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Comic Book / Transformers: Shattered Glass

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Cliffjumper: So, you're telling me that Megatron's a good guy and Optimus Prime is loonier than Straxus? Last week, I'd have told ya that you had a cracked cylinder. But... I've seen some crazy things lately. Dimension hopping, time travel, alternate realities... what I wouldn't give for a simple war with good guys and bad guys!
Sideswipe: CJ, if you want a simple battle between good and evil, you have one right here! The players are just in different places than you expect.

The Decepticons wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of... the Autobots?

In a strange Alternate Universe, a librarian named Optronix, obsessed with power, cheated his way up through the ranks, then formed a band of similarly ruthlessly ambitious individuals. After reformatting himself into Optimus Prime, he led his new faction of Autobots into a successful conquest of Cybertron. Fortunately, a young mathematician by the name of Megatron, who had been forewarned by his equations that civil war was likely to happen, was able to form his own band of rebels, and led the Decepticons in a war to restore freedom to Cybertron.

After millions of years of fighting, the Transformers now stand poised to spread their battle to Earth, though they might find themselves entangled in the humans' own civil wars, as well as the machinations of the oppressively fascist United States. The Autobots, however, are more than ready to try and turn all of this to their advantage. Fortunately, the Decepticons have a newly-arrived dimensional traveler to help them, a strange Autobot by the name of Cliffjumper — who brings news of other universes where the Autobots are good, the Decepticons are evil, and the planet is a god — as well as a trio of friendly science interns and their boss.

Unbeknownst to both sides, a third old faction of secret acolytes are plotting their own takeover of both Cybertron and Earth, involving ancient beings on the run and potential multiversal consequences...

Just about every sci-fi universe that lasts long enough gets its own Mirror Universe, and, as you might have guessed from the description, Transformers finally got theirs in April 2008. It started off as an April Fools' Day joke Gone Horribly Wrong (or right, depending on your POV), when the official Fanclub showed what they claimed to be a three-page preview of the upcoming BotCon comic, featuring a mirror universe story full of over-the-top bizarre character reversals and cheesy homages. The fans ate it up, thinking it was the best thing ever. The subsequent revelation that it wasn't actually real didn't go over quite as well.

The real comic ended up being a more straightforward, serious, and clichéd take on the subject, though it still garnered a fair bit of positive fan attention. The later prose stories took a page from the reaction to the April Fools joke, and ended up being much more light-hearted and goofy, as well as engaging in more creative opposites than just "good/evil", as did the Around Cybertron side comic. The follow-up fanclub magazine serial comic, however, tended to follow the original comic in tone.

While the main SG continuity so far focuses on a mostly-Generation-1 mirror, there are a few less-developed official SG versions of other continuities, with Transformers: Animated being the most prominent one.

In 2021, it was announced that IDW publishing would publish a 5-issue miniseries reboot titled Shards.

Has a character sheet with the character-specific tropes.

This series/universe provides examples of:

  • Agony Beam: The Autobots' Agonizing Rehabilitation Chambers.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: The Transformers use TV signals as research for their trip to Earth, but run into trouble when the fact that the signals are old has them thinking the humans are much less advanced than they actually are.
  • Badass Bookworm: Most of the Decepticons, and a few of the Autobots.
  • Beard of Evil: A few characters, notably Rodimus and Alpha Trion.
  • Beware the Nice/Silly Ones: The Decepticons are mostly nerdy, dorky, cheerful, friendly, and/or comedically eccentric, but when it's time to get dangerous they can and will turn you into scrap. The Mayhem Suppression Squad is the best example, where they all have almost Plucky Comic Relief personalities, yet are good enough to be considered the cavalry and easily turn the tide of a previously hopeless battle.
  • Big Bad: Optimus Prime. Before that, there was his mentor, Alpha Trion (the Old One).
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Rodimus starts out making unsuccessful attempts at taking control of the Autobots before escalating into full Big Bad territory when he throws Optimus out of a shuttle.
  • Big Good: Megatron, heroic leader of the Decepticons.
  • Bizarro Universe: While the original comic depicts a straight-up Mirror Universe, the prose and later comics tend more towards this.
  • Bunny Ears Soldier: The Decepticons, oh so much.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: Punch, while enforcing his usual Paper-Thin Disguise.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The SG Autobots identify as the "Evil Autobots" on Facebook. A difference needs to spelled out between them and the Good Autobots, but why this way?
  • The Cavalry: Deliberately invoked by Soundwave at one point when he sent in the Mayhem Suppression Squad.
  • Character Blog: Ravage has his own Twitter ("Yatter", in-universe), Facebook, and Formspring pages.
    • Starscream also has his own Twitter and Formspring pages; but these aren't as 'official' as Ravage's is (and also a bit less active). Still entertaining, and some of his answers are hilarious.
  • Cosmic Retcon: "Another Light" not only saw Nexus Prime strengthen the walls of reality ended that it ended "multiversal singularities" with the Thirteen across the whole multiverse, but with Primus and Unicron as well, resulting in an evil Primus and a good Unicron in this reality.
  • Crapsack World: Cybertron is a planet-sized junkyard with big patches of it on fire, newborn Transformers are granted their embers by a malevolent computer, there's no Matrix, the Earth suffered through World War III, the United States is an oppressive, power-hungry fascist regime, and that's just for starters.
  • Crossover: The US President, Vice-President, and Secretary of Defense are mirrorverse versions of G.I. Joe characters, and Soundwave is an avowed Cold Slither fan. Blitzing Bop alludes to a supervillain by the name of Arachno-Lord.
  • Death Trap: Ricochet threatens Megatron with not one, but five of these at one point. In another story, Blurr, Cliffjumper, Rodimus, and Sideswipe find themselves stuck in a creepy temple chock full of these.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Alpha Trion has a number of these in both factions. And the Underbase also has its own agents in each faction.
  • Dumb Muscle: Grimlock and the other Dinobots start out as dim-witted brutes. Most of them stay there, too.
  • Enemy Mine: Autobots Rodimus & Blurr and Decepticons Cliffjumper & Sideswipe are forced to team up against mutants and Grimlock in the story "Dungeons and Dinobots".
  • Engineered Public Confession: Soundwave pulls one of these on Blaster to get Thunderwing to arrest him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While the Autobots don't seem to have very high standards, even they couldn't tolerate Wheeljack for that long. Subverted in that they take him back after he arrives with the dysfunctional Dinobots.
  • Evil Old Folks: Alpha Trion, Optimus' mentor, is a very ancient Autobot and a right bastard.
  • Evil States of America: The United States in this continuity is a fascist dictatorship, best demonstrated by their Statue of Liberty raising a sword rather than a torch.
  • Evil Twin: And good twins. And WTF twins.
    • Interestingly, the characters tend to have the color schemes of their G1 equivalents' Evil (or Good) Counterparts. The Technobots and Terrorcons, for instance.
    • Also interestingly, there seem to be counterparts to characters from many different continuities. A heroic Demolishor and a villainous Side Burn both show up despite neither character having any roots in G1. Turns out it's because they're bizarre non-Cybertronian agents of the Underbase.
  • Expy: This may be a simple side-effect of their flipped personalities, but Starscream and Cyclonus appear to be based on each other's G1 counterparts.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: As a twist to the usual formula, Unicron is a good guy this time around. Which brings us to...
  • Greater-Scope Villain: His brother Primus is the main villain of this universe, and not the benevolent god Cliffjumper knows him as.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Optimus and the Autobots, in a send up of Transformers: The Movie become Nova Prime and his fellow warriors the Autotroopers by the benevolent Unicron.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover
    • Alpha Trion spent some time in the Transformers: TransTech universe.
    • Cliffjumper is from Transformers Classics, which was a Fun Publications-sanctioned continuation of the The Transformers (Marvel) continuity.
    • Shattered Glass Animated. That is all.
    • The Earth of the Classicsverse is now in the Shatteredverse.
  • Kent Brockman News: The Show Within a Show side comic Around Cybertron.
  • Kill Sat: The United States has one. And the Autobots naturally hi-jack it, resulting in its destruction. But President Colton takes this in stride.
  • Lampshaded Trope: This happens fairly frequently, usually via Generation 1 Cliffjumper's complaints about his new home universe.
  • Literal Split Personality: Nexus Prime.
  • Mad Scientist: The Autobots have several (with Wheeljack in particular being almost the perfect epitome of the trope). The Decepticons have several friendly ones.
  • Merchandise-Driven: There's only a small number of official "Shattered Glass" toys available, so the various authors took to officially "repurposing" figures from other Transformers toylines to represent various Shattered characters. Several fans have also taken it upon themselves to hand-craft the official redecos for other characters.
  • Mirror Universe: The comic's premise is a version of Transformers where the Autobots are the ones who are evil and the Decepticons are the noble heroes fending off their enemies' tyranny.
  • Monumental Damage: In "Eye in the Sky", Rodimus hijacks the USA's Kill Sat and uses it to hold the world hostage to his demands. To show his threat is serious, he uses his control of the satellite to destroy a sword-holding Statue of Liberty.
  • Mood Whiplash: Between the Darker and Edgier comics and the much more light-hearted prose stories, which are nevertheless all in the same storyline.
  • More Dakka: The Autobots are big fans of this. The reason the Ark's launch was delayed was due to the sheer amount of weapons Optimus Prime ordered installed, thereby making the ship heavier and vulnerable to Megatron's surprise assault. Optimus' main weapon is also capable of putting a lot of firepower into the air very quickly.
  • Mythology Gag: By the hundreds. One of the more comical ones is Blaster's Scrounge minions, who say "This is my special arm! There are many like it but this one is mine!" This is a reference to the original Scrounge, who was infamous for his claim that his special arm is one of a kind.
    • In the "Shattered Expectations" mini-comic, the main characters are Jazz, Goldbug (evil Bumblebee), Grimlock, and Starscream - the Classic Pretenders from G1 continuity.
    • There are also all of the color flips. For instance, the Technobots have the Terrorcons' colors and vice versa. And then there's Dirge, which is a quadruple color-switching toy homage.
    • The Autobots' warship, the Ark, crashes into the ocean. The Decepticons' Nemesis crashes into the side of a mountain - the opposite of how it went down in The Transformers.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Averted, and how. The Ark is prevented from launching? Optimus just has it rebuilt. Cliffjumper is utterly surprised by this, since his reality's Decepticons never did this.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jazz is Mr. T, Rodimus is Vinnie Barbarino, Thunderwing is Jack Webb...
  • Non-Indicative Name: Happens frequently due to the personality reversals. Sometimes it's given an excuse, often it isn't.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Autobot HQ, big-time.
    Rodimus: We got a fraggin' pit full of fire in the middle of the main room, we gots rusty spikes coming outta the ground, we gots gapin' chasms every other meter… who puts that stuff there?
    • Justifiable, as Optimus is a certifiable loon.
  • Oppressive States of America: In this universe, America is a despotic, authoritarian nation.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Once again, Primus and Unicron represent this. However, as of "Another Light", the script has been flipped, with Unicron becoming the Big Good and Primus the Order Bringer being the Big Bad.
  • Planetary Relocation: In the "Invasion" comic, Ultra Magnus attempts to teleport the Classicverse Earth into the Shattered Glass universe through the use of Terminus Blade. Said teleportation ends up causing cataclysms across the entire globe, and the united forces of the heroic Autobots and Decepticons, as well as evil Decepticons, fight to prevent Ultra Magnus from ripping the planet apart. Thankfully, heroic Soundwave manages to shield the entire planet with a force-field, allowing it to be sent into the Shattered Glass universe unharmed, but Ultra Magnus reveals his plan wasn't to tear the planet apart, but to destroy the entire Classics universe, and he gloats about his victory and leaves as the entire Classics universe gets destroyed in a chain reaction.
  • Reference Overdosed: The prose stories have insane quantities of references to both other Transformers series and non-Transformers concepts, with one character who talks entirely in real world song lyrics probably being the most over-the-top example.
  • Regional Redecoration: Southern California was destroyed in a cataclysmic attack during World War III in 1988. The entire area, now called Arizona Bay, has been quarantined due to the navigation hazards that the sunken buildings present.
  • Science Hero: Professor Arkeville and his three equally human interns, who generally make up for their squishiness with ingenuity and gadgetry. Also Absent-Minded Professor Starscream, who's more likely to science his way out of a situation than outright fight.
  • Ship Tease: In "Transhuman" Rick finally admits his crush on Sephie, and while she doesn't outright reciprocate, she doesn't reject him either. She instead seems kind of flattered/pleased, and later energetically defends his honor when the Autobots insult him in a battle.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During the sequence when Ricochet is explaining in great detail to Megatron the five death traps he has ready, one could insert the voice of Mythbusters's Adam Savage in one of his fake accent moments, and it would fit remarkably well. He even directly quotes the group to boot.
    • Soundwave has no mouth...yet he must rock.
    • The story "Transhuman" has Tailgate quote the Catchphrase of Mr. H from 2 Stupid Dogs ("Isn't that cute...But it's WRONG!")
  • Skewed Priorities: After spending much of "Transhuman" bravely battling against robots in life-or-death situations with no problems, Sephie finally Heroic BSODs at the end of a battle... upon finding out she's been fired. And by a boss which she had just been battling against because he betrayed her and the Decepticons. Rick even gripes at her about it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Slugfest is convinced of his own awesomeness and badassery. Even though he's tiny by Cybertronian standards, and turns into a tape-cassette.
  • The Starscream: is Megatron’s most trusted and loyal soldier. Played straight with Rodimus, who takes any and all opportunities to take down Optimus Prime.
  • Strawman News Media: The Autobot Broadcasting Network is a blend of Types 2 & 4.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted for the Decepticons, who have several psychologists and run "group therapy" sessions frequently. Granted, they're still extremely eccentric, but they seem happy and well-adjusted otherwise.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Wheeljack, hence why he was kicked out of the Autobots.
    "I'm not crazy! Everyone else is just blind to my genius! I'll show you I'm not crazy! I’ll show every last one of them I'm not a foaming-mad megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur! As soon as I perfect my atomic supermutant alloygators, you'll all see I wasn't crazy!!!"
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: "Do Over" has this plot structure. Arguably the overall series as well, between the prose storyline and the magazine serial storyline.
  • Umbrella Drink: In the text story "Sunrise", one picture shows Soundwave and Blitzwing drinking from oil barrels that have had actual umbrellas placed in them.
  • Verbal Tic: A number of the Transformers have one, notably Grimlock, Goldbug, and Nightbeat.
  • Visual Pun: Quite a bit of the fanart shows the Autobots—particularly Optimus— with their windshields noticeably cracked as a nod to the setting's title.
  • Villainous Rescue: The positive polarity Decepticons saves Soundwave from evil Junkions.
  • Warrior Poet: Straxus is a legendary poet and playwright, and also a force to be reckoned with when he steps onto the battlefield.
  • Wham Shot: The story "Familiar Reflections" opens with a Shattered Glass take on the "jettison some extra weight" from The Transformers: The Movie with Sky Lynx, Optimus, damaged Autobots and Rodimus and some other Autobots playing the roles of Astrotrain, Megatron, the damaged Decepticons, Starscream and other Decepticons. While Optimus and his troops are floating through space, he hears a voice calling and after demanding to know who it is, it's revealed to be a blue Unicron who says "My Dear Child, I...Am Unicron!" Chapter 5 reveals what happened with the big guy
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Many of the Transformers have bizarre accents that only vaguely match any real ones. Even the author admits as much.
  • World War III: The Cold War escalated into this.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Sephie/Emulator is obviously the Shattered Glass counterpart to Josie Beller/Circuit-Breaker from the Marvel Comics continuity, given a different name and reinterpreted as a Perky Goth to get around the fact that Marvel still owns the rights to Circuit-Breaker.

Alternative Title(s): Transformers Shattered Glass