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Transformers: Dark of the Moon Adaptation #1
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

"It's suicide."
Comic adaptations never have been any good. Nevermind the fact that it adapts an earlier script, usually with disastrous and embarassing results, like the whole sacrophagus bit in the Revenge of the Fallen adaptation. Nevermind the fact that this particular adaptation has a much worse artist than any non-Nefarious IDW material. Gad, the art is so terrible, both for humans and Transformers. The frame where Mirage's robot mode is revealed is particularly nauseating. And while it's a good thing that Barber treats this adaptation as a final end to close all plot threads in the IDW movieverse series, it is pretty cringe-inducing how the changes are made. Especially the one where Optimus Prime lays down flowers for Elita... it's really nauseating. And Shockwave keeps pretending to be his G1 self, despite the need for a red herring villain having passed. Carly also comes off as too cold and biting, unlike the friendly girlfriend shtick she has in both the movie and the novel. Barber adds monologue, which is well and good, but having read basically the exact same thing in Foundation and Rising Storm dilutes the effect severely. A lot of page-time is given to IDW-specific stuff, though, which isn't really good for the story progression. Four issues are too little as it is. Not recommended, watch the movie or the novelization instead.

Differences from the movie

Differences from the movie can be split into two categories. Namely, those caused by an early script (which the novelization also has) and stuff that explicitly reference IDW continuity. These will be detailed in separate sections. Because of the relatively large number of differences compared to the ROTF adaptation, DOTM has separate reviews for each issue.

Obviously, quite a few scenes are trimmed down or cut entirely. This includes Sam meeting his parents, Sam's multiple job interviews, the Cybertron sequence and the whole flashback to the space race thing.

Like every other pre-movie material, Wheeljack and Mirage are used instead of the names in the movie, 'Q' (or Que) and 'Dino'.

While in the movie and the novelization Sam and Carly has only a single mastiff, here they have Mojo and Frankie, the dogs from Revenge of the Fallen. Complete with house. Also, Sam and Carly are not living in a loft here.

While they are not included in the movie itself, like the novelization the comic adaptation features Skids and Mudflap. Skids could be seen in one of the monitors, and badly drawn silhouettes that are supposed to be them are seen in the Autobot lineup. They are still in their ROTF colours instead of their black DOTM colours, though.

Optimus Prime's trailer is missing in the Chernobyl scene.

The part from the Ark is a cylindrical object, not the sphere in the final movie.

Instead of scaring off the elephant, Megatron shoots it.

Igor is referred to by name, and uses the early design where he is a bouncing, disembodied Long Haul head. Starscream also kicks Igor when he tries to interrupt him, a scene that also made it into the novelization.

While in the movie itself the Autobots use the Xantium to travel to the moon, here they use the human rocket Ares V.

Another scene cut out from the movie but included in the adaptations is the scene where the Dreads emerge from the Moon's surface and stealthily catch a lift on the rocket as they took off.

IDW additions

Walter Simmons, ancestor of Seymour Simmons and a large player in the Sector 7 comic series, is involved in the first moon mission and is the one who oversees the communications blackout.

Instead of attacking an illegal nuclear facility, here the Autobots recover Cybertronian technology from humans, continuing a thread from Rising Storm.

Here NEST finishes up the decommissioning of the Diego Garcia base following its destruction at the hands of Shockwave in Rising Storm.

There is a scene where Optimus Prime looks at the caskets bearing the dead bodies of those killed during the events of Rising Storm (Knock Out, Elita-One, Dune Runner, Blazemaster, Armorhide and Jolt).

Sam asks Brains what he did to his head as he throws him out, referring to the difference in head design between Rising Storm and Dark of the Moon. Namely, the hair.

Shockwave continues to talk in G1 speech instead of growling. Shockwave also refers to their encounters in Rising Storm.

Optimus, Ratchet and Lennox all refer to having met Driller and Shockwave before, which happened in Rising Storm.

Igor says the internet meme 'Nom Nom' while eating.


There are a lot of artistic goofs, unlike the relatively clean art in the previous two adaptations. First up, the Ark is painted in Sentinel Prime's paint scheme.

Sideswipe has his Revenge of the Fallen car design, namely with a roof.

In the screen, the Twin is coloured like Skids but has Mudflap's shoulder doors. Massive, deformed shoulder doors.

If Elita-One is not killed in Diego Garcia, there is no reason for her casket to be displayed in Diego Garcia as well.

The colorist never gets Wheelie's blue colours in.

Ratchet is still in his original colours instead of the revised paintscheme he has in the third movie.

Driller looks really small when he first appears, the main tentacle only as large as Optimus Prime. Later on it is in its proper scale, with one of the small tentacles able to whip around Optimus.

Ironhide's lower face is screwed up.

When the Autobots are briefed by Buzz, Mirage's face is drawn like he's sleeping.

Starscream is coloured like one of the toys, with lots of beige and stuff. Also, he is drawn very upright like a G1 Seeker at one point.

As Optimus Prime carries Sentinel out of the Ark, Sentinel is coloured golden for some reason.

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