Transformers: The Animated Movie #2
IDW Publishing (November, 2006)
“To the Death–And Beyond!”
WRITER: Bob Budiansky
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Josh Burcham
LETTERER: Robbie Robbins
DESIGNER: Neil Uyetake
EDITOR: Chris Ryall
This adaptation continues with the death of Optimus Prime. Here things are closer to the movie, but (and maybe it’s just me) when Hot Rod grabs the falling Matrix Of Leadership it just looks like Hot Rod holding the Matrix. No extra glow, no hints of Rodimus Prime that I could see. I wonder if an intent didn’t translate well. Figueroa is still really good here and Burcham’s coloring during the issue, especially glowing lights or the effect when Unicron transforms Megatron into Galvatron are amazing. I wish I was that good with the lighting and energy effects I’ve been playing with lately. Between this and the colorists on Masters Of The Universe 2000+ I’m honestly jealous.
One thing I like seeing is the hint of flirting between Arcee and Hot Rod that I wish the movie, and the series itself, had built on. They decided she needed some love interest and put her with Springer when she either didn’t need a boyfriend or it should have been a growing relationship with Hot Rod (or Rodimus). The battle with Galvatron’s Decepticons does reveal a small problem that pops up again…a lot of stuff is smushed together. We don’t see Bumblebee and Spike attempt to blow up and escape Unicron just to fail on both counts. Grimlock is asking about the petro-rabbit story but considering how little a break they get this time between that and Galvatron’s second attack it makes him look dumber, like he’s asking for a story mid-battle. Cyclonus shoots down their ship rather than the Quintessons attacking it. We STILL don’t have the “This is bad comedy” line (which I’m just used to having a stronger presence thanks to being a meme among internet reviewers along with a clip from Robot Chicken parodying 300…”This isn’t funny [kicks TV]) but now we also lose the cute moment where Ultra Magnus is sorry he asked Perceptor if he could find a place to set down for repairs only to get technobabble. And this issue ends with Hot Rod in that golden water just after falling from the ship.
And yet this is still a better adaptation despite the truncating. The art is way better, invoking the feel of the animation rather than the look of the comic. The coloring is superior to anything I’ve seen from Nel Yomtov, but Burcham also has advances in computer coloring and general advancement sin coloring techniques. (Of course, he also doesn’t use Yomtov’s shortcut of coloring people not in focus in all blue either.) I still recommend both for their own reasons, and we’ll re-look at the final Marvel issue next week.