IDW Transformers Till All Are One #10 Review
Starscream’s sent an assassin to murder a Prime while also plotting to manipulate the Combaticons towards his own ends.
Thoughts and Synopsis
This issue had a weird start to it. The last issue of Till All Are One saw Starscream’s head Bumblebee aghast at his choice to find a bot he knew was innocent guilty to appease the mob. That decision, the art for Bumblebee, and Starscream’s own dialogue painted the picture of ‘bee finally giving up on trying to make Starscream a better person.
With that said this issue starts off with head Bumblebee being far more forgiving of Starscream’s past decisions. Bumblebee seems to be willing to forgive Starscream’s decision to condemn an innocent bot because he agreed to free Chromia. All of this is merely setup, however. Starscream meets with Airachnid, another non-G1 character making the crossover thanks to IDW.
Airachnid is a rogue Fateweaver, the religious order that plays a part in ruling Eukaris. The Fateweavers appear to posses the abilities of mnemosurgery, and Airachnid is in Starscream’s employ working on the Combaticons. The plan is simple. Starscream knows Swindle is still potentially dangerous, and he needs backup to protect him from his growing list of enemies. Airachnid can use the fact that they’ve combined to create a false memory the group shares of being on Starscream’s payroll as undercover agents the entire time. He just needs one of them to be aware of it, go along with it, and help keep the group committed to the lie should there be any complications with their collective memory.
Starscream finds his choice among the four living Combaticons, using his own wants and desires as leverage. The Combaticon agrees after an intense back and forth courtesy of Airachnid patching Starscream into his dreams. A deal is reached, and Starscream once again proves why he is who is he. And why he’s where he is. He’s always willing to find an angle worth exploiting.
Issues like this are tough to review. Generally I aim for part analysis and part synopsis, with a desire to avoid spoiling too much. Till All Are One’s “political drama but with robots” approach is always intriguing but makes that a bit difficult at times. This issue is basically a lot of talking and setup for something next, and as such what to cut to avoid spoiling can be a hard choice. For that reason I’ve left the linchpin in Starscream’s plan unexplained.
I will say this though. It doesn’t feel forced. So often when that sort of character development happens fandom has a knee-jerk reaction (you’ll all see exactly what I mean). I can say it’s not in this case. At all. The hints of this character feeling this way have been planted as far back as Till All Are One #1, and it feels natural here.
It’s also natural that Starscream would use these feelings to further his own ends. That’s expected. Starscream would be letting us all down as fans of this franchise if he didn’t do something with this information. Unlike Bumblebee? I’ve given up on Starscream being “better.” As a Transformers fan who counts ‘Screamer as his all-time favourite though? It’s a treat watching him be this manipulative and, frankly, evil.
The questions that come up involve our nameless Combaticon and the choices he makes. We get the sense that he’s not a monster like ‘Screamer, but his emotions (and G1 bio bullet points!) are all hit on by the Chancellor of Cybertron. ‘Screamer plays him, and he truly does go along with something horrible. The manipulation of a friend against his will.
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He also like the Primes. All of them.