The Dark Side of Transformers: Discover the Untold Shattered Glass Saga!
Title: The Dark Side of Transformers: Discover the Untold Shattered Glass Saga!
From The Batman Who Laughs and DC Comics’ Dark Multiverse to Stranger Things’ Upside Down and beyond, we’ve seen some of the most iconic heroes reimagined as the most vile monsters and villains stepping up as heroes in inverted worlds. The Transformers Multiverse is no exception. Today, we’ll dive into a world where Optimus Prime is a power-hungry tyrant ruling the evil Autobots, Megatron leads a valiant rebel Decepticon faction, and the heroic Knights of Unicron challenge the God of Order, Primus. Prepare to explore a universe that’s more than meets the eye. This is The Dark Side of Transformers, the Shattered Glass Saga.
First fully introduced during the 2008 Official Transformers Convention: Botcon and inspired by the Star Trek Mirror Universe, Shattered Glass began as a convention exclusive toy line featuring paint redecos of fan favorite characters and a comic book released by Fun Publications. Over the next 15 years, this subline of figures would see itself expanded to include more convention exclusives, various Takara Tomy and Hasbro Generations releases17 including a Shattered Glass subline, and a slew of figures repurposed to fit the accompanying fiction. These figures would introduce convention goers to this twisted world, and the lore would soon breathe life into it.
Fun Publications Lore:
While Botcon would fully reveal the Transformers: Shattered Glass universe, the world would be teased with an April Fool’s Day Joke a few weeks prior. In this initial 3-page preview, we find a terrifyingly brilliant Grimlock working alongside Jazz and Goldbug hunting Pretender technology that could defeat the rebel Deceptions, they are met by Starscream and Razorclaw. This standoff results in a vicious attack by Grimlock, which would only be stopped by the quick intervention of Colonel Deathsauraus, Thundercracker, Laserbeak, and the rest of the Mayhem Suppression Squad.
After the debut of these “Shattered Expectations” characters, the real and much grittier Shattered Glass universe would begin with Transformers Timelines Issue 3. Following the Crossing Over arc which would see Skyfall, Landquake and Breakaway sent to the Axiom Nexus and TransTech inhabited universe the last member of their party, Cliffumper, would be separated and dropped into the mirror world. Upon waking up, Cliffjumper is found and quickly discovers the Autobots are much more violent as a now mustachioed Rodimus obliterates the Decepticon Ruckus, corpses are strewn through Autobot HQ as macabre decoration, and the former Bumblebee, Goldbug, mimics the Generation 1 Quintessons31 holding mock trials and smelts those deemed guilty.
While these Autobots are despicable, they pale in comparison to their leader, a tyrannical version of Optimus Prime. This universe’s Optimus is not Orion Pax, but a librarian named Optronix who becomes obsessed with understanding the meaning of life and ultimately realizes there is none outside of leaving a lasting impact. While our main universe Optimus would achieve this by striving towards a better Cybertron and universe, Optronix decides to cheat and lie his way into the history books, ruling over Cybertronians with an iron fist and Autobot battalion, and destroying any ally or foe that gets in his way.
Standing opposite Optimus Prime is the Decepticon, Megatron, a Cybertronian mathematician who would be responsible for inventing Transformation technology as a means to even the playing field with the Autobots and who would be willing to risk his own spark for his team of rebels.
The first encounter we see of these two would occur during a battle to stop the Autobots from launching the Ark and spreading their conquest outside Cybertron. With a plan in motion proposed by Megatron’s loyal second-in-command Starscream, the Decepticons and a Universe Displaced Cliffjumper set their sights on the launch platform. While the Decepticons would utilize Cliffjumper’s modified glass gas weaponry, he would still question his loyalties until he is saved by Megatron following an attack by Optimus. This act of bravery would lead to the Decepticons victory and delay the Autobot launch.
Following the events of the battle of the Ark, the story would pick up with various prose releases focusing on different aspects of the universe. In “Dungeons and Dinobots”, Wheeljack introduces his latest creation, the Dinobots and the team of Cliffjumper and Sideswipe cross paths with Rodimus and Blurr as they hunt down Grimlock, only to witness him granted genius level intellect and the Shattered Glass version of a Spark, an Ember, by this universes Vector Sigma, the Omega Terminus.
While Grimlock would lead the Dinobots to be granted their own Embers, the follow up “Do Over” switches focus to Prime and the Autobots relaunch of the Ark to invade Earth, but the Decepticons have their own plans with their ship, the Nemesis. While the Megatron would be led into a trap at the Temple of Knowledge, this plan would backfire on Prime, as his own team lead by Rodimus would launch the Ark without him, leaving both factions leaders on Cybertron while a portion of the other groups would set their sights on defending or destroying Earth.
From here, we learn that Earth is also quite different than the main universe one as long time villain Doctor Arkeville would be portrayed as an inventor aiding the Decepticons during the Nemesis’ crash landing instead of a mad scientist, the Witwicky’s are a family of criminals working alongside the Autobots, World War III erupted, California is no longer on the map, and much more in the next prose chapter “Eye in the Sky”. Here, we also see the infighting between Goldbug and Rodimus, leading to Rodimus out maneuvering the former Bumblebee to take up the mantle, Rodimus Prime, overpower an Air Force Base to control of a Global Orbiting Defense Satellite that he would use to destroy the Statue of Liberty and hold the world hostage until losing control of the satellite. With Rodimus suffering defeat, Goldbug take matter into his own hands and sets his sights on returning to Cybertron via an experimental Stellar Spanner that would see Goldbug inadvertently aiding Rodimus and his ally, Alpha Trion.
Between the events of the four final prose stories: “Eye in the Sky”, “Blitzwing Bop”, “Transhuman”, and “Coalescense” the Reunification Event would take place that would see Alpha Trion landing in the Shattered Glass Universe with ultimate goal of conquering Cybertron and getting revenge on Optimus Prime after being cast out of his home world but he’ll need the help of various Cybertronians to achieve his goal including the now deceased Skyfall, Landquake, Breakaway, Topspin, and recently Stellar Spanner’d Heatwave. While running from Alpha Trion, three of the five would meet with the Quintesson Aquarius, a hippie in this world, who would warn them of Optimus Prime’s latest project, a weapon of mass destruction named Omega Doom that only they could stop. This would lead to a meeting with the heroic Decepticons and Heatwave that would end in the assassination of Megatron orchestrated by Alpha Trion and an offer by Primus to the 5 aforementioned bots assembled by Alpha Trion to sacrifice themselves to be reborn Nexus Prime and battle Omega Doom alongside the reformatted Megatron as Galvatron.
While this would seem to be the end of the Shattered Glass Universe, the world would continue to grow with the next big event “Invasion” which would see Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus, with the Terminus Blade in tow, traveling to the Classic Marvel Comics Universe and destroying the universe save for Earth which he brought to the Shattered Glass Universe. In this new world, we’d see various over story arcs take place including Beast Wars: Shattered Glass and the ensuring hunt for the Origin Matrix; Spatiotemporal Challengers and the story of the Go-Bots in the Shattered Glass Universe, and Another Light, which reimagines the events of The Transformers: The Movie from 1986 in the Shattered Glass world as the Classicverse and Shattered Glass heroes would need to face off with the Universe destroying Ultra Magnus. These events lead to Shattered Glass Optimus Prime being reformatted as Nova Prime alongside the other heroic Knights of Unicron. These Knights and Nova Prime are tested shortly after the creation, as Shattered Glass Primus makes his presence known and is forced to battle with Gaea, the sibling of Unicron and Primus. Afte the battle has ended, Nova Prime, Megatron, Gaea, and the Decepticons are victorious and ready to start working alongside the Autobots on New Cybertron for a better tomorrow.
While a bulk of the lore surrounding the Shattered Glass Universe would be written by Fun Publications, IDW Publishing would reboot the world in 2021 in a 5 issue mini series named Transformers: Shattered Glass and a follow up Shattered Glass II in 2022.
Across the first series, we move away from the Great War between the Autobots and Decepticon, and instead focus on a third faction ran by Goldbug on the hunt for Starscream’s indestructible spark and the opportunity to raise a Titan to his side. Culminating in the loss of Goldbug’s stronghold Gold City but with Starscreams spark in his grasp, the war appears to be reigniting. The follow up series focuses on Ultra Magnus and the Wreckers as they try to take over Metroplex after Goldbug, using Starcream’s spark, tries to control the titan.
With IDW no longer having access to the Transformers license, the Shattered Glass Universe ends here, with war brewing but the Decepticons in an excellent position to defend Cybertron.
While the Shattered Glass Universe is relatively young compared to the rest of the Transformers history, its become a fan favorite series in its multiverse. Although the world would have been visited in the cancelled Season 4 of Transformers: Animated and there was a proposal for a Transformers Prime: Shattered Glass toyline, it’s inclusion in mainstream Transformers has been minimal and hopefully in the future we’ll see more from this world.
If you’re hungry for more Shattered Glass, there is so much more to dive into like the back stories for some of your favorite Autobots and Decepticons, a dedicated comic strip called Recordicons following Ravage and the Mini-Cassettes, the news-based comic strip Around Cybertron and more. If you want to check these out, check out the TF Wiki Community WordPress (Link in Bio) which has scans of the Fun Publications releases available under their Out-of-Print Media archive and grab the trade paperback collections of both Shattered Glass and Shattered Glass II from your favorite book store.
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