Superman vs. the Terminator #1
June 22, 2009
Thankfully this comic will NOT be back.
(Linkara walks up to his closet, softly singing his theme song. Suddenly, he hears a strange sound that makes him look around in confusion. The next thing he knows, he is suddenly thrust through time, and we are treated to a much older Linkara (played by Loren Lovhaug, Lewis' father), who wears a much bigger hat than usual)
Linkara-Prime: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. (shakes head and shrugs) Before we begin, I promise that "Revolution of the Mask", issue #3, will be out soon. Anyway, I've been doing this for thirty years, so I suppose it's finally time to review "Final Crisis".
(A shot of the cover of the first volume of the comic is shown)
Linkara-Prime (v/o): I was just put off after so many people ended up hating my "Countdown To Final Crisis" review that I just didn't want to get around to it, but, of course, it's time.
Linkara-Prime: As such, let's dig into (holds up comic) "Final Crisis #1". Whoopee.
(Cut to a closeup of the comic cover)
Linkara-Prime (v/o): Right off the bat, you know you're in for something bad. This cover is just lazy.
(A comparative shot of the cover for "Crisis On Infinite Earths" is shown)
Linkara-Prime (v/o): Look at the cover to "Crisis On Infinite Earths #1" or even "Infinite Crisis #1". There's a lot of stuff happening, giving you the impression of an epic crisis that will span the length of the DC Universe.
(Back to the "Final Crisis" cover)
Linkara-Prime (v/o): But this? Huh! It looks like a Dean Koontz novel that was phoned in by the artist. There's nothing epic about it. Two-thirds of the cover is wasted on the comic's title! And the image itself isn't all that–
(Suddenly, present Linkara is teleported into the room)
Linkara-Prime: Oh, hey. I was wondering when you'd finally show up.
Linkara: What the...? Where am I?!
Linkara-Prime: You're in the future, about thirty years or so.
Linkara: Really? (looks around, then down at himself, becoming surprised in the process) Where are my pants?
(The camera shows Linkara's bare leg)
Linkara-Prime: It's time travel; your clothes can't go with you.
Linkara: Oh. (notices that he still has his shirt and jacket) Then why am I still wearing my shirts?
Linkara-Prime: Um... Uh... Anyway, you'll be pulled back into your own time soon enough. It's just a residual effect of Dr. Insano playing around with Hypertime.
Linkara: (nods) I see. Wait, why aren't you wearing my hat?
Linkara-Prime: What hat?
Linkara: And why are we here? You're saying, in thirty years, I never moved out of my parents' house?!
Linkara-Prime: You think it's bad for you?
Linkara's mother: (offscreen) Clean your room!
Linkara: This is intolerable! When I get back to my own time, I'm gonna change things! I'm gonna make this all better! You'll see! I'm gonna turn my life around, and all of this will–
(Suddenly, Linkara disappears again, and Linkara-Prime's bigger hat is turned into present Linkara's regular hat)
Linkara-Prime: Hey, I got my hat back!
(Title sequence begins, followed by the episode title card, set to the main theme from Terminator 2; cut to Linkara back on his futon)
Linkara: Crossovers! I love 'em, and I know you all love 'em! You know who else loves 'em? Comic fans!
(A montage of images showing artwork of Marvel and DC comic characters meeting each other)
Linkara (v/o): While it's been fairly standard for a comic to feature characters from other stories in the same universe, crossovers with other companies were rare when they first started. In the '90s, though, they were all the rage. Marvel and DC produced some good, some bad, and these days, you rarely see them, mostly because of the egos of the people in charge of the companies.
(Cut to a shot of the crossover comic "Batman/Aliens")
Linkara (v/o): But then there are crossovers that just don't make any sense. Was there anyone who was really asking to see Batman fight Aliens or Predator?
(Cut to a clip of the fan-made film Batman vs. Alien vs. Predator)
Linkara (v/o): I mean, outside of that cool fan film? And who in their right mind decided...
(Cut to a shot of the cover for...)
Linkara (v/o): ..."Archie Meets the Punisher" needed to happen? Speaking of, no, I'm not reviewing that one, mostly because it isn't that bad.
Linkara: Really, these kind of crossovers just don't work, especially with characters like Superman. Keep that in mind as we dig into (holds up comic of review) "Superman vs. the Terminator #1".
(Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Now, it's actually called "Superman Versus the Terminator: Death To the Future". I guess because they needed to distinguish it from...
(The following title pops up...)
Linkara (v/o): ..."Superman Versus the Terminator: Journey To Happyland". Or ("Happyland" is replaced with "Vice City", as in the Grand Theft Auto game) "Superman Versus the Terminator: Vice City".
(Back to the real comic cover)
Linkara (v/o): We have this image of Superman surrounded by hundreds of Terminators with guns aimed at him, and while this is well-drawn, he looks like he's only slightly agitated by the attacking robots. And why is it centered like this? Couldn't they have filled up the whole page instead of having this unnecessary border around it all? (the comic proper begins) We open to Metropolis, where Sarah Connor and John Connor are continuing on the run from the Terminators.
Linkara: Yeah, don't bother trying to figure out where this fits into Terminator continuity. It'll just make your head hurt.
Linkara (v/o): All of a sudden, a naked man beams in.
John: What is it, Mom?
Sarah: Our worst nightmare!
Linkara: It's another Terminator sequel! Run for your life!
Sarah: It's a Terminator!
Linkara: (as Terminator) Wrong! You changed the future! Now I am a Kindergarten Cop-inator!
Linkara (v/o): The Terminator suddenly fires lasers out of its eyes– wait, what? When the hell could Terminators do that? And by the way, look at this guy's face. It's like they went out of their to make sure he doesn't look a thing like Schwarzenegger. Sarah manages to get into a sporting goods store and grabs a flare gun, shooting a flare right at the Terminator. It melts off a good chunk of its face, but it's still going, all of a sudden loudly announcing how all of its systems are still operative. It's been a while since I watched the movies, but I don't recall Terminators being quite this chatty either. Superman, flying overhead, notices the commotion and the Terminator inside.
Superman: (thinking) People running out of that mall in panic...?!
Linkara: (as Superman) My God, they must be filming Jingle All the Way down there! I've got to stop them!
Linkara (v/o): The Terminator, somehow noticing Superman flying right at it despite him going at incredible speeds, turns to try to fight, but Superman promptly sends its naked ass flying. Even after this, the Terminator can still fight, and it shoots off another eye blast at Supes and punches him. Superman regains his senses and decides to end this before it can escalate any further.
Superman: (holding up Terminator, poised to punch it) I guess I can take the kid gloves off!
Linkara: (looking offscreen) Because I AM A MAN!
(Like always, he reaches out and punches, then brings his back into frame, holding a sheet of paper, which he looks over)
Linkara: (low voice) We already used the... (becomes frustrated) Oh, I so did NOT use the joke last week! That didn't count!
Linkara (v/o): With that, Superman punches its head off and rips through the robot like it was tin foil. Superman wonders what was going on and decides that asking the couple that was attacking could help and– wait, couple?? Why does he think John Connor and his mom are a couple? Furthermore, when did he see them being attacked? He just spotted the Terminator rampaging around. He finds them in an alleyway, preparing to leave Metropolis. While at first Sarah refuses Superman's help, he kindly picks them up and brings them to a construction site. Because that's the safest place to be when engaging in fights that create lots of debris.
Superman: (crushing a rock) While you're under my protection-- NOTHING or NOBODY--will harm you!
Linkara: (as Superman) So long as those killer robots are made out of rocks, you'll be safe.
Linkara (v/o): So Sarah lays out the premise of the Terminator movies.
Sarah: Not very into the future...
(Cut to a clip of the opening titles for Mystery Science Theater 3000)
Singers: Way down in Deep 13...
(Back to the comic)
Sarah: ...our machines are going to rebel against us!
Linkara: The George Foreman grills are going to be the Stormtroopers of the machine apocalypse!
Sarah: An artificial intelligence* will control every computer--every electronic system-- in the world!
- NOTE: Sarah says that the artificial intelligence is called SkyNet, but Linkara skips that.
Linkara: (as Sarah) And then we'll be all hooked up into an interactive simulation called the Matrix and– oh, wait, wrong franchise.
Sarah: (narrating) Only a tiny remnant of humanity will survive to fight back-- led by my son, John Connor!
Linkara: (disgusted at how John looks in the panel in question) Ugh. I see Christian Bale does not age well.
Linkara (v/o): Superman is skeptical of this at first, but he can't deny the evidence of the Terminator that tried to kill them. Sarah, however, is confused about SkyNet found them at all, since they're so careful to cover their tracks. John admits that, like a moron, he entered his name into a contest at that toy store to win a bike. Well, what the hell did he expect to come from that?! He obviously couldn't put a home address down on the thing since he's on the move! And why did the Terminators decide just that very moment to attack? In the first movie, the Terminator just went around hunting for her. It didn't know where Sarah Connor was. Superman promises to find the entry and destroy it, but Sarah doesn't think the plan will work.
Sarah: Don't you see-- you obviously won't destroy the entry...or the Terminator wouldn't have been able to pinpoint us like that!
Linkara: Wasn't the entire point of the first two films – the only two films that were out at the time this comic was made, by the way – that you could avert destiny?
(Cut to a shot of a panel for a Lois Lane comic involving a rival named Lana Lang)
Linkara (v/o): And by the way, you're trying to argue time travel physics to the man who perfected the popemobile go-kart time machine during the Silver Age. He probably knows more about what he's talking about when it comes to alternate futures than you do, lady.
(Back to the crossover comic)
Linkara (v/o): Their conversation is interrupted, however, when two more not-Schwarzeneggers arrive via time bubbles.
Linkara: If SkyNet can send back more than one Terminator at a time, why not just send back 500 of the things all at once?
(Cut to a shot of a Borg cube of Star Trek fame)
Linkara (v/o): It's the same thing with the Borg in Star Tre: why not just send a hundred cubes to assimilate humanity instead of one at a time? I know you can argue efficiency and resources and all that...
(Back to the Superman/Terminator comic)
Linkara (v/o): ...but the lesson works both in Star Trek and this comic. If you have the capability to do so, just friggin' do it and ensure victory, instead of just wasting your time with the same strategy over and over! Meanwhile, the cyborg Superman – long story there; basically, he's a Superman villain, blamed Superman for all his problems, blah, blah, blah – has recovered the Terminator skull and is examining its technology.
Cyborg Superman: A pity its functions were destroyed by my hated enemy, Superman! But fortunate that I was able to retrieve it!
Linkara: Dude, get a blog. It's a lot easier than monologuing to yourself.
Cyborg Superman: It MUST have come from the future!
Linkara (v/o): Or, you know, someone smarter than you on the Earth.
Cyborg Superman: That must mean the existence of an advanced race of machines!
(Cut to a clip of the opening to the Transformers cartoon series)
Singers: Transformers! Robots in disguise!
(Back to the comic again)
Cyborg Superman: They could be the answer to all my problems...
Linkara: (as Cyborg Superman) Like how to turn a Manwich into a meal. (raises his fist into the air) Long has that solution eluded me.
Linkara (v/o): The cyborg realizes he can use the Terminator skull to leave a message to SkyNet in the future with information on how to defeat Superman, though, really, I don't think it's necessary. If that really was a legit future of the DC Universe, SkyNet would already know all of Superman's weaknesses. It's not like his weaknesses are classified information. This does explain, though, why the Terminators have eye beams. But then, that just makes this into Superman vs. robot guys who don't resemble Terminators but by the cyborg Superman, not "Superman vs. Terminator". Anyway, Supes engages the two naked robots, though, really, this fight should be over in three seconds.
Linkara: All you need to do is fly really fast into them and (holds out fist) punch big holes through them. This is why this concept is so idiotic!
Linkara (v/o): The two Terminators start throwing debris at innocent people to distract Supes, but he manages to stop it in time to smash them up with rocks.
Superman: But I'm puzzled. Let's start from the beginning... How could they have known anything at all about me?
Linkara: Well, maybe if you weren't letting yourself be interviewed by Lois Lane every week, information about you wouldn't be widely available!
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, the cyborg plants the skull at a statue with a frequency for the machines to pick up on so they'll find it in the future. And of course, all the while, he narrates as if anybody cared. Back with Supes, some sort of time storm starts up and envelops him.
Superman: My powers don't work against it!
Linkara: Exactly what powers do you use against a time cyclone? Freeze breath?
Linkara (v/o): He heat-visions into a metal beam Lois' phone number and tells him to contact her for help while he vanishes. As he time-travels, his clothes rip up, too, though I have no idea why; it's one of the stupider concepts of the Terminator series, that clothes can't travel back because only living tissues can go through it, which makes even less sense. They try to explain this by saying that he "feels himself turned inside out, then back again," but that wouldn't mean his clothes would be shredded; that would mean he'd be dead! He rematerializes in the future and is instantly mistaken for a Terminator by the resistance. However, among them is John Henry Irons, AKA Steel, and he tells them to hold their fire. And so, our comic ends with Steel telling him that he's arrived in Metropolis in the year 2032, and we see that it's become a twisted wasteland.
Linkara: (holding up comic) This comic sucks! The art is good, but the crossover itself is a bad idea.
Linkara (v/o): It's poorly written, since if this is supposed to be the DC Universe, there are hundreds of heroes who can help counteract the machine-run future as well as SkyNet. The idea that SkyNet wouldn't know about Superman is stupid, and also that the Connors don't already recognize Superman as someone who can help them is just idiotic if they're really supposed to share universes.
Linkara: A real Superman vs. the Terminator fight would go more like this: (as Terminator) I'll be back. (as Superman) No, you won't! (reaches out and pretends to punch) WHAM! Smash! (normal again) End of story. (puts down comic, gets up and leaves)
And yes, I was wearing shorts during that opening. ...Sorry, fangirls.
(Stinger: Dr. Insano is seen holding up a device and a remote control, giggling crazily)
Dr. Insano: Finally, my orbital death ray is complete! All I have to do is call Linkara and make my demands known! (pushes a button on the remote, then walks up close to the camera) Linkara, come in! I've got a special surprise for– (stops suddenly) Wait a minute! You're not Linkara!
(Linkara is seen)
Linkara: (robotic voice) Oh, but I am Linkara. (holds up hand, which is metallic) More or less. (looks toward camera, his eyes turning a metallic red)