IDW Transformers 2017 Annual Review

The IDW Transformers 2017 Annual is here, and the threat hinted at during the Titans Return miniseries finally comes into focus!


Thoughts and Synopsis

There are two main stories that make up the 2017 Annual, and both are connected by the idea of dreams and visions. Optimus Prime and Pyra Magna both arrive to investigate a singularity where Shockwave met his end at the conclusion to Dark Cybertron. It’s also the site where Bumblebee died. Optimus uses the trip to fill Pyra Magna, and the reader, in on Bumblebee’s life prior to the Great War. The tale that Optimus tells is effective in more than one area. It not only sets up the motif of dreams and visions. It also revisits the Nightmare Engine, one of Megatron’s weapons used during the war that’s been name-dropped, but otherwise unexplored. Until now.
Pyra responds with her own story of dreams and visions. She tells Optimus of an early mission she went on as part of the Tourchbearers on Caminus. Her predecessor, Praesida Magna, led them in the defence of a small town being threatened by marauders with beast forms. There they discover a singularity and Pyra and Praesida dies failing to lead her team to victory. Pyra starts to have dreams and visions of an ancient evil, the same evil warned about by Galvatron and heralded by Sentinel Prime, and discovers new truths about the Way of the Flame and Cybertronian mythology.
Optimus’ story was meant to exemplify his belief in the unity of a team. Bumblebee’s past troubles could only be overcome if he trusted someone. Pyra’s story shows us why she views Optimus with distrust despite his status as a true Prime and why she’s willing to challenge someone she sees is an ineffective leader.
Starscream is ease-dropping on all of this, with the ever-present hallucination and/or ghost of Bumblebee there to provide further insight.

Final Thoughts

Both parts of the 2017 Annual compliment each other. The two stories work as parallels that compliment each other as well as informing the personal conflict between Optimus Prime and Pyra Magna.
Optimus’ ongoing struggles with the Prime title are again on display. Things already seem more positive though, as the dynamic between Pyra and Optimus really drives the issue. Optimus has to learn that value of faith and fully appreciate who and what he is and what that means to many Cybertronians. Pyra needs to realize that she must trust her friends, allies, and teammates to make the right choices with her.
This is exactly the sort of character development I have been wanting to see out of  Optimus and Pyra. It makes for an incredibly enjoyable issue when paired with the reveal of the next huge threat that’s coming. Not to mention a revelation concerning Cybertron’s leader and the friend that only he seems to be able to see and hear.
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