By Adam B. Vary
Updated June 13, 2011 at 02:00 PM EDT
  • Movie

The wild success of the Transformers franchise can basically be boiled down to one basic truth: Watching a semi-truck cab, or sports car, or fighter jet turn into a giant robot is really, really cool. I mean, it’s not like the first two movies pulled in $1.5 billion worldwide based on their penetrating insight into the human condition. So as Transformers: Dark of the Moon stampedes ever-closer to the multiplex, we were wondering, who is the coolest Transformer?

The obvious candidate is the heroic leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. But what about the devoted guardian of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), Bumblebee — he communicates via pop music hits and iconic sound bites, and that is certainly cool. Optimus’ right-mechanical-hand, Ironhide, has dispatched his share of evil Decepticons with various cool slo-mo leaps. And let us not forget those Decepticons, either: Megatron manages to lead them with a quasi-metal pageboy haircut of sorts that’s all kinds of ironic, hipster-cool. Starscream may connive and grovel, but he also knows how to survive, and cool people always survive. And Soundwave was upgraded from a fusty, outdated boom-box in the old animated TV series to a diabolical communications satellite in the second film — plus, he kinda sounds like Doctor Claw from Inspector Gadget*, which is really effing cool.

So who do you think is the coolest Transformer? Vote in our poll, and then defend your choice in the comments!

*Yes, fanboys, I realize actor Frank Welker voices both Soundwave and Doctor Claw — as well as Fred from Scooby Doo, and Megatron in the ’80s Transformers TV series, among many, many others — but admitting I know that is, unfortunately, deeply uncool.

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  • Movie
  • 143 minutes
  • Michael Bay