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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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(2001-now)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

The Revenge of the Fallen Novel
Reviewed by Blackjack

Review

The story itself is well written by Foster, but in some ways it lacks the more warmer feel that the Veiled Threat has. I suspect this is due to constant changes in the script, making the novelization slightly wobbly. Still, as far as movie novelizations go, it is rather good. It just could be better. Much better. The advantage novels have, as I said, is the fact that they could name a lot of characters, and delve deeper into their feelings. Now, many characters remain unnamed, in particular most of the Constructicons. Descriptions extended to 'the big Decepticon', 'the Decepticon', 'a Decepticon pogo-sticking his way', 'a giant metallic hand'. Probably because the names haven't been finalized yet. Also, the novelization worked on an earlier script, so it shares some of the earlier scenes found in other movie tie-in material, namely: a different final battle with The Fallen, the Sarcophagus, the extended Alice scene, different order of Devastator's death, lots of altered dialogue and an additional scene with Ransack. The novelization is okay, I guess, but the movie is better. The writing is not bad. In fact, it's downright good. However, compared to the source material, it's not that good.

Major differences from the film

Not found in the movie, the Twins were chased by children in their ice cream truck guise. Skids and Mudflap nearly run over a pair of kids in Shanghai before splitting into two to avoid them, and thus leaving behind lots of ice cream.

Demolisher (spelt that way instead of Demolishor) used a hologram to trick NEST before transforming.

Most of Skids and Mudflap's dialogue are not dirty jokes. Skids talks in the usual gangsta way, while Mudflap, for some reason, speaks with a lisp with 'th' in almotht every wordth he thayth. They also still have their 'Suck my popsicle' label.

The three Arcee bikes is/are a single being, and had a scene where they combine into a robot mode to attack Sideways. Also, Sideways is killed in robot mode by Sideswipe instead of being sliced in two in that 'KEWL' style in the movie.

The dummy company that got blamed is 'Massive Dynamics', not 'McClaren robotics' featured in Allianceand the comic adaptation.

The Appliancebots that the Allspark shard brought to life are: a hysterical cappuccino machine who could spray fireballs, a toaster with nun-chucks (a.k.a. Ejector in the toyline), a multi-limbed garbage disposal unit with whirring blades, a microwave that ate a cell phone-bot, a blender and an electric mixer with blades and mini-guns.

Some early working names... Wheels is named as such, not Wheelie. The Doctor is also continually referred to as the Doctor, not Scalpel. So that's why I use those names in the roll call here. Also, all of the Constructicons, bar Devastator, are unnamed, including a pogo-sticking Decepticon (Rampage). Grindor is unnamed, going by the moniker 'chopper Decepticon'. Reedman is named as 'the reed-thin figure' throughout the entire sequence he appeared in. Jolt is absent for the entire novel, not even mentioned once.

The marble-bots, not named as such, are described as miniature versions of Ravage. Like the comic, they are fed into an air vent instead of a tube. 'Reedman' is also not named, but the combined mode is described being as thin as a reed, and is invisible from certain angles. He is referred to as the 'reed-thin figure' numerous times, so that's what I credit him with here. The reed-thin figure was described as a symbiote to the larger Ravage. Ravage, instead of running away into the ocean, took off in flight instead, perhaps as a reference to his toy.

The four unnamed Constructicons that jump into the sea had to kill a couple of sailor witnesses first. Also, like in the movie, one of the Constructicons had to be sacrificed, although instead of saying 'kill ze small one', the Doctor merely requested replacements. Unlike the movie, the Doctor (and possibly the Constructicons as well) repaired Megatron for a while first before injecting the shard.

As a tie-in to Defiance and the comic adaptation which probably worked on an older script as well, the Fallen remain trapped in a sarcophagus on the deck of Nemesis (named as such here), which is able to morph into The Fallen's face. Also, like in the comic adaptation, Megatron broadcasts the warning message instead of the Fallen. Like the comic, the Fallen appears early in the battle, right after Devastator transforms.

The Nemesis is on an unspecified dead planet, most probably Cybertron. Megatron met Starscream and The Fallen there instead of what seemed to be Cybertron in the movie. Also, at the end of their conversation, 'thirteen sarcophagi', presumably protoforms, open. The Nemesis and the remaining crew had been mentioned by Soundwave in Alliance#4.

Mikaela can speak Decepticon. Or at least, her shrieks seem that way to poor ol' Wheels. In the novelization, Mikaela didn't torch Wheels' eye. And yes, Wheels is named as such, not Wheelie.

The Alice sequence is closer to the comic, and is extended. The scene where Leo, Sharsky and Fassbinder watch an 'Alice in Wonderland' animatronic advertisement is present. Alice also had a Honda symbol (Honda sponsored the animatronics in the advertisement) on her neck, which Sam ignores. Like the comic, the needle-like scorpion tail came from the back of her head instead of her skirt. More closer to the movie, Alice keeps up the charade for a while to drive Mikaela away. After that, when Mikaela barged in, Mikaela slammed her box onto Alice's head, turning it 180 degrees, which is not found in the movie, before the box was flung out of the window. Why no Alice in Wonderland in the movie? Legal problems with Disney? Who knows?

Optimus Prime sniped the Doctor (named as such instead of Scalpel) before fighting Megatron, another scene that made it into the comic but not the movie. Deleted scene, perhaps?

Ratchet and the other Autobots, including Sam, gather around Optimus' body. This scene is absent in the movie, perhaps to eliminate the plot hole of Sam being able to resurrect Prime immediately with the shard he had. Also, Ratchet said that Prime is in 'complete stasis lock' and will remain so until his injuries are repaired. Ratchet doesn't have enough equipment. Obviously, the 'stasis lock' thing is removed in the movie for dramatic reasons.

Megatron and Starscream discuss their move after killing Prime in a deserted island instead of the top of a building. Also, all the comedy with Starscream's arm is absent.

The Paris scene is longer, with Ron and Judy flirting with each other, with an extended scene of them running from the chaos and ultimately captured by the unnamed Decepticon protoform.

Skids' and Mudflap's upgrade from ice cream truck into compact cars was never mentioned until their first appearances in their new bodies. Their dialogue is slightly different as well. All the 'ninja' stuff and calling Leo a pussy are absent. Also, in the fight scene in the Tomb of the Primes, their roles were reversed. In the movie, Mudflap disagreed with Sam and Skids came to his defense, while here Skids was the one who provoked Sam, and Mudflap came in Sam's defense.

Simmons and Leo insult each other in their first meeting. The humans bicker around more in the novelization compared to the movie.

Wheels is understandably freaked out by the presence of Frenzy's head. Also, Wheels speaks in a Dinobot-esque 'dumbed-down' way. In the movie, he speaks normal English, albeit with an accent.

The museum infiltration scene is longer, with Bumblebee and the Twins driving up and distracting the guards, and Leo fooling around with the museum's microphone. Simmons always wanted to be an astronaut. This was mentioned in the movie. When they arrive at the Smithsonian and meet Jetfire, Simmons had a chance to ride the Apollo 12 capsule and relive his dream for a while. Aww.

Jetfire's scenes are slightly different as well. Jetfire's missiles, instead of shooting aimlessly, clattered down onto the ground. Jetfire also talked to Wheels in Cybertronian when the latter was about to change sides. Mikaela was less thrilled about Wheels hugging her leg than she was in the movie. There was more dialogue about the Space Bridge (Transspatial porting in here), with Jetfire being un-reassuring. Jetfire wanted to destroy all the dinosaurs. No, really. Also, his dialogue about his family is absent.

A non-movie scene that I am very fond of is when Jetfire and the humans regroup in Egypt, another Decepticon Seeker, a WWI biplane, arrived in his own transspatial portal to confront the old traitor. The description, both physical and the characterization, match that of the Scout class toy Ransack. Ransack tried to shoot Jetfire — but like Jetfire, his weapons are loose from age as well, and only one missile worked. Jetfire squashed him good. Real good.

In another deleted scene that explains why Jetfire wasn't with the Autobots when they discover the Prime tomb, is after killing Ransack and imparting his knowledge, Jetfire fell on the ground, seemingly dead. He did reappear in the final battle, though. This would somewhat explain why he arrived late.

Like the comic, there are thirteen Primes, not the seven featured in the movie.

Sam and the others had a more difficult time passing the police check point here than they did in the movie. The Twins managed by flashing holograms of supermodels (no, seriously), before Bumblebee rolled up. Simmons tried to reason with them (with a conversation similar to the one featured in the movie), but a camera got Sam's face and thus began the cop car chase scene present in the comic, but shortened in the movie. In the car chase, the Autobots drive off the road. A really persistent police car still kept on their tail, and our hero comes to the rescue — Wheels! Wheels jumped onto the police car and banged on the windshield, before the Twins transformed and freaked the police out. Wheels, triumphant, brought back a windshield wiper as a trophy to Mikaela before he (quoting from the novel) 'settled down in Mikaela's lap and buried his face in her cleavage'. Mikaela thinks he's cute.

Like in the comics, Sam called Lennox's wife (Sarah), who, with the help of Epps' wife (Monique) relayed the message to Major Lennox and Sgt Epps. Epps has five children, instead of the three mentioned in Veiled Threat. Four girls (Shareeka, Shaniqua, Sheleeka, Mozambiqua) and one boy, Fred. The message was more sophisticated compared to the comics. Galloway still forced them to use a speakerphone, and since Monique used the cover story for getting plastic surgery, brought Epps lots of embarrassment. He also still says his 'wife is always correct' line from the comic of adaptation.

Again, Soundwave hacked the military's network like in the comic, editing out all the action and making the Autobots look like they're just standing around. Halfway through the battle, Morshower got suspicious and used 'the Reaper', not connected to the main network, to confirm. This scenario was largely cut from the movie. Instead, in the movie, Soundwave merely blocked the signals.

Sam and Leo had dialogue about the construction vehicles around them, Leo thinking they are mining something. By the time Simmons realized there's nothing to mine but sand, the construction vehicles had combined into Devastator. Also, instead of Mudflap, Skids was the one who got sucked up by Devastator. All the kung-fu grip and 'I don't wanna die' dialogue was absent. Mudflap shrieked when Skids got sucked in.

Ravage was absent in the final battle. He didn't die. Yay.

Rampage wasn't the one who bargained with Sam. A 'Huge Decepticon' did so, dumping Sam's parents from his internal compartments. How do I know this isn't Rampage? Simple. In the next scene, Sam and Mikaela are pursued by a giant, pogo-sticking Decepticon. That's Rampage.

Also, the Decepticon who Jetfire killed (Mixmaster in the movie, Long Haul in the comic) isn't named either.

The Fallen arrived before Devastator began demolishing the Great Pyramid. The Twins, Leo and Simmons had to keep hiding under Devastator the whole time. Devastator bowed down to The Fallen, but Megs doesn't.

Since Jolt isn't around, Ratchet had to use his skill to attach Jetfire's corpse to Optimus' body. Kinda morbid, when you think about it. Also, Devastator got killed late in the battle, right when Prime just took off.

Like the Junior Novel and the comic adaptation, this novelization worked on an earlier script. The ending is slightly different. The Fallen tried to create a portal and escape. Megatron, realizing that The Fallen couldn't give the powers of a Prime to him, refused to help him whilst Prime beat him up and stabbed him through the skull with a spire. In the movie, it was about 'I rise, you fall' and 'gimme your face'. Megatron and Starscream escaped through the portal.

Several scenes not present at the end of the Egyptian battle: Mudflap carrying Simmons and Leo being pulled on a piece of Devastator like a sled.

The epilogue is a cliffhanger, with Megatron in the Nemesis, watching a new Protoform army rise. This scene is present in the comics as well.

Goofs

Well, there are the goofs in the movie, but then again, I'll list some of the major ones here...

Scorponok is mis-spelt as Skorponok. Demolishor is mis-spelt as Demolisher.

References to 'six incidents', one in Rome, are made. Alliance had five incidents, so presumably there's another incident in Rome. Alternatively, since Alan Dean Foster wrote this, he might be referencing the Veiled Threat, which featured a battle in Rome. But then, there are four incidents in the Veiled Threat, so...

What are the Autobots doing when Optimus and Bumblebee attacked the warehouse? They went there together, but when the fight opened, only Optimus and 'Bee were present.

Also, another goof present in the movie- there's reason for Simmons to climb the pyramid after Devastator. Simmons didn't need to climb, as railguns are a 'line of sight' weapon. He could have stayed someplace safe, called the ship, and told them to shoot at the giant f-ing robot tearing the pyramid up.

So, uncovering the Solar Harvester frees the Fallen from his sacrophagus? This works how, exactly?

Quote, Unquote

Ironhide: "Sideswipe, deploy... Arcee, guard flanks... Twins, just... try and stay out of trouble. Watch the big boys--and learn."

Leo Spitz [to Sam]: "I like your parents. They are good people."

Megatron: "You will pray for a sudden death, insect... while I... shall take my time."
Sam Witwicky: "No, no, look, I know you're pissed--I killed you, I'd be pissed too, you're not in the wrong. It's a valid point, but let's work it out, clean slate, fresh start--I don't know what I know, but I know you need to know what I know, you know?"
The Doctor: "Traes itresea, voluminta, Brain kazeezei inspecta!"

Judy [eating at a restaurant in Paris]: "Really, Ron. A cheeseburger?"
Ron: "What? Hey, it comes with French Fries. You think I flew across the ocean to chow down a plate of snails?"

Galloway: "What we need is to draw up battle plans involving the entire world's military forces while we buy time by exploring every possible diplomatic solution."
Lennox: "You mean by handing over the kid."
Ironhide: "You think you can negotiate with Decepticons?"
Galloway: "I will not say it again. You'll all follow orders to the letter. Stand down, or we are going to have a problem."
Sideswipe: "Ironhide--this isn't what Optimus would want."

Mudflap: "We twied to contact the rehth of the Autoboth, but their frequenthieth are currently nonoperational."
Skids: "They got orders to stand down! Gov'mint won't let 'em bust any heads! It's outrageous, bro!"
Sam: "But that's--insane. Are you telling me that the Autobots are taking the fall for this?"
Mudflap: "Yup. My geth ith they're being ordered back to baythe...against their will."

Sam: "Maybe, but what're the odds 'Robo-Warrior's just a ten-year-old girl with an X-Box and a talent for improvisation? Or maybe somebody who wants to be a game designer and is trying out plots on unsuspecting viewers, pretending that their scenarios are based in reality?"
Mikaela: "Save us, Obi-nobody, you're our only hope."
Leo: "Ponce-de-Leon is on the case. Trust me."

Simmons: "Number forty-two! We got your kishka-knish-kasha-varnishk-and-kreplach combo right here! End of the world specials, cash only, who's next?"

Wheels: "Ohh--language of Primes! Words before time. Me know not, know not me. Only Seekers can explain you."
Sam: "Seekers? Who are they?
Wheels: "Seekers. Old transformers! Oldoldold. Stranded, stuck, searching for something. Seekers seek."
Leo: "Well, duh. What we want to know is what they're seeking."
Wheels: "Don't know what. Old language. Old seeking. Wheels not old."

Simmons [in the Apollo capsule]: "Houston? Captain Seymour Simmons, ready for my ticker-tape parade. Over and out."

Jetfire: "Seeping selenium sealants! Can't even walk properly. Updating says I've been stuck on this miserable world for thousands of orbits around its insignificant little sun and that I've got a mission, but I keep forgetting what it was. Wait! Of course! We must destroy the dinosaurs!"

Sam [on Wheels humping Mikaela's leg]: "Hey look, your new sadomasochist boyfriend needs discipline."
Mikaela: "Oh, that's cute. Bet he's a better kisser than your dead girlfriend."

Ransack: "Well, if it ain't Jetfire. When you open up a transspatial portal, that kind of energy discharge is bound to draw attention, you no-good yellow-bellied traitor! Been looking for you for a long time. You think you can just mosey out on us? Help humans? Today we settle things. Just you and me." -Jetfire steps on Ransack-

Wheels: "See, see? Change sides, like Jetfire! Me protect! You safe with me!"

Skids: "We ain't listenin' to you sucka. What he ever done for us?"
Mudflap: "Killed Megatron. How about that?"
Skids: "Well he didn't get the job done, 'cause now Megatron's back."
Simmons: "Hey, don't make me have to separate you two."
Mudflap: "Awww, whutha matter? You thcared?"
Skids: "Sure he is. Scared o' yo ugly face, mutha."
Mudflap: "We're twinths, you shtupid genuith!"

Jetfire: "Optimus... you are the last of the Primes. You possess powers beyond your own imagining. Take my components... fulfill your destiny. You don't need wheels, or feet--you need wings. Never done a damn thing worth doing with my life--till now."

Simmon [to gunner]: "And gentlemen, if you miss by so much as one meter--you tell my biographer I was proud to serve!"

Megatron [to army]: "ARISE!"

 
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