It doesn't get much better in the comics. In Marvel Comics he was summoned to Earth by Megatron. That's it. In Dreamwave, he joined in with an assination attempt and got interred by Jazz after trying to take over the Earth with his clones with the other Insecticons; and in IDW, he's been around. But again, always in the background, and always being overshadowed by Bombshell and Shrapnel.
Kickback then, is always the bridesmaid and never the bride. Just because he can kick things really hard, he's deemed to be not as cool as the others, and is therefore always just outside your field of view. He's the plain jane of the Decepticons, just crying out for someone to come and do a makeover on him. You know, like Sandy from Grease.