Ricky Church reviews Transformers: Till All Are One #9…
After the costly victory against the Titans, Iacon is in shambles and Starscream finds himself on shakier ground than ever. The key to his political (and likely literal) survival rests in the outcome of a very unlikely event: the trial of the Council’s first official war criminal—Chromia of Caminus!
With the assault on Cybertron over, Transformers: Till All Are One #9 deals mainly in the aftermath of the titans’ attack and Windblade’s apparent sacrifice. Starscream is largely the focus of the issue as he faces the fallout and struggles in his role as Cybertron’s leader.
Mairghread Scott accomplished a nice breather for readers after all the fighting, but still examined the character’s choices with some political intrigue. Seeing Starscream in such a tenuous position was already an interesting prospect, but now he was given the choice of doing the right thing for Cybertron over his own benefit.
He certainly found his match with Elita-1, who is taking credit for saving Cybertron and acts all noble, but is just as sneaky as Starscream when it comes to her alliances and bending the truth. She may not outright lie, but lies through omission and is very skilled at it.
Her offer to Starscream and the others, though, rings of a moral quandary worthy of Watchmen: reveal to the people that she neglected to help Cybertron and was hiding even bigger threats in her ship and risk the Cybertronians splintering apart, or keep the lie and let her gain more political power, but band Cybertron together to fight the oncoming threat Elita is an expert on. For someone as selfish and scheming as Starscream, it was fun to see him squirm with his options.
Scott’s handling of the characters was very much on point, as was Sara Pitre-Durocher’s artwork. Her character figures were well done, particularly the facial expressions on several of the Transformers, from Starscream’s concerned look to Elita’s smugness. Even when there was no action, Joana Lafuente’s colours still popped in the issue. Perhaos the standout pages were the two-page flashback of Cybertron’s past with Leige Maximo and his bid to gain control, a part of the comic where Pitre-Durocher also helped on the colours. The art was all just well done.
Transformers: Till All Are One #9 was offered a nice, quiet issue, but it still is just another calm before the next storm. The set-up for the next conflict they’ll face worked well, but the issue really succeeded on the examination of the characters and some of the tough choices they’ve had to make, particularly Starscream as he adapts to the ever-changing political climate. It is an interesting premise, and the added question of whether or not Windblade is actually dead makes the next arc very intriguing indeed.