IDW Transformers Till All Are One #9 Review

Till All Are One returns with the fallout of Liege Maximo’s escape and the death of his Titan, Vigilem. Cybertron is saved and Starscream feels the weight of leadership.

Thoughts and Synopsis

Starscream laments how the burdens of leadership have left him with little time to recharge. He oversees the trial of the Badgeless officer who stands accused of killing the Decepticon way back in issue one. Starscream realizes that the officer is innocent and likely setup by Onslaught, but he also knows that the citizenry want someone punished for the crime, and this guy is as good as anyone else.
Starscream’s deliberation is interrupted when he sees footage of Elita-1 soaking in adoration as the “hero of Iacon” who bravely sacrificed her ship to save the city. Starscream’s anger at being upstaged and over Elita-1’s deception end up giving him his second choice he has to make. Elita-1 tells the story of Vigilem and Liege Maximo, the betrayer of the Thirteen Primes. She explains that her crew are spark descendants of Maximo’s followers, charged with his imprisonment. Windblade’s actions resulted in Maximo’s escape, and Elita is sure he will return to destroy Cybertron and all of its colonies. She asks Starscream to go along with the lie that Elita saved the planet to help foster a unified Cybertron that will be strong enough to resist Maximo’s deceptions when he does return.
The Mistress of the Flame delivers Starscream his third problem. The Mistress reminds Starscream that Cybertron was saved by a Camien. She wants to use that to buy Chromia’s freedom. If not than Starscream can hand over Menasor and Swindle so that they can be tried for their crimes on Caminus.
Head Bumblebee implores Starscream to do the right thing in each case. He pushes Cybertron’s supreme leader to be better than he thinks he is. Starscream makes his choices, preparing for Liege Maximo like only he can.

Final Thoughts

Till All Are One was an easy read light on action, but the character work was stellar. Sara Pitre-Durocher’s art perfectly captures Starscream’s frustrated and tired state of mind. The art and writing work well together like that throughout the issue. Tigatron and Fireshot’s disagreement over Elita-1’s actions spring immediately to mind, but the fact is that the entire book is full of rich, expressive art and fun little character moments.
As too the heavier stuff? Scott proves once again that she can handle a political drama without it being weighed down by too much message. Subtle lines, such as the accused Badgeless claiming some of his friends are Decepticons, makes the point quickly and even humorously.
Nevertheless I have to think we’re not too far off from the end of Starscream’s story, or at the very least the end of this chapter of it. The narrative was structured in such a way that character development can only really proceed down one path. It seems like we’ve crossed the Rubicon with the “President Starscream” character. I don’t mind this, so long as the book works towards a proper conclusion from a characterization standpoint.
All in all? This was another solid outing by Scott. The Till All Are One series has really proven itself to be an underappreciated treasure next to the big name titles of Lost Light and Optimus Prime.
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