Marvel Comics adaptation
Marvel Comics released a three part adaptation of the movie, along with a collection which had all
three parts in one book, but it isn't very popular with fans due to the poor artwork and even poorer colouring. It is something of a collectable though due to it being based on a earlier version of the script, hence a lot of strange and different stuff happening in the comic which doesn't happen in the movie. So lets take a look.
The differences start off straight away. These panels show how Unicron was originally suppose to destroy planets -by covering them in a pink mist which dissolved everything. And thanks to a poorly placed speech bubble it looks like the stairs are talking.
The next page features how Arblus was originally suppose to die - he was suppose to get melted at the start of the movie. Also, Kranix is shown to be a transformer here, and he did have a spaceship transformation mode in the original script, but this was dropped from the final film.
In the original script, the first shuttle that launches was suppose to blast off out of a mountain, which is shown in the comics. Also, Laserbeak somehow managed to sneak into the base and hide in a tape player to find out what the Autobots were up too, in the film he has to record things from outside the base. Cliffjumper is also coloured like Bumblebee here as well.
The original script had a scene where Ironhide pilots the shuttle through an asteroid belt (this explained how the Decepticons got to the shuttle without being picked up on radar). Prowl also got a line in this scene, which was dropped from the movie but was in the comics.
The deaths onboard the shuttle are hilarious.
In the comics, the Decepticons actually managed to land the shuttle, although it seems they landed it outside the city. This wasn't in the original script though. Nor was Megatron's order to destroy all observation towers.
As the Decepticons attack, Springer and Arcee transform Autobot City just as they do in the movie. But here, in one panel, the City is referred to as Fortress Maximus. Fortress Maximus was Metroplex's original name, but both names were omitted from the final version of the movie, with "Autobot City" just being used instead.
The fight between Optimus Prime and Megatron is not interrupted by Hot Rod, and Megatron simply finds a gun and blasts Optimus with it. There's some terrible extra dialogue during the fight, too, which wasn't in any script.
Optimus' death scene is also different, but it's even different to what happens in the original script. For a start, Prime gets the Matrix out of one of his chest windows, in the movie he has to open his entire chest up to reveal it. The Matrix's design wasn't finalised when the comic was made, hence why it just looks like a green potato when Prime gives it to Ultra Magnus. Magnus also has different dialogue, and Prime's last words are "follow him, Autobots... follow him..." I guess he means for the Autobots to follow Ultra Magnus.
The Decepticons that are rebuilt into Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps aren't made definite in the comic; there are only four shown in the shuttle and being thrown out, but when they are actually being rebuilt there are six of them, all with generic, nondescript bodies. Kickback and one of the Coneheads are the only certain casualties, while what appears to be Brawl is shown being tossed out, but the rest are just too generic to make out.
Although this clears up the matter of how Shrapnel appears later on the planet of junk, it could be that the other guys chosen to be killed were not decided upon at this stage, or that they wanted the real casualties to be a surprise. But considering the real big deal of Megatron being rebuilt and Optimus replaced are shown, I doubt the latter.
When Unicron finds Megatron, he almost destroys him with the pink mist we saw earlier.
The Autobot were originally suppose to build the shuttles they use to take them to Cybertron, and when the Decepticons return to Autobot City, they blast off as usual. A scene where Astrotrain leads a Decepticon assault on the shuttles in space was in the script too, but got cut out.
To escape this attack, the Autobots destroy some of the asteroids and make their escape. Also, Unicron doesn't give Galvatron a ship of his own in this comic, he's always seen flying Cyclonus instead.
In the movie, Hot Rod's shuttle just crashed onto Quintessa, but in the original script it was supposed to be grabbed by a claw and just get totally obliterated. Similar claws appear on the Quintesson asteroid ships in series 3, if that means anything.
Sharkticons simply take Hot Rod and Kup to the courtroom, since Kup says they're too weak to fight back. Also, Grimlock is with them, this wasn't in the original script and something done just for the comic. There's then the matter of Kranix saying that the Quintessons "hunt down those who try to escape the wrath of Unicron", which was their role originally but this was omitted from the final film.
Wheelie appears out of absolutely nowhere in this comic, and the other three Dinobots manage to find the other Autobots without his help. He just arrives in one panel, and says he knows where a ship is. Why he hasn't used it himself before now is anyone's guess, and he doesn't speak in rhyme constantly here either.
The comic features how Ultra Magnus was suppose to die: get quartered by the Sweeps. This death was actually due to be in the final film and is rumoured to have been actually animated, but they went back and re-did it due to it being "too violent".
Wreck-Gar transforms the entire planet of junk into a ship to fight Unicron.
Daniel's exo-suit is red and blue, unlike the entirely white colour it is in the movie.
Moonbase 2 isn't destroyed in the comic until after Hot Rod and co escape from Quintessa.
The comic keeps the idea that there is more than one Cyclonus.
Quintessa is called planet Quintesson.
Unicron smashes the Quintesson ship in two, which hilariously has one half fly straight through his right eye.
At the near end of the comic, the scenes inside Unicron focus only on Hot Rod versus Galvatron and Hot Rod becoming Rodimus Prime and opening the Matrix. Because of this, the comic make it unclear to the fates of Jazz, Cliffjumper and Bumblebee, but Spike is still shown in one panel for some reason. The original script did have these three Autobots all survive though.