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"Do you know that there are more than fifteen quadrillion concurrent universes? It's true!"
—Bug Bite. Yes, that Bug Bite, in "Games of Deception"
In 2005, when Fun Publications took over the official Transformers convention and fanclub, they put most of their "Transformers" fiction under the Transformers Timelines label.
Storywise, the Timelines storylines are separate from each other, although the events of different stories do influence each other (sometimes across different continuities). Also, the stories are not even all in the same medium. Instead, the storylines are all told via serial installments spanning multiple mediums--mainly Comic Books and Web Original short prose stories--which are available for members at the official fan club website.
There's also the official fan club magazine. The magazine issues contain a main serial comic and minicomics which aren't part of the Timelines brand. Despite that, the stories within the magazine are interrelated with the Timelines stories. Events within a Timelines story would influence or lead to a story in the magazine, and vice versa. Thus, this page is for tropes regarding both Timelines and the fan club magazine. (Confused yet?)
Fun Publications Transformers fiction involves these continuities/universes that originated in previous fiction:
- The Transformers Robots in Disguise continuity
- The Unicron Trilogy (at least the Transformers Cybertron portion)
- The Beast Wars continuity
- The Challenge of the Go Bots universe (no, really)
- The Transformers Animated continuity
Continuities/universes original to the fanclub have also been introduced:
- Transformers Classics, a splinter timeline that ignores Transformers Generation 2 to continue the US version of The Transformers in a different manner.
- Transformers Trans Tech, a universe populated by highly advanced Cybertronians and a multidimensional hub city; apparently the only known universe where Cybertron never experienced a civil war.
- Transformers Shattered Glass, a universe where the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are heroic.
- Transformers Wings of Honor, a continuity similar to the original The Transformers cartoon, but with various differences. Most notably, characters having different appearances, the existence of a Cybertron Elite Guard before the Great War, and after it a "second generation" of Earth-born kiddie Transformers with superpowers.
- Beast Wars: Uprising: A Bad Future look at Beast Wars where the Autobots and Decepticons have become too decrepit to continue their war and use the Maximals and Predacons as proxy armies to finish it for them. Overtime however, the new generation starts to realize that they're getting a bum deal and a new war starts up.
- Of Masters and Mayhem: A Marvel-esque universe where Cybertron was destroyed by the ultimate combiner. With the Transformers now an endangered species, Impactor assembles a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits to get avenge their home.
Tropes across continuities
- Alternate Continuity: A lot of them, as shown above.
- Apocalypse How: Class X-2. The Unicron Singularity threatened to destroy the Unicron Trilogy Universe and possibly the entire Transformers multiverse. According to the TransTechs, destruction of universes happen a lot. The Challenge of the Go Bots universe (seriously) was also under this threat.
- Arm Cannon: Landquake has one on each arm. Classicsverse Megatron has a large one. Megatron of Shattered Glass carries around a tank on his arm.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Shattered Glass Optimus Prime and TransTech Megatron.
- Badass Crew: The Elite Guard, which shows up in Shattered Glass and Wings Of Honor, albeit in two very different forms.
- Beard of Evil: There's Unicron and Shattered Glass Rodimus and Alpha Trion. Also Wings of Honor Scourge.
- Big Bad: Different stories and continuities have different ones. Some are from earlier series, including Unicron, Beast Wars Megatron, and even Deathsaurus. There's also Shattered Glass Optimus Prime.
- Combining Mecha:
- Skyfall, Landquake, Breakaway, Topspin, and Heatwave although they originally were one being.
- Thunder Mayhem from Of Masters and Mayhem. Matched by Wreckage.
- I Am Who?: From the comic of the fan club magazine: Skyfall, Landquake, Breakaway, Topspin, and Heatwave turn out to be parts of Nexus Prime, one of the Thirteen Original Transformers. This was actually revealed before Topspin and Heatwave were introduced.
- Guardian of the Multiverse: Vector Prime
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Quite a lot. As of 2010, every subseries of the fanclub magazine has done this in some form:
- Shattered Glass had Cliffjumper from the Classics universe.
- Pretty much every story related to the TransTechs.
- Nexus Prime and Aquarius travel from the Shattered Glass universe to briefly spend time in the present day of the Wings Of Honor universe.
- Shattered Glass!Ultra Magnus invades the Classicsverse.
- Kent Brockman News: The Show Within a Show minicomic "Around Cybertron", which involves the exploits of the journalists in a news program that so far spans three different universes.
- MacGuffin: The Dark Heart of Sandokan in a Unicron Trilogy story, Sari's key in "Bee in the City".
- Merchandise-Driven: Quite a bit of the fiction either was produced to promote, or sprang from said promotions for, the annual toysets made for BotCon. After the original Marvel comic, this may be the most Merchandise-Driven piece of Transformers writing.
- Prequel/Sequel: A lot of the Timelines fiction consists of either stand-alone stories intended to either predate or continue existing continuities, or entire new continuities that use existing continuities as branching-off points.
- Promoted Fanboy: Many of the regular writers and artists were promoted from the fandom.
- Shaggy Dog Story: How the story of the Go-Bots ends. After all their wars and struggles, the Classicsverse overrides their own reality. After all their attempts to save it, the Go-Bots have to abandon their home, seemingly scattering their race beyond any chance of recovery. The Classicsverse is then destroyed, sparing the Go-Bots' reality, but Vector Prime notes that it's uncertain if Level 1 is even inhabitable.
- Time Abyss: Some of the more ancient Transformers.
- Transforming Mecha