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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: The Animated Movie #1 (of 4)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

An exercise in pointlessness. There's actually a lot of potential in doing a "super edition" version of the movie with various flaws ironed out, deleted scenes included etc. — but this isn't it. It's just a straightforward adaptation that features more deletions than additions. Having gone to such trouble to get him on board, wasting Budiansky on a non-original story seems almost perverse.

The comic also seems to be aimed at a much younger audience than usual, with most of the dialogue dumbed down and the already infamous box explaining that Autobot City makes Energon after Prime has told Ironhide to go to Autobot City to fetch some Energon. It's as if Bob just assumed he's writing for the same age range as he was when he knocked out The Interplanetary Wrestling Championship, but I can't see many 8 year olds being likely to buy this. [I'd consider this to be deliberate retro, personally. —Denyer]

Don's art, whilst generally good, has a few funny moments as well (most noticeably Bombshell's oversized head antenna on the page with the Constructicons combining.) The cartoony colouring is fab and very appropriate though.

A hugely if not staggeringly missed opportunity.

Notes

Right, Transformers 101 time: Bob Budiansky was the chap who developed most of the characters, names and format of our favourite giant robot show — as well as writing the bulk of the first 55 issues of the Marvel US comic, plus Headmasters, The Transformers Universe and editing the original comic adaptation of the Movie. This is his first credited work on the franchise since US #55.

Ron Friedman, writer of the script this comic is based on, is uncredited.

The purpose of this title is to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the movie's release. And to provide a bit of tie-in promotion with Sony's forthcoming special edition DVD.

Just about every line of dialogue or scene is different in some way, and I'm not going to list every instance but here are the major changes:

• The reference to the year the story is set in is gone, a sad sign of our lost tomorrows. Although once you accept that Spike and Daniel's space suits aren't likely to be what all the cool kids are wearing that year, there's nothing to say this isn't 2005. Or 1986, or indeed 1973.

• Ironhide no longer says his last line, and Megatron's response of "such heroic nonsense!" is also absent.

• Lookout Mountain isn't named. The entire sequence with Megatron destroying the mountain, Hot Rod's encounter with Blitzwing and his team-up with Kup is gone as well.

• Beachcomber is dead on the floor next to Wheeljack and Windcharger.

• Snarl is with the Dinobots in each appearance.

• Megatron's "I'll crush you with my bare hands!" line is missing (an odd deletion that, as its recurrence in the film emphasises that Megatron and Galvatron are the same character, with the same mind and all that entails.)

• Hot Rod's exchange with Kup over Prime needing his help is absent.

• When he sees the purple gun, Megatron says "one last chance to snatch victory from defeat" — a somewhat silly thing to do, as it must surely tell Optimus he's up to something...

Goofs

(This only refers to new mistakes in this adaptation. I'm sure we all know the flaws of the film off by heart.)

Many, many speech bubbles are misplaced — resulting in Perceptor speaking to himself, Hot Rod proclaiming Prime's wounds terminal (a bit suspect that...) and Ironhide finishing Jazz's call to Moonbase Two. See how many you can spot, then marvel at the fact it took two or more people to let through that many mistakes.

Arcee and Springer transforming Autobot city doesn't really work on the page — one panel they're in a room pressing buttons, the next they're running down a trench being shot at by Starscream with no clue given as to how they got there, or what they're doing.

According to a caption, Perceptor "mans his observation post" — a fancy way of saying he's sitting about on the floor in microscope mode. In the film he changes to his alt-mode to get a closer look at the explosions in the distance, but here the implication is that one of the Autobots' greatest scientists is used as a full-time lookout.

 
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