Everybody’s messing around inside everybody’s head this issue, whether it’s an evil consciousness taking over someone’s brain, false memories being implanted all over the place, or….whatever the heck Bumblebee is.
See below for preview pages and a review of Till All Are One #11.
As always, minor spoilers below.
This issue highlights one of Starscream’s worst qualities: he has zero empathy. (I think his worst quality would be that he’s a lying, conniving psychopath, but the lack of empathy’s pretty high on the list.) He honestly can’t care about what happens to anybody, but he’s also got that particularly ugly mindset where he can’t stand for someone else to get some sympathy, because he thinks it means less sympathy for himself, and he takes it very, very personally.
But we do get to see one, tiny glimpse of what made him like that. We’ve known Starscream a long time, and we don’t get a moment like this one very often. It makes me look at the 80s cartoon in a new light.
It’s not going to help Blast Off, though. I’m calling it right now (okay, everybody’s calling this one) this is all going to blow up in his face. Spectacularly. But how can he resist: Onslaught looks so happy! Compare him to the ranting, paranoid, self-destructive person he was before Airachnid started reorganizing his memories; it’s hard to think he’s not better off now. Except, or course, for the complete violation of his free will. But hey, omelets/eggs, right?
Meanwhile, as you might have guessed (SPOILERS) Windblade is not dead, or even brain dead. Vigilem is now inside her mind, fighting for control. At first he goes for brute-force tactics, but he switches to persuasion fairly fast. (Probably because Windblade has tea with Titans and Combiners on a regular basis, she’s not overpowered easily.) He’s trying to convince her that she’s not the Good Guy, and she shouldn’t try to be, or even want to be. He has access to all her memories, he knows how much trouble she’s had dealing with Starscream. If she wants to protect her friends, she has to ditch her scruples and be underhanded, ruthless, and more like, well, like Vigilem. Even if she never wanted to be in charge in the first place.
It’s definitely a popular thought that “Those who can wield power best are those who want it least” but we don’t usually get to see what that looks like because they don’t want it. I’m curious to see how all that falls out.
As Vigilem and Windblade fight in a mental landscape their appearances change and flow into different shapes, and I love the stems and tassels that grow out of Windblade’s helmet and shoulders, it’s very oriental and badass.
I’m really bummed that we’ve only got a little time left with this book, because the Pitre-Durocher/Lafuente team are hands-down my favorite IDW artists right now. And that’s saying something because I love all the IDW Transformers artists, they all have a real love for our favorite Cybertronians that comes out in their work. But the art in Till All Are One is really special. It’s beautiful and detailed, with so much depth and intricate gradients, and the expressions are just brilliant, on everyone.
One last thing, please weigh in at the comments below if you have a moment. Bumblebee: dead or alive? Hallucination, ghost, or some remote broadcast targeted directly at Starscream? And is it actually Bumblebee, or someone else? I honestly don’t even know anymore.