Transformers: The Animated Movie #3
IDW Publishing (December, 2006)
“Terror On Two Worlds!”
WRITER: Bob Budiansky
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Josh Burcham
LETTERER: Robbie Robbins
DESIGNER: Neil Uyetake
EDITOR: Chris Ryall
Going back and forth between the Quintessa-crashed and Junkion-crashed Autobots works in reading the issue but not as well reviewing it, so let’s take one group at a time. And since the issue starts on Quintessa, the underwater (or whatever that amber liquid is) fight is here, when in the Marvel adaptation they just fall into some goop. Also, Grimlock is with the rest of the Dinobots, like he was in the movie. We also get to see them meet Wheelie…a bummer for those of you who hate the little rhymer but the kid found a way to keep from going insane. Give him credit. Also in the series we see him shoot a Sweep in the face. Anyway, it’s only Kup and Hot Rod who are captured by the Sharkticons. Otherwise the scene played out the same in both the movie and original comic adaptation, with the exception of the fight in the pit starting out with more of that amber water. In the Marvel version there’s still the liquid when Kranix is dropped in but gone when Hot Rod, Kup, and Grimlock were dropped in which didn’t make sense. Here it’s explained like it was in the movie. Also, we see Kup use the universal greeting, which is where Hot Rod first learned about it for the meeting with the Junkions.
Speaking of the Junkions, this adaptation takes longer with that scene. Instead of the original quartering (which was a concerning scene for the kids according to those who wanted it changed…but Spike swearing and Autobots having smoking deaths weren’t for some reason) Ultra Magnus gets shot up by the Sweeps when failing to open the Matrix. I do like how Figueroa draws the panel with Galvatron proclaiming he could now enslave Unicron with Unicron’s reaction. Instead of being two panels he makes one panel with an image of Unicron’s burst of rage. That’s a good way to compress events into a panel artistically. We also get the attack of the Junkions, which the Marvel adaptation didn’t have space for. Hot Rod’s group, now joined by Wheelie, arrives with the corkscrew Quintesson ship, makes friends with the Junkions, who then restore Ultra Magnus. Apparently he didn’t die despite being repeatedly shot. Hasbro wanted to clear out the old crew to sell new toys but it makes death rather inconsistent in this continuity as a result. I know Hasbro didn’t see this as storytelling but everyone else did, including the audience, which is why they fell in love with it enough to buy the toys. This should have been considered by the writers and Hasbro’s liaison or liaisons.
This is still more faithful to the movie we actually got but Budiansky (who still has too much talking in here sometimes) had the advantage of the final movie rather than an earlier script and test footage. If you really want a faithful adaptation this is the one to go with. Next week: the final issue.