Picking up where Windblade left off, Till All Are One continues the story of post-war Cybertron, where peace hasn’t been everything everyone’s hoped for (and a little meddling in the background isn’t helping matters.) A recap and some spoilers in the review after the jump.
The tone of this book is a bit darker than Windblade, in a way I really like. Between opening and closing the book with a murder and Starscream continuing his paranoid conversation with a dead Autobot, you know this story isn’t kidding around.
Nominally, Starscream’s “Badgeless” troops are peacekeepers; they’re not (technically) aligned with any faction, so they’re supposed to be neutral, and the fact that they’re armored with identical face covers allows them to be impartial.
Right, because nameless, faceless police forces that answer only to one person is never a creepy idea.
Several Decepticons have been found beaten, with no memory of who did it. The latest died from his injuries, but all of them show signs of memory pirating. Someone’s looking for something. It might just be a coincidence that Starscream’s looking for Swindle.
Of course, Swindle’s being used as the rallying cry for an underground revolution, and Starscream’s pretty sure he killed Swindle himself, and now Decepticons are being carted away for even saying Swindle’s name and some of them are showing up with their brains half scooped out.
Nah. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.
I forget sometimes that Starscream doesn’t really have either faction on his side. The Decepticons think he’s a traitor, and the Autobots think he’s…well they think he’s Starscream. He hasn’t got a lot of friends. (Probably explains why his longest conversations happen with people who are already dead.)
Ironhide’s stuck in the middle, since he runs a non-Badgeless protection force (serving both Autobots and Decepticons) and he’s been volunteered into investigating the deaths to see if Badgeless are responsible.
Meanwhile the Combaticons, post-Combiner Wars, are scrounging for money, and Onslaught’s trying to find Swindle too: he’s getting secret intel that Swindle’s alive, and he wants to make Starscream pay for what he did (and since the message is signed “Peace Through Tyranny” you know starting up the war again is on the table too.)
But it’s not Onslaught that intercepts the message about a package left behind a dumpster: help me out, folks, I know it’s not Onslaught, Blast Off, or Swindle (obviously) so that leaves Vortex or Brawl, and I don’t know their faces well enough to tell, does anyone else know?
Anyway, the package is a Badgeless uniform and a holo-camera, and like I said, a murder closes out the book, so you can imagine what shadowy police force was framed and how Starscream reacted to the nightly news.
I really can’t say enough nice things about the art. I loved Sara Pitre-Durocher’s art in the Combiner’s One-Shot, but while the colors there were lovely, I thought Priscilla Tramontano’s colors here were a perfect match for Sara’s art. The detail is gorgeous and the colors give everything so much depth, a lot of excellent shading and shadow work.
I really like everyone’s faces, which is my sticking point with any Transformers art: the body shapes are tricky but if the faces aren’t attractive I tend to check out. They’re all gorgeous here.
I like how the Velocitronians have such a Transformers: Prime look. I’m a G1 girl myself, but the TF:Prime series had a lot to recommend it, and giving the Velocitronians that clean, streamlined, nose-less face is a neat callback.
I was bummed when I heard Windblade was ending (though it got a lot more issues than we’d originally hoped for) but then I got a look at Till All Are One and I’m happy again. I know, my raving about all the Transformers books gets really boring, I’m sorry. (I’m not sorry.)
Preview pages and intro courtesy of IDW.