Mild Spoilers Ahead
In the year 2029, the war of the machines has been already raging for decades. However, the war is not between humanity and the Terminators; it is between Skynet and the Cybertronians–between Earth machines and alien machines. The Cybertronians are well on their way to winning and Skynet sends a T-800 back in time as Starscream leads a squad to destroy one of the final Skynet holdouts. That T-800 arrives in 1984 Los Angeles, intending to stop the Cybertronians from emerging in the eruption of Mount St. Hilary. To get there, he kidnaps one Sarah Connor to use as a guide.
Transformers VS Terminator #1 kicks off a massive machine crossover between two of the biggest icons of the 1980s. It’s a world where a war broke out not between man and machine but Earth and Cybertron.
I’m not a big Transformers fan myself, but I can’t deny that it’s an entertaining concept. On the surface it seems a fight would skew heavily in favor of the Transformers, and, well, the comic seems to see that the same way.
As you can tell from the summary, the plot wraps itself around the original Terminator premise: Arnold Schwarzenager Terminator is sent back in time to ensure victory for Skynet in a coming war. However, Sarah Connor’s involvement is incidental this time and the T-800 is more T2: Judgement Day grinning and spitting one-liners than the silent unstoppable predator of the original film.
The Transformers don’t actually get that much page space in this issue. We’ve yet to figure out how and why the Transformers were able to take over, though we are given some hints about the fate of the Autobots which might explain it.
Alex Milne gives the book a somewhat gritty treatment that is a little reminiscent of 1990s comic stylings. Muscle is often a focus and characters are covered in folds, crags, and angles. The Transformers and Terminators do look damn cool throughout. I will admit that I didn’t realize that the T-800 in this was supposed to be the T-800 until Sarah Connor mentioned a German accent. I will say that Sarah does look shockingly like Linda Hamilton though. David Garcia Cruz’s color work is moody and fittingly dystopian and it looks great.
Transformers VS Terminator #1 is a fun opening chapter for this latest Transformers crossover. We see the story of Terminator turned on its head as Skynet is put on its back foot by a larger and far more advanced technological force. This one earns a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Transformers VS Terminator #1 comes to us from writers David Mariotte, Tom Waltz, and John Barber, artist Alex Milne, color artist David Garcia Cruz, letterer Jake M. Wood, cover artist Gavin Fullerton, and variant cover artists Alex Milne with David Garcia Cruz; Freddie E. Williams II with Jeremy Colwell; Francesco Francavilla; Livio Ramondelli; Nick Roche with Josh Burcham; Ultraraw26; Kael Ngu; John Giang; Alan Quah with Komikaki Studio; Diego Galindo; Phil Salazar; Edward Kraatz II with Phil Salazar; and Monte Moore.
Final Score: 7.5/10