Shattered Glass (IDW 2021)

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Dominic
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Shattered Glass (IDW 2021)

Post by Dominic »

The first issue ships this week. TFW has a preview up.

https://news.tfw2005.com/2021/08/21/idw ... ore-439735

I am willing to give this a chance.

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issues 1 and 2

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Issue 1:
The issue follows Blurr's attempts to capture Starscream. It is written like a pack-in era issue of "Spotlight" (from 2012-14), but with the structure of the story reversed. Rather than the main character starting off at a disadvantage and working their way to a solution, this issue starts with Blurr starts off seemingly dominant, and ends with him being either killed or humiliated. This is easily the best "Shattered Glass" content since the imprint started with Fun Publications.

Issue 2:
While the first issue was thematic, the second is character-focused, specifically on the dynamics between Megatron and Starscream. (If the art is anything to go by, the Megatron is going to be significantly retooled from the 2019 mold). While not as clever as the first issue, this is still incomparably better than the "cliche for the sake of Transformers" that the Fun Publications hacks produced.


This series is worth checking out. (I say this as somebody who went in with exceptionally low expectations, and no inclination to like it.)

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Re: Shattered Glass (IDW 2021)

Post by Shockwave »

Megatron was heavily remolded, specifically to look really close to the Energon Megatron model. In fact, he's still available on Pulse, if I'm not mistaken.

I also have really low expectations for this. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE "evil/mirror universe" stories. BUT, the whole point of those kinds of stories is to explore the whole nurture vs. nature argument of what makes people who they are. More specifically, it's to explore the question of how bad do things have to get for the hero to become a villain and for the villain to become the hero? In the case of Transformers, you already have a property where the characters are in their worst case scenario and so what you wind up with is just faction switched characters. Good guys are now the bad guys and vice versa with no real opportunity to explore why things are different.

I am reading this book and the first issue was fairly decent as far as a story goes, but so far I don't see anything here that would require it to be set in any sort of "mirror" universe.

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Re: Shattered Glass (IDW 2021)

Post by Dominic »

I normally hate the inverted-morals cliche. (One of the best things that DC's Crime Syndicate ever did was die in "Crisis on Intinite Earths".)

It is a dumb idea that only took root because editorial discipline was so weak in the Silver Age.


This series happens to handle the inverted-morals premise better than most.

As noted above, the first issue inverts the typical structure of a pack-in or "Spotlight" issue. And, at a character level, Blurr and Starscream reference their mainline counter-parts. Blurr inverts the original IDW Blurr, being more serious rather than a jock. And, Starscream actually uses the "speed and guile" described on the original character profile to defeat Blurr.

The second issue is more character-focused, with Starscream being naive/trusting, and needling Megatron for the purpose of driving Megatron to lead (rather than undermining him).

Curious about next issue, and to see if it draws on the infamous Megatron issue of "Spotlight" from 2013.

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Re: Shattered Glass (IDW 2021)

Post by Shockwave »

What's the Megatron issue?

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Re: Shattered Glass (IDW 2021)

Post by Dominic »

The Megatron issue of "Spotlight" focused on Megatron waking up in a new body (which is described as farily routine for him). The basic plot is that he is taking stalk of his body while touring the Decepticon base and taking stock of his troops and other resources.

The end of the issue is a brutal exchange between Megatron and Starscream that made some people flinch. Megatron's inner-monologue specifically describes the power dynamic between them as being an exchange of aggression/frustration. At one point, Starscream is collapsed in front of Megatron, demanding to be hit. (I swear to Primus that I am not making this up.)

A variant of this comic shipped with the 2013 Megatron figure. It was slightly edited, but the scenes with Starscream are intact. After reading it, I could not shake the idea of a kid getting their shiny new Megatron toy home and re-enacting the comic they had just read.

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Re: Shattered Glass (IDW 2021)

Post by Ursus mellifera »

Dominic wrote:
Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:12 pm
The Megatron issue of "Spotlight" focused on Megatron waking up in a new body (which is described as farily routine for him). The basic plot is that he is taking stalk of his body while touring the Decepticon base and taking stock of his troops and other resources.

The end of the issue is a brutal exchange between Megatron and Starscream that made some people flinch. Megatron's inner-monologue specifically describes the power dynamic between them as being an exchange of aggression/frustration. At one point, Starscream is collapsed in front of Megatron, demanding to be hit. (I swear to Primus that I am not making this up.)

A variant of this comic shipped with the 2013 Megatron figure. It was slightly edited, but the scenes with Starscream are intact. After reading it, I could not shake the idea of a kid getting their shiny new Megatron toy home and re-enacting the comic they had just read.
I thought this was the comic you were referring too. I didn't find it disturbing at all, but I was distracted by the awesome Megatron it came with.
Check it out, a honey bear! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkajou

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issues 3 and 4

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Issue 3:
This is the Starscream pack-in issues. Plotwise, it picks up from the previous issue's interactions between Megatron and Starscream. The issue ends with Starscream being captured by the Autobots. Issue 3 is about as good as issue 2, and is generally similar enough that the two sort of run together. Starscream's characterization is a little heavy-handed. But, that is more a function of what "Shatered Glass" is rather than any deficiency with the writer.

Issue 4:
This is the Goldbug pack-in. Similar to the first issue, this issue reads like an issue of the old "Spotlight" series, or a pack-in. However, it does not have the inverted structure of the first issue, instead following the more standard template for a character-focused one-shot. The anemic execution is not helped by a sloppy mistake (Wheeljack being misnamed Slicer) and random shipping (an editorial staple of IDW). Not bad enough to ruin the series as a whole, but easily the worst issue of the series thus far.

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issue 5

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Shattered Glass #5

The series ends with the Jetfire pack-in issue.

Intentionally or not, the last issue reads much like a first issue would read, thematically inverting the normal structure for a series like this (where the premise is more obvious in the first issue. The first issue reversed the normal structure and tone of a normal "Spotlight" or pack-in comic (with Blurr going from advantage to humiliating, possibly fatal, defeat). Issues 2-4 focus on keeping the characters recognizable while reversing their morals while avoiding the more obnoxious self-parody of the Fun Publications comics.

In this issue, Jetfire begins as committed to a faction, despite loyalty to an old friend, and ultimately switches sides (joining a team he largely disagrees with) to avenge his old friend.

Lore's handling of the Jetfire/Starscream dynamic flirts with Tumblr-style shipping, which is unfortuante, but consistent with IDW over the last 8 years. And, this issue continues the odd (but apparently intentional) choice of calling Wheeljack "Slicer".

It is not clear if the ending of the issue is meant to be a cliff-hanger that will never be resolved, or simply a result of IDW's run with the license ending soon.

As was the case in previous issues, the art is competent, which, compared to IDW's output over the last 3 years is a distinction in and of itself). (I have never disliked Khanna or Guidi. But, I never thought that I would be saying they are distinguished by competence.)

As much as there is to praise about Ruckley's writing on the mainline series, the art has been abysmal. While it is possible for a comic to be carried by writers or artists (with the stronger members of a creative team carrying the less talented members), that is not how comics are supposed to work.

Over the course of 5 issues, "Shattered Glass" has been a good balance of competent or better writing and art. In that way, it is one of the stronger "Transformers" comics over the last 7 or 8 years. (The idea of me saying that "Shattered Glass" is one of the better TF comics in a while shou;d be enough to make people wonder if they are in some kind of reverse dimension universe.)

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