Membership: Circuit Breaker (Josie Beller), Phase, Rapture (Katrina Vesotsky), Symbiosis, Thunderpunch (Lee Gruber);
Dynamo (Hector Dialonzo)

Purpose: To battle robots and cyborgs and other technological menaces

Aliases: Neo-Knights

Affiliations: G.B. Blackrock

Enemies: Deathlok (Michael Collins), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Machine Man (X-51), Sentinels, Ultron, Vision ("Victor Shade")

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: (mentioned, unidentified) Transformers I#80 letters page; (identified) Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 (October/November 2011)

Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 (fb) - BTS) - After Josie Beller was crippled by Ultron, she came to hate all robots and, after regaining her mobility via a high-tech exoskeleton, she became the vigilante Circuit Breaker. 

(Secret Wars II#3) - Circuit Breaker encountered the Beyonder after he had started a multiversal attempt to fulfill his desires by taking over Earths down to the molecular level. When Circuit Breaker, after thanking the Beyonder for his wise rule, commented that she hated robots because they had no free will, the Beyonder began to doubt the wisdom of his actions, and eventually relinquished his control over the Earths.

(Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS) - Discovering an apparently alien computer virus Beller's former employer, industrialist G.B. Blackrock, carelessly tinkered with it, and accidentally unleashed it on the world. The virus began spreading through the world's mechs, A.I.s and cyborgs, propagating an escalating warlike frenzy; realizing that the worst infected would need to be put down, while hoping others might be contained until a cure for the virus could be found, Blackrock kept his own culpability in the growing crisis secret and assembled a hand-picked and specially trained team of operatives, Techno-X, to restore order amidst the growing chaos. Alongside Circuit Breaker he enlisted the mutants Katrina Vesotsky and Lee Gruber as Rapture and Thunderpunch respectively, and to prepare them for battling robots Blackrock prepared a sophisticated training program which he fed into his recruits' minds using Rapture's ability to put others into trances. In this shared dream the group believed themselves to be battling shapeshifting alien robots called the Transformers, had a simulated fourth teammate called Dynamo, and went by the group name the Neo-Knights.

   Eventually the training program ended, and the team awoke to begin their battle. To enhance their overall combat readiness, Blackrock equipped Thunderpunch with a semi-sentient gigantic gun called Symbiosis, as well as another teammate, Blackrock's pet project the humanoid supercomputer Phase, who secretly had his own agenda. As they progressed on their mission they clashed with Ultron and Blackrock's rival businessman Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, and eventually discovered Blackrock's dirty secret.

Comments: Created by Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman.

   Techno-X began in the Transformers comics as the Neo-Knights, but as that title began drawing to a close the team's creators Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman started to think about moving them into the mainstream Marvel universe. One stumbling block however was that per the contract licensing the Transformers comic from Hasbro, any new characters introduced in the comic belonged to the toy company, not Marvel. For Circuit Breaker this was not, in theory, a problem, since her costumed identity had been deliberately debuted in Secret Wars II#3 rather than Transformers (though her civilian identity, Josie Beller, had indeed been introduced slightly earlier in Transformers I#5). Belatedly, as team founder G.B. Blackrock had been introduced in Transformers I#5 and the rest of the team in Transformers I#68, from Transformers I#73 the indicia began listing all the others as Marvel properties, a retroactive claim that was unlikely to hold up if Hasbro decided to challenge it. The letters page in the final issue stated that:
   "So what does the future hold? ... The chances of Transformers ever being revived are incredibly small, so we’ll not bother going into that. But there is a slim chance that our resident super-team, the Neo-Knights will go on to greater things. No promises, but Andy and I are (as we speak) putting together and idea for a Neo-Knights (or whatever we decide to rename them) limited series. Don’t hold your breath, but we will give it our best shot."

   However, despite this hope, the revamped Neo-Knights never had their day in the sun. Several years later Simon Furman shared on his website the concept art Wildman had done for the new incarnation of the team, revealing they had been intended to be called Techno-X, and then later still in an interview in Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 Furman and Wildman discussed further details, revealing how Circuit Breaker's origin would have been amended so that a Marvel robot, "probably Ultron," to be the cause of her injuries, that Thunderpunch, whose original form lacked any technological aspects to tie to the new team name, was going to be given a large semi-sentient gun, that their previous Transformers adventures would be written off as dream simulations created by Rapture, that unable to figure out how to use Dynamo in the new iteration he would be written off as merely part of the simulation, that a new fourth member called Phase would have replaced him, and that the team had been brought together by Blackrock to fight an oncoming "machine war" the industrialist had inadvertently precipitated by meddling with an alien virus.

Profile by Loki.

Techno-X has no known connections to:

(Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS) - Phase was a humanoid supercomputer created by G.B. Blackrock. A member of Techno-X, unknown to either his creator or his teammates, he had his own secret agenda.



(Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS/Transformers I#68, 72-75, 77-80) - Katrina Vesotsky was a mutant able to force others into a dreaming state in which she could make them play out scenarios of her own devising. She could even do this to robots and other artificial intelligences. G.B. Blackrock recruited her to become a member of Techno-X, and used her power to place his recruits into a simulation to train them to fight robots.

(Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS) - Eventually the team was woken to begin their real battle, and took on opponents including Ultron and Iron Man.

Comments: In the simulation at least she wore a jetpack to enable her to fly. In reality she also carried a gun, presumably so she wouldn't have to rely solely on her powers for defense.

(Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS) - Symbiosis was an over-sized semi-sentient cannon built by G.B. Blackrock, intended to supplement the abilities of the super-strong Thunderpunch. Too heavy for a normal human to wield, it was connected to him via a binary-bonding uplink.



(Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS/Transformers I#68, 72-75, 77-80) - Lee Gruber could energize his oversized hands and feet to make them stronger and more durable, enabling him to make superhuman leaps or pound through solid steel. He was recruited by G.B. Blackrock to join Techno-X, and alongside his teammates entered a dream simulation to train to fight robots.

(Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS) - Eventually Thunderpunch and the others were woken from their slumber to begin their fight for real. To give Thunderpunch more options in battle, Blackrock bonded him to a semi-sentient over-sized gun called Symbiosis, deliberately designed so that it would require superhuman strength to be wielded.

Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 - BTS/Transformers I#68, 72-75, 77-80) - Existing only in Rapture's dream simulation, Hector Dialonzo was a mutant able to tap into the Earth's energies, enabling him to fly, blast energy bolts and create earthquakes. When charged up he glowed yellow with energy; when not charged up, his costume was blue.

images: (without ads)
Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41, p9, pan1 (main images of team, Circuit Breaker, Phase, Rapture, Symbiosis, Thunderpunch)
Transformers I#72, p20, pan1 (team in simulation as Neo-Knights)
Secret Wars II#3, p21, pan2 (Circuit Breaker meeting the Beyonder)
Transformers I#73, p9, pan5 (Circuit Breaker in simulation)
Transformers I#79, p7, pan5 (Rapture in simulation)
Transformers I#73, p7, pan2 (Thunderpunch in simulation)
Transformers I#79, p8, pan3 (simulation only-member Dynamo)

Hasbro Transformers Collectors' Club#41 (October/November 2011)

First Posted: 08/20/2021
Last updated:

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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