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Transformers Vs Terminator #1

Review by Paul Bowle

Skynet Vs Cyberton in Transformers Vs Terminator #1, an epic new crossover from IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics, where a lone Terminator is sent to 1984 to save Earth from a terrifying future!

This new mini-comic book series sees the Terminator going head to head with the Decepticons, to escape annihilation in the future, and potentially team up with Sarah Conner and the Autobots in the first part of Enemy of my Enemy. The creative writing talents of David Mariotte, Tom Waltz and John Barber have ingeniously spliced established legacies with a time-twisting storyline that effectively turns both franchises on their heads.

From the ravaged future of Los Angeles 2029, its clear Skynet and the Autobots have fallen before the might of the Decepticons. Fortunately Skynet (now the final remnants of the resistance), has managed to locate the last vat grown epidermal T-800 and sent him back in time to 1984. It doesn’t take long for the T-800’s path to cross Sara Conner’s, where the young waitress quickly becomes embroiled in his mission to reach Mount ST. Hilary, and alter future events by terminating the Cybertronians that have crash landed there.

The narrative and pacing were sound enough to make this first issue of Transformers Vs Terminator engaging enough. Some might baulk at the characterisation and depiction of Sarah Conner in this issue though. Her role and purpose may have been deemed irrelevant by Skynet, but there are still glimmers of the powerful warrior she was originally destined to become, and I have a feeling we will still see Sarah Conner become a force to be reckoned with as this mini-series progresses. The T-800 here is a bit of an oddity, he’s coldly logical one moment, and grinning with glee the next. Lots of familiar Easter eggs from the Terminator franchise pepper the narrative too. However, I found the scenes in the future far more engrossing than the somewhat pedestrian plotting as events unfolded in the present, and the issue felt a little disjointed in that respect as a result.

Alex Milne’s artwork is very good, along with the colors by David Garcia Cruz, and there’s some impressively staged sequences that positively leap out at you. Lots of familiar Autobot characters now litter the war torn battlefield of the future, and Skynets last stand in their stronghold against the advancing Decepticons is also brilliantly realised. I would have loved to seen more of the giant T-8000 in action here against the Decepticons, so it was a shame we only got a fleeting glimpse of it lumbering into battle. The Terminators have a mix of the Genisys / Dark Fate design of the T-800 Endoskeleton about them, which also looks really good. Some of the scenes set in 1984 do look a little rough around the edges in places, although I think that’s more to the choices of panel layout here, the rendition of the waitress Sarah Conner is spot on though, and the contrast between the future versions of the Decepticons and the more classic Transformers seen in this issue are also especially striking.

IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics uniting to bring their unique takes on the Transformers and Terminator franchises together is a clear no-brainer, in fact it makes you wonder why its taken so long for them to get around to it. I’ve always been a big fan of Dark Horse’s Terminator comics and IDW’s Transformers, so it’s great to finally see them team-up like this. The creative team has a long association with Transformers comics, but they’ve also cleverly incorporated the Terminator saga to weave a story where the T-800 travels back in time to wipe out the Cybertornians before they can jeopardise the future, whilst skilfully splicing the mythos of both properties in the process. Although Transformers Vs Terminator #1 wasn’t quite the mind-blowing start that I’d hoped for with the mini-series, the intriguing premise has me hooked, and if – like me – you are a fan of either franchise you’ll still find plenty to enjoy here as this epic clash between Skynet and Cybertron gets underway!

Publisher: IDW

Story By: David Mariotte, Tom Waltz, John Barber

Written by: David Mariotte and John Barber

Art: Alex Milne, Colors: David Garcia Cruz

Letters & Design: Jake M. Wood, Cover A: Gavin Fullerton

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook