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Terminator: Salvation The Final Battle #1 Sets the Franchise’s Endgame on the Right Path

Terminator: Salvation The Final Battle #1 Sets the Franchise’s Endgame on the Right Path

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Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Art: Pete Woods
Colours: Matthew Wilson
Lettering: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Pete Woods w/ Matthew Wilson
Publisher: Mike Richardson for Dark Horse Comics
Purchase: http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/24-235/Terminator-Salvation-The-Final-Battle-1-Pete-Woods-cover

The Terminator franchise has been wildly successful for 29 years. While the movie series may have one or two clunkers– you know which ones they are, the franchise as a whole has withstood the test of time. Thanks to a rabid fan base, an endless well of material to pool from and a message that hits closer and closer to home with every iOS update, its pretty easy to see why. But something very interesting is happening over at Dark Horse Comics.

Since Hollywood seems to be sitting on the Terminator franchise for a bit, more than likely heading towards an unnecessary reboot, Dark Horse has taken action and is finally putting a cap on James Cameron’s classic story. A direct continuation of the last film, Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1 depicts John Connor’s Hail Mary, last-chance-for-romance effort to end the Cyberdyne war once and for all.

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J. Michael Straczynski has always been a hit and miss kind of writer. Whatever your feelings may be toward Superman: Earth One, the guy’s books make bank, yet with his roots in sci-fi, Straczynski fits rights at home in the Terminator universe. The book is rooted in Terminator lore, with many a nod to the Cameron classics– because if you’re going to borrow influence, borrow from the best. He even does something many of the franchise writers have failed to do: make John Connor human. Instead of spouting generic commands, Straczynski’s Connor is emotional and loving, far from the robotic interpretation the usually excellent Bale gave us a few years back.

Terminator_Sal_Prev_01Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book are the tidbits of mythology sprinkled through-out, something that fanboys will no doubt enjoy– or complain about, since they do love complaining. These little artifacts of knowledge, like the T-800 model being expendable and hence why it was sent to kill Kyle Reese in the first place, are fun and keep the story rolling along.

Pete Woods manages to capture the essence of Terminator universe perfectly. While the present day visuals are a little lackluster, when Woods dives into the psychedelic world of Cyberdyne the book truly comes alive. Bright colours, creative character designs and excellent set pieces help make this inorganic world come to life.

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1 is an event 30 years in the making. This 12 issue series is off to a great start, giving readers just enough tasty nuggets to guarantee they’ll be back for more. (see what I did there?)

-Sean

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