IDW Publishing/Dark Horse Comics 2020
Written by David Mariotte & John Barber
Illustrated by Alex Milne
Coloured by David Garcia Lopez
Lettered & Designed by Jake M. Wood
It’s Skynet vs. Cybertron in a crossover for the ages! 1984: When a deadly race of machines emerge from another time, will a robotic guardian be able to protect the Earth from a dire future... or will the T-800 fail in his mission to prevent the world from becoming a plaything to the Decepticons?
To be honest I wasn't going to read this, however, it is a first issue and I have it in front of me so here we are. I found myself really enjoying this immensely as the future where our T-800 is from is where we start and it goes back to this huge reveal with I thought was extremely well done. There is something about the way this is being done as if it were the original instead of the Terminator film and I think that it is something which is a pretty genius move from a writing standpoint. I know it got me hooked into the story pretty darn quick. Though why do we never see the tallywacker when it goes back in time?
I am extremely impressed with the way that this is being told. The story & plot development we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented beautifully. The splice in the story to add the Transformers element is genius and I love how we see this and the ramifications this causes throughout the book. The character development that we see is spectacular. So we see one at her work place and she's the highlight to the dry straightforward Terminator. They play off each other beautifully and I have to say it was a highlight of the issue for me. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way it works in concert with everything else to create this strong and interesting ebb & flow.
While I am not really one who knows a heck of a lot about either franchise which did play a factor in how late I started with this issue. Kicking myself for that but later is better than never right and I am so glad I noticed I had it but hadn't got to it yet. Because this is pretty amazing to me and you don't have to know either franchise all that well to really get into this and be drawn into. It engages the reader and pulls you right from the first page and that's where the hook is and it's damn good one.
The interiors here are really dynamic. Alex is bringing some kind of Kubert inspired stuff, I see a Sgt. Rock style influence honestly, and fuses that with his own unique style and I'll be buttered up like a biscuit if it isn't sensational. The linework is exquisite and how the varying weights are utilised to shine a spotlight on the attention to detail is mindbogglingly good. How we see backgrounds being utilised and how they work within the composition in the panels to bring us the depth perception, scale and overall sense of size and scope to the book is rendered so bloody brilliantly. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show this spectacular eye for storytelling. The colour work is phenomenal. How we see the colour choices and the hues and tones within them creating the shading, highlights and shadow work is really spectacularly well done.
This is a sensational first issue and it really does engage the readers' imagination in ways that may just surprise you. This has some strong and intelligent writing and some extremely beautiful interiors and it just strengthens what I eel about company crossovers and the level of work they bring out.