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Comic Book / Transformers: Shattered Glass (2021)

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Transformers: Shattered Glass is a comic book from IDW Publishing released in summer of 2021. The series is written by Transformers newcomer Danny Lore, with art by Dan Khanna and Guido Guidi, and colors by John-Paul Bove. The series is a reboot of the fan-favourite Transformers: Shattered Glass universe that began with Fun Publications in 2008.

You know the story: The Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.

But in this backwards world, it's the opposite.

Welcome to Shattered Glass, in this universe of evil Autobots and heroic Decepticons, Megatron's freedom fighters try to escape Optimus Prime and his tyrannical Autobots. Wait…what?

A 5 issue mini-series titled Shards, shows us a glimpse of this backwards world.

Following the original five issue mini-series, a follow up series was announced for 2022; Transformers: Shattered Glass II.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In Fun Pubs Shattered Glass, Prowl was basically a non-entity, while Goldbug spent much of the latter parts of the series acting as The Starscream to Rodimus Prime, with about as much success. In this world, both of them have successfully taken territory for themselves and are described as warlords in their own right.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original stories, Kickback was a traitor to the Decepticons and had joined up with the insane Alpha Trion's schemes. In this continuity, he's still a heroic Decepticon.
  • Adaptational Name Change:
    • In the original Fun Pub stories, Shattered Glass Optimus's pre-Prime name was Optronix, a name which originated from Dreamwave's Transformers comics. Meanwhile, as is often the case in Transformers media, IDW's SG Optimus started out as Orion Pax. Though he changed his name, upon successfully conquering Cybertron, Optimus Prime dubbed his territory 'Pax'.
    • The IDW version of Shattered Glass Wheeljack has changed his name to Slicer, a name used by Decepticon Action Master who was the Palette Swap of Wheeljack whose colors were used as basis for his Shattered Glass counterpart.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The comic borrows a number of ideas from the original Fun Publication stories but comes up with its own narrative and characterization. While most characters share the fundamentals with their Fun Pub counterparts, their personalities are tweaked:
    • While Starscream is still loyal, he's also a narcissist.
    • Though still a Mad Doctor, Ratchet is less whimsical and more serious/business-like.
    • Blurr's a Blood Knight but is also much more of a troll this time around.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original stories, Sideswipe defected to the Decepticons after the Autobots' failed attempt to execute him. Here, he never defected (as evidenced by the fact that his Autobot insignia is not slashed over by a scar), and dies an Autobot as one of the many casualties.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the first issue, Blurr is shown delivering Sixshot's dismembered corpse to Ratchet. Befitting a character normally portrayed as a One-Man Army, Shattered Glass Sixshot is easily killed. He's even coloured like a Red Shirt!
  • Apocalypse How: Implied to be Class 6. In Issue #2, the Autobots attacked Earth and laid waste on the planet, leaving it in ruins.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Blurr is portrayed as being supremely confident in his skill and super-speed. He looks down on most other Transformers and laments the fact that the only Decepticons left to hunt are wimps.
  • Ascended Extra: The character roster is shuffled around compared to the original Shattered Glass continuity. Jetfire gains a much more significant role in this continuity, complete with a toy, while he was a very minor Autobot agent in the Fun Publication stories.
  • Badass Bookworm: Starscream is a scholar by trade, but can still kick major ass.
  • Big Bad: Of course Optimus Prime, but also Goldbug and Prowl who managed to become warlords of their own.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Jetfire and Starscream. Starscream can only see eye to eye with him when the former is sitting.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The mini-series ends with Starscream dead with his spark ripped out by Goldbug to re-awaken Metroplex. What's worse, Optimus and Prowl are soon to get involved as they want the power to control a Titan too. However, it's not a complete Downer Ending. Megatron and the Decepticons regain the strength to fight back, depose Goldbug, and take over his city, marking a new age in Cybertronian history and giving the planet something it hasn't had in a long time: Hope.
  • Bounty Hunter: The bodyscrappers are these. Since the Decepticons are pretty much finished as an organized resistance and the Autobot Warlords (Goldbug, Prowl and Optimus Prime) are busy skirmishing with each other over territory, it's fallen to them to hunt down the few surviving Decepticons. Blurr has taken up this profession following the end of the war since his original function of scout became redundant once the Autobots won.
  • Crapsack World: The Decepticons have lost The Great War here by the start of the series with the survivors being hunted down by Bounty Hunters. Cybertron meanwhile has been split between warlord states run by Optimus, Prowl, and Goldbug with the rest of the Cybertron outside of their borders being a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the original Shattered Glass continuity - for one thing, the war between the Autobots and Decepticons lead to the extinction of the entire human race.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Like in the previous Shattered Glass continuity, Optimus Prime puts his victims up on display.
  • Deadly Dodging: How Blurr meets his end, Starscream moves out of the way of one of his attacks which causes Blurr to run straight into some molten metal coming from an erupting volcano, trapping and engulfing him.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Skywarp and Bombshell made it through the original Timelines comics. In this continuity, both are killed by Goldbug.
    • Rodimus and Sideswipe used to be major players in the original Shattered Glass stories, with the former being a successful traitor for Optimus, hijacking majority of his troops, and the latter defecting to the Decepticons. Here, both of them are just some of the many one-note casualties during the Autobot-Decepticon war. Though Rodimus turns out to be fine, serving as part of Ultra Magnus’s Wreckers.
    • Starscream dies when his spark is removed.
  • Death World: While most of Cybertron seems livable, the Static Zone is full of volcanoes and lightning storms.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Blurr kicks off the series with the first issue centering on him (his toy was even the first of the 5 part SG set of reveals). However, the issue ends with him losing to Starscream and melted to death with the story instead shifting towards the other major players.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the original Shattered Glass stories, Blurr met his end at the hands of Optimus Prime, executed for his failure to prevent Rodimus's and Goldbug's coup. Here, he meets his end at the hands of Starscream, who tricks him into being smelted by Chrome Ridge's volcanic molten metal flows.
  • Dirty Cop: Prowl and the other members of Orion's secret police force.
  • The Dragon: Ratchet appears to serve this role to Goldbug, as Blurr brings Sixshot's corpse directly to him and Ratchet is also the one to inform him on the new bounty on Starscream.
  • The Dreaded: Of the three Autobot Warlords, Prowl is described with more fear and awe than even Optimus Prime. Several characters mention entering his domain is basically taking your life in your hands.
  • Egopolis: Goldbug's seat of power is Gold City. Optimus Prime rules over Pax (from his original name, Orion Pax).
  • Enemy Civil War: Following the defeat of the Decepticons, Goldbug and Prowl broke away from Optimus and managed to claim territory of their own.
  • Evil Former Friend: Megatron and Orion Pax. Jetfire and Starscream.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Blurr's left eye was lost long ago and he's got a metal eyepatch over the socket with bits of the scar still visible around it.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: Starscream outright calls himself vain and takes great pride in his looks but he's shown to be a very competent and intelligent warrior.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A that Decepticon’s anti-Empurata rally in support of Shockwave, a pro-Empurata rally is being held, with the figurehead being a Shatter Glass version of Whirl.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Static Zone, an inhospitable area of Cybertron created by the destruction caused by the Autobot-Decepticon War. It acts as the border between the warlord states run by Optimus Prime, Goldbug, and Prowl.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: At first it seems like Starscream believes Blurr's phony sob story but it turns out that Starscream wasn't fooled for a second and was only waiting for him to drop his guard. He also makes sure to spend at least a night to make sure Blurr is well and truly dead before leaving.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: As in the original {=IDW=} continuity, Shockwave was subjected to Empurata to remove his emotions. Here, it instead resulted in him becoming over-emotional.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Great War in this continuity is over by the time of the start of the series with the Decepticons having lost and Cybertron being divided between Optimus Prime, Goldbug, and Prowl.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Megatron and Starscream team up to slice a bot in half.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Starscream and Jetfire before ending up on opposite sides of the war.
  • Homage Shot: All the main covers of the series are homages to famous Transformers comic covers;
  • I'll Kill You!: Blurr's Last Words toward Starscream.
  • La Résistance: By the start of the series, the Decepticons have lost the Great War and have been reduced to a small rebellion led by Starscream. Most of the planet is almost entirely under Autobot control.
  • The Leader: Megatron obviously, though his Heroic BSoD prevents him seeing himself as such at first.
  • Mad Doctor: Who else but Ratchet? His first appearance in the series is him performing some form of surgery/experiment on a still alive-Transformer. All while having a casual conversation with Blurr.
  • Mark of Shame: Empurata, a concept introduced in the previous IDW Transformers continuity, exists here and is similarly applied to those who speak out against Cybertron's oppressive caste system. Like in the previous continuity, this is the explanation for Shockwave being a Cyber Cyclops amongst a race of Ridiculously Human Robots.
  • Mirror Universe: The Transformers franchise's take on the concept.
  • Motor Mouth: Blurr does this but in a twist on the usual concept, he can actually talk at normal speed. His internal narration implies that he has to put effort into slowing his speech down and dislikes having to do it.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In issue #1, Blurr manages to snag Sixshot out from under the noses of a quartet of silhouetted figures that resemble Ultra Magnus, Kup, Springer and Roadbuster, all of whom have been members of the Wreckers in other Transformers media (but not, as far as we know, the original Shattered Glass).
    • Also in issue #1, Blurr has a brief flashback of other bodyscrappers: Chromedome, Hardhead, Brainstorm, and Highbrow, who were the original four Autobot Headmasters under the command of Fortress Maximus. The quartet are pictured in front of what is recognizably Fort Max's base mode, but whether or not it's actually him is uncertain.
    • A flashback to the war on Earth shows Optimus and Megatron battling on a Dam, an oft-used reference to their duel from the three-part pilot of the original G1 Transformers cartoon.
  • My Greatest Failure: Megatron considers his loss to Optimus this.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Averted. After Blurr is melted by the volcano, Starscream stays with his body all night to make sure he's dead before leaving.
  • Palette Swap: Like Fun Pub's continuity, IDW's Shattered Glass character designs take after pre-existing toys specifically from the WFC toyline; it's because the characters are centered on those toys that readers will know what their alt modes are. Though, they would retain their colors from the previous continuity. Some of which would be retooled and re-released as a part of the Transformers Generations Shattered Glass toyline.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Orion Pax offers to fully fund Jetfire and Starscream's research in return for control of what they learn. Starscream refuses. Jetfire...not so much.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Orion Pax pulls some strings to get Megatron out of prison.
  • Secret Police: Optimus (then just Orion) ran one on Cybertron during the pre-war era, Prowl was one of his enforcers.
  • Self-Imposed Exile: Where Megatron is when we first find him, he was defeated in combat by Optimus and believes this is what led to the Autobot victory and thus he's no longer fit to lead.
  • Speed Demon: Blurr, as is common whenever he shows up
  • Standard Post-Apocalyptic Setting: The Autobot-Decepticon War has left Cybertron devastated with much of the planet outside of the domains run Optimus, Goldbug, and Prowl being inhospitable.
  • Surveillance Drone: courtesy of Soundwave.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The mini tells one whole story but with each issue coming from a different protagonist's POV:
    • Issue #1 being Blurr
    • Issue #2 being Megatron
    • Issue #3 being Starscream
    • Issue #4 being Goldbug
    • Issue #5 being Jetfire
  • Rebel Leader: Starscream takes over the remaining Decepticons before convincing Megatron to pick the role back up.
  • Undying Loyalty: Starscream to Megatron
  • Voice of the Resistance: Starscream is stated as such by Ratchet. Megatron even mentions he apparently writes a lot of his speeches.
  • Wasteland Warlord: Optimus, Goldbug, and Prowl have become this following the end of the Great War with them splitting control of Cybertron between themselves as much of the rest of Cybertron is unhospitable.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Megatron and Orion Pax were once friends to a degree.
    • Jetfire and Starscream were once close.
  • With Us or Against Us: As part of his sob story, Blurr claims that he doesn't really like or believe in the Autobot cause, but he has to wear the sigil because there's no such thing as a neutral. You're either an Autobot, or you're scrap.
  • Wildcard: The five-issue opening arc ends with the reveal of Slicer (SG Wheeljack) revealed to be a spy for SG Ultra Magnus who seems to operating independently of Goldbug, Prowl, and Optimus Prime.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Starscream gets Megatron out of the latter's Heroic BSoD by talking about all of the good he's done and how he inspires the troops