I’m back with the second issue of IDW’s Transformers: Shattered Glass, a mini-series by Danny Lore and Daniel Khanna. In this issue, we get a deep dive into some world building, and a focusing in on the leader of the heroic Decepticons… Megatron! I really ended up loving this issue, so let me stop wasting time and just get to it already.
The plot of this issue is mostly dedicated to world building Shattered Glass a bit, giving us some context on how this version of events played out. Interestingly, a lot of ideas and concepts are seemingly lifted directly from the previous IDW Transformers canon, like Megatron being a peaceful protester turned revolutionary, Shockwave’s shadowplay at the hands of a corrupt senate, and some other minor details. I find that interesting solely because it’s clearly not meant as a direct offshoot to the current mainline book’s timeline, and seems to just be doing its own independent thing entirely. That is not a bad thing, and will in fact probably be better for the story in the long run.
We do of course get a twist on the Megatron and Optimus Prime dynamic, with Prime (or Orion Pax at that point in the flashback) being who kept the Decepticon leader out of prison, albeit in a snide and condescending way not of mainstream Optimus. We also see that, just because he’s the good guy in this world, Megatron is NOT just Optimus Prime with a different paint job; he’s got his own insecurities about his perceived failure to lead that Prime isn’t often known for, and ultimately still feels like Megatron at the end of the day.
Again, it reminds me of the time when Megatron was depicted as a good guy during the later stories in the old continuity, so lore definitely didn’t have to start completely from scratch to find a solid jumping off point for a “heroic” take on Megatron. We also have Starscream once again of course, whose usual silver tongue is put to a more noble use than that of his mainstream counterpart. Instead of duplicity and sly sycophantics, here he’s helping to uplift and motivate Megatron, and hopefully spur him back into action to fight back against the Autobots once more.
I like everything about this — it shows great care in trying to re-contextualize these characters’ traits in a more positive light while still keeping them true to themselves, which is by no means an easy task to pull off. I have to give major props for that.
The art is good too of course, with John-Paul Bove’s colors doing great work in helping Khanna’s pencils shine. I found the moody and atmospheric lighting in Megatron’s ‘botcave surprisingly pleasant to look at, and of course I appreciate the classic Marvel black helmet for Megs’ design too. The red cloak was also a nice touch, but I just happen to be a particular sucker for that specific kind of flair.
I think I ended up liking this issue even more than the first. While first outing was definitely solid, this one gave me a lot more to chew on. The artwork remains good, and even improved in some areas since the last issue. As I said previously, I’m impressed with how the characters still feel like themselves, even with moral alignment turned on its axis. I forgot how much I enjoyed reading a heroic take on Megatron since the ending of the fan favorite “Lost Light” series from the old canon, so having that revisited in detail was awesome. Now that things are starting to gear up, I’m even more excited to see what’s in store!
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