Let us here at PoP! guide you through a minefield of books that seem full of win from the word go, but which once you crack them open have you shouting… It’s a Trap!
How can you go wrong with two of the biggest names in comics working with two of the biggest names in science fiction? Terminator dogs, for starters, but I’m getting way ahead of myself.
The premise of this crossover is fairly simple – it was Robocop’s hybrid brain which gave Skynet sentience and unleashed the Terminator army on the world. A single human in the future then travels back in time to kill Robo before this can happen, and of course, Skynet sends some Terminators back to stop her. Murphy must then defend his would be assassin against the killer androids, and in so doing possibly earn her respect. At its core, it’s a fairly decent premise. In execution, it delivers some seriously balls to the wall fight scenes and really cranks up the creativity on how a battle between these two cybernetic constructs might unfold. So what’s so bad about it?
The biggest problem is one that repeats throughout the four issue series. The human comes back in time to kill Robocop. She succeeds. But as the future is changing, Skynet notices the changes and has just enough time to send a contingent back in time to “save the future” for the machines. The idea that a temporal change would happen gradually like that is simply laughable. If Robocop was killed in time and Skynet never became sentient, there would NEVER HAVE BEEN Terminators. Instead, the creative team posits that they still exist and can monitor the event horizon of the temporal shift as its coming to erase them. So, before their demise, they send operatives back in time to “make things right.” It’s ridiculous and clearly only exists out of necessity for the story to unfold correctly. Of course, this happens a few more times, as the book constantly writes and rewrites new paths for the future to follow.
The choices to utilize first a family of Terminators and later a Terminator dog also seem odd. While at the time some may have considered this clever and innovative, it now just reads as hokey and hackneyed. It’s too bad, too. Simonsons’s art is fairly gorgeous, I just hate seeing him have to draw such ridiculous things as he did here.
I probably shouldnt’ have had high hopes for a book selling itself on the gimmick that it’s “Robocop vs The Terminator,” but I still can’t help but feel let down by two masters of their craft. Robocop vs. the Terminator gets 3 out of 5 plasma rifles somehow assembled from spare parts. And I didn’t even touch upon the Murpy-nator…