Starscream and Windblade compete directly for the alliance of the final Titan Colony and the influence it will bring over the council, but the warrior race they find may be more than either can handle. "The Will of The Few" written by Mairghread Scott, art by Corin Howell, colored by Thomas Deer with John-Paul Bove.
Thanks, Wheeljack. Great to know we can really count on you when the time comes...
Starscream is unrepentant after killing the Titan of Eukaris, a matter Windblade is not ready to let drop upon their return to Cybertron. In the aftermath, Windblade and Chromia move further towards reconciling and decide to visit Metroplex to get as much information as possible about their next visit - the last Titan of those Metroplex was able to connect with. But when the time comes and Starscream and Windblade travel to Tempo, everything goes wrong...
When the Combiner Wars crossover event ended, we got to see quick teasers of things coming up in the Windblade series. At the time it was unrevealed that issue 7 would be where the book would cease in favor of launching Till All Are One in early 2016. Given that context, or rather, lacking such a context the previews we saw painted a very much different picture of what to expect of the future. Particularly, the reveal of a Titan battleship led by an extremely militaristic Elita-1 in a room lined with robot parts was very exciting. I personally speculated at the time that this faction would probably represent an antagonistic force that could be used to close out the book's first year. Again, matters of the context at hand. As we've been able to see since, the remainder of Windblade's second volume has ended up largely serving to prepare the world, aligning the elements that will presumably drive Till All Are One without a need to consume a lot of time at that title's launch. Unfortunately I don't feel like this has been the best way to serve the story in a larger sense. In this issue, Elita's forces are brought in to the council with no special difficulty, and while there's the hint that they remain a possible threat, I feel like a lot of the potential of the concept has been neutered. If nothing else could have been shifted forward and given time for more gradual, deeper development, this should have been it. If, as I suspect, the end of Windblade vol.2 was known far enough in advance, the reveal of Elita's faction should have been left as a last page cliffhanger reveal for this issue. Whether they'd end up being true antagonists in the next title or not, good time could have been devoted towards that to make whatever outcome feel like something more natural.
See, that's really where I think Windblade lost its spark. There was so much being done in just a few quick issues that all of this early set up just speeds by and loses out on being really developed. Eukaris probably turned out the best in that respect, but even so the surface of that has barely been scratched, just like the other two civilizations we saw interaction with. I feel like this is a major loss, because with the concepts introduced since the first Windblade miniseries, there's been this chance hanging there to deepen the IDW Transformers universe by really digging in to how Transformer society could evolve in isolation away from literally everything we know, all our conventional wisdom of how Transformers exist. Maybe we'll get that in Till All Are One, but going by the letter Mairghread Scott included at the end of this issue, it certainly seems more like that book will focus more on the mingling of cultures on Cybertron itself. And while there is a tease on the last page to probably draw us forward to a plotline of that next title, I now fear that the better parts of the implications it carries may never get a solid follow through. I'm glad that we're still getting to see what's happening on Cybertron, as that setting has a lot of potential to it and it shouldn't be ignored because The Transformers is telling an increasingly more interesting story on and around Earth these days. I think what I'm really coming down to here is, I hope Windblade's successor title can slow down some and take the time to dig and explore and really make the most of the rich field around it.
I don't even feel like I can say a great deal just specific to this issue, because a lot of the details I'd point out would probably end up echoing previous issues. The story goes by too quickly and the resolution comes too easily. Even if I feel like I have an understanding of why that is, it sadly does not make the situation more acceptable to me. I regret as well that Corin Howell had a very limited time to settle in and get comfortable with the characters. I really hoped that with more issues, the regulars would tighten up and take on their own identities, but sadly that hasn't come to pass. Perhaps her style just doesn't quite connect to me. I think she did nice work on many of the new introduction characters, especially the Eukarians. If in some fantastic outcome we could get a quick miniseries about Beast Wars on Eukaris, Howell would probably be a good choice for the art. I'll be interested to see later this year her contribution to the Holiday Special issue and see how it compares to her ongoing interior work in Windblade.
I wish that coming to the end of this run that I could express more generally positive thoughts about Windblade's second go, but this book had a lot stacked against it. Being tied up with Combiner Wars for half its length and the current perspective of using the back half to prepare a future book, it seems like volume 2 never really had its own life. It's served an outside concept the entire time, and it suffers for that. the first Windblade miniseries was a fun read with its own independent story going the whole way through. It knew what it was the entire time and everything it did was in pursuit of that end. With an absence of that this time, there's just no way this can compare favorably to its predecessor. I'm hopeful for Till All Are One. Hopeful Mairghread will be able to tell the story she wants to tell without other things superimposing themselves. Hopeful that all the pre-arranged pieces can start to move and start building this new world. Hopeful that the potential that's been lying basically untapped since the middle of 2014 will finally be drawn out and utilized. See you next year...
...and also next week of course for the next regular comic review.
|Date||September 21st 2015|
|Score||(5 out of 10)|
|Link||Windblade #7 Preview Pages|
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