What happens when the ultimate killing machine faces off against someone virtually impossible to kill?

That question isn't merely philosophical, it's a storyline being played out on printed comics pages as one of the baddest girls on the block, Painkiller Jane, faces off against the meanest machine of them all, the Terminator, in a 4-part crossover that starts in the just-released "Painkiller Jane" No. 4.

The crossover will then continue in "Terminator 2: Infinity" No. 6; "Painkiller Jane" No. 5; and "Terminator 2: Infinity" No. 7.

All four issues of the crossover are written by "Jane" co-creator and current scribe Jimmy Palmiotti.

Palmiotti has an exceptional skill for writing insane stories that more often than not include a lot of bullets being fired and a lot of stuff being blown up.

He would therefore seem to be a sure bet to tell an exciting tale that will satisfy devoted fans of both franchises.

Based on "Painkiller Jane" No. 4, he delivers.

While the action is a bit less kinetic than a regular Palmiotti-penned book, that is simply the result of the necessary exposition. Palmiotti introduces most of the main characters from both franchises to familiarize those who have no knowledge of their worlds.

For those picking up the book simply because they thought the crossover sounded like a cool idea, they can quickly learn all they need to enjoy the story.

While Palmiotti's always palpable love for his baby, Jane, is obvious in No. 4, the scenes involving the Terminators and their world are also detailed and inspired.

Palmiotti has stated that he has always been a fan of the Terminator franchise and did a lot of research to make sure he portrayed them and their supporting cast accurately and in a story that would gibe with Terminator continuity.

He has done such a good job here, Comics Guy feels he should get a shot at writing the next "Terminator" movie. The world as presented here reminds me a lot of "Terminator 3" and its aftermath.

In the meantime, do yourself a favor and pick this up. A fun, furious ride has just begun.

'Mars' writer

on strike

TV Guide's "Ask Ausiello" feature recently had an update on a rumored "Veronica Mars" comic.

's "Ask " feature recently had an update on a rumored "" comic.

"I had a second meeting with DC Comics," said "Mars" creator Rob Thomas. "I heard that the [Writers Guild of America] didn't want [TV writers penning TV-based] comic books during the strike as it would promote a network property.

"We're investigating whether there are similar hurdles for a defunct TV series like 'Veronica Mars.' Naturally, I won't be writing it if the Guild doesn't want me to, but we're hoping that's not the case." *

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