How many truly worthwhile crossovers in comics can you name? Ones where the premise didn't seem forced, and better yet, it actually made sense? I can think of maybe three, with Frank Miller & Walt Simonson's ROBOCOP VERSUS THE TERMINATOR being one of them. Originally published by Dark Horse in 1992 (when the publisher had both licenses), this 4-issue miniseries merged two great cinematic properties of the `80s. I use the word "merge" in the strongest sense, for by the end of this story, the two could almost be considered dependent upon each other. It's a daring step for a crossover to take, even when they are usually considered to take place outside of standard continuity. As a result, this story made a big impression on me when I read it 22 years ago, and even though I didn't keep my original issues, I've always regarded it highly. Thankfully, Dark Horse and Boom! Studios have now put ROBOCOP VERSUS THE TERMINATOR back in print, in hardcover. As The Terminator is involved, the story features a lot of time travel; in fact, it's essentially a battle across time, as Flo, a human from the future, comes to modern Detroit to destroy Robocop/Alex Murphy, while the Terminators are actually trying to protect him! When the Terminators' motive is revealed, Murphy sides with Flo, resulting in the two groups constantly trying to outwit each other across hundreds of years.
Any writer who attempts to tackle a time travel story gets a salute from me, as they are some of the most difficult to write. Miller handles the task admirably, even though the logistics become somewhat laughable at times. The timestream in this story is completely linear, so any changes to the past directly affect the future; however, it's interesting to see that those changes don't immediately take effect, but rather slowly force their way into the future, where everyone can observe them occurring.
As for Simonson's artwork, what needs to be said? The man was a master of his craft long before he tackled this miniseries, and he's obviously up to the task of capturing the power of the headliners. His trademark flourishes are on display: energy lines are all over the pages, and the sound effects jump out at you. One particularly notable image is a two-page spread of a Terminator fleet dispersing to the stars - it's both impressive and chilling. The coloring is excellent, making these over-20-year-old pages look brand-new.
Also included are character sketches, cover roughs, and the art for some character cut-outs that were included in the original issues. I normally don't go for hardcovers, but this edition of ROBOCOP VERSUS THE TERMINATOR is a must-have for me.