Thursday, June 19, 2014

CBR Aliens vs. Predator vs. Terminator


The ultimate crossover to tie all these different franchises into one giant fanfic!

Comic title: Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator aka Aliens vs. Predator vs. Terminator or simply AvPvT
Art by Mel Rubi 
Written by Mark Schultz 

Published by Dark Horse Comics
From 2001
Lineup Aliens/Predator/Terminator Series
Format: Trade Paperback collecting the 2000 mini-series Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator #1-4.

Here's one for the books!

Aliens versus Predator versus The Terminator is the ultimate crossover you never really wanted or expected but that seems like such a fun natural progression for all franchises involved.

This 2000 4-issue limited mini-series was written by Mark Schultz, and illustrated by Mel Rubi. It also originally featured cover art from the great Dwayne Turner. This above 2001 Trade Paperback release makes use of a brand new stunning painted pin-up by artist Jon Foster, this awesome stunning cover you can see above.

It was one of those rare comics Dark Horse Comics to be set in the time period of Alien Resurrection. Usually they tried to avoid that in case a new film would ever take place there.

In the 2000s, Dark Horse decided to focuses their Aliens Vs. Predator sub-franchise entirely on crossovers with other proprieties instead of making new stories or continuing their own plot, because 20th Century Fox was either planning a movie of their own at the time or they had just done that already and it was shaking things up (as far as continuity go) on Dark Horse's side.

The Xenomorphs invaded so many different series over the years, this was probably the craziest crossover yet.

That is why we got this unexpected 3-way crossover!

And it was as good as it had any right to be.

Our story takes place some time following Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Alien: Resurrection.

The Ripley/Alien-hybrid clone (aka "Ripley 8") has ditched the surviving characters from the film. She has since been hiding in the devastated cities on Earth to avoid the authorities.

But her friend synthetic Annalee Call was able to find her with a group of renegade soldiers. She has been on the same mission since the events of the film, that is trying to put a stop to experiments on the Aliens creatures, which might let loose a new nightmare on humanity.

She was able to locate some illegal activities regarding Xenomorphs in a private station and she wants Ripley to join her group. Ripley finally reluctantly accepts.

They find this guy named Dr. Trollenberg who has apparently been tampering with making artificial Xenos... with a mysterious advanced cybernetic from the past!?

You see, there was a War Against the Machines, apparently redacted out of history books, probably censored by the military. While it doesn't make much sense, it helps Dark Horse Aliens comics explained a big virus was spread by synthetics, which made humanity lost most of its records - not counting the Alien plague on Earth that ravaged most of humanity for years - anyway long story short it caused the distrust amongst humans and synthetics, and the way Call was disregarded in Resurrection.

Apparently Judgement Day also happened in this timeline.

The year was 2032. When John Connor 's human resistance was finally able to win the war and defeat Skynet for good. But you see, Skynet had already planned a back-up plan in this case. Should it ever be defeated it had already planted a few sleeper agents amongst humans. Those machines lied dormant, offline, for a few years before being integrated back into humanity. Stealthy posing as scientists and other important persons of power. And now several hundred years have passed since then and they waited, and waited.. until something new popped up. before... All these centuries of careful planning finally gave them the answer - the Xenomorphs!

The Aliens are a well-known terror through the entire galaxy.

Trollenberg was actually a Terminator! And he's planning to make an army of Terminator/Alien hybrids! Skynet will rise again!

The planned seemed perfect, really. But that was without counting on the deadliest hunters finding their way to those labs as Ripley and Call arrived on the premise - the Predators!

Suddenly this lone Predator is aboard the station as well! He is eventually defeated but not without revealing the Terminators to the humans.

Call is able to hack into its head and find a virus left by John Connor and the resistance, discovering this bit of history that had been forgotten. Ripley 8 is captured by the rest of the Predator clan. And the remaining Terminators escape into the last place in space to have stored some Xenomorphs!

The ultimate crossover can begin!

Aliens vs. Predator vs. The Terminator can be seen as a spin-off of sort of the crossover series Aliens Vs. Predator.

The main objective of this story appears to be trying its best to connect all these separate franchises... which comes off as a surprisingly easy take to pull off  actually from the looks of it.

The author Mark Schultz was already pretty familiar with both the Aliens and the Predators and using the "Xenogenesis" artist for this project seemed like a natural decision (collected in the Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus: Volume 2!).

Mel Rubi art was typical for early 2000s comic book art (a thing that Dark Horse fans didn't like much back in the day actually). He draws a pretty unrecognizable John Connor in my eyes, but more than makes up for it with a pretty decent Winona Ryder!

Nice designs for the monsters, albeit a bit too cartoony for the subject I think. It could have been made better hadn't it been this colorful at least...

There were some minor issues I'd like to point out. A sudden change of font for a couple of pages kinda threw me off the book - what was the editor doing!? Did anyone proof-read this?

There's a lot of great elements, such as this future breed of Predators, deadlier than ever with access to all-new tech.

Dark Horse played with the idea of synthetic-Aliens in their comics several times in the early 90s (see Aliens: Hive for example).

While not directly mentioning in this series due to when these events take place, the guys at Dark Horse have gone on to say Lance Henriksen's characte Detective Hal Vukovich in the original Terminator was an early member of the Aliens' Bishop family, probably the idea of a human android might passed on the family until we finally got the Synthetics through Weyland Industries. Likewise following the death of Predator 1's Dutch at some point, his body probably ended up given for a "noble cause" but was actually used as a template for T-800 through Cyberdyne Systems. It might sound kinda far-fetched but these little nods would have been neat to witness in the actual story.

And that brings me in to the main issue here.

This entire crossover could have been much better had it gotten the chance to be stretched out to a couple more issues.

It's a fun adventure/scifi series that plays well with several elements of these three franchises.

But it was sadly way too short, it spends too much time in the beginning just explaining the origin of this tale the the menace these new Terminators might pose... yet resolves the conflict so quickly in a couple of pages at the end!

Following the War against the Machines, Skynet disappeared from humanity and now a new generation of deadlier Terminator, a new super-breed of Alien/Terminator hybrids might see the day. And what hope does humanity have? They might find a chance to survive in the form of this alien warrior race of Predators! Led by the Alien/human hybrid Ripley clone no less!

It's really a fun story that easily finds a way to tie-in the Alien Resurrection era into the fallout from the Terminator's future war.

I'm sure it could have been much better had Dark Horse allowed it to be longer or continue (another mini? more series? an ongoing?). So much time is spend on establishing it, it's just a shame we couldn't explore it more...

And the most surprising thing is... it actually sort of works!

Aliens vs. Predator vs. Terminator is a story that could easily almost pass for a 5th Alien/3rd Predator /or new Terminator movie at the time!

It was great to also continue the Ripley clone's story, trying to escape from her monstrous side without a chance to reconnect with her humanity either.

Overall, it's a pretty fun book!

It could have been so much worse but it actually was able to play with all these three series and manage to respect each of them.

It's nothing spectacular, mind you. But it was a fairly enjoyable crossover all in all!

The plot does feels like a B-Movie despite the best efforts from the establishing prologue (like I said, there wasn't enough issues to make much of it). And it's easily miles away from Paul W. S. Anderson's shy attempt at a crossover flick and the badly-produced follow-up from the Strause brothers. If anything this was fairly coherent to all three franchises.

Mostly Recommended for fans!

I give it:
2 / 3 Aaylas!


  1. I have to get this...just because...I mean, c'mon, it's awesome.

    1. You gotta admit, it's a great premise!
      All these classic franchises in one story, what's not to like!? XD