04 September 2018

Review: Transformers: Till All Are One, Volume Three by Mairghread Scott and Sara Pitre-Durocher

Comic PDF eBook, n.pag.
Published 2018 (contents: 2017)
Acquired and read August 2018
Transformers: Till All Are One, Volume Three

Written by Mairghread Scott
Art by Sara Pitre-Duroche
Colors by Joana Lafuente
Letters by Tom B. Long

With Windlbade seemingly dead, Till All Are One moves its focus to Starscream. Till All Are One has a large cast of characters, as I guess befits a series about the reunification of a planet and a society, but it does make it hard for everyone to get their due. Most of those characters put only in small appearances in this volume, leading to its best but unfortunately also its last installment.

This volume collects five issues. The first two focus exclusively on Starscream, who continues his machinations but also continues to feel kind of bad about it. It builds on Starscream's long history of development in IDW, from usurping Megatron in All Hail Megatron and Dark Prelude to becoming Cybertron's postwar civilian leader in Robots in Disguise and Windblade.

Previously I haven't really enjoyed the appearance of the hallucinatory Bumblebee in Starscream's head, but this volume intimates that Bumblebee's not a hallucination, but a manifestation of Bumblebee's actual spark, as Bumblebee was revealed to be alive trapped within a microsingularity in Transformers Annual 2017. (Which I didn't read, so thanks Transformers wiki!) Anyway, here he works more for me, not just because he's "real," but also because Starscream actually does develop thanks to his intervention... in his own way, at least. There's some nice stuff as Starscream does a good thing for selfish reasons (liberating Chromia), but also some outright awful stuff (playing the feelings of the Combaticons against each other, who turn out to be pretty cute even if I can't remember who they all are).

Starscream, why you gotta screw with the romantic fantasies of remorseless Decepticon killing machines?
from Transformers: Till All Are One #10

The next two issues reintroduce Windblade into the mix, as she battle some ancient Transformer evil in her mind (introduced in volume two, but I've already forgotten the details) and Starscream actually comes to her aid. Windblade ends up coming to his aid, however, and makes an important decision about how she's going to stop compromising herself all the time.

It actually gets genuinely touching, as Windblade realizes that Starscream has been continuously molded to meet the expectations of others ever since his creation. Starscream was constructed cold as one of many Seekers and has always been rebuilding his body in search of a true self he cannot find ever since. Windblade finds the traces of all those who have touched Starscream over the years on his spark, and forges him a model of his true self. It's a great, earned moment, that pays off four years of development for Windblade and at least eight for Starscream! It was here that I felt Till All Are One maximized its previously latent potential.

Go true Starscream!
from Transformers: Till All Are One #12

The final issue focuses on Windblade, as she competes with Starscream and Elita One for the position of civilian leader of Cybertron. It does a good job building on the previous issue to show Windblade's new perspective in action, and how it will help her help the people of Cybertron as they reunite and rebuild. I'm a little sad Till All Are One ended here, right as it hit its stride, but I'm also kind of glad it did, because it ends on a moment of hope and optimism for postwar Cybertron.

I'm down with any Transformers comic that makes a joke out of a remorseless Decepticon killing machine's preference for girly drinks.
from Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017

Since I'm not reading any IDW series other than Lost Light anymore, this is basically the last I'll see of the planet before the universe is rebooted/destroyed/whatevered in Unicron, and it's a tremendously fitting end for the beleaguered planet and its people in what surely must be the best version of the Transformers continuity there is.

Next Week: I'm actually all caught up on my Transformers comics (with the exception of the last span of issues of Lost Light, which I'll be reading as single issues, not books), so I'm going to go back and plug in some gaps. It was the beginning of the Great War, a time of... Monstrosity!

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