I read Robots in Disguise Vol. 5 on Friday.

Hard as it is to believe, both ongoing TF titles just keep getting better and better. If they continue at this rate, both will make Watchmen look like Youngblood by issue #50.

I've got a question I'd like some input on from anyone else reading regarding Soundwave.

So, chronologically, the first time we ever see Soundwave, he's on the streets, discovered by Ravage, Buzzsaw, and Laserbeak. He's being bombarded by information that he can't sort out--clearly he's what's been called an outlier in previous issues. The poor guy doesn't even know his name or where he came from.

With Ravage's help, he manages to control his abilities, and finds his way into Ratbat's employ, then into the Decepticons. He first meets Shockwave in person about the time that Shockwave joins the Decepticons and is tasked with building a combiner. And hates him immediately, blaming this on his inability to sense his thoughts. Shockwave seems a bit surprised to meet a guy whose name also ends in "wave."

Obviously, this isn't the question. However, we see that Shockwave, post-empurata, is experimenting on basically as many homeless Cybertronians as possible. We already know he had an interest in outliers prior to even his first meeting with Orion Pax. And the "shadowplay" procedure might have made him nastier, but he was already a scheming SOB prior to it.

So what I'm asking, was Soundwave a result of an earlier experiment by Shockwave, either on a lower-class outlier or as an attempt to artificially create an outlier? I'm really wondering if Soundwave had had a previous life, likely under a different name, until Shockwave kidnapped him, did something to him to create or augment his powers, and he somehow wound up on the street (possibly being dumped as a failure, since pre-empurata Shockwave probably wouldn't have been into the whole "corpses hanging from the ceiling" shtick). Think about it. After the flashback to his meeting with Ravage, the future cassettes try to help him figure out his name, and the only thing he can think of is part of the name of the guy responsible for his plight, and they all just figure it was his own name and the first part must've been "sound" because of his powers. Also, there's got to be a reason, story-wise, that he's originally shown with a mouth, but is wearing a mask by the time of his first encounter with Shockwave; that minor change to his face could be enough to keep Shockwave from identifying him. So Soundwave's hatred could be a result of a buried memory of what happened to him at Shockwave's hands, not because of his inability to read Shockwave's mind.