The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy 4 (July 2014)

The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy #4

It’s all action but it’s all very good action. I kept waiting for Jolley to slow down and explain some things but he never takes his foot off the gas. He’s missing character moments mostly; he’s definitely not going the lovable T–800 route but he’s falling into the Dark Horse Terminator pitfall… the personalities.

The Terminator only has personality because of the actor playing the part. A comic book character Terminator loses a lot when it’s just a static killing machine. Comics are already full of those types.

Then Jolley misses another opportunity for some exposition when the Terminator and his human sidekick find the lab. You know, at the end of the level. They immediately get attacked, which kills the chance for some nice exposition and relationship building.

It’s a fairly decent book. There’s some great Igle artwork; his action scenes are phenomenal. The rest… just not phenomenal

C+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Jamal Igle; inker, Ray Snyder; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Advertisements

The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy 3 (May 2014)

The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy #3

Seriously? They team up. A human and a Terminator team up in a Dark Horse comic? Didn’t I read this comic many times as a teenager? I was kind of hoping for something more. Maybe the big problem is the team up comes so late. There’s only one more issue to the series.

Enemy of My Enemy continues to be blandly unimpressive. Jolley’s scripting is competent. His protagonist is annoying but it’s unlikely anyone would be able to make a disgraced CIA agent fighting a Terminator a good character. She’s supposed to be cool, not likable.

Then there’s Igle’s art. He does a great job with it, but there’s nothing to it. There’s a lengthy fight scene and since Igle’s so sturdy in his matter of fact presentation, it’s boring.

The series is getting less and less engaging as it goes on. Then again, The Terminator has rather limited potential.

C 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Jamal Igle; inker, Ray Snyder; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy 2 (March 2014)

The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy #2

Okay, the structure confuses me. I think the issue opens and then goes back to an early time and stays there but it also seems like maybe it continues the time from the open. I don’t know.

The confusion aside, it’s a fairly decent comic for a Terminator comic. Igle’s pencils are good–he’s got a fantastic sense of action and how to break out those scenes. And enough nostalgia for the eighties to make tone engaging.

Jolley writes more of a movie script than a comic book one. You can just hear the Brad Fiedel Terminator music at times and it’d make a great scene in a movie. In a comic, it makes an okay one.

The problem with the comic is mostly the pacing. Not enough happens in it; Jolley raises some neat questions about the franchise, but there still needs to be some narrative content… Doesn’t there?

B- 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Jamal Igle; inkers, Ray Snyder and Robin Riggs; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy 1 (February 2014)

t

Dan Jolley and Jamal Igle doing a Terminator series. You know what you get? A decent plot, good characters, some awesome art. The way Jolley and Igle are doing Enemy of My Enemy is very cinematic. Igle does a lot of establishing panels. Part of the book is these guys doing a Terminator book and the reader getting to go along for the ride.

But it’s still a Dark Horse licensed comic. There’s a CIA agent on the run picking up assassination work, she comes across a Terminator, she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy because, apparently, after the first movie the CIA started investigating.

Or something. It’s a standard Dark Horse licensed trope–there was something hidden plot at the time of the movie; it’s finally revealed here. It’s not too bad as Jolley keeps it contained, but it’s still present.

And the book’s better than it.

B- 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Jamal Igle; inker, Ray Snyder; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Aaron Walker, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

The Terminator (1988)

Skitched 20140201 121918

What a very strange adaptation of The Terminator. It was originally published as single panels, one a day (as a promotion in Hungary), which makes a lot of sense. The panels do look a little like trading card snapshots of the film.

Without all the text–or maybe with just less of it (adapter Attila Fazekas just took lengthy dialogue and squeezed it into half of his panels)–the comic would be better. It’s a curiosity, but it definitely makes one want to watch the film again. Fazekas does a fairly good job; he’s not doing anything sequential as much as the snapshots as I mentioned before.

He does rather well fitting a lot of information into one of these panels. For instance, when the Terminator is killing Linda Hamilton’s friend (or has just killed her), the boyfriend’s off in the background. Fazekas knows how to compress.

It’s definitely peculiar.

C 

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Attila Fazekas.

Dark Horse Presents 138 (December 1998)

Dhp138

Wow, the first Terminator story in Presents. I thought they’d gone through all the licenses, but no. It’s not terrible. Grant’s writing is adequate and Teran’s art has an energy to it. He’s a little confusing in action scenes (Grant’s plotting hurts there too) but he’s got some great designs.

Martin and Rude’s The Moth is just a lot of fun. It borrows some Batman elements and I think Rude does an homage to Spider-Man in one panel. The Moth’s a superhero (maybe) posing as a supervillain and playing mobsters against each other. Rude’s art would make anything good, but Martin’s writing is fine.

Seagle outdoes himself on My Vagabond Days, revealing his protagonist to be not just unlikable, but idiotic. This kid is a complete moron. He’s bringing rocks to Canada because Canada might not have rocks. Maybe Seagle is writing him younger than Gaudino is drawing him….

CREDITS

The Terminator, Suicide Run; story by Alan Grant; art by Frank Teran; lettering by Gary Fields. The Moth; story by Gary Martin; pencils by Steve Rude; inks by Andy Bish; lettering by Willie Schubert. My Vagabond Days; story by Steven T. Seagle; art by Stefano Gaudiano; lettering by Charity Rodriguez. Edited by Randy Stradley and Terry Waldron.

Superman vs. the Terminator: Death To The Future 4 (March 2000)

st4.jpg

Will Lex Luthor create Skynet? Will Lois Lane’s husband get jealous of her ogling Superman? Will Alan Grant get credit (and residuals) for coming up with the name Terminatrix? No to all three, I believe, unless Dark Horse and DC start doing these crossovers again.

It’s strange the epilogue cliffhanger for the series–Lex Luthor is going to take over the world–is something DC couldn’t follow up on without Dark Horse’s permission and participation….

They probably went that route to make the series feel a little less like a complete waste of time. Did it work? No.

Worse, Perkins is back inking Pugh and the art’s even sloppier than before. I feel bad because I only read the comic because of the Pugh artwork and it’s so weak, I’ve done little but comment on it (and mock the series as whole, but, really, what else could I have done?).

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Grant; penciller, Steve Pugh; inker, Mike Perkins; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Phil D. Amara, Eddie Berganza, Tim Ervin-Gore and Maureen McTigue; publishers, Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics.

Superman vs. the Terminator: Death To The Future 3 (February 2000)

se3.jpg

Oh, no, will Superman be able to save the world from the Terminators? Crossovers like this one must be incredibly frustrating to plot because there’s no chance things aren’t going to be returning to the status quo at the end (I mean, did Dark Horse even have a regular Terminator series starring Sarah and John Conner at this time or were they just special guest stars for the crossover?).

Maybe I’m just mad Superman goes through all this trouble to save the future–a big nuclear explosion and EMP to wipe out all the machines on earth–when he’s just going back in time to prevent it from ever happening. It’s not like he had to complete the one goal to go back, it’s just filler for the pages.

More cameos here too–Lex Luthor shows up for a bit, weren’t he and Supergirl dating at one point?

Very lame.

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Grant; artist, Steve Pugh; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Phil D. Amara, Eddie Berganza, Tim Ervin-Gore and Maureen McTigue; publishers, Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics.

Superman vs. the Terminator: Death To The Future 2 (January 2000)

st2.jpg

Well, it’s not just Superman Pugh’s drawing funny–he’s inking himself here too–it’s a lot of people. Supergirl is who I’m thinking about in particular, Pugh gives her an expression like she’s just eaten a barrel of beans and is racing to the john.

Actually, most of the art’s bland. Pugh’s probably racing through this assignment himself, but it’s always shocking to me how mediocre 1990s comic art could get. There’s mediocrity today, of course, but at least they try to photoshop it a little, give it some oomph. This comic was, presumably, a big crossover event; one no one cared about at all?

The writing’s pretty lame too, but at least it’s competent in the continuity-heavy sense. It’s a Superman comic guest-starring Terminators, nothing else. Between Supergirl’s fight scene and Steel’s constant presence, it’s pretty clear.

Honestly, I’m really curious to see how it turns out.

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Grant; artist, Steve Pugh; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Phil D. Amara, Eddie Berganza, Mike D. Hansen and Maureen McTigue; publishers, Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics.

Superman vs. the Terminator: Death To The Future 1 (December 1999)

svt1.jpg

I figured I was safe going into Superman vs. the Terminator without any continuity knowledge of Superman comics in the 1990s. Was I ever wrong….

While I did read “The Death of Superman,” I quickly lost interest and am pretty much completely unfamiliar with all the further nonsense following it–Steel, Superboy, Cyborg Superman, et cetera, et cetera.

There’s not just Steel, Superboy and Cyborg Superman in this issue, there’s also Sarah and John Conner, who I never realized Dark Horse was allowed to use (since their license for The Terminator wouldn’t have included Terminator 2 and John Conner).

But this issue’s got Superman defending the Conners and a lot of continuity with the Superman titles and that nonsense.

None of that confusion matters, though.

What matters is the Terminators now have heat vision, which makes them a lot less interesting.

Pugh’s art is okay… his Superman is a problem.

CREDITS

Writer, Alan Grant; penciller, Steve Pugh; inker, Mike Perkins; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Phil D. Amara, Eddie Berganza, Mike D. Hansen and Maureen McTigue; publishers, Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics.

Robocop vs. the Terminator 4 (December 1992)

robocop-vs-terminator-4.JPG

Wow, so good old Frank Miller coming through here with a happy ending and a dumb joke and just an awful comic book. There’s so little story in this issue, you’d think it was coming out today instead of back in the early nineties.

Miller’s script reads like fan fiction, if I understand what fan fiction reads like–my understanding being totally based on the jokes made about fan fiction. What’s most interesting about the entire series is how the Robocop licensing worked. The Terminator stuff, apparently Miller got to do whatever he wanted because who cares what one’s going to do with a Terminator license (it wasn’t a Terminator 2 license). Robocop, not so much.

Simonson’s art’s real loose this issue too. Lots of whacked out body part proportions of Robocop; Simonson keeps it tighter for the human beings.

This series must’ve made someone out there stop reading comics.

CREDITS

Writer, Frank Miller; artist, Walt Simonson; colorist, Rachelle Monashe; letterer, John Workman; editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Robocop vs. the Terminator 3 (November 1992)

robocop-terminator-3.JPG

Let’s see if I can recap. The future lady doesn’t kill Robocop because he’s too human so Robocop goes off and kills himself. Wait, wait, I forgot the opening with the Terminators colonizing outer space (another thing Cameron wisely neglected wasting time on–what do the Terminators do once they take over the planet?). Ok, so then the future is okay and all the Terminators get erased from it and the people experience them getting erased, kind of like Back to the Future again. It’s very song and dance.

But then the Terminators, as they’re being erased, race back in time (I love how they just zap through time all the time in the comics) to stop Robocop’s suicide. Then they destroy his body and kill his friends. So then Robocop plants a virus in the Terminator computer so he can come back in the future.

It’s an awful comic.

CREDITS

Writer, Frank Miller; artist, Walt Simonson; colorist, Rachelle Monashe; letterer, John Workman; editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Robocop vs. the Terminator 2 (October 1992)

robocop-vs-terminator-2.jpg

This issue is definitely better. There’s very little of the future warrior woman’s narration and a lot of Robocop versus Terminator action. Miller’s sense of humor even works a little–even if he overwrites–with the ED-209s being, basically, Robocop’s obedient lapdogs.

His exposition here is still terrible, laughable really. But he comes up with some really effective moments, rather cinematic (it’s a shame his Robocop 2 script wasn’t as good as his Robocop vs. the Terminator script). Even with the stupid flying through the internet (on dial-up) scene with Robocop and his squeeze (from Robocop 3, natch), it’s a decent job. Robocop isn’t overly humanized, for example.

Unfortunately, Miller does give the Terminators thoughts and it’s real stupid. He individualizes them, instead of treating them more as a hive mind. Cameron wisely never went into how the Terminators thought in terms of society–Miller comes off idiotic.

CREDITS

Writer, Frank Miller; artist, Walt Simonson; colorist, Rachelle Monashe; letterer, John Workman; editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Robocop vs. the Terminator 1 (September 1992)

I’m not sure what level this one is most amusing on–Frank Miller doing licensed properties? Robocop vs. the Terminator being a sequel to the dismal Robocop 3 movie? The female soldier from the future knowing everything about the past even though she wouldn’t have been born yet? All the goofy expository dialogue or all the goofy narration? The endless possibilities for snide rhetorical questions?

Robocop vs. the Terminator is a crappy comic book; it’s not even an interesting crappy comic. It foreshadows everything Miller’s writing has turned into over the years–awful pacing–thirteen second action scenes taking two to three pages, dumb “grim and gritty” criminals who wouldn’t last thirteen seconds against Inspector Gadget (hey, a Robocop crossover with Inspector Gadget; Dynamite are you listening?).

Funniest is the time travel–instead of following Terminator time travel rules, Miller goes with the highly visual Back to the Future ones.

D 

CREDITS

Writer, Frank Miller; artist, Walt Simonson; colorist, Rachelle Menashe; letterer, John Workman; editor, Randy Stradley; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: