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Transformers: Dark of the Moon Adaptation #4
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

”And it’s over.”
IDW has no plans of continuing on with any movie-related material for the foreseeable future, which is just as well. This issue sums up all of IDW’s movieverse output. Indulge me, will you, as I describe it. Most of the Cybertron-era stories (Foundation, Defiance, Sector Seven and the first Movie Prequel) are excellently done, because they focus on a long-past era which have no bearing on subsequent events, they’re just fun background material which enrich the story and the characters. However, everything else, from adaptations to sequels to in-between events like Reign of Starscream, Alliance, Nefarious and Rising Storm all have no bearing whatsoever to the movie franchise. I’ll be blunt. Even though I enjoyed portions of those series, but introducing swathes of toy characters which implausibly die and never get mentioned in the events of the movies, developing Shockwave and Soundwave and Arcee and Wheeljack and whatever into G1 caricatures, all of those will be ignored by the larger picture, by the movie itself. Take Starscream, Shockwave and Soundwave as particularly good examples. Starscream stars in many of the present-era stories, as do Shockwave and Soundwave, all three characterized basically like their Sunbow versions, Starscream less than the others. But all of them meet stunted, quick ends here in the adaptation. It’s not really good, and it would’ve been much better to give the adaptation out after the movie is broadcasted so they don’t make stupid embarrassing errors and goofs. An adaptation along the lines of the first issue of Reign of Starscream would be excellent, seeing the events of the movie through a characters’ eyes, instead of shoe-horning generic Optimus/Megatron monologues. Not to mention it would give IDW to find a proper artist. But IDW just has to cash in quickly, don’t they? This ends IDW’s current movieverse tie-in comics with a belly-flop.

Differences from the movie

The entirely of Sam’s hopelessness moment after seeing the Autobot shuttle blown up is cut entirely, so the impact of the Autobots’ apparent death is close to nil. Also, cut are the scenes where Epps gathers his mercenary/ex-NEST friends. Also cut is a good chunk of action scenes, like the human takedowns of Decepticons, confrontations between Sam and Dylan, the soldiers wingsuiting in, Dutch hacking the bridge and many other scenes.

Hardcore Eddie is now Caucasian, and is killed by Starscream. When he tries to shoot the control pillar, Starscream drags him out to death. Or it might be him, the art makes it difficult to tell.

The Wreckers are shown repairing the Decepticon fighter ship that Bumblebee commandeers, something also shown in the novel.

Instead of making their base on a tall building, Sentinel and Megatron stay in a very dilapidated warehouse thing, seemingly at ground level, with the control pillar just laying there on the floor.

The takedown of Starscream is mashed into the scene where Driller attacks the building. Here Starscream assaults the humans as they try to fire on the control pillar, concurrently while Driller attacks. The ‘one shot’ is not fired on Shockwave, but barely misses Starscream.

Like the novel, Sam shoves Wheeljack’s boomstick into Starscream’s mouth instead of his eye.

Instead of Que (a.k.a. Wheeljack for those of you who insist on using geewun names) being executed, here Soundwave executes Mirage by ripping his head off.

A line not used in the film itself is Wheelie and Brains discussing about a label in the Decepticon cruiser saying ‘do not use in flight’.

Instead of the human cruise missiles taking out Decepticon fighters, here they take out the control pillar.

Optimus is not shown killing Megatron, and he seems to have escaped in the chaos. Presumably the comic uses the same early draft with the novelisation where a lethargic Megatron decides to leave Earth to rebuild Cybertron. But it’s not made clear here, and it seems Megatron just… walks away, ready for his next diabolical plan.

There is a final scene where Igor, left behind in Chicago, looks into the sky, wondering where his master is.

IDW additions

Sentinel knows that the Autobots are still alive, asking the Decepticons whether they thought Optimus could fool him with his own trick.

Shockwave continues speaking in his G1-esque manner. He tells Optimus Prime to join the Driller in extinction, quoting Megatron’s line from the 2007 movie.

Instead of the hexagonal pattern seen in the movie, Cybertron here looks more like all its other versions in Transformer lore, presumably to keep it consistent with prior IDW material.

Megatron echoes some of his speeches in Foundation and Rising Storm in his monologue.


In the Autobots’ arrival scene, Sideswipe and Miragedino switch colour schemes. Can’t blame the colorist, though… the art is just hard to decipher.

Even though the Wreckers are finally coloured correctly in the first panel they appear in, in the next panel Leadfoot and Topspin switch paint schemes.

In the third frame of page three, Topspin is coloured like Leadfoot, Leadfoot is coloured like Roadbuster and Roadbuster is coloured like Topspin. The paint schemes keep going round and round!

That doesn’t end. In the very next panel, Roadbuster and Topspin switch paint schemes again.

Again, whether Carly’s tube-top thing covers all of her cleavage or ends below it vary from panel to panel.

Sam knows Laserbeak by name, which doesn’t make sense. When do they have time to get acquinted?

In the closeup to Soundwave’s face, his mouth is missing.

Optimus is shown flying onto Shockwave with his jetpack. In the very next frame, the jetpack disappears.

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