Review: ‘Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle’ #1

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An enjoyable sci-fi adventure, “Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle” #1 has a decent storyline that will keep readers engaged. This is a good effort to keep the “Terminator” franchise breathing. Though the comic has some good parts in it, “Terminator Salvation: Endgame” is focusing on the wrong things, just like the recent sequels.

WRITTEN BY: J. Michael Stracynski
ART BY: Pete Woods
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Dec. 4th, 2013

Though she is dying, Dr. Serena Kogan wants to live long enough to see the aftermath of her cybernetic development. Kogan is just part of Skynet’s master plan as they work together on the time door to the past. They have to somehow keep the power grid running to stabilize the time door’s opening. But John Connor, leader of the human rebellion, has other plans for the time door. Following his mother’s prophecies, Connor knows he is the key to humanity’s survival. He has to deliver the fatal blow that will finally end the war between the robots and humans.

Writer J. Michael Stracynski has nicely set up a bunch of noticeable throwbacks to the “Terminator” franchise that fans will point out. I definitely enjoyed the witty humor Stracynski brings to narrative, especially when the T-800 machines break into a crack house. To steal their clothing, the T-800s start a fight with the thugs, pimps, and hookers. Simon, one of John’s time-travelling soldiers, finds himself at in the past at the wrong day and time. For the first installment, Stracynski is focusing more on the characters than trying to create a blockbuster action sequence.

Though Stracynski tries to explore James Cameron’s mythology, the writing suffers much like “Rise of the Machines” and “Salvation” because the focus switches from Sarah Connor to John, a much less interesting character. I enjoyed “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” because it was about a mother who was willing to do anything to protect her child. Sarah has to sacrifice so much of herself to keep John safe and hidden, but has to let him grow up. To me, what made the Cameron’s Terminator movies so interesting was Linda Hamilton’s performance as Sarah Connor. With Sarah gone from franchise, we’re stuck with a boring character who says he is a great leader but doesn’t really show it.

Artist Pete Woods provides a specific look to the different time periods. In the future setting, Woods illustrates the war-time period with tents and busted-up vehicles. Because there is no more electricity, notice how the panels are lit from the burning trashcans. In their character designs, John and his tried soldiers have bandaged heads and battle scars on the faces.

In the modern-day setting, the T-800 machines have to wear hoodies, jerseys, and jeans to fit in with everyday people. When they are wearing human skin, the T-800 machines are bulked up in size, which make them stand out amongst a crowd. Dressed like a slacker, Simon has the right look because of his
long hair and the goatee on his chin.

“Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle ” #1 doesn’t add anything new to the franchise but at least tries to be a fun read. It’s a decent start but this will mostly please the Terminator fans and make you yearn for James Cameron’s installments.

3/5 Skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis