Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 1:38AM CDT

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Till All Are One
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
Starscream makes his most desperate move yet in order to protect himself from Elita One's rising power. But for once the master of manipulation's only choice is to make himself helpless to another. Good thing no one's got a grudge against Starscream, right?

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue
Ulp, as we say


Story

We've arrived at the final issue on my favourite of the three Transformers ongoing comics series from IDW Publishing, at only 12 numbers in total, and with a lot at stake in terms of the story itself. A series, I'll remind us, that fully reintroduced the mythological Primes to this version of the TF universe, with Solus via Caminus (in its previous incarnation), Liege Maximo via Titans Return, and peeking into Micronus' mind via the Revolution tie-in.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue
oh, hey, Solus


And it's that concept, those issues dealing with minds that bring us back to the present, as we find ourselves inside Windblade's realm, her mind palace, the Cityspeaker's inner city - and her vicious battle of the wills with Vigilem's own mind, trying to take control, by exploiting the aid of Starscream who begrudgingly stepped in (or in it, depending on how you want to look at it).

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue
can you tell it's hers?


Now, Vigilem is more clearly defined in this issue, even more than previous ones, and he's a truly nasty piece of work. The manipulation we've seen so often in the series comes very naturally to him in Mairghread Scott's script, and he's made to be more and more unlikeable by the frame (to me at least; casual ableist slurs don't help, either) - as opposed to the initial framing of his story through Metroplex.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue
Some things never change


But Starscream and Windblade are without the doubt the in undisputed protagonists of the story, one aiding the other, in ways you may not expect going into the story at first. We find out more about both, a lot more about at least one, and some interesting facets to at least another, in conclusion to this part of the story that will, yes, have repercussions - but mostly, it'll leave with a number of smiles across readers' faces, and words to be heard for those who are listening.


Art

When talking about Vigilem as a character, and Windblade's mind as a setting, one cannot ignore the sheer scale of what the script demands in terms of visual transposition. Sara Pitre Durocher creates worlds within worlds, designs within designs, concepts hammered out, and strips some layers bare of their visualisation, only to bring more to the surface. What she does is magnificent.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue
I can hear myself wink in that paragraph


And what the colours of Joana Lafuente add to the artwork beneath is just even more so, creating the same dark atmosphere of this reality that we had seen previously, but making sure that the right hues permeate the whole scene, with only three real moments of pure light (one of which seen in an image below, as a reflective flashback). You will want to wait and enjoy the other two.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue
Have a CHOOM instead


The banging work of Tom B. Long, who is dealing with some panels with extremely crucial dialogue placement and overlap, is still the cherry on the sundae that is the visual aspect of these books, and I appreciate every single Choom, Crnnk, and Clang. The thumbnail for this review is the cover variant by regular artist Priscilla Tramontano, also depicting a facet of this story. All other covers can be found in our database entry right here, with the ominous, main Pitre Durocher one, and the triumphant variant by ZeroB.

Thoughts
WARNING: this may contain spoilers

And so, we have reached the end of an excellent and undervalued series until too late for it to continue in another form - no blame given, no fingers pointed, it just happens - and with it, there are still several questions left to be answered: Airachnid's sudden introduction and now homeless development; Bumbleghost's nature and existence; Starscream's true nature other than being Starscream; Elita-One's crafty struggle for power and popularity; Blast-Off's deal and manipulation; Vigilem, the other Titans, and their Primes. Any one of those could have warranted another full arc, and some may indeed be addressed in First Strike, the Annual, and any new series dealing with Cybertron, of course.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue
And more Sasscream/Tracescream


I am saddened to see the current creative team not continue further in this incarnation, though, and I'm sure (from what I've seen online) that this is the case for many readers. Scott, Pitre Durocher, Lafuente, Tramontano, Long, and rotating guests and editors have done something exceptional with their exploration of politics, post-colonial issues, guilt, power, loneliness and most of all, control. Mind control, political control, military control - Starscream's fears run deep, subordination fits tight on all the characters involved, and in constraint, some exquisite creativity and artwork can be born.

For the sake of fairness on the single issue, however, I'll also say this: with the sudden ending to the book, the timeshifting of IDW's scheduling, and all else happening in the Hasbroverse, Till All Are One #12 gave us the best story it could probably and possibly ever deliver; it gave us a resolution between Starscream and Windblade that is not a conclusion; it brought elements together that no other book had really done so far; it redeemed characters without offering them salvation. I wish we'd seen what path lies before them much sooner.


. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: - out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:
Credit(s): IDW
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Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1902913)
Posted by Kurona on August 9th, 2017 @ 4:20am CDT
Absolutely phenomenal issue. Everyone on this team knows exactly what they're doing and they've done it extremely well.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1902928)
Posted by Bounti76 on August 9th, 2017 @ 4:56am CDT
Kurona wrote:Absolutely phenomenal issue. Everyone on this team knows exactly what they're doing and they've done it extremely well.


Agreed. Given the very well deserved praise this book has gotten over the last several issues, it stings all the more that IDW wouldn't give Mairghread Scott, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Joana Lafuente and Tom Long the benefit of the doubt and at least give them more time to finish telling this story properly instead of telling them they had to change what was already working so well or be canceled.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1902956)
Posted by Randomhero on August 9th, 2017 @ 7:49am CDT
Well it's over and I honestly don't care. I nothinged it this entire arc. It wasn't bad but I honestly didn't find it appealing.

I'm sure Windblade volume 4 will be announced for next year
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1902976)
Posted by o.supreme on August 9th, 2017 @ 9:17am CDT


Shades of Murderblade from Machinima?

I haven't read the last issue yet, but I can say that I did enjoy 2/3 of this series. Issues #1-4 (The Bruticus story ark), was pretty cool, and #5-#8 dealing with the undead Titans and the aftermath of Titans Return was pretty cool. (I really think fans overall got shortchanged. I would much rather had a longer Titans Return story spanning all TF books rather than Revolution...but oh well...)

but as for #9-12, well...I'ts just not my thing. I mean I know I run counter to most fans. I'm not really into MTMTE/TLL. I loved RID/TF because I like anything set on Cybertron, and it had more of the 84-86 cast I care about. Since the split between TAAO and Optimus Prime however its been odd. I like Optimus' choice of TF characters, I really don't care about any of the human characters , or whats going on with Earth, but the bots keep it somewhat interesting. TAAO like I said was good, up until issue #9 where it just took an odd turn. I never thought of this as Windblade volume #3, but I guess there are just some things you cant escape. I know there will be a proper finale much later, and some crossover with First Strike, but I wonder if the goings on of all the characters on Cybertron will somehow be told through the Optimus Prime book, or are they just going to be shelved for a while? Kind of sucks that all the TF's I really like (whether they haven't appeared in a while or not), are still on Cybertron, but there is now no story for them on a monthly basis, unless they all start showing up on Earth, or Optimus Prime's focus goes back to Cybertron, which I would love, but I doubt will happen.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1902991)
Posted by Randomhero on August 9th, 2017 @ 9:47am CDT
o.supreme wrote:

Shades of Murderblade from Machinima?

I haven't read the last issue yet, but I can say that I did enjoy 2/3 of this series. Issues #1-4 (The Bruticus story ark), was pretty cool, and #5-#8 dealing with the undead Titans and the aftermath of Titans Return was pretty cool. (I really think fans overall got shortchanged. I would much rather had a longer Titans Return story spanning all TF books rather than Revolution...but oh well...)

but as for #9-12, well...I'ts just not my thing. I mean I know I run counter to most fans. I'm not really into MTMTE/TLL. I loved RID/TF because I like anything set on Cybertron, and it had more of the 84-86 cast I care about. Since the split between TAAO and Optimus Prime however its been odd. I like Optimus' choice of TF characters, I really don't care about any of the human characters , or whats going on with Earth, but the bots keep it somewhat interesting. TAAO like I said was good, up until issue #9 where it just took an odd turn. I never thought of this as Windblade volume #3, but I guess there are just some things you cant escape. I know there will be a proper finale much later, and some crossover with First Strike, but I wonder if the goings on of all the characters on Cybertron will somehow be told through the Optimus Prime book, or are they just going to be shelved for a while? Kind of sucks that all the TF's I really like (whether they haven't appeared in a while or not), are still on Cybertron, but there is now no story for them on a monthly basis, unless they all start showing up on Earth, or Optimus Prime's focus goes back to Cybertron, which I would love, but I doubt will happen.


Was it the onslaught/blast off stuff? Trust me I won't judge because I think that was my final strike for this comic. I'm not going to lie I read that stuff and said "alright we're just writing for the tumlrites now arnt we"
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1902993)
Posted by Kurona on August 9th, 2017 @ 9:50am CDT
Because... Tumblr invented gay people...? I don't get it.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903000)
Posted by Randomhero on August 9th, 2017 @ 10:04am CDT
Kurona wrote:Because... Tumblr invented gay people...? I don't get it.



No because tumblr is a cesspool of blowing everything stupidly out of proportion and makes everything sensual. "These two characters are standing next to eachother, better get start working on the slash fic!"
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903001)
Posted by Kurona on August 9th, 2017 @ 10:08am CDT
I... don't really get what that has to do with Blast Off and Onslaught's relationship, though. It had a purpose in that it played into the major themes of the book - compromise, corruption, unstable relationships - and moved certain plot elements and characters forward. It wasn't done for no reason. And as a Transformers fan, I certainly appreciate that it helped to further characterise Blast Off as he's historically been the least interesting of the Combaticons -- but no longer :)
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903003)
Posted by Black Hat on August 9th, 2017 @ 10:12am CDT
Whilst I'm not a reader of IDW, I personally thought the whole "Oh look Onslaught and Blastoff are gay for each other, isn't that original?" thing was kinda cringey. And extremely ironic when you consider Blastoff's nominal position is Bruticus' right arm.

Personally I'm of the opinion that Blastoff could be developed far better without throwing in forced romance. Play up the arrogance and aloofness aspect- perhaps have one too many shifts in the cold depths of space have driven him round the bend a little.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903004)
Posted by Randomhero on August 9th, 2017 @ 10:19am CDT
I have zero problems with creating relationships in transformers. I've always been very supportive in rewind and chromdone and have defended it to people say "got the gay out my transformers!"

A scene of black and onslaught about to kiss...that's retarded. One of them doesn't have a mouth! It's the dumbest scene I've seen in a transformers comic and I've read the beast!
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903005)
Posted by o.supreme on August 9th, 2017 @ 10:20am CDT
For the sake of trying to save face, and not start a huge war here...let me just say that we are all here because we enjoy various aspects of Transformers. And truth be told, I think its good on occasion when I see something new and fresh in this fiction, and sometimes its not good (as to what is and isn't that's up to everybody's own interpretation).

I am an older fan. I was 8 in 1984 when I saw the first ad for the Marvel Comic in May, then the toys came in the summer, and the animated series in the fall.

To ME Transformers is...what that theme song always resonates..."Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of, The Decepticons"

Now in 33 years I can see how some may say...that gets old, that gets stale, I want something new. And that's fine. I just weather the storm as it were. Heck I barely know what tumblr is, I don't even have a FB page.. :lol: so all that is irrelevant. I just know what I like, and it is cyclical. There was a time when I worried that what I liked about Transformers would be lost forever, but it came back around, eventually. What I consider great, many others consider to be the low point of Transformers, so its all relative.

The majority of Transformers characters I really enjoy reading about exist between the TAAO & Optimus Prime books currently in IDW. Yes I'll say how some of them have been interpreted as of late is not how I interpret them, and that's fine. The characters don't have to be what we see illustrated, or what is animated, or on a film screen. It's what we want them to be that matters, or if there is a past version that better suits us, so be it.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903014)
Posted by ScottyP on August 9th, 2017 @ 10:32am CDT
I'm not wholly satisfied with this "ending" (I'm aware of the Annual) but it feels like the best output possible given the circumstances. The tight focus on just a few characters is preferable to giving several storylines quick, 1-2 page, probably rushed conclusions.

Also, [spoiler]Forged Starscream was a stunner[/spoiler], loved that part.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903142)
Posted by homicide on August 9th, 2017 @ 2:48pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
Also, [spoiler]Forged Starscream was a stunner[/spoiler], loved that part.


I absolutely agree, I hope we get to see more of this design in the future! Now I can't wait for someone to give me a figure of this design, whether it's Has/Tak, some type of exclusive or a 3rd Party, I'm a definite buyer!
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903191)
Posted by Sunstar on August 9th, 2017 @ 5:08pm CDT
I had my husband drive me to the book store before work, just to get the book into my hot hands... then go home and sit in my reading nook and almost be late for work...

[spoiler]WOW... just a very WOW book. I want to see more of the story, how does he deal with his revelation of having his spark reforged... That was what happened wasn't it? Windblade basically used hte power of a prime to reforge a cold forged spark into something pure?

Starscream of course rebels... Windblade has saved his spark twice now.

WOOT![/spoiler]
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903192)
Posted by crazyfist on August 9th, 2017 @ 5:12pm CDT
I haven't read issue 12 yet but I'm glad to see this series end. Number one: I have never liked Windblade. She just makes me cringe. I don't know what it is. She's like some sort of whinny little brat that everyone is like 'oh, sweetie are you okay?' and comes to her aid and hugs her. I don't know. Even her appearance in the Combiner Wars Machinima series...ugh! Number Two: Onslaught and Blast off!!!! Argh!!! Okay. I got used to Chromedome and Rewind. Maybe it's because they never meant anything to me. As a kid, they weren't my most favorite characters. Then, Cyclonus and Tailgate... Cyclonus was the third Transformer I got as a kid after Ultra Magnus. I loved they're relationship in the G1 cartoon. I thought he was so cool in the Season 3 G1 cartoon. He quickly became one of my favorites. I'm all for characterization but really??? I've dropped Lost Light because of this. Cyclonus is ruined for me. But I can separate the two. Lost Light Cyclonus is NOT G1 Cyclonus. Onslaught was also one of my all-time favorites. Altogether, the Combaticons were my favorite combiner. Seeing Onslaught and Blast off hold hands and...ugh...another ruined character for me. I've noticed...that there are NO (what you would call) male/female relationships in the Transformers series. All the females are tough as nails warriors. (Arcee, Elita-One, The Torchbearers, etc...) Why isn't there a male/female relationship like a Moonracer and Blurr romance? Or a Firestar and Inferno romance? I mean they even have a female/female relationship with Anode and Lug...Conjunx Endura...yuck. I know Arcee and Sideswipe are buds. But it's different with them. They're partners in that they are warriors not 'lovers'. Back in the days of Beast Wars with Blackarachnia and Silverbolt. I'd like to see a relationship like that again. Or why does there even have to be any romantic relationships? They're ROBOTS for crying out loud! MAybe it's just the day in age we're in. Politically correct or someone is going to get offended. I'm sorry. This has been bothering me for a while and I decided I'd rant for once. This is my opinion. I'm sorry if I did offend anyone but this is the internet and everyone speaks their minds freely. Thank you!
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903194)
Posted by Kurona on August 9th, 2017 @ 5:16pm CDT
Yeah, sure is hard to imagine someone being so offended by a completely harmless element of a work of fiction...
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903205)
Posted by partholon on August 9th, 2017 @ 6:13pm CDT
Randomhero wrote:Well it's over and I honestly don't care. I nothinged it this entire arc. It wasn't bad but I honestly didn't find it appealing.

I'm sure Windblade volume 4 will be announced for next year


nah i dont think so.

she's had THREE shots at this - which is one more than Drift - and with all the other commitments IDW has now with the hasbroverse i reckon this is it for windblade.

i mean christ just LOOK at the art from revolution onwards. theyre struggling massively to just get the books out in a presentable fashion.

its starting to feel like the "eXtreme studios" days at image now.

i find myself for the first time since costas run of NOT buying any TF books as i just cant justify the expense for what i see as shoddy art and frankly subpar storys. im still in two minds as to whether thats down to the direction IDW editorial have decided to go in, or if its hasbro dictates fuking up the creative process ala marvel when they insisted on yearly "events" that derailed dozens of books from where they were going.

either way were a HELL of a long way away from the first "seasons" of RID and MTMTE which were much more polished affairs.

im sure windblade will pop up in "optimus prime" as a bit player as its the most logical place for her but i honestly cant see her as a driving force of a book again. TBH i reckon its only a matter of time till she's all but forgot about....just like Drift. its sad to say it but thats just how the comics biz works. "fan created" or not shes just not popular enough.


ive still to be arsed to actually buy any of the trades - though i do intend to. if nothing else TAAO was at least intriguing to me thanks to its setting , even if id rather what RID was doing back in the day when it essentially filled the "cyberton based book" role.

probably pick em up on sale.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903210)
Posted by ArmadaPrime on August 9th, 2017 @ 6:33pm CDT
crazyfist wrote: Why isn't there a male/female relationship

1- with very few/no fembots around until the recent rediscovery of Caminus, it's just statistically way less likely.
2- keep your eyes peeled, you've missed a couple ;) Airazor and Tigatron are decidedly an item, true to their beast wars origin, and Sparkstalker has had a very-much-background but still-kinda-adorable thing with the new camien Lightbright, they made it official in the holiday annual!


I adored this issue, that's all I can say.
...no it isn't [strike]y'all arent that lucky[/strike]
The end of the issue was beautifully crafted and felt very poetic. It was fantastically crafted and whilst I'm not a big fan of the kinda-still-open-ish endings always, this one worked. Especially knowing there's the annual in the pipeline- I did feel this could have done with a "post-credits scene" both to tie off loose ends and to give us a picture of the status quo going forward, if that makes any sense.

The sequence with [spoiler]Starscream's body-changes being called out and ripped apart[/spoiler] was fan-flipping-tastic, partly just to see those designs again but also because Vigilem's words were so cutting, you could tell that screamer believed them 100%. Reminded me somewhat of the scene from last issue where [spoiler]Windblade's design got more elaborate as her psyche got stronger[/spoiler], which was possibly one of my personal favourite sequences I've seen in a TF comic to date.
As for the [spoiler]forged Starscream design[/spoiler], w o w. Absolutely nailing the "recent IDW comics" aesthetic in a way that I find hard to describe, utterly gorgeous, and a total surprise. Like, I stopped reading and just took a minute to process it. I particularly love how shape-wise, it hits a lot of [spoiler]Scream's iconic features (shoulder stacks, arm guns, etc)[/spoiler] but in a totally unique and almost refined way? Which I guess makes perfect sense, thinking about the context...
I do hope we see more of it but I also hope it doesn't become the primary design going forward. Not quite sure why, but I think it's a better fit for it to remain largely a hidden, private thing.
I might have to have a think to myself as to what this, and what Windblade's words in particular, say politically/ethically about [spoiler]forged and cold-constructed[/spoiler] bots, but I'll spare you that ramble (at least for now!) :lol:
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903215)
Posted by Kurona on August 9th, 2017 @ 6:47pm CDT
Also, can I just say I love the idea that the Seeker body-type is a Cold Construction mass-production line? It's a brilliant in-universe explanation and is a fun little jab at how HasTak churn seeker redecoes and retools out every two seconds.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One #12 - Final Issue #TAAO (1903378)
Posted by ScottyP on August 10th, 2017 @ 8:19am CDT
crazyfist wrote:I haven't read issue 12 yet
Obviously >:oP

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