"We're all just food for rust"
Sometime in 1986, Megatron got in a snit over his evil Decepticon jets being made fools of by a bunch of Autobot cars, and decided to build his own team of evil Decepticon cars. To this end, he sent Soundwave's two juvenile delinquents, Rumble and Frenzy, on a car-collecting tour for raw materials. Based on the fact that they mostly brought back European sports cars and race cars, they apparently went on a tour of Europe on Megatron's expense account. Where else are you going to find a Porsche 928 being used as a bank robbers' getaway car?
Megatron and the Constructicons rebuilt the cars into drone Transformers, then took them to Cybertron to get them issued personalities by Vector Sigma, the mysterious, pre-Cybertronian "super-computer" that brings Transformers to life. So were created the Stunticons, of which Dead End is a member. Vector Sigma gave Megatron exactly what he asked for in personalities1, which resulted in all the Stunticons being psychotic in one variation or another. (Vector Sigma either has a nasty sense of humor, or had an oversupply of defective personalities to use in filling careless specifications). See the G1 episodes "Key to Vector Sigma, Part 1" and "Key to Vector Sigma, Part 2". Dead End's psychosis seems to be clinical depression (see personality notes below).
After that, the Stunticons' main employment seemed to be (a) commit crimes as cars, making the humans think the Autobots had turned on them, and (b) "combine to form… MENASOR!" (just in time to spoil one of their demolition derbies). Yes, the Stunticons were a combiner-team: they could re-assemble together as a really gigantic single robot with a bad temper even for a Decepticon and whose appearance meant the Autobots would haul out their opposing combiner team of jets that assembled into a really gigantic single robot whose main purpose was to whale on Menasor a lot. Dead End considered this entire career pretty pointless.
Fast forward twenty years, aka "Transformers: the Movie (1986)" aka "The movie that traumatized every small child that hero-worshipped Optimus Prime". It's a rather alternate 2005, the Decepticons are winning--they've pushed the Autobots off Cybertron, though the Autobots hold two moon-bases and have Autobot City on Earth and are preparing to re-invade Cybertron from the twin moons. One botched raid by Megatron later, Optimus Prime is dead, Megatron is apparently dead, half the jets are gone, Starscream is in charge (!!)--wait, Starscream has just been vaporized by this Galvatron dude, and oh by the way, there's a GIANT TRANSFORMING PLANET coming to eat Cybertron!
Dead End is right; they're all doomed.
What do you mean, all the Stunticons survived?
1 "Make them hate the Autobots and all that they stand for"
Nautilus: First Wave
At that point, Dead End Woke for the first time. He ended up in the Western District, swore allegiance to TFA Megatron, lived in a garage next to the cemetary, and made friends with Aya Brea, Leslie Vernon, Smaug the Dragon, Sunstreaker, Wheeljack, William Jesse the preacher, Lt Rip Van Winkle, and various other strange people. He was acquainted with all of his fellow Cybertronians at the time, and didn't consider any to be enemies—Megatron had ordered a truce, and hating people was pointless anyway. He disliked Graham Spector for the latter's habit of dismantling vehicles belonging to friends and the assault on Sideswipe.
In the course of his time in Nautilus, Dead End revisted his home universe twice; he got to witness the starving time on Charr, and the restoration of Galvatron and the exile of Blitzwing. Preparatory to the fight against Isis, he brought back the personalities of his four teammates, copied while combined as Menasor, so that he could borrow their skills and special powers. He and Sunstreaker had a road rage death duel that killed both of them; on returning from death, they found that they had earned each other's respect.
In Nautilus itself, he joined in the fight against Isis, fighting hideous monsters in Kalliste and facing down Isis herself. He choked during the final confrontation and the alternate personality of Motormaster took over. Motormaster helped bring down Isis, and then rampaged around Nautilus for a few weeks being Motormaster (i.e., punishing Dead End by hurting his friends) until the combined Bending of a team of Wakened forced his vile, violent personality to subside and that of one of the other Stunticons to take over. Eventually Dead End reverted to himself, though he would let the other personalities strengthen him for specific purposes—on a tight leash of control. He'd learned not to let Motormaster get loose again.
Weary after the fight against Isis and the madness of having all the Stunticons trapped in his head, he succumbed to his own depressive tendencies and slipped back into Sleep for some time… until his home universe became too unendurable once more.
Back in his own universe, he continued as part of the Stunticons--unappreciated by Galvatron as a team of skilled automotive terrorists, but only desired for their ability to combine and form Menasor. He and the rest of the Stunticons were infected by the Hate Plague, but survived. Eventually, they wound up under the command of Sixshot (Headmasters cartoon), Galvatron fell, and Scorponok was hailed the new Decepticon leader. At this point, Dead End Woke up again.
Nautilus: Second Wave
What came back from Sleep was far more than the Stunticon Dead End had been, though he had not yet grasped that fact. For over a decade, at the behest of various Decepticon leaders, the Stunticon team had been repeatedly merged to form Menasor, for prolonged periods. Separations had been come more and more problematic; echoes of each one's personality bled over into his teammates. Eventually, had Dead End remained Asleep, all five Stunticons would have blended permanently to become one of the legendary "Demon Generals" of the Decepticons: Menasor [loosely based on Transformers:Victory and wild extrapolation].
In Nautilus, Dead End had those personality echoes as well, but he gradually assimilated them rather than being submerged by them. His consciousness was still his, but his personality--was becoming a variant of Menasor. He was well on the way towards fully integrating Wildrider and Drag Strip, a change most obvious when in his human form as Mori Finite. (As a human, he did not have the hard-wired circuitry enforcing his personality as Dead End--and twenty-something testosterone encouraged all the immature, impulsive aspects of their personalities). One mark of that integration was that he no longer switched to their voices when channeling aspects of their personalities.
Breakdown and Motormaster's integration was progressing, though it was more subtle. Breakdown's paranoia surfaced whenever Dead End felt vulnerable, such as when a reality storm stripped him of his powers. He started to acquire Breakdown's dislike of being watched by Nautilus' ever-present cameras, as well. Motormaster's integration was… less subtle, as Motormaster's nature tends to dominate Dead End's personality, rather than being subsumed by it. Dead End still sometimes switched to Motormaster's voice when he was channeling the Stunticon leader's brutal rage, malice and power--but Motormaster's lust for dominance was being modified into a more Megatron-like desire to command and lead through power.
In the end, Dead End was becoming Menasor—but in Nautilus, he was becoming the Menasor that Megatron really wanted: intelligent, integrated, in full control of his emotions. Unable to bear losing himself completely in Menasor, but seeing no way out, Dead End fell back Asleep.
Nautilus: Third Wave
Once again, Dead End is back. This time, he's himself, not proto-Menasor. It's complicated, but the personality fusion has proceeded far enough back home that "Dead End" is effectively dead, and only Waking Dead End retains his true personality. Stubborn as always, Dead End's spirit has rejected change to Menasor and returned to his roots. There are no teammates in his head anymore, just Dead End. His place is here in Nautilus, and for the first time since the Ashura of the West left him behind, Dead End has regained angelli status.
Before Ascending, he spent some time tending to Irene when she "came back wrong" from a visit home—some kind of timeslip into an alternate timeline had turned her into the Fallen Angel Irael, who was quite insane and terrifying to almost everyone else in Nautilus. She was also unused to being mortal. Dead End didn't know quite what had happened, but assumed some kind of reality shift had happened to Irene to make her Irael, and since Irene was a friend, he ignored Irael's crazed rantings and took care of her, making sure she got food, rest, and remained safe from would-be assassins. Irael's obviously traumatized mind reminded him of himself and his own team, after the Autobots had exiled them to starve on Charr, for Irael's Hell Cathedral just reminded him of Charr, and he pitied her.
From Dead End's DW/Marvel profile: "Sullen and fatalistic; Dead End sees little reason to continue the Aotobot-Decepticon War since all Transformers will eventually become inoperative anyway, even though it might take tens of thousands of years. Yet he spends more time keeping himself unmarred and shiny than any of his fellow Stunticons, an irony not lost upon Motormaster, who speculates that Dead wants to at least make sure he leaves a pretty wreck when he dies. This vanity leads to a lot of teasing and derision directed toward Dead End, which makes him feel worse. The only thing that can lift his spirits is blasting Autobots in battle, despite what he says about the pointlessness of it all. It seems he's too busy trying to save own life to get depressed about the possibility of losing it."
My Dead End is a depressive; he varies from mildly apathetic with a sardonic sense of humor to black funks where he has to be beaten to get him to do more than sit and stare at the opposite wall. If even that works. Except when he's in a black funk, he's quite vain about his appearance and manners; he affects the persona of an aristocratic, bored dilletante. Life is pointless, it's just marking time until you die, and we're all going to die soon, but one might as well look good while you do it… and enjoy a few sensual pleasures. He's very much the mopey-gothboi.
I followed the Dreamwave write-up originally and wrote him as the most intelligent of the Stunticons, though his tech spec only rates his Int at 6. I see him as very intelligent, but hobbled by his depression and apathy. His diversions are all ones that appeal to his intellect: reading, music, conversations with people as intelligent as he is.
He's a member of the Stunticon team, and his primary loyalty is to his team--his brothers, as he sees them. Without them, he tends to feel adrift and lost, and very likely to fall into a funk. He is also a Decepticon, but as a depressed fatalist, he really sees no point in the War and Decepticon/Autobot is no more than a label that says who is less or more likely to shoot at him and who should be shot at--if a superior officer is around to insist on it. He has no philosophical or emotional investment in the War or his faction.
He's a skilled and courageous warrior—when he can be motivated to fight. His brothers (or other people he cares about, if he should somehow come to care about others) depending on him or in danger are among the things that will motivate him to fight. When he does fight, he's cool and precise and would be very deadly if he had more powerful weapons.
He has a reputation among the Decepticons who know him for his skewed risk analysis routines; ask him to give a tactical assessment of a situation, and Dead End will figure out the worst possible way it can go wrong and inform you that's what's going to happen. He's convinced that he'll die in every single battle he enters, and he's been pleasantly surprised every time so far. He knows this unnatural streak of luck can't last, though, and next time will be It. This fatalism is the source of his courage: he knows he's going to die, so whether it's now or the next minute doesn't matter. He just hopes it won't be too painful.
He's very young as Transformers go, having been built a mere twenty years before his Awakening. However, like most Transformers brought to life by Vector Sigma, he has a late adolescent-to-young adult level of maturity… with quirks, thanks to Megatron's specifications to Vector Sigma when he had the Stunticons brought to life. Dead End's 'quirk' is his depression, fatalism and apathy. He also believes, thanks to Megatron's instruction to Vector Sigma that gave Dead End his personality, that he is incapable of hope or joy.
He was a bit traumatized right after he Awoke—for all his fatalism, Megatron was a constant in his universe. Shortly before Dead End Awoke, Megatron fell. Fortunately he's recovered from that since them. An interesting encounter with Cyrus in a dream has convinced Dead End that the mad, broken monsters of the Western District are also his brothers/teammates, like his fellow Stunticons. If you are an insane killer, or just tormented and violent, Dead End loves you and wants to help you. You're his kind of people.
After his first trip home after achieving Angelli status, Dead End brought a few extras back home with him—the personalties of his 4 brothers, courtesy of a merge into Menasor form and some subtle bending to keep the mind imprints, and the weapon systems for his own use. Unfortunately, his teammates are getting a bit loud in the back of his processor, and Dead End is starting to worry that one of them might manage to take over. He was correct to worry.
After a brutal road rage race with Sunstreaker that left them both dead (and Hunter limping home in Sunstreaker's battered body), Dead End returned from his first death ever with a bit more upbeat attitude. He tasted joy and hope on the other side of the grave, and carried the ability to hope back with him.
From profile: "In car mode, Dead End can reach speeds of up to 220 mph. He emanates a radar signal that allows him to detect the movements of any vehicle or robot within a 200-mile radius, and he can use it to mentally map the surrounding terrain as well. He's adept at using this ability to lead enemy Autobots into traps- such as dead ends! In robot mode, he carries a compressor-air gun, which can let out a blast of air that packs a 40,000 psi punch, enough to splinter a grove of oak trees. He combines with his fellow Stunticons to form the giant robot, Menasor."
i.e. he's a fast car, he has an aircraft/spaceship-grade active sensor array with real-time mapping capabilities, he carries a super-high-pressure air concussion rifle, and has been shown in the cartoon to mount a couple of blasters or lasers in car mode.
These days, he's once again an Angelli. Back in his First Wave days, he could shapeshift rather freely, and preferred human, animal and avian forms. He could teleport, though almost never did—he prefers to drive, and he can use the fast movement of his type. He can see Bending traces and flaws or tampering in worlds. He is slowly regaining those more advanced abilities.
He is a Decepticon, and was very loyal to Megatron, the Ashura of the West. After seeing too many would-be and actual Decepticon leaders abuse his team back home and mostly turn out to be complete losers, Dead End no longer cares who else is leading the Decepticons. Since he became the Last Decepticon in Nautilus, Dead End has decided that he's the Supreme Leader of the Decepticons in Nautilus, and any new 'Cons who don't like that can talk to the hand… holding the atomic particle cannon. All other things being equal, he tends to like intelligent people who aren't jerks. He likes intelligent people who aren't jerks but are crazy even more, because they remind him of his team back when they were people and not fragments of Menasor's personality. He has some tolerance for crazy jerks, if it's the crazy that's making them into a jerk.
In Nautilus, he was fond of Leslie Vernon, and William Jesse, and Starscream, and Megatron (of course!). Wheeljack, from his own reality, had Dead End falling all over him. He learned serious respect for Sunstreaker after their death-race, and thought Sideswipe was a loud-mouthed jerk. Sadly, all those people are gone back to Sleep now. He liked Wade (Deadpool) a lot, because Deadpool reminded of Wildrider, but Deadpool went to sleep, too. He likes Harley Quinn, too--she's still here, and reminds him of Wildrider, too. Frank Castle, traumatized war vet, reminds Dead End of himself and all the other veterans of a war that went on far, far too long, so he's patient with the guy. Irene, Ashura of Redemption, he respects and likes immensely because she's competent, fairly wise, a leader, and they get along. There are other new friends he's making, or hoping to make as time goes by.
Pre-Third Wave: Like ribbons of black lace, shot through with threads of dark red, gray, yellow, blue and dark purple.
Now: Like ribbons of black lace, shot through with threads of dark maroon and violet (like his optics),
GalleryPorsche 928S - Dead End's vehicle mode
Icons for the Strawberry Tabby Tiger, Dead End's former animal form
Icons for Morituri Finite, Dead End's human form
Icons for the Raven, Dead End's former avian form
Stunticons in action