From the Transformers franchise, created by the Takara and Hasbro toy companies
Nominated by Jennifer Kuntz
As a child of the 80s I learned that the best things in life were supposed to be big, powerful and manly. When it came to TV characters the biggest, most manly, most powerful robot was, of course, Optimus Prime. Mostly it was that voice. A slightly smoky baritone, strong and clear. He sounded like a hero. And he CARED about people. He would put himself in harm's way to protect others. You can call it hackneyed, but when I was 12 it was glorious.
Like Superman, Prime was a benevolent alien who reflected our best qualities back on us. But he had his own unique burdens. He had inadvertently brought his war to our world. He was always acutely aware of his responsibility for that act and he died to defend his adopted home.
For a lot of Gen-Xers Prime's death was the first real tragedy of our lives.