Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 12:59AM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 12,804

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A Good Ending
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
Elita One, Windblade, and Starscream fight to gain ultimate control of Cybertron! Dark secrets will be revealed in this series finale!

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017
The Galadriel effect in full force


Story

I gushed a lot of my appreciation for a story and a series like Till All Are One once already, in my final review of the ongoing series a couple of months back - you can read that review here, if so inclined, but I want to quote myself to make a major point about this annual:

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.


Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017
Look at where we started..


In my original conclusion to that line of thought, I said that I wished we'd had more time to appreciate, encounter, and explore what lies ahead of all of them much sooner than we actually would. And in that respect, the Annual delivers on changing my mind entirely, just as it revolutionises the stage and status quo of the series' setting - I actually want to see it even more, now.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017
My face at multiple times in the issue, all in one panel


As it is an issue that I think is best experienced in its entirety and lack of information, I do not want to go into any detail about the plot or the characters here, but I will say that there is a culmination of an incredible number of plots - from the very start of the series way back when it was just Windblade - and one of the best developments in the Hasbro shared universe, as a consequence of First Strike's effect on Cybertron and Cybertronians.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017
plus, more Combatico-- ok, Vortex


I can't really speak of a 'happy ending', not in the strictest sense of the term, and there are some very heartfelt joyful moments, but (and I'm pretty sure I'm tapping into my thoughts of other media that has come out this month) this long, utterly enjoyable and satisfying read has gone from the 'best ending' TAAO could've had (issue #12) to A Good Ending. A good ground to build a much positive, much wider, much better universe.


Art

There was no other way to conclude the story without artist Sara Pitre-Durocher, who has been involved in the franchise for so long people tend to forget just how much material she's covered in her work, be it comics or packaging art. And what we have here is a testimony to that proximity, with nods to the first Windblade series in opening sequences, revisitations of the glorious Starscream of issue #12, and perhaps the happiest, tiredest, positively relieved Windblade, but also several Cybertronians that have populated the stage this far.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017
Remind you of anything?


And the feeling of light, the legeresse and relief that come with some of the aspects that are not to be understated - can never be underestimated - throughout the story, among the different inhabitants of the story and the city, could not be possible without the amazing lighting work that Joana Lafuente brings in her colours. The symbolism of dawns and dusks is one that runs all through the TFverse, but we see it here as a full revolution - and you may take that however you want.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017
Embrace the dawn


In Scott's letter in the backmatter of the issue, the writer acknowledges Tom B. Long's excellent contribution to the issue and the work on the series as a whole, something I was glad to see as a fan of the letterer's work across the board - no less in this annual, where some of the more poignant moments are silent, and handled with extreme masterful care. There is only one variant cover - by artist JN Wiedle - to the main Pitre-Durocher one (which is so full of callbacks that I cannot even), and I've used it to spotlight the thumbnail. Both are glorious. Both deserve visibility. Look at them, and enjoy.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

This is a story of leadership. We have three potential leaders, all of whom are actually, surprisingly, fitting possibilities for this new Cybertron. All three are potential stories to be told about a city, a planet, a civilisation - and by extent, an entire universe that involves more than just the Transformers. One of these is the winner, one of these is the loser, one of these wins something else entirely, and we have the immense pleasure and privilege of being along for the ride with at least two out of three. Pay attention to the dialogue. Pay attention to the words, including the author's letter in the back of the issue. It's all there, all along.

Transformers News: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017
The creative team, probably


I've had comments on the pacing of the book, that it feels a little rushed in parts - and while I can recognise that, I do not think it detrimental to the story, at all. If anything, it heightens the sense of frenzied anticipation for the events taking place, the urgency of it all, and the buzz of a build-up with finally a resolution that can lead to a different future from the pasts and presents we have known in the stories of Transformers so far. And for that, I have to thank the writer, the artists, the colourists, the letterers, the editors.

So thank you, again.

. :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: out of :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON:
Credit(s): IDW
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Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927387)
Posted by Bounti76 on December 20th, 2017 @ 2:59am CST
Just finished it. And I agree entirely. It will probably take me days, and multiple readings, to take it all in. It's almost overwhelming....and in such a good way.

Thank you, Mairghread, Sara, Joana, and Tom, for a book I couldn't WAIT to enjoy every month. It was a pleasure to appreciate your work.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927399)
Posted by ScottyP on December 20th, 2017 @ 7:31am CST
Va'al nailed it. Well said! This was tremendous. So many little threads tied up neatly and with purpose.

To echo the others - to the creative team, thank you!
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927430)
Posted by Sunstar on December 20th, 2017 @ 10:52am CST
I could cry, I got light headed, I will need to read it again to get the full impact. But wow.

I bawled my eyes out.. I actually bawled my eyes out.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927484)
Posted by night18mare on December 20th, 2017 @ 6:20pm CST
I don't post about IDW transformers in any board, I prefer to sit back and read through most discussion boards to see how people feel about what today's transformers comics have become.

Some people's opinion I agree with, some I disagree with, and some I don't think will be able to understand their opinion, but I don't say my piece because my opinion is unnecessary and unneeded.

I say this because whatever I say about IDW transformers, it won't change anything, I won't wake up tomorrow and see all the things that I find personally distasteful and/or wrong about the comic changed into something different and interesting, my opinion won't stop it from continuing.

However, I feel a great desire to share with this board my feelings towards this comic annual.

I love it.

I flip-flop-pity, hop-tactically love it.

I love it because it brought a hope inside me since things began to fall apart when RID became EX-RID, but my irritations started after that, Windblade 1-4 was my starting point in IDW, never read primacy, autocracy, monstrosity, chaos theory, Dark Cybertron or any other comics before Windblade.

Never even heard of IDW Transformers comics until after dark cybertron.
Now your might be wondering, why did I get into IDW, well one word really or one name exactly.

Windblade.

When I was in High school browsing pinterest in my spare time looking up concept art, I found pictures of windblade in a art style that was just so beautiful, the work of Sarash Stone (man I miss her work) I had to find more, and I did, I found a website that uploaded comics and Read windblade 1-4 and after reading it, I thought to myself, Your to good for this world windblade, I wish your were the leader of cybertron, someone with no history would help a lot, and then I thought, WHY IN THE FLYING BAGEL ROLL ON SWISH CHEESE IS STARSCREAM LEADER OF CYBERTRON AND HOW?!

So I looked up more Transformers comics on the site, I read for days, in and out of high school, I read until it was all I could think about, I researched the tfwiki to understood parts and pieces I could find, how the order of the story went, how things worked.

When I did finally catch up, I toke a break to process everything.

My first thoughts about IDW was this is awesome finally a dark and interesting transformers story, then me and my brother started to talk about it, and love doing so, but then the bliss started to fade rereading some of the comics, then it started to stared to become boring, then annoying, then infuriating, then heartbreaking and finally bad.

By that time I realized somethings, IDW is all over the place, the art is all over the place,the writers, the characters, the story, the concepts, the ideas, the universe, the crossovers, the world, the universe, but why.

Maybe because of Hasbro, Maybe it's IDW themselves, both or some other third thing, I don't know, but what I do know is it was pushing me and my brother away and it did.

Then we started to looking at other people perspective and realized, IDW transformers universe is dark and fucked up, and not in a good way.
Even thou we check in every now and again we keep our standers low.

So now today's another day checking in on IDW, and I was happy as a bat on Halloween night, when I read this, I was jumping with joy when [spoiler]windblade won the election[/spoiler], for so long I was hurt and sad to see what windblade had to go through with...well everything and still want do good for a hopeless cybertron and now shes [spoiler]leader of cybertron[/spoiler].

I hope to see more of this in the future and I wish windblade all my luck.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for listening to my feelings, have a nice night.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927498)
Posted by Targetmaster Kup on December 20th, 2017 @ 9:06pm CST
It was a great story until the end.
*Not My President!*
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927501)
Posted by Sunstar on December 20th, 2017 @ 9:14pm CST
I feel that [spoiler]Starscream in the end displayed nobility, selflessness, extreme courage and self sacrifice[/spoiler]...
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927502)
Posted by Ebonyleopard on December 20th, 2017 @ 9:33pm CST
I had always personally felt that TAAO had become the best of the three Transformers series because it was giving me everything I wanted, Transformers of all generations interacting with one another, nice political intrigue that goes beyond the war, and some great takes on new characters and old established ones and I'll never understand why it didn't get the sales numbers it needed to continue. But mark my words, we're losing a hell of a series and creative team that we may come to regret letting get away.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927524)
Posted by budmaloney on December 21st, 2017 @ 4:19am CST
What a great finale. That ending was very touching.

[spoiler]I really really wanted to Starscream to spell out that he loves her. Add some romance into the mix. Even though he didn't have to say it, it was clear imo. I sincerely hope they maintain the course and never go back to the old Starscream. It was demeaning to always see him abused by Megatron and crew. Scott's creative team from the dawn of Windblade has put significant effort in defeating evil Starscream...by making him good....and honestly I love that. This is the powerful writing that could change a perception of the character for ever. What he did in the end was for love and for the greater good.[/spoiler]

How come they ended TAAO? Is M. Scott leaving Transformers?
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927532)
Posted by Va'al on December 21st, 2017 @ 5:06am CST
The replies to this thread are warming my very cold cockles (due to outside temperatures, nothing else!). It's lovely to see how many enjoyed the issue and the series. :x


[quote]How come they ended TAAO? Is M. Scott leaving Transformers? [/quote]

They're ending the series because it reached a natural point of 'conclusion' for a number of arcs, and Scott was asked if she was interested in soft-rebooting to continue with the rest of the IDW line from here onwards. We'll probably see this in Lost Light too, at some point.

She said no, so the series got the Annual to cap the previous arcs off.

That said, I have no idea if she's leaving the franchise for good (she does have a lot of work coming up with Marvel and other things), but nothing we've seen so far suggest she might be working on any of the titles currently announced.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927554)
Posted by Sunstar on December 21st, 2017 @ 9:31am CST
budmaloney wrote:What a great finale. That ending was very touching.

[spoiler]I really really wanted to Starscream to spell out that he loves her. Add some romance into the mix. Even though he didn't have to say it, it was clear imo. I sincerely hope they maintain the course and never go back to the old Starscream. It was demeaning to always see him abused by Megatron and crew. Scott's creative team from the dawn of Windblade has put significant effort in defeating evil Starscream...by making him good....and honestly I love that. This is the powerful writing that could change a perception of the character for ever. What he did in the end was for love and for the greater good.[/spoiler]



I completely agree with that.

[spoiler]He would not do something like that without a reason. He loved his world, he loved her. He never would have risked himself unless he had feelings for her. And it was clear she had feelings for him. Both are too Stubborn and proud to admit it. He sacrificed himself for the love of many things. I also hope they do not revert him - this is how I believe he should end up. I also feel he is scared to admit affection for anyone on the chance he'll lose it forever - its more in character for him if he doesn't spell it out. If you love someone, you'll do anything for them. I am sure he feels she'll look over his ideas and plans and execute them, because he knows she was born to create something new.[/spoiler]
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927556)
Posted by Va'al on December 21st, 2017 @ 9:34am CST
Sunstar wrote:
budmaloney wrote:What a great finale. That ending was very touching.

[spoiler]I really really wanted to Starscream to spell out that he loves her. Add some romance into the mix. Even though he didn't have to say it, it was clear imo. I sincerely hope they maintain the course and never go back to the old Starscream. It was demeaning to always see him abused by Megatron and crew. Scott's creative team from the dawn of Windblade has put significant effort in defeating evil Starscream...by making him good....and honestly I love that. This is the powerful writing that could change a perception of the character for ever. What he did in the end was for love and for the greater good.[/spoiler]



I completely agree with that.

[spoiler]He would not do something like that without a reason. He loved his world, he loved her. He never would have risked himself unless he had feelings for her. And it was clear she had feelings for him. Both are too Stubborn and proud to admit it. He sacrificed himself for the love of many things. I also hope they do not revert him - this is how I believe he should end up. I also feel he is scared to admit affection for anyone on the chance he'll lose it forever - its more in character for him if he doesn't spell it out. If you love someone, you'll do anything for them. I am sure he feels she'll look over his ideas and plans and execute them, because he knows she was born to create something new.[/spoiler]


Well thought out points, and sound reasoning! However, a counterpoint: [spoiler]that love is not romantic, just deep respect and trust - a proper, solid friendship.[/spoiler]
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927557)
Posted by Sunstar on December 21st, 2017 @ 9:36am CST
Va'al wrote:
Sunstar wrote:
budmaloney wrote:What a great finale. That ending was very touching.

[spoiler]I really really wanted to Starscream to spell out that he loves her. Add some romance into the mix. Even though he didn't have to say it, it was clear imo. I sincerely hope they maintain the course and never go back to the old Starscream. It was demeaning to always see him abused by Megatron and crew. Scott's creative team from the dawn of Windblade has put significant effort in defeating evil Starscream...by making him good....and honestly I love that. This is the powerful writing that could change a perception of the character for ever. What he did in the end was for love and for the greater good.[/spoiler]



I completely agree with that.

[spoiler]He would not do something like that without a reason. He loved his world, he loved her. He never would have risked himself unless he had feelings for her. And it was clear she had feelings for him. Both are too Stubborn and proud to admit it. He sacrificed himself for the love of many things. I also hope they do not revert him - this is how I believe he should end up. I also feel he is scared to admit affection for anyone on the chance he'll lose it forever - its more in character for him if he doesn't spell it out. If you love someone, you'll do anything for them. I am sure he feels she'll look over his ideas and plans and execute them, because he knows she was born to create something new.[/spoiler]


Well thought out points, and sound reasoning! However, a counterpoint: [spoiler]that love is not romantic, just deep respect and trust - a proper, solid friendship.[/spoiler]


This I also agree with because, [spoiler]I am in love with my husband and its a good solid friendship with a lot of respect and trust. We're not the most romantic of couples. But I tell him often that he is my best friend and my everything. 100%[/spoiler]
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927640)
Posted by avarathriul on December 21st, 2017 @ 10:10pm CST
it was interesting but, and maybe i am a cynic but, how long until star scream returns to himself?
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927691)
Posted by Sunstar on December 22nd, 2017 @ 10:29am CST
I sat down last night and read the windblade through to the Annual- a long but good read. I must say the art progressed since the first windblade issues. I will really miss this arc and I hope [spoiler]they allow Starscream to continue to grow and not keep him rotting in a cell - there is far too much they can do with him at this stage.[/spoiler]
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927826)
Posted by Randomhero on December 23rd, 2017 @ 11:44am CST
So Starscreams in prison for life...and were getting an annual about him hiring Thundercracker to make a movie about how great he is in a couple months...
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1927860)
Posted by Sunstar on December 23rd, 2017 @ 2:31pm CST
Not like that sort of thing doesnt happen in real life.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1930436)
Posted by Big Grim on January 8th, 2018 @ 9:24am CST
That annual was just sublime. I missed the last four issues of TAAO and picked em up, read the whole arc until the end of the annual. That really was a damned good series. Seriously sad to see it go.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1930456)
Posted by Va'al on January 8th, 2018 @ 12:00pm CST
Big Grim wrote:That annual was just sublime. I missed the last four issues of TAAO and picked em up, read the whole arc until the end of the annual. That really was a damned good series. Seriously sad to see it go.


Isn't it just so good read all in one go? 10-12 plus annual? So good.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1930460)
Posted by Big Grim on January 8th, 2018 @ 12:21pm CST
Va'al wrote:Isn't it just so good read all in one go? 10-12 plus annual? So good.


It really, really is! Such a shame to be losing it! Hope we're not losing the team altogether! They worked wonders on the book.
Re: Review for IDW Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 #TAAO (1930522)
Posted by Sunstar on January 8th, 2018 @ 8:13pm CST
I reread the whole winblade series and later after finishing the annual and I could see the lead up.
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