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Transformers Vs Terminator 1 Main

"Transformers vs. The Terminator #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing / Dark Horse Comics

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Written by David Mariotte & John Barber
Illustrated by Alex Milne
Colored by David Garcia Cruz
Lettered by Jake M. Wood
2020, 36 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on March 25th, 2020

Review:

Do you remember when the first Transformers came out with the tagline “Their War. Our World”? Well, that could not be more true with this major crossover, Transformers vs. The Terminator. It's mashed up two iconic genre franchises, turning the tables on both to present them in a new and interesting light. For perhaps the first time, the robot warriors of Skynet are shown in a sympathetic light. They're the oppressed rebels fighting off the fearsome, towering Cybertronians. How did we get to here? Well, it's a good thing we've got time travel to fill in the blanks.

Writers David Mariotte and John Barber waste no time ramping Transformers vs. The Terminator up. This debut issue opens in a war-torn Los Angeles in 2029 with a solitary human-like figure fleeing for his life from Decepticon attacks. I didn't figure out until later that this is supposed to be the Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator. That's not a knock on Alex Milne's artwork. It's just that it wasn't clear from the get-go.

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In any case, this story takes us back to the Transformers' debut from the Generation One cartoon. If you recall, their spaceship crash landed on Earth centuries ago, where it remained buried until sometime in the 1980s. The Terminator heads back in time to snuff out the Transformer threat before it can rise up and destroy the work of Skynet. Also, Sarah Connor is here.

That might sound like a complicated mess. It's anything but, as Mariotte and Barber connect the dots seamlessly. Plus, if you're a fan of either franchise, you know enough about how wacky and convoluted some of their stories can be. This is pretty straightforward in its setup. They manage to weave the histories of both properties together in a way that makes a lot of sense.

We're definitely left to wonder how the Transformers can turn into this malevolent force. Granted, literally half of them are evil, so that probably plays a part. Milne depicts the Cybertronians as massive and intimidating. They tower over the Terminators in size and sheer menace. The design is a hybrid of sorts between the classic cartoon versions of the characters and the movie counterparts. They have the same basic look and feel of the originals, but with more moving parts. The amount of detail in these is extraordinary.

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Colorist David Garcia Cruz paints a rather bleak landscape for 2029. The world is full of blacks and greys with the only change coming from the fires left burning and the energy blasts ringing out through the night. This adds to the oppressive nature of the Transformers attack. From time to time we see the world through the Terminator's eyes, turning everything into a harsh red. It's no wonder these things are violent if this is their perspective. Letterer Jake M. Wood fills the page with strange readings and information, seemingly helping the Terminator make decisions in this mode.

Transformers vs. The Terminator is a crossover I didn't know I wanted. It can definitely catch your attention with its title alone, but it's more than just a flashy name. It has a solid, intriguing story, presenting an all new spin on these decades-old franchises.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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