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Bob Budiansky was the writer of most of the Marvel US Transformers comic book series and the creator of much of the mythos, characters, and names behind the first several years of the franchise.
In late 1983, Hasbro approached Marvel Comics to create a storyline around a series of transforming toy robots they had licensed from Takara. Editors Denny O'Neil and Jim Shooter created some of the early background for Transformers, including several names, but much of the material for the first 28 characters was rejected by Hasbro. Revision duties were passed to editor/writer Bob Budiansky, who renamed most of the characters and revised the personalities. Though Optimus Prime was named by O'Neil, Bob Budiansky is responsible for the names of Megatron, the Dinobots, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, and countless others.
Due to its success, The Transformers four-issue miniseries became an ongoing. Bob Budiansky was moved from editing duties to writer. It was in these years that he developed popular characters Shockwave, Ratchet, and Grimlock into the roles they're famous for today. He also created the concept of the Autobot Matrix. Budiansky continued to write bios and name characters until the end of the original series.
Towards the end of his time on the comic book series, Budiansky started to feel fatigue. It was complicated and frustrating, from a story-crafting point of view, to introduce so many new characters in so few issues. At Budiansky's recommendation, the writer of the Marvel UK Transformers comic, Simon Furman, took over Budiansky's duties on the US comic.
An artist as well, Budianksy also drew several covers for Transformers and pencilled his final issue.
Outside of Transformers Budiansky is perhaps best known for drawing Ghost Rider, creating Sleepwalker and writing the entire series, and serving as group editor-in-chief of the Spider-Man titles between 1994 & 1995.
Transformers comics credits
Marvel Transformers (US):
- Editor - Issues 1-4
- Writer - Issues 5-15, 17-32, 35-42, 44-55
- Penciller - Issue 55
- Cover Artist - Issues 14, 29, 31, 45, 47
Marvel Transformers Universe
- Writer/Consulting Editor - Issues 1-4
Marvel The Transformers: The Movie comic adaptation
- Editor - Issues 1-3
- Writer - Issues 1-4
- Cover Artist - Issue 1
IDW Transformers: The Animated Movie comic adaptation
- Writer - Issues 1-4
Though not as prominent or well-remembered as the so-called "Furmanisms" that successor writer Simon Furman would popularize, Bob Budiansky also had a few turns of phrase that he repeatedly fell back on:
- "Have some (X), courtesy of my (Y)!"
- "X" = some form of damage, dismemberment or death
- "Y" = the special weapon of the character in question
- "Have some metal-eating slime, courtesy of my slime gun, Autobots!"—Blot
- "Have a mechanical malfunction, courtesy of my concussion cannon!"—Breakdown
- "Just a case of bad balance, courtesy of my electro-scrambler."—Blaster
- "Energy feedback, courtesy of my electro-scrambler, tinhead."—Blaster
- "You're going on a one-way trip, Monzo, courtesy of my anti-gravity gun!"—Skullcruncher
- "I hope you (A) as well as you (B)!"
- "A" = perform some action, typically shooting
- "B" = boast, brag, or some other meaningless non-action
- "You boast better than you shoot, Dreadwind!"—Goldbug
- "Grrr—I hope you shoot straighter than you think, Weirdwolf!"—Skullcruncher
- "Only if you aim as well as you brag, Brawl!"—First Aid
- "This wasn't in (Z)!"
- "Z" = amusingly bureaucratic item with no bearing on the situation at hand.
- "This...this wasn't in my job description!"—anonymous railway worker
- "This wasn't on the trail guide!"—anonymous skier
- "None of this was in the rehearsal!"—Sky Lynx
- A Little Q&A with Bob Budiansky
- Bob Budiansky Interview
- Transcript of Budiansky/Furman panel from OTFCC 2004