Transformers: Shattered Glass
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 scifi 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 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 the real comic 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.
- Adaptational Villainy: The Autobots, with the exception of the original universe's Cliffjumper, and the Witwicky family.
- 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 Ones/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.
- 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.
- Character Blog: Ravage has his own Twitter ("Yatter", in-universe), Facebook, and Formspring pages.
- 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.
- 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.
- Enemy Mine: Autobots Rodimus & Blurr and Decepticons Cliffjumper & Sideswipe are forced to team up against mutants and Grimlock.
- 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 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.
- Five-Man Band: The components of Nexus Prime fit this surprisingly well, considering each character was developed/introduced individually.
- The Hero: Skyfall is the one who initiates the Nexus Prime quest to begin with and provides the major motivation for keeping it going, and he's the most laid-back and "normal" of the group.
- The Lancer: Landquake is a Decepticon to Skyfall's Autobot, and dour, duty-bound, distrusting, and pragmatic versus Skyfall's more emotional, impulsive, and idealistic attitudes. Yet he provides a lot of emotional support to Skyfall and serves as the de facto second-in-command when Skyfall is killed. Not that he especially likes ever being in command, mind; he only does it when he feels someone has to.
- The Smart Guy: Heatwave, on account of being a brilliant engineer and Technopath.
- The Big Guy: Topspin, who served as Alpha Trion's Dragon at one point, and is definitely willing to dish out destruction via telepathically ripping out people's sparks, if you order him to or he gets pissed enough.
- The Chick: Breakaway, who serves as the team's medic due to his healing power, is ever optimistic and trusting, and tries to provide emotional support and pep talk anyone who's feeling down or discouraged. He even ends up as a Dude in Distress at one point.
- Intercontinuity Crossover
- Kent Brockman News: The Show Within a Show side comic Around Cybertron.
- Kill Sat: The United States has one.
- Lampshaded Trope: This happens fairly frequently, usually via Generation 1 Cliffjumper's complaints about his new home universe.
- 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
- 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. Sound familiar?
- 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.
- 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.
- Running the Asylum: Even more than with other modern incarnations of Transformers, it's very difficult to find someone who worked on Shattered Glass and isn't a Promoted Fanboy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Strawman News Media: The Autobot Broadcasting Network is a blend of Types 2 & 4.
- The Cavalry: Deliberately invoked by Soundwave at one point when he sent in the Mayhem Suppression Squad.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.