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First Look: IDW's Transformers Vs The Terminator series is a riot of robotic mayhem

By Jeff Spry
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In an inevitable clash of two titans of the science fiction landscape, IDW Publishing and Dark Horse Comics have united to deliver an epic, century-hopping odyssey starring those sentient robots in disguise of the Transformers franchise and the assassin cyborgs of The Terminator territory.

Transformers vs The Terminator seems like the perfect marriage of raging robots hurtling through time and space in a four-issue miniseries destined to make a mark when the premiere issue arrives on March 25. The crossover's creative team, consisting of writers John Barber, David Mariotte, and Tom Waltz along with artist Alex Milne, has a long association with Transformers comics, and now they're injecting time-traveling assassins into the supercharged mix.

SYFY WIRE is locked and loaded with an exclusive four-page peek into the debut release alongside illuminating comments by its talented craftsmen.

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Prepare for a Skynet vs. Cybertron smackdown when two storied heavyweights enter the comics ring together for the very first time. The limited series' storyline is set in the year 1984, when a menacing race of super-smart machines emerges from another time. Will a lone android guardian be able to save the planet Earth from a disturbing future, or will this brave T-800 unit fail in his time-traveling mission to prevent the world from becoming a playground for the evil Decepticons?

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With both iconic properties on hiatus for feature films, now is the moment to explore the wealth of compelling comics tales starring Terminators, Autobots, and Decepticons beginning with IDW and Dark Horse's combat-ready offering.

"Teaming up The Terminator and Transformers was something we’d talked about literally for years ... I mean, it was just kind of 'wouldn’t it be cool if' kind of a thing," Barber tells SYFY WIRE. "But we were talking with our friends at Dark Horse Comics about some other potential projects and they threw out the idea as a real idea. I was pretty excited and reached out to Michael Kelly at Hasbro, and he was into the idea, so we started talking about it with Dark Horse and hashing out a direction. And it’s been super-fun! We’ve all been on the same page from the beginning." 

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Mariotte is eager for readers to launch into this long-overdue crossover that packs a solid punch.

"The Terminator is at its core a story about a freedom fighter from Earth's future coming back in time to prevent evil robot beings from wiping out his kind and taking over the planet," Mariotte explains to SYFY WIRE. "Transformers is about good and evil robotic beings battling for what they believe. So when you put them together like John, co-plotter and editor Tom Waltz, and I did, we ended up with a story about a T-800 traveling back to wipe out the Cybertronians before they can jeopardize his future. It's full of fun twists on the well-known mythos of both properties, as well as a deeper story about who you can trust and the rights of sentient, but inorganic, beings.

"I find it really fascinating how two very different properties like Transformers and The Terminator have so much overlap that makes interweaving their stories easier and a fun challenge, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't find the most interesting part of writing to be seeing how our artist team, Alex Milne and David Garcia Cruz, realize the pages. They take the always exceptionally hard task of putting Transformers bots and humans/human-sized T-800s together and making it look good, but not only do they do it exceptionally well, they enhance and add to every part of the script."

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For Barber, who's been a giant fan of Dark Horse’s Terminator comics since their very first issue, it’s been an honor to collaborate with the Oregon-based publisher on this project.

"And I’ve been a fan of the movie even longer; that’s definitely a film I saw when I was a tad too young," he adds. "And I think my history with Transformers speaks to my love of those characters—but getting to put my head together with David and Tom and Alex and David [Garcia Cruz] ... it’s fantastic. David’s idea to set up Skynet against the Decepticons was a great combination of the themes and action of both Transformers and Terminator, and I’m happy to be along for the ride!"

Now plug in for our exclusive look at IDW and Dark Horse's Transformers vs The Terminator #1, with both inked and colored interior artwork, in the gallery below before the sinister Cybertronians land.