1984 was a pretty important year with so many of today’s beloved pop culture properties debuting during that year. Transformers and The Terminator were two of them and 36 years later, the two properties meet in this new miniseries. Transformers vs. Terminator #1 delivers an interesting debut that’s a twist on the classic story. Unfortunately, something falls a little short in the actual delivery.
David Mariotte, Tom Waltz, and John Barber all contribute to the story with Mariotte and Barber credited as writing it. It’s a familiar story with a warrior from the future sent back in time to prevent an apocalypse. In this case, a Terminator is sent back to protect Skynet from its enemies, Transformers. It’s a twist on the original story putting Skynet in the role of the resistance. Sarah Conner is involved still and the Terminator is the T-800 version, though the likeness to Arnold is… not close.
By trying to give us a twist on the original film, the first issue feels like a bad copy devoid of original and interesting ideas. Compare that to the recent crossover between Transformers and Ghostbusters which was packed with them. And that’s part of the problem with this debut. The entire comic feels “not close.”
There’s clunky dialogue. The sequence of events is a bit choppy. There’s just a lot there that feels off like an odd generic version of the classic. The story easily could have been the Resistance we knew taking on a Skynet/Transformers alliance but instead it delivers a “no matter who wins, we lose” storyline. There’s hints of something really cool here but as delivered it falls flat. The cool factor isn’t there, even if the concept is a childhood mash-up.
Part of the issue is the art by Alex Milne. While the Transformers look fantastic, the T-800 is bad. There’s attempts to make it look like the original film but it just doesn’t work. Add in the attempt to translate Arnold’s awkward delivery and it’s art that’s either exciting or feels like a comedic take.
Transformers vs. Terminator #1 should be an easy one to nail down. But, this debut stumbles from the beginning. From bad dialogue to at times iffy art, there’s just so many crossovers for both properties that’s better and more worth your time.
Story: David Mariotte, Tom Waltz, John Barber
Written: David Mariotte, John Barber
Art: Alex Milne Color: David Garcia Cruz: Letterer: Jake M. Wood
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review