In Beast Wars, Scorponok was one of Megatron's misfit Predacon soldiers. Like his similarly-named G1 predecessor, he transformed into a scorpion. He was elevated to the status of sub-commander after Dinobot was summarily dismissed from the Predacon ranks. Scorponok is not what I would call "command material," but I suppose between Terrorsaur's treachery, Waspinator's incompetence, and Tarantulas's goddamned weirdness, he was the only viable option. Scorponok was the Predacons' chief inventor, but he wasn't very inventive, if you know what I mean. On one rather hilarious occasion, Scorponok created a cyber-bee drone that attached itself to Optimus Primal and redirected all of his life-support functions to it and if it was removed without first administering an antidote, it would explode and Optimus (as well as the remover) would die. Now perhaps you're thinking "so what? Why not just leave it on and survive?" Well, there were two reasons for that. First, Optimus couldn't transform into his beast mode, which was essential at the time. Second, the bee contained a virus that was meant to turn Optimus into a flailing coward totally unpreprared for combat. Unfortunately for Scorponok (and the Predacons in general), the virus turned Optimus into a berserker and he broke into the base and kicked everyone's ass. I guess it's worth pointing out that Tarantulas was a better mad scientist, but due to the fact that he couldn't be trusted for any reason, Scorponok was tasked with coming up with absurd scientific notions.
"What does he mean 'you command'? I'm second in command!"
In case you didn't get it earlier, Scorponok is, in fact, second in command. This seems to be the proudest aspect of his life. It's funny, given that he was given the promotion simply because Dinobot wasn't available. To me, this says that Scorponok was probably a pretty big loser on Cybertron. I mean, let's be serious...if you're second in command of a five-person group, it's not a great accomplishment; it's basically getting your name drawn out of a hat. There are only four members of the group capable of having that position, assuming the leader can't be his own subordinate. So if you're a relatively good suck up, you ought to have it in the bag. All success by probability aside, Scorponok relished his role as Megatron's shill; he looked like a real hood hovering next to his boss. Think of Stiletto and Baron Silas Greenback from Danger Mouse.
Like basically every other character in the damn series, there's not much background information on Scorponok. In his defense, he's vaguely intelligent and he's a loyal guy. He certainly has his size on his side; I could see him being a fairly effective rennaissance bot as far as thuggery is concerned. Unfortunately, he's also a coward and not especially capable of standing up for himself. He's easily swayed by the comments of others, regardless of what -- if any -- proof is presented to back them up. He also has absolute and total faith in Megatron's leadership capabilities...even when the entire planet was being nuked by aliens, he said "Megatron will save us!" At that point that isn't loyal, that's just delusional.
While it's true that all good things must come to an end, it's also true that most totally uninteresting things must come to an end...just like Scorponok! Like his pal Terrorsaur, Scorponok bought it at the beginning of Season 2 by falling into a pit of lava. So long, sucker. Inferno replaced him as second in command. A nice irony, considering Inferno was basically dead last in the hierarchy until Scorponok died.
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