Monday, October 29, 2012

Transformers Universe Extended Bios: The Omnibots

A few years ago, Jim Sorenson, who blogs over at "Disciples of Boltax," released a few previously unseen extended bios for various Transformers. These were apparently written by Bob Budiansky in the style that came to be associated with the Transformers Universe mini-series, but failed to be included in any of those four issues. Several years previously, Sorenson had also released bios of this type for the Omnibots on the Allspark message boards. However, these Omnibot bios were not included among the bios Sorenson posted on his blog.

When these were posted on the Allspark, Sorenson noted that they came from a "comics bible" he had purchased in his quest for model sheets (which he ultimately used to create such works as The Ark), written by Bob Budiansky (who besides being the author of around 50 of the 80 issues of the original US Marvel Transformers comic book, also wrote the vast majority, if indeed not all, of the Tech Specs bios for the Generation One toys, in addition to the Transformers Universe bios). I'm going ahead and posting them now to fill in the gap left by "Disciples of Boltax," but do encourage folks to read that blog to see the entries previously posted.

Omnibot CamshaftCamshaft

Profile: Unlike all others who travel the highways of Earth, Camshaft has no fear of car accidents, and with good reason: his lightning-fast automated reflexes allow him to pulverize any vehicle that approaches within 4 inches of his metal frame. The arrogant confidence he has about his own safety often leads to reckless driving, a fact that Optimus Prime is not too happy about. Camshaft doesn't share his leader's concern about the lives of his adopted planet's native inhabitants. But there's no doubt in Optimus's mind that Camshaft's aggressive nature is a boon in battle against the Decepticons, and Optimus is reluctant to say anything to Camshaft that might change that.

Abilities: In car mode, Camshaft's rear fenders can convert to powerful fists, each capable of 30 punches per minute, each punch having a force of 80,000 psi. His trunk rotates into a high-energy plasma beam projector with a range of 2 miles. The same weaponry is available to him in his robot mode.

Weaknesses: Converting to an offensive mode while in the act of driving sometimes causes Camshaft to lose control of his driving. As it is unlikely that he will back off from any confrontation, he often finds himself overmatched by an opponent.

Downshift

Profile: Nothing pleases Downshift...or so he thought. Back on Cybertron this battle-weary soldier had fought for so many millennia that he began to wonder whether it was worth it for him to continue. But once he came to Earth he found everything around him fresh and new and he delighted in all his optical sensors saw. He particularly enjoys the company of human children, or, as he likes to call them, mini-men and mini-women (although he has as much trouble telling them apart as his fellow Autobots). His sullenness about the Autobots' mission is often of concern to Optimus Prime, but he generally follows orders, however grudgingly, because deep down he knows this truth: the unending Autobot resistance is preferable to a rapid Decepticon victory.

Abilities: In robot mode, Downshift carries twin ground-to-air rocket launchers on his shoulders. The rockets use magnetism to guide their path, limiting them to mostly iron and steel targets, such as Decepticons. The launchers can also be used while he's in his car mode, making Downshift a very effective covert warrier. In either mode, the rockets can travel up to 30 miles and pack the explosive equivalent of a half ton of TNT. He also wields a "rust rifle" which shoots a stream of powerful liquid oxidizing agents. A blast of this can seriously harm and debilitate a metallic foe.

Weaknesses: Downshift' s weapons are mostly ineffective against non-ferrous materials, a fact that can be used to his disadvantage by an opponent. His soldierly instincts are often hampered by his sullen moods.

Overdrive

Profile: Road-racing is Overdrive's passion: he considers it Earth's primary cultural advantage over his native Cybertron. But the thrill of merely racing is not enough for Overdrive — if necessary he’ll lift off from the ground and fly in order to win! Good sportsmanship isn't his strong suit. And that carries over to his battle tactics too. He has no interest in a fair fight with a Decepticon; he only wants to win. And he’ll do whatever he must to make sure he does.

Abilities: Besides being able to travel up to 190 mph while in car mode. Overdrive can also sprout wings from his doors and fly. His flying range is 700 miles and he can reach speeds of up to 300 mph. He can convert a section of the front of his hood into twin high-powered machine guns that shoot 60 rounds per minute. In robot mode he also has use of his wings and machine guns, although he's considerably less adept at flying.

Weaknesses: Although his ability to fly while in car mode can often be used to surprising advantage, Overdrive's overall maneuverability in the air is often inferior to other airborne opponents.

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