IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #11 Review

Till All Are One draws to a close. Many people, myself included, lauded Till All Are One #10 as one of the better single issue Transformers comics of recent memory. That was quickly followed with news that IDW and Mairghead Scott agreed to end the series after issue twelve and the annual. The reasons for why this happened are neither here nor there. What matters is that Scott has stated that she’s happy to have the chance to finish the story she wanted to tell.
Let’s enjoy Till All Are One while we still have it.

Thoughts and Synopsis

Till All Are One has always been light on action and big on drama and character work. This issue has that in spades. This isn’t always to the issue’s benefit. The book is ending after an issue and an annual, though. So giving as many plots as possible panel time makes sense. Scott does as good a job as one can expect of her with the real estate she has to work with.
The question of Bumblebee as seen by Starscream was seemingly answered in the Transformers Annual. Starscream wrote him off as a figment of his imagination. It was revealed that Bumblebee still lived in Crystal City, within the singularity. That seems to be paying off in the pages of Till All Are One. Starscream and head Bumblebee finally confront each other angrily, and the yellow Autobot vanishes from ‘Screamer’s mind by the end of it. Starscream seems genuinely concerned and reaches out to him by the end. He needs help to fight off the political machinations of Elita. Who answers? We have a tantalizing hint, but the definitive answer awaits us in issue twelve.
Winblade battles Vigilem in her mind as medics attempt to save her. It’s impossible to separate her brain patterns from those of the fallen Titan, and so her mind is breaking under the stress of the two personalities clashing for control. The Windblade character has been, unjustifiably in my opinion, accused of being something of a creator’s pet with Scott. I can’t speak for Scott’s level of attachment to the character. What I can say is that this issue proves that she’s not afraid to shine a light on Windblade’s faults. Vigilem provides a good foil for her. The best villains often have a point or two.
We catch up with Onslaught, Blast Off, and the rest of the Combaticons. Starscream’s mental manipulation is in full swing. Blast Off “comforts” Onslaught by telling him that he’ll happily fill in any missing memory gaps as a result of the procedure their “boss” Starscream oversaw. Not much new is revealed here, other than Swindle’s apparent chipper return. Even this is glossed over as Starscream weighs his options regarding Windblade’s condition.

Final Thoughts

It might seem strange to put the Combaticon stuff on the back burner given how central it was to issue ten and the praise it garnered. I think that was the right move. Issue ten presented a weak character with temptation and let Starscream shine as only he can. Too many people took the wrong message, however. Blast Off isn’t without sympathy. Regardless, his manipulation of Onslaught is still indefensible. Too many people seemed caught up in the good feelings of them as a couple to see what was actually happening. Blast Off offering to help “fill in” Onslaught’s memories proves that, despite his misgivings, he’s still a willing participant in this emotional manipulation. Backing off from that as a narrative focus was smart.
Starscream finally rids himself of Bumblebee. Only to call for him back. We’re left to wonder what form of the yellow Autobot answers him. Or why Bumblebee continues to try and help Starscream despite his misgivings over nearly everything ‘Screamer does.
All of this comes to some form of conclusion in Till All Are One #12. It was a world builder’s dream comic. Character work and art was regularly excellent. This series flew under the radar compared to the popular Lost Light and flagship Optimus Prime titles. In some ways that was nice. It was sadly too under the radar to survive in its current form.
All I can say is thank you. Thank you Ms. Scott. For bringing us this series on your terms. I look forward to reading and reviewing the last numbered issue and the annual. It’s been an honour.
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