It's an 80's kids cartoon. Last I remember 30 years ago on TV he didn't "kill" anyone but when the 86 movie came out a lot of us 80's kids had an oh shit moment when our autobots and deceptions were killing off each other. I remember why I went on hiatus now from boards, largely because adults can't get past their childhood heroes. Look, Optimus Prime is like Batman - he's a badass but refuses to just kill off the Joker or any other Gotham villain because Batman believes in reform. Optimus is no different. Soon as he landed from Moon Base1, he said "Megatron must be stopped" and proceeded to mow down as many Decepticons in his path to get to Megatron. He wounded them but needed to stop Megatron. He wasn't going to waste time on Soundwave, Dirge, one of the Insectons, etc. and kill them off one at a time. That's time consuming. Megatron is the head of the snake and if you cut him off, the rest will follow. Optimus fought Megatron valiantly BUT as soon as Megatron asked for "mercy", rather than continue onward with his "Megatron must be stopped" mentally, he decides to proceed with a speech instead of offing Megatron right there. So to all who view Hot Rod to blame because he got in the way?! Blame Optimus for being a sucker! And as I said previously, as I'm taught - he shoots first, wins (the battle).