I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
Well, isn't this a trip. We finally figure out what Rung's purpose is, and although I've been taking incredibly wild stabs in the deepest dark, I've been incredibly... wrong. Each and every time. At some point, I would just guess ridiculous things because I knew they were wrong, but it's not like I was ever going to stumble upon the truth. Much like what's going on with Bee in Robots in Disguise, I figured Rung's Purpose was just something I wouldn't be told forever. (Although after James Roberts stringing us along with Brainstorm's briefcase, I should have known this would be revealed eventually. And y'know, Bee was revealed eventually, too.)
And I was giddy for this reveal: Roberts does string his readers along, but successfully. He gives us enough answers to sate us, at least temporarily, all the while planting new mysteries and questions, just as compelling, if not more compelling, than the last questions.
I'm now waiting to see what will happen between Cyclonus, Tailgate, and Whirl. And while it may not have the implications of Rung's Purpose, while it may be a small thing relatively, I care enough about the characters for this to have inflated importance. (And let's not forget that Roberts is a master of balancing Big Deals with Small Moments; he makes us care about the small things just as much as the big things, because we care about all the characters and sometimes they care more about the small moments than the big ones. Multiple reasons are given for this: they care about the people the small things are happening to more than anything in the universe, or the small things are happening to them and make them have huge feelings that the big moments don't make them feel. I'd argue, though, that Roberts is telling us the small moments are at least as important as the big ones, and that the More Than Meets the Eye issue that states the theory that it's the journey to find the Knights of Cybertron that's the real purpose backs this up. It's about the time you spend with the people you care about that's the real point of life.)
And while there's action, and near death situations, the way this is framed - starting with Skids worried about Rung and ending with the reveal about Rung - it makes it all about him. Yeah, what he does is a Big Deal. But we don't start with that; we start with a friend worried about Rung's mental state. How he feels is just as important as his purpose in life. No, more important. And that's why it starts with that scene.
I can't even fully parse this issue. I never can with these issues, partly because I know Roberts seeds each issue with something further off, sometimes years in advance. There's also so much crammed in here, it takes multiple rereads to fully appreciate everything in here. Still, the first reads are always fun at the very least, and Roberts clever one-liners always make me giggle out loud, usually in public.
And while the art is incredible, I have to be honest, the art isn't the 'why' I come to this. (This has been proven by multiple artists on Roberts' series, and miniseries. It doesn't matter who's doing the art; I will buy it if Roberts writes.) While this is still my favorite Transformers series, along with it's predecessor, More Than Meets the Eye, it currently ties with Black Bolt. (Which is unprecedented. Also, MTMtE was also written by Roberts, but with a different artist.)
I'm already anticipating the next issue.