengers and Lost Light crew.
  • Oddly Small Organisation: For a division, there only seem to be five of them doing the main work. However, they do have agents and informants all over the place, like Nickel and Brainstorm.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The main members of the DJD are only known by their codenames, all after the first five cities to fall under Decepticon rule.
  • Out of Focus: Following their introductory two-parter, they're mostly unseen throughout the first season as they head off to find Overlord, though Tarn and Kaon make a brief appearance in the Remain In Light arc. Their lack of appearances is finally explained in Issue #32 and #33; they've been very busy.
  • Paper Tiger: Despite leading the charge to kill Megatron, they're only willing to fight him directly when it appears he lost his will to fight. Megatron uses this against them when he retreats inside a force field, which makes the DJD believe he's running away. After they enter the force field after him, Megatron reveals that he trapped them in there with him and they freeze in fear. They don't even try to fight back or defend themselves as Megatron kills them off one by one.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Horribly subverted; they were going to spare the alternate Lost Light crew and only kill Overlord, but because they had just taken a bunch of Nuke, they lost control when they saw Drift and started a fight, leading to them slaughtering the crew.
    • In a straighter example, they never attack Neutrals like the Necrobot. Subverted in the second season finale when they're revealed to have killed Censere offscreen and desecrated his corpse.
  • Psycho Serum: They use a super-fuel called Nuke to enhance their performance. It's Nucleon altered by quantum energy released by Brainstorm's time travel shenanigans. It leaves them very unstable.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad
  • Reverse Mole: A past member was an Autobot spy in the group known as Agent 113, who passes on the members on the list to the Autobots by shooting the "enemy" with inert data bullets. It's later revealed that 113 was a previous Vos.
  • Rasputinian Death: They usually won't let a victim die until each member has had a turn torturing them. If that option isn't available, they'll just make sure their victim dies painfully.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: They get on the receiving end of a brutal one from an antimatter-powered Megatron in MTMTE Issue 55:
    Megatron: I'd won. Finally—after five million years of fighting—of fighting myself—I'd won. I was prepared to accept my fate. I was at peace. I was happy. And then you came along and ruined EVERYTHING! I'm shutting you down.
    (kills Vos)
    Tarn: Vos!
    Megatron: No. Not "Vos." Not anymore. Today you die by your birth names. Starting with you...Forestock. Crucible. Scissorsaw.
    Tarn: Please—be reasonable—
    Megatron: You'd have thought—given the compassion shown to me on the Lost Light—that I'd have learnt to be a little more forgiving. But I'm afraid Getaway had the right idea: no mercy.
  • Rules Lawyer: According to Word of God, Megatron's order to spare Whirl can be ignored if he's directly threatening the soldier's life. The DJD used this as an excuse to disobey Megatron and kill the alternate Whirl, despite the fact that he couldn't possibly have hurt them.
  • Torture Technician
  • Toyless Toyline Character: All 7 were created for the comic, and Hasbro confirmed at Botcon 2015 that there were no plans for DJD figures. Subverted with Tarn went on to get an official, non-transformering figure produced by Flame Toys.
  • True Companions: They're all incredibly loyal and caring towards one another, in stark contrast to how they treat others. As the comic goes on, however, tensions between Tarn and the others are brought into focus.
  • Villain Team-Up: They ally with Deathsaurus' army to take on Megatron and the Lost Light in The Permanent Revolution.

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    "Tarn"/ Damus/ Glitch 
The war is not over until Megatron says so.
The ruthless leader of the DJD and the Big Bad of the series. He puts on a show of being a cultured lover of music and literature to cover up both his sadism and his addiction to transforming. He's completely and psychotically devoted to the Decepticon cause and possesses the power to kill people with his voice.

He's actually Glitch/Damus, the quiet Outlier student who once worked with the Senator and Orion Pax. Megatron convinced him to join the Decepticons in order to spite Optimus Prime and "Tarn" has been a fanatic ever since.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tarnthumbnail_7537.jpg

  • A Father to His Men: Unlike most Decepticon commanders, he appears to respect his team, never belittling or insulting them. For example, the genuine concern he shows Kaon when the latter is affected by the kilswitch, and later refuses to kill his crew to forge an alliance with Deathsaurus. Ultimately subverted: He threatens Tesarus when he says they shouldn't have left Vos and Kaon behind, and when Kaon embarrasses him in front of Overlord and Deathsaurus, the already-twitchy Tarn tears his head off to remind everyone of their place.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Faced with his imminent, painful demise, he starts pleading with Megatron to be reasonable.
  • All for Nothing: Is told his quest was this by Megatron, almost verbatim:
    Megatron: Goodbye, Glitch. I want you to die with one thought in your head: everything you did was for nothing.
  • Arm Cannon: In the present day he has two fusion Cannons on his right arm. During his time as Grindcore's Warden he had one on each arm.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In-universe, he's a very obvious Megatron fan, and was personally taught by the guy.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The leader of a gang / cult of sadistic killing machines, who keeps the rest of them in line through the power of...bureaucracy. And the occasional decapitation.
  • Ax-Crazy: He tries to hide it under a polite and sophisticated facade, but it's clear he's a bloodthirsty psycho.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Tarn runs the DJD like a bureaucracy (with all the paperwork that implies), with him as their manager. This is entirely deliberate — in his own words, "the Decepticon empire will stand or fall on the strength of its internal administration".
    "For what is the Decepticon Justice Division if not a form of extreme performance management?"
  • Bad Boss: After his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Becoming the Mask: In quite a literal way; in issue #51, when Megatron meets with Tarn alone to surrender himself he asks Tarn to at least let Megatron see his face by taking off his Deceptibrand mask. Tarn coldly retorts that the mask is his real face.
  • Benevolent Boss: Starts as one, most of the time. However as season 2 goes on and his Villainous Breakdown worsens, he becomes increasingly vicious and short-tempered with the rest of the team. This culminates in ripping Kaon's head off for being too concerned with the Pet's safety at the expense of the mission.
  • Berserk Button: Asking him to take off his mask, and insinuating he's a coward for wearing it, will get you turned right back over to the more sadistic DJD members for execution. Also, questioning his knowledge of the Decepticon code.
  • Big Bad: Roberts has identified him as the series' Big Bad, but he has yet to actually meet the non-quantum duplicate Lost Light, leaving him no room to actually personally menace the gang. He appears to be finally stepping up as the series' true Big Bad as of The Permanent Revolution, where he's allied with Deathsaurus' army to not only take over the Decepticons, but to wipe out Megatron and the Lost Light.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: While he's the chief threat being hyped up across the series, Getaway's actions end up making him almost as much of a threat as Tarn himself.
  • Blood Knight: Played with. Return Of The DJD implies he's the only member who doesn't enjoy torturing and violence, but hides this fact from the others because he believes that his duty is necessary. However, in Who's Afraid Of The DJD, he describes the hatred he has for Grimlock as "intoxicating" and was clearly enjoying slaughtering the crew of the duplicate Lost Light, in the Slaughterhouse arc. Based on his comments, it seems that once he's started killing, he just can't hold himself back.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: His obsessive adherence to "the script" for DJD operations leads to this in the season 2 finale. He has the rest of the DJD plus Deathsaurus and his army trapping Megatron and Team Rodimus in the Necrobot's very lightly-defended fortress. Rather than pressing his advantage and attacking right then, Tarn orders a withdrawal, but leaves notice that they will return in force at sunset, eight hours away. Deathsaurus is annoyed by this, but Tarn insists on mentally tormenting them. Later, Tesaurus brings up that the Necrobot's fortress is equipped with a storm-shield generator, which could hold them off for weeks. Tarn dismisses this and sure enough the crew gets the shield up, making victory for the DJD far less certain.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: His bio lists him as a "music lover, classical scholar, and mass murderer.”
  • Broken Pedestal: He is Driven to Suicide upon hearing of Megatron's defection. He gets better when he decides that he's in the end more loyal to the cause than any one figure.
  • Brown Note: He can modulate his voice to a certain pitch that will make the listener's spark explode.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Ultimately his hatred for Megatron proves to be this. Megatron, pushed to the brink and utterly enraged by the DJD forcing him to break his vow of pacifism, uses a panic bubble and his wormhole internals to unleash an anti-matter storm. The result; the entirety of the DJD except Nickel getting horrifically torn apart and killed. Whoops.
  • Captain Patriotic: An evil one. He's named after Megatron's home town, and he has the Decepticon symbol as a mask.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: He ends up in a situation like this with Overlord during Dying Of The Light; Tarn clearly wants to kill him, but needs Overlord's help to get to Megatron and his team.
  • Chainsaw Good: Kills the alternate Overlord with an Ununtrium-bladed one.
  • Cooldown Hug: He gives a hysterical Kaon one when he's overcome with concern for the Pet. And then he rips his head off.
  • Cool Mask: Has a Decepticon symbol over his actual face. One panel in The Permanent Revolution indicates he's got a whole wall covered in battle-damaged but otherwise identical masks.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Deliberately subverted. There's no dramatic Wham Shot of his face after his mask gets torn off because we never saw Tarn's real face. We only ever saw the face he had after his Empurata, so you wouldn't recognize him anyways.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. In Return Of The DJD, Tarn claims to be disgusted by the torture that the DJD inflicts and has great difficulty watching it., and that he wears his mask partly to hide the fact that he closes his eyes, every time the rest of the team indulge in their bloodlust. In the same issue, he berates himself for mocking a dying victim who was struggling to speak, noting in his internal monologue that it was petty and beneath him. But while Tarn may have standards, but they don't actually stop him from doing anything, or force him to modify his behavior in any way - they just force him to justify it to himself, usually with some variation on the phrase "Decepticon cause". He may have refused to sacrifice the rest of the DJD to buy Deathsaurus's loyalty, but he still ripped off Kaon's head for caring for the Pet too much, and while he might not like the torture, he makes no effort to actually stop it.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Claims that the only reason the Autobots protected the organic races of the galaxy from Megatron's plan to wipe them out was to "put an upstart miner back in his place."
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Alex Milne has said that he imagines Keith David as the voice of Tarn.
  • Eye Scream: During his fight with Deathsaurus, the con sticks his (sharp) thumb into Tarn's eye hole. However due to the way he'd grabbed Tarn, and partly moved his mask, the thumb didn't go all the day through the optic, and just damaged the eyehole.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Tries to do this. Megatron just decides to take his time murdering him compared to how quickly he dispatched his cohorts.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Just as his faceplate masks his true identity, his calm, sophisticated demeanor hides the ruthlessness with which he performs his duty.
  • Femme Fatalons: The tips of his figures have sharp points.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Remember Glitch, that quiet, unassuming Outlier with the power to make machines mess up who helped Optimus Prime out before the war? That was Tarn when he was young. His cute malfunction powers grew more advanced until he was able to make living machines malfunction as well, which is how Tarn invented his "killer voice".
  • Freudian Excuse: Played With. Damus was a victim of Empurata, his head and hands were taken away and he was rejected from society Roberts stating it was because of his anti-authority ideals. In the present he distances himself from his past and it's unclear how much that incident has affected his current outlook.
  • Functional Addict: Deconstructed. Tarn is addicted to both transforming and Nuke but carries on his duties regardless. As a result he constantly burns through transformation cogs, resulting in damage which can occasionally lead to a slight case of... dead. Ratchet points out it can be cured, but Pharma states Tarn doesn't want to be cured.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has exposed circuitry visible around his right eye. His mask also has two small scratches on the same eye. He also seems to have something similar to burn scars around his mouth.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He's the one who caused Pharma to go off the deep end.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: As his Villainous Breakdown gets worse, he becomes increasingly violent and short-tempered.
  • Hypocrite:
    • In issue #54, Megatron takes to the field after Tarn tears Ravage in half, armed with the new fusion cannon that had been made for him earlier, and begins tearing Tarn's forces apart by himself. Deathsaurus immediately decides to order a retreat, but Tarn countermands the order. He then quietly orders Nickel and Vos to have Helex and Tesaurus pull back before telling Deathsaurus to have his men focus their fire on Megatron, even though Deathsaurus states that doing so will get all his men killed, which Tarn rather callously dismisses since they're not HIS men dying out there.
    • Just before dying, he breaks down and pleads with Megatron to "be reasonable"
  • Informed Flaw: It's frequently stated that Tarn is addicted to transforming, to the point where he needs to steal a steady supply of t-cogs from his victims because he burns them out so quickly. When we actually see him in the comic, he doesn't display any type of obsession with transforming, not even during his off hours.
  • It's Personal: With Grimlock: the Dinobot leader is the one who gave Tarn his facial scars.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • While preparing to kill Blip, he mocks the guy while he was struggling to speak due to his injuries. Lampshaded in his internal monologue, berating himself for doing something so petty.
    • When Tesarus complains about Vos and Kaon getting left behind on Ofsted, Tarn responds by threatening to murder him for questioning his knowledge of the Decepticon code.
  • Knight Templar: He believes he's doing what's best for everyone, from his perspective traitors and deserters need to be slaughtered.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: His killer voice ability is an extension of his machine disruption powers; he's still causing "glitches", it's just that the machines he's glitching happen to be sentient.
  • Logical Weakness: While it leaves him far from defenseless, Deathsaurus points out that his main weapon, his voice, can be avoided by the victim shutting off their audio-receptors. Unless, of course, he's insinuated himself into their poorly-secured comms systems beforehand.
  • Loony Fan: Of Megatron. What else do you call someone who keeps corpses nailed to a wall just because they've been inscribed with Megatron's writings?
  • Meaningful Name: This is invoked with the entirety of the DJD who name themselves after the first five cities the Decepticons conquered; Tarn holds a special distinction as it is Megatron's hometown. Though it's never mentioned in series, James Roberts confirms that Tarn himself was from that city as well.
  • Never My Fault: For all he claims to be appalled and disturbed by the DJD's actions, when Swerve uses the Necrobot's equipment to trigger an attack of conscience that sends Deathsaurus into a breakdown, it skips Tarn completely.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite making a big show of being a sophisticated scholar, it becomes clear during several fights that he's just as vicious and bloodthirsty as the rest of the DJD.
  • Not So Different: A cross-title example, to Galvatron in The Transformers.
    • You wouldn't think so at first - Tarn claims not to enjoy the suffering his crew causes, Galvatron positively revels in being a bloodthirsty conqueror; Tarn genuinely cares about his colleagues in the DJD, Galvatron may be the ultimate IDW Transformers Bad Boss and betrays pretty much all his followers; Tarn totally believes in Megatron and the Decepticon cause, Galvatron only uses said cause to further his message of constant warfare and killing and only believes in himself.
    • Then comes the series' final arc, and Tarn increasingly begins to resemble Galvatron in all the above areas, offing Kaon for showing weakness in his eyes, being utterly careless with his (actually Deathsaurus') troops' lives and being unable to hold his sadism in check when finally confronting Megatron. They even go out exactly the same way: betraying all their former ideals and begging for mercy before being unceremoniously killed by their series' main character (Megatron for Tarn, Optimus for Galvatron) - in issue 55 of their respective series to boot.
  • Noodle Incident: Grimlock is the one who gave Tarn his scars, though under what circumstances were never revealed.
  • Only Sane Man: The Permanent Revolution implies he's not nearly as much of a psychopathic sadist as his teammates. Eventually, it's subverted. If anything, Tarn might actually be worse than the rest of the DJD put together.
  • Pet the Dog: His interactions with his team serve to humanize him.
    • He shows concern for Kaon in the Remain in Light story arc, when the latter is affected by the killswitch.
    • He rescued Nickel and gave her purpose. While Roberts admits this action could have easily just been indoctrinating a scared trauma survivor into his cult, from Tarn's point of view he's being merciful.
    • When asked to kill his teammates in order to accept Deathsaurus as an ally, Tarn is surprised at how quickly and firmly he refuses.
    • Horrifically subverted in Speak, Memory. While serving as the warden of Grindcore prison, he asked Skids to fix the prison teleporter's generator in exchange for sending 50 Autobot prisoners to a more humane prison every time Skids does so. After several incidents, the problem with the generator is corrected permanently, and Tarn tells Skids he's free to join the next batch of prisoners. Skids gives his place to Quark instead, and Tarn, claiming to be moved, allows both of them to go. Then Skids learns just in time that the freed prisoners have been instead sent into a smelting pit to be melted alive into raw material for MTO soldiers, and Tarn forces him to watch...
    • Turns out to have left Nickel a recording of his weaponized voice for the sole purpose of killing anyone who tried to harm her - which comes in handy when she and the Scavengers are being threatened by Scorponok. He even refers to her as "my friend" in it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's shown in issue 39 to be a somewhat paranoid racist, believing that organic races are inherently violent towards mechanical races.
  • Scars Are Forever: One reason he wears his mask is that there is a large gash of exposed circuitry across his face, the result of a run-in with Grimlock that ended poorly for Tarn.
  • Serious Business: Paperwork, and performance management in general. Tarn believes the Decepticon Empire will stand and fall based on its administration, and any underling who complains about having to fill in form after form (or worse, dare call it "political correctness gone mad") will earn such penalties as written warnings. And as to performance management... Tarn holds that the D.J.D.'s activities are just taking the concept to its utmost.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a small, but no less brutal one to Overlord shortly after smashing Kaon's head onto the Duocon's chest.
    Tarn: Don't ever think you can come into my house and pass judgement. I will not be ridiculed by someone who spent half his life running and the other half sulking because no one gave chase.
  • The Sociopath: He was always a sadistic animal, but he was A Father to His Men, who treated his crew with nothing but respect... unless they questioned him. After suffering a Villainous Breakdown, however, he becomes increasingly short-fused until he tears off Kaon's head.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: And softer and softer and softer... *VOMF*
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Quite literally.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Overlord during Dying Of The Light.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Issue 55 finally reveals whom he really is; not Roller or someone else important but rather Glitch, the minor and quiet Outlier with the power to mess up machinery.
  • Tragic Villain: The Permanent Revolution reveals that he's actually disgusted by the violence his team commits, only performing his job because he genuinely thinks there's no other choice. The reveal of his identity shows he was a former Empurata victim and wanted dead for his outlier powers.
  • The Un Reveal:
    • During issue 39 he takes off his mask, but his unmasked face is never shown.
    • The flashbacks in issues 48 and 49 feature Tarn before he became Tarn, and just like Orion's senator friend his previous name is conspicuously never given.
    • And then in issue 56 we see his face and learn who he is. Only we've never seen his face before, since all the times we've seen Glitch he still had his empurata-enflicted head.
    • We finally see him unmasked as Tarn in Lost Light #14 - but it's only a flashback, and he's long-dead in-universe at this point.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Believes that Megatron will create a perfect society when the war is over, and that until then, any Decepticon who wavers from the cause must die, and that so long as it intimidates even one troop into obedience, it's worth it. He appears to be the only member that believes in it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Suffers an increasingly worse one throughout season 2; he's already growing weary and disillusioned, but finding out about Megatron denouncing and renouncing the Decepticon cause makes him snap. He nearly commits suicide via super-Nucleon overdose and after deciding against it becomes noticeably and frighteningly unhinged, culminating in him viciously murdering Kaon in a fit of rage.
  • Your Head Asplode: Megatron kills him by graphically exploding Tarn's face with an anti-matter strike.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Formerly the Warden of Grindcore prison, back when it was still active. Grindcore was infamous for the horrors inflicted there, transformation paralysis, failsafes that fired out spikes into the brain if anything suspicious was tried, and melting down bots for ore to be used for future Decepticons.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He sees himself and his division as this. The reality is a little different...
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: His malfunction powers are incredibly versatile, as shown in flashbacks. However once he found out he could kill people with them, he began using them for that almost exclusively.
  • Wicked Cultured: Will quote Megatron's works and play classical music as he kills you.

    "Vos II"/Forestock 
Wear my faaace.
The newest member of the DJD, who transforms into a sniper rifle and speaks almost exclusively in the Primal Vernacular. Also, he can remove his face, which has hundreds of spikes, drills, and other torture devices inside.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vos_9062.png

  • BFG: turns into one.
  • Black Speech: He speaks in Primal Vernacular, and knows very few words of Neocybex, the modern Cybertronian language.
  • Body Horror: Megatron kills him with his anti-matter powers by directing anti-matter into Vos's body than ripping it all out, utterly mutilating Vos.
  • The Dark Chick: The newest DJD recruit.
  • Determinator: After being near fatally injured and receiving limited medical care from First Aid and Trailcutter, he gets right back up and starts attacking the Autobots.
  • Equippable Ally: Turns into a sniper rifle.
  • Eye Scream: Subverted. His face has all sorts of drills and needles underneath it, but the eyes are unaffected. He still needs to see, but the victim will also still be able to see the rest of his tortures. Later Vos plays it straight by pulling the alternate Chromedome's needle fingers off and ramming them into his eyes.
  • Evil Genius: His bio mentions that he's a scientist, though his scientific prowess hasn't been shown yet and Kaon is arguably a better fit.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: He's noticeably less symmetrical in robot mode than the other DJD members, though it's justified by his atypical alt mode and tiny size.
  • Hypocrite: Possibly. The D.J.D. does not approve of religion, yet if his near-death mutterings are any indication, he's got some Neo-Primalist leanings he's kept hidden.
  • Lean and Mean: The smallest and least physically imposing member of the DJD, but it wouldn't be a good idea to write him off because of this.
  • Legacy Character: He's not the first person to bear the name "Vos". At least two previous holders of the title are mentioned; one was much bigger and had hooks on his hands and feet and the other was Agent 113.
  • Made of Iron
  • Pintsize Powerhouse: For someone so small, he's incredibly strong and durable.
  • Nightmare Face
  • Nonstandard Character Design: In contrast with the other DJD menbers, he appears to have a heavily modified intellectual class body-type, and he is the only one without an even vaguely vehicular mode.
  • Religious Bruiser: Issue 34 implies that he's religious, with him praying to Primus when severely injured.
  • Torture Technician
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He attacks Trailcutter after he risked his life to save him, and doesn't do a thing to dissuade Kaon from killing him.

    "Kaon"/Amp 
A blind member of the DJD and owner of the Pet. He transforms into an electric chair and has the power to generate electricity.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kaon_7725.png

  • Asshole Victim: His Karmic Death in issue 52 is well deserved.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Black Eyes of Evil
  • Electric Torture: Transforms into an electric chair for torture purposes, though he can still generate lightning in robot mode for offensive purposes.
  • Energy Absorption: He can feed off energy sources in the immediate area. Forcefields, for instance.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Perhaps his sole redeeming quality is that he genuinely loves the Pet. It becomes kinda disturbing when we find out The Pet is actually a lobotomised and mutilated Transformer.
  • Evil Cripple: He's blind — and completely merciless to his victims.
  • Evil Genius: Maintains the list of the DJD's targets.
  • Eyeless Face: It's not clear why, though.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In Births, Deaths & Interventions, he bids Bluestreak, Mainframe and First Aid a friendly farewell...not long after having ripped Trailcutter to shreds.
  • Hero Killer: As much as any of the other members. However, he's the first D.J.D. member to kill a non-quantum duplicate member of the main cast: Trailcutter.
  • He Was Right There All Along: In Births, Deaths & Interventions his presence isn't revealed until Trailcutter's forcefield accidentally revives him.
  • Jerkass: He's incredibly venomous and cruel to his victims.
  • Karmic Death: Much as Trailcutter, his sense of compassion - albeit in a twisted way - towards another ultimately leads to him being torn apart and having the contents of his head crushed.
  • Killed Off for Real: The first of the DJD to suffer this fate.
  • Kick the Dog: Starting off as he means to go on, his first fight has him taunt and slur Krok as he helps Vos torture him. Later, he casually crushes the dead Trailcutter's brain for no other reason than First Aid asking that his remains be treated respectfully.
  • No Name Given: The only member of the DJD (save Nickel) whose real name is never given in the comic itself. Roberts revealed his name to have been "Amp" on Twitter.
  • Off with His Head!: Though this is perhaps an understatement. A more accurate summation might be out with his head, followed by Tarn messily snowballing Overlord in the chest with it.
  • Pet the Dog: He really does love the Pet and treats him very well. It becomes kind of disturbing when you realise what the Pet actually is.
  • Psycho Electro
  • Sacrificial Lion: The first major casualty in the Season 2 finale, offed to show how off the rails Tarn has become.
  • Shock and Awe
  • Slasher Smile: Upon killing Trailcutter.
  • Stealth Pun: He has no eyes. When you look at his face, you're looking at the pits of Kaon.
  • Tears of Blood: During the "Remain in Light" story, while affected by the killswitch.
  • Torture Technician
  • The Un-Reveal: When the DJD are all finally slain, Megatron announces their names individually. However with Kaon's death before the confrontation he remains unnamed.
  • When He Smiles: Look at this.
  • Yandere: Implied. He's oddly attached to The Pet aka Dominus, who was a spy. Dominus was lobotomized and reduced to an animalistic state, instead of being outright killed. Makes you think if Kaon had anything to do with it. His attachment to The Pet wound up getting him killed.
  • You Have Failed Me: His emotional investment in the safety of the pet leads to Tarn carying our this.

    "Helex"/Crucible 
Oh, Misfire... Your timing is as bad as your targeting.
A massive and stoic member who transforms into a giant smelter. Perhaps the most physically powerful DJD member.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/helex_8834.png

  • Badass Arm-Fold: When not in use, his smaller, secondary arms are generally doing something of this bent.
  • Brain Food: He makes people eat their brains. Sometimes he puts them in their mouths post-mortem, sometimes, like with Blip, he leaves them connected to the head via wires, and places it into the victim's mouth, so they can chew their own brain and die. Nickel's comments about him having cranial fluid in his mouth implies that either he eats their brains as well, or bites off the caps of their heads to get at their brains.
  • The Brute: The largest and most physically powerful of the DJD, though he shares the role of Brute with Tesarus.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • The Dragon: The closest thing the DJD has to a second-in-command. He fulfills The Brute role alongside Tesarus, who is a more clear cut example.
  • Dual Wielding: He's scene dual-wielding pistols with his smaller arms during the Lost Light Massacre.
  • Facial Markings: The glowing lines going down from his eyes. They might just be the same stuff he uses to melt people.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: His larger pair of arms only have three fingers.
  • Immune to Bullets: He easily shrugs off Spinister's gunfire during their fight with the Scavengers. Roberts attributes this to his thick armored build even going so far to say that he could take a hit of Gideon's Glue, and not only survive it, but store some of it away to be used in some bold and innovative ways.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: He has a smaller pair of arms around his smelting chamber, presumably to help load unwilling victims inside.
  • Mythology Gag Alex Milne confirmed in his concept art, that Helex was based on the Decepticon Harvester from the Marvel series. Where the Harvesters dumped bots into the Smelting pools, Helex turns into one.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Barely ever seen smiling. Usually he's frowning, or his face is obscured. He smiles only rarely like when the D.J.D found the duplicate Overlord, or when he's poking fun at Nickel's doting.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Snarkier and more reserved than Tesarus. This is reflected nicely in their respective color schemes.
  • The Stoic: In comparison to his teammates, Helex is considerably more reserved and quiet. He does have his Not So Stoic moments (notably when he snapped at Kaon for letting their quarry get away), but for the most part he hangs back and simply frowns.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Though we haven't actually gotten to see this dynamic in the comic, their large builds, chest weapons, and joint occupation as The Brute all point to him and Tesarus being this.
  • Torture Technician

    "Tesarus"/Scissorsaw 
Stop struggling and come inside, Flywheels.
A sadistic Blood Knight who has a huge shredder built into his chest. He's the cruelest DJD member and is easily bored when not fighting or torturing.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tesarus_2879.png

  • Blood Knight: Tesarus is always eager for a fight, the lack of action just bores him. Tarn describes him thusly:
    Tesarus. Sullen. Capricious. Ferociously violent.
  • The Brute: Less ambiguous than Helex in this regard.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: During the siege on the Necrobot's fortress, Tesarus notes there's a storm shield inside, and that Team Rodimus could use it to keep the D.J.D. at bay for days. Tarn, already in a bad mood, just tells him to shut up.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: When Nickel tears into Tarn, Helex, and Tesarus for not keeping up their personal hygiene, she addresses Tesarus as "Tess".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He wasn't happy about leaving Kaon and Vos behind, and when he voiced his concerns to Tarn (saying that's not what Decepticons do), Tarn beat him down and threatened to use the voice on him for daring to insinuate what Decepticons do or don't do.
  • Eyeless Face: Doesn't have eyes in the conventional sense. The X seems to be how he sees. His death shows he does actually have eyes, they're just hidden under the X.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Has a secondary pair of arms mounted on his shoulders, though unlike Helex who's four arms all function as arms, Helex's back arms work more like grabbing cranes and he only uses them when he needs to work.
  • No Man Left Behind: He's very upset when Tarn is forced to abandon Kaon and Vos.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In contrast to Helex, Tesarus is shown to be rather sadistic and easily bored when not killing people. Funnily enough, their color schemes are blue and red, respectively.
  • "X" Marks the Hero: Inverted, as he's a villain.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: With Helex, if their numerous physical similarities and joint role as The Brute are any indication.
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    Nickel 
Just because I'm the size of an Energon Cube doesn't mean I can't put you in your place.
A small medical/engineering bot in charge of keeping the DJD running. The sole survivor of the Prion colony, she's remarkably blunt and brave, treating the DJD more like misbehaving children than assassins who could easily kill her.
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8469c1784c11518ac943a95386f3f92c.jpg
  • Adorkable: For someone who's part of the DJD.
  • Badass Adorable: Despite her cute design, she's a crack shot with a sniper rifle. Destroying Megatron's fusion cannon singlehandedly stopped his decimation of Deathsaurus' Decepticons.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's just as monstrous as the rest of the DJD, facilitating their murdering and torturing and is "cute" only in terms of her design.
  • The Chick: Given that she appears to be non-action type character.
  • Cold Sniper: In issue #54 she uses a transformed Vos to great effect, wounding Chromedome and blowing up Megatron's new fusion cannon, demoralizing him and leaving him helpless before Tarn, and Overlord.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why she joined the Decepticons, particularly the DJD.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: Performs a non-verbal variety, with several obscene gestures directed at Tarn and Helex when they tease her.
  • Last of Her Kind / Doomed Hometown: The Last Survivor of the Prion colony, that was wiped out after an attack by the Black Block Consortia.
  • The Medic: She actually berates everyone for not keeping proper hygiene, thus making her work even more difficult.
  • Morality Pet: Her introduction is the first demonstration that the DJD has much more depth than simply being a band of sadistic mass-murderers.
  • Mouthy Kid: Not really a kid, but comes across this given her size and looks, and that she puts all of the DJD in place with just a few words.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Really small bot, with wheels for feet and a gauge on her forehead.
    • Her vehicle mode is also unusual. She has three alt-modes, but unlike Springer, Sixshot, or any other triple+ changer, they're all similar in shape and build just altered slightly for sea, air, and ground travel.
  • Only Sane Man: Upon ending up with the Scavengers, she grabs their Sanity Ball and starts wearing it around her neck. Almost literally; that's where she wars the Magnificence.
  • Restored My Faith In The Decepticon Cause: Her defection to the Decepticons serves as this to the wearying Tarn, and it's her love for her team and the cause that stops Tarn's attempted suicide.
  • Team Mom: As 'Tarn' says, she just really worries about her team when they're on the field. When Tarn is on the verge of suicide, she's in tears.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Leaves the DJD behind when she gets fed up with Tarn's vendetta against Megatron. Ironically, this makes her the Sole Survivor of the organisation.
  • Ship Tease: With Roller in the finale. She's shown covertly checking him out at one point (most likely due to his similar build to Tarn), and during the last party at Swerve's, she has a rather favourable reaction to Roller complementing her wheels, even letting him spin them.
    • In one way, with Tarn at some points.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female in their group. For a while she was the only female Decepticon in the IDW continuity.
  • Sole Survivor: She's the last surviving citizen of the Prion colony. After "Dying Of The Light" she's now also the only surviving member of the DJD.
  • Villainous BSoD: When Tarn murders Kaon, she's utterly (and understandably) stunned, simply staring blankly and stammering out "what have you done?" in shock.
  • You Are in Command Now: Takes control of the surviving forces from the assault on Necroworld.

    "The Pet"/Dominus Ambus 
A Sparkeater in the form of a turbofox and Kaon's pet/makeshift guide dog. The DJD like to have it chew their victim's sparks for added torment. It's actually Dominus Ambus/Agent 113, lobotomized and enslaved by the DJD as punishment for spying on them.
  • And I Must Scream: He's been lobotomized and had his transformation cog ripped out, leaving him with the intelligence of a dog. And since Chromedome could easily read those memories, it's implied that the Pet is completely aware of what's been done to him. Thankfully Rewind puts him out of his misery.
  • Animalistic Abomination: Subverted; it's supposedly a Sparkeater in the form of a turbofox, but in reality the DJD made that up to make it seem more threatening. In fact, it's not even an animal at all...
  • Baleful Polymorph: It's actually Dominus Ambus, having been given a lobotomy to punish him for spying on the DJD. His t-cog has been removed, ensuring he can't ever transform back to normal.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: And how! Despite initially appearing to be an utterly unimportant Satellite Character he ultimately proves to be the answer to the long-standing question of what happened to Dominus Ambus.
  • Informed Ability: Kaon notes that he chews sparks rather than eats them (which is odd because Sparkeater), and Ratchet states that the thing isn't a Sparkeater, the DJD just want everyone to think that, it makes them look that much more menacing.
  • Meaningful Name: His real name, Dominus Ambus, is Latin for "Master Walks". As in, a master taking his pet out for walk.
  • Mercy Kill: Indirectly receives one from Rewind, who's forced to let the Pet/Dominus's mind collapse in order keep Chromedome from killing himself with the reconstructive mnemosurgury.
  • Pet Monstrosity: Essentially the DJD's attack dog that they throw out to tear into their enemies.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Kaon's.
  • Team Pet: Kaon's its handler, but the whole team seems to enjoy its company.

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