Transformers vs the Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy by David Mariotte, John Barber, Tom Waltz and Alex Milne
IDW, pb, £9.34
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming
Set in an alternate future, Skynet is facing destruction from the Decepticons. Skynet’s final gambit is to send a soldier, T-800, back to 1984 to destroy the Decepticons before the humans then reactivate them. But when he arrives, T-800 needs help to find the Decepticons and enlists one Sarah Connor’s aid. But when he arrives, the Decepticons have already escaped from their human-made restrains and are attacking the Autobots. Although they look like the machines that have destroyed T-800’s home, he realises they are different, and if he is to succeed, he must adapt to his new allies.
In this cross-over, humanity doesn’t exist anymore in a change from the Terminator Series. Sarah Connor’s role in the narrative starts as relatively minor; she can direct the T-800 to crucial locations, that is all. She is just a tool for him and is disposable. In this alternate version of the Terminator story, the Terminator must learn to work with humans rather than just destroy them.
There are many little nods to the source material with phrases taken from the films, which are amusing when you spot them and show a true understanding of the originals. They also feel natural, forming part of the story rather than feeling forced. If you’re not that familiar with the sources, you won’t even notice they’re there.
If you read the introduction and didn’t understand any of it, then this is probably not the comic for you. However, for some of us, this is the cross over we didn’t know we needed until now. It combines two great 80’s icons into a playful trip down Nostalgia Lane. While the T-800 is serious and mission-focused, the Autobots have the capacity for humour which brings lightness to what is otherwise a very dark story.
Even the artwork is reminiscent of the ’80s, which tends towards heavy illustration. It isn’t always easy to tell who is speaking; there is so much content. This is no reflection of Milne’s skill or the other artists who have worked on it, just recognising how much styles have changed and for the better, in my opinion. They do manage to capture Linda Hamilton’s hair from the first Terminator movie, which is fabulous.
In keeping with the Terminator series, the ending is not necessarily an ending. It could be a set up to a sequel, but it could also be a suggestion that no matter what reality we are in, some things are inevitable. For any fans of either franchise, Transformers vs the Terminator is a must-read.