Are Optimus Prime and Megatron Brothers?

Optimus Prime and Megatron have become cultural icons ever since the original Transformers toy line appeared in stores and resulted in the production of a globally popular animated series that made the whole franchise famous. Although the number of Autobots and Deceptions is quite large, Optimus Prime and Megatron are by far the best-known individual characters from the Transformers franchise and that is why I have decided to dedicate today’s article to these two characters and their in-universe relationship. 

Optimus Prime and Megatron are not brothers and they have never been actual brothers, even in the context of the franchise itself. They were brethren in cause and in arms, but the signification “brother” is, in their case at least, almost exclusively symbolic and is a reference to their shared past and any family ties.

In today’s article I am, as I have announced, going to talk about Optimus Prime and Megatron, i.e., the relationship that exists between them. You are going to find out whether the two of them are brothers and why they call each other “brother” in some adaptations. You are also going to find out whether these two have any other siblings. Enjoy!

What is the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron?

The easiest way to describe this complex and deep relationship would be to classify them as bitter rivals, which they are. Depending on the version of the story, they hate each other more or less than some other narrative, but they are always rivals. They do share some mutual respect for each other, but that isn’t nearly enough to stop them from fight one another, although Megatwon is willing to take it much further than Optimus Prime. 

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Still, in order to fully explain the exact nature of their relationship and to give it context in light of this article’s topic, I am going to give you a short history of the story of Optimus Prime and Megatron. 

In the early history of the franchise, the planet Cybertron was ruled by the Quintessons, a superior alien race, who build the Autobots and Decepticons, to sell them throughout the galaxy and to use them as slave labor or for entertainment purposes. 

The Transformers rebel against the Quintessons and gain their freedom from the alien oppressors. The Autobots and Decepticons live in a peaceful society where the Autobots obtain energy as the working class, while a group of military Cybertronians were in charge of the defense of the planet (the army group). 

Peace lasted until the day that a former Autobot leader, Megatronus Prime, betrayed his brothers out of eagerness for power and allied with Unicron who wanted all the resources of Cybertron to become more powerful both formed a pact. Unicron was ultimately defeated as was Megatrons Prime, who has been known as The Fallen at the time. These events led to the creation of the Decepticons. 

At one point, the Autobot rulers became corrupt and Megatron, an anonymous gladiator, led a rebellion against the corrupt government. A young Transformer called Orion Pax, was a member of that rebellion and he idolized Megatron. Still, when Megatron came to power, he also became corrupt and thus Orion Pax, who would soon become Optimus Prime, had to leave his former ally and brother in arms to lead the Autobots in their fight against the terror of the Decepticons. 

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And the rest is history. 

As you can see, Megatron and Optimus Prime were former allies who went their separate ways when Megatron became a corrupt leader. They were never related in any other way.

Credit Marvel Comics

Why does Optimus Prime call Megatron “brother”?

Now what we know the shared history between these two fierce warriors, I can answer this question with relative ease. Before we begin, I have to stress out that this name is not often used in the source material and that it’s not a habit of Optimus Prime or Megatron to call the other “brother”. Having said this, we now know that it has happened in the adaptations, which is why I am going to give you a brief explanation related to the reasons behind this term. 

So, as you could’ve seen, Optimus Prime and Megatron aren’t actually brothers. But, they were brothers in arms during the early history of their franchise, when Megatron led a rebellion against the corrupt leaders of Cybertron. They worked together and in that aspect, they were brothers on a symbolic level, which is reflected in the mutual respect they have for each other, despite being enemies in almost every iteration of the storyline. 

So, if you encounter a scene where Optimus Prime calls Megatron his “brother”, or vice versa, you now know that it is not a literal signification of an existing family bond but rather a symbolic term that signifies their shared history during the early days of Cybertron. 

Who is Optimus Prime’s brother?

Does Optimus Prime even have a brother? Well, for the most part of the franchise’s history, Optimus Prime had no siblings. The other Autobots were his close allies, but he wasn’t actually “related” to any of them, as they never had the same “creator”. Yet, in some recent editions, the situation has changed. 

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Dreamwave Productions launched a new look on the original Generation 1 stories before it went defunct in 2005. In this new version of the old generation, Optimus Prime has a brother in Ultra Magnus, who had usually been portrayed as Optimus’ close ally, rather than his brother in earlier stories. Fans had been speculating on this theory for some time before Dreamwave confirmed it, but this short-lived retcon (and it is, basically, a retcon) never really surpassed the original canon in which the two were only close allies. 

So, the answer is both yes and no, as Optimus Prime did not have a brother until the 21st century, when Ultra Magnus was reimagined as his brother, although it remains to be seen if that is going to be a lasting fact or not.