While it was fun to dive into the first volume of Transformers: Shattered Glass, the comic miniseries didn’t feel so much story as a series of shorts tied together. It was an introduction to this twist on the classic Transformers where the Autobots are despots and Decepticons are the ones fighting for freedom. While interesting, it never quite clicked for me as a whole. Transformers: Shattered Glass II on the other hand feels like it can hit the ground running having set things up in the previous volume. Without the need to world build, it can instead focus on the action, the drama, and deliver a much more focused start.
Written by Danny Lore, the issue takes us to where the resistance currently stands but also the corruption of one particular Cybertronian, Ultra Magnus. For those who don’t know the character, Magnus is a rather serious individual focused on the law and rules. He basically has a stick up his ass. Tight, humorless, he’s the rules lawyer (quite literally depending on the take).
Lore delivers an interesting corruption of Magnus as Optimus uses his knowledge of the rules and laws to bend Cybetron to his rule. We get to see through Magnus how the rule of law can be used to impose a fascist state. We also get to see how easily those who uphold that law can become a tool of that fascist state as well. With a Faustian like bargain, Magnus has taken over the Wreckers, Optimus’ chosen shock troops to impose the rule of law. But, in modern times there’s an uprising and one warlord’s city has fallen to the Decepticons. So, what will someone who is so focused on the rule of law do? That seems to be the focus and hopefully this volume keeps that very tight focus instead of following the first volume’s tour of this new world.
The art by Marcelo Matere and Andrew Lee Griffith is solid. With color by John-Paul Bove and lettering by Jake M. Wood, Transformers: Shattered Glass II delivers much of the same as the first volume. The characters are familiar and keep their general design but there’s slight changes that might make them stand out. The obvious part of that is their color but there’s more. In Ultra Magnus’ case, his face hides a secret and with some of the Wreckers, it might be something as simple as a mustache. The body language and emotion too has slight tweaks. We can see some of that towards the end as the Wreckers overlook what Magnus has done. Their expressions and stances say so much about their personalities. It all works and works really well, especially for long time fans of the characters.
Transformers: Shattered Glass II doesn’t feel like as much a tour as the first volume, instead delivering quite a few “holy shit” moments in the first issue alone. It feels focused in on the corruption of one character and their journey and if it continues that, this could be one of the best Transformers miniseries in quite a while.
Story: Danny Lore Art: Marcelo Matere, Andrew Lee Griffith
Color: John-Paul Bove Letterer: Jake M. Wood
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: TFAW – Zeus Comics – comiXology/Kindle