No thread yet for today's best comic? It's so good it almost makes me happy that Monstrosity was a thing. All the major threads and characters from Punishment and Redemption get a follow-up, and a thematically satisfying one at that. Essentially the two conflicts going on are for Cybertron's future--in the form of its last hotspot--and its soul, as Bludgeon's motivations are at last clarified and deepened. Bludgeon's been a bit of a pinball in IDW, but this issue finally cements him to great villain status. He certainly has a weakness for monologuing, but that almost seems a reaction to his own loneliness, and the fact that he can kick your ass five times before you hit the ground. Three different protagonists have to outsmart him three different ways to stop him getting what he wants...which, refreshingly, is NOT just to stomp on Iacon for the nth time. Strafe risks being the weak link, what with her nonstandard character design, her "new Dinobot" status, and the fact that you have to read Redemption to know ANYTHING about her. But all that ends up making her a reasonable audience surrogate, and the only non-newborn character to NOT be guilty of terrible war crimes throwing the others into sharp relief. Unexpectedly, given that he hasn't really played a part in the trilogy yet and that he's not generally considered to sing under Barber's pen, it's Starscream who swaggers off with the book. His character development really shines through, as he confidently handles a crisis that would have reduced him to a sobbing wreck back in the early Robots in Disguise era. Most important of all, the Dinobots have really clicked into place as funny but not overly broad characters. There's never any question if you are listening to or looking at Slag, Swoop, Snarl, or Sludge, and in particular Snarl, the perennial "other guy," gets a rare chance to shine. The two most momentous events I'm going to Spoilerize for courtesy. Spoiler The boldest choice in the book is killing Slag--who's AT LEAST G1 B-list--at the very start, and having Sandstorm be responsible to boot. It's an understandable choice given that Slag really wrapped up his development in Redemption, and it's a fantastic death scene. There's even a backdoor path to his resurrection left open at the very end. Still, people who have been waiting for the Dinobots to reunite for YEARS are going to be very disappointed by this additional obstacle. The most interesting thing that happens is a sort of meta-commentary on how Trypticon has been yanked to and fro as a villains' pawn for his whole career, in and out of IDW. Strafe's big play is just to release Bludgeon's hold on him, and given that Trypticon is a fully functional Titan who's more or less not had free will for exty million years, he resolves the plot then and there. It turns out that Trypticon, sick of war as per his motherfreaking original bio, just wants to protect and offer himself up to the next generation. In effect, this makes Trypticon another new "Dinobot." Oh and with all that going on, I forgot Devastator's memorable and funny guest star turn as a really persistent bug on Trypticon's metaphorical windshield. Well done!