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

Issue Review

The real shame about this adaption is that — after previously coming to appreciate Bob's early work on the Marvel comic — I now wouldn't care if he never wrote for the franchise again. The cynical and almost half-arsed nature of this adaption has made this the most disappointing thing IDW has done to date, by a margin large enough to suggest it won't be challenged anytime soon.

With the writing here being the weakest of the four issues, the art also seems rushed and isn't up to Don's usual standards (the fact that everyone in the office seems to have helped with the colours also suggesting this had to be knocked out quickly.)

If I were a cynic, I'd assume the whole thing was just done to make the adaption of the new movie look good in comparison...


"Matrix Quest" was the title of a Furman written story arc that run from issue 62 to 66 of the Marvel US comic. "End of the road, Galvatron!" isn't a Furman joke this time, it's an actual line from the film (as if you didn't know.)

The "See issue..." boxes reach epidemic levels, with just about every reference to previous events having one, written in the patent Stan Lee style (you half expect to be called a True Believer.)

Ron Friedman manages to go all four issues without credit.

At the time of writing it's uncertain if Bob will do any more work for IDW; in interviews he seems less than keen, despite having been offered a few things.

A nice touch is the issue ending with the faux newspaper piece about the forthcoming preview comic for the new Movie (oh, and the Star Trek Preview as well.)

Major changes between film and comic:

As with last issue we get new exposition dialogue at the start, here from Ultra Magnus.

Kup tells Hot Rod he's never seen anything like the Junkion ship before. This means that when he later claims to never have seen anything like Unicron before the "seen everything" warrior has managed two new experience in a few hours. Good for him.

Rather than the random generics he has in the film Shockwave has actual TV characters under his command on Cybertron — namely Reflector, Dirge Ramjet and Thrust — all of whom seem to be killed by Unicron. Whist Shockwave's death was in the script of the film, his death by being crushed doesn't resemble his death by eye beam here (it'd be interesting to see the original comic script to learn if this was Bob's idea or Figueroa working in his own touches.)

Daniel breaks the acid cover with his first shot.

When the Junkion ship is destroyed Wreck-Gar (who is never referred to by name in the actual film, so this adaption's tendency to have him — as with the other characters — say his name repeatedly seems rather odd) says "Ashes to Ashes, Junk to Junk."

Rodimus makes it absolutely clear who's talking to him by saying "the voice of Optimus!" as he opens the Matrix (an understandable change really as you can't hear Cullen's voice.) [Really? It's 2007, which is officially the future. Where are my flying car and talking comics, dammit? -Ed]

Kup loses his "I knew you had potential lad" line.


Referring to new mistakes in this adaption.

How much use is Reflector going to be in a space battle against a planet-sized foe?

When Hot Rod falls inside Unicron, what're supposed to be two drawings showing his descent are buggered by one of them being coloured like Megatron.

This one is a goof from the film, but I'll mention it as it's my favourite Movie mistake: Springer leaves Unicron in helicopter mode, even though it wouldn't be able to fly in a vacuum (then again, everyone else seems to be a flying car...) [See? They had them back in 2005. -Ed]

Rodimus seems to have made abolishing the Autobrand his first act as leader, as his is missing on the last page.

Poor old Unicron looks constipated as his head orbits Cybertron.

Of course, as this comic was released in January 2007, we're now into the 21st Anniversary despite what the cover claims.

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