Unlike his father Sparkplug, Buster Witwicky doesn't understand cars -- or for that matter, anything mechanical. Buster prefers reading books, much to the frustration of his father. If only Buster were interested in something useful, like auto repair. Instead, foolish Buster, if he keeps on reading, may end up with a paid scholarship to college. That is a road that could only lead to ruin.
He has an older brother, Spike, who is away at college.
Marvel Comics continuity
Buster and his girlfriend Jesse are making out at a drive-in theatre (blocking the movie from view of his friend "O") when their car is hit from behind by a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Buster gets out to investigate and discovers that the little car is unmanned. There's no one inside! Suddenly, the drive-in theatre becomes a war zone as jets appear and attack. During an explosion, the Beetle is damaged. Buster is stunned to realize the car seems to be crying, and leaking a strange substance which is not oil! Buster sends his friends to get help, while he drives the Beetle home. His father can fix it.
His father, Sparkplug, is overjoyed at first when he stumbles across Buster and the Beetle in his garage. Has his son decided to follow in his foosteps? But before Buster can explain, the damaged Volkswagen Beetle speaks to them. "Help me, please! I'm dying!"
Dreamwave comics continuity
Following his father's death, Buster racked up enormous gambling debts, which Spike ended up having to pay off. Buster subsequently joined the military.
- "Buster" and "Spike," as well as Butch, were all names considered for the Witwicky boy character in early production material. One such early document shows Spike as the original name, but crossed off and corrected with "Buster" in pen (in Bob Budiansky's handwriting). This suggests that Buster was intended to be the final name of the principle human character, but either Sunbow did not receive the revised materials, or a mistake was made somewhere. It is believed that "Butch" was a very, very early name for the character.
- See Butch Witwicky for a more in-depth explanation.