Donny Finkleberg is an on-the-outs comic book writer. Although he claims he can "sell any story," most of his titles have flopped, and he sees a grim financial future for himself. To stave this off, Finkleberg will do pretty much anything for a buck. His strong sense of financial self-preservation wars with what small sense of morality he has. Finkleberg sees himself as a good guy and wants to be a good guy, but $50,000 checks from the government don't bounce. Nor does he bounce, at least not well, according to Jetfire.
- Portuguese name (Portugal comic): Donny Finkleberg / Mestre dos Robots
Marvel Comics continuity
Comic book writer
Finkleberg was originally a writer for a "famous comic book publishing company" in New York. His Robot-Master comic book series had been canceled, and his idea for a Potato Salad Man graphic novel titled This Man, This Mayonnaise did not fetch interest from his superiors, so Finkleberg was turned away.
It was at this low point point in his career that he was approached by the United States government. III needed a cover story to explain the presence of the Transformers on Earth to panicked American citizens. The idea that a human terrorist controlled the Transformers was decided to be less frightening than the truth, so Finkleberg was paid 50 thousand dollars to dress as Robot-Master and appear in public broadcasts.
When Megatron had ceased movement at the bottom of a strip mine due to lack of fuel, III used this opportunity to claim ownership of the immobile Decepticon leader. Unfortunately, both the Autobots and Decepticons arrived, though the Autobots were forced away by human firepower. After Megatron was refueled by Soundwave, he declared his intention to crush Finkleberg for his effrontery. Finkleberg pleaded with Megatron, suggesting that he continue masquerading as their commander, for the purpose of convincing the public that the Autobots were also their enemies. Megatron agreed, since he saw the value in the plan, which was just about enough to overcome his distaste of humans, even though Finkleberg had repeatedly struck matches on Megatron to light his cigarettes.
Finkleberg resided in the Decepticon base until he decided it was in his best interest to escape and help the Autobots. He fled during an Autobot attack, though he was pursued by Ravage. After taking clothes from an absent campsite, he ran into the Autobot Skids and Charlene, but he brought Ravage with him. Ravage was dropped into a mine shaft, and Skids took Finkleberg with him back to the Ark.
While Finkleberg was a captive of the Decepticons, he had learned that seven Autobots had arrived on Earth over the Space Bridge. The traveling Autobots were nowhere to be found, but they did leave a fuel trail. Holding for ransom Finkleberg's cashiers check from III, Optimus Prime ordered Finkleberg and Skids to follow the trail and find the missing Autobots.
Finkleberg shut down Skids and sold him to III.
RAAT (a military subdivision of III), in league with Circuit Breaker, had captured not only the 7 missing Autobots, but also the Aerialbots, and now added Skids to their number. Meanwhile, the Battlechargers had also arrived on Earth and were defacing public property across the United States. With the Autobots' ranks depleted, Finkleberg realized it was his fault there was no one available to stop the Decepticons' graffiti. He convinced Circuit Breaker to control a robot built from the bodies of the captured Autobots to defeat the Battlechargers in exchange for the Autobots' freedom. Although they defeated the two Decepticons, they were not able to stop them in time from writing "HUMANS ARE WIMPS" on the Statue of Liberty.
In a last-minute change of conscience, Finkleberg donated the 50 thousand dollars he earned for his treachery towards the clean-up efforts.
According to a UK letters page, Donny eventually got a job packaging at Hasbro after the Statue of Liberty incident. What this exactly entails is unclear, as their toys are presumably packaged in China.
- Donny Finkleberg is based on Marvel Comics writer and editor Danny Fingeroth. What a dubious honor.