REVIEW: Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1

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Way back in 2009, Terminator Salvation hit the big screens hoping to re-energize the Terminator franchise.  Whether that was a success or not is debatable, but Dark Horse is bringing a sequel, Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle, by high profile writer J. Michael Straczynski.  Is this a sequel worth reading or is it better off just waiting for the future reboot?  Read on and find out!

SUMMARY

Pros
Artwork
Cons

Lots of “been there done that”
Too much time travel mumbo jumbo

Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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Terminator Final_1_coverTERMINATOR SALVATION: THE FINAL BATTLE #1
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Pete Woods
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Editor: Brendan Wright
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Terminator Salvation: John Connor led the attack on Skynet with the help of Kyle Reese and hybrid Terminator Marcus Wright. They succeeded, but now Skynet is returning with new plans to kill the leader of the resistance.

YAY, TIME TRAVEL’S CONFUSING!

Terminator Salvation was an entertaining movie and did some interesting new things with the franchise. What I enjoyed most was the lack of time travel, keeping the setting in the lesser seen future of the Terminator series. Of course, that’s all been scrapped as it looks like the films will be getting another reboot. Dark Horse has felt the need to give readers an official sequel to Salvation, in twelve parts no less, and it unfortunately starts off pretty stale.

Straczynski introduces a new protagonist named Simon as well as bringing back the ever so fun and headache inducing time travel. Of course, this throws lots of wrenches in the machine and creates more problems than it’s worth. The issue attempts to address some of these problems, such as why Skynet keeps attempting to kill the humans after so many failures, and the answer is convoluted as well as silly. Along with these problems, the issue feels extremely familiar and gives us very little that we haven’t seen before. This time, three Terminators are sent back, in which we see a barroom brawl for the fourth time and Simon must find someone for some reason that’s not clear yet. No background is given to Simon and he reads like a generic action protagonist. The best part of the issue is seeing Dr. Serena Kogan helping rebuild Skynet while also providing a voice of dissension. Clarity is still needed as to whether her body’s still alive and why she is suddenly reluctant when we last saw her giant face so eager to kill John Connor. It is likely that Straczynski is playing the long game as this is twelve parts, but that’s a lot to expect a reader to take on, especially with an introduction this weak. It all results in giving us a continuation to a story that is probably better left untouched.

GREAT WHEN THERE’S ROOM TO BREATHE

While Pete Woods’ art is the best part about this issue, much of it feels cramped due to the large amount of dialogue. The opening bar fight is somewhat confusing due to the number of panels and many times characters and scenes look small as to accommodate the word balloons. The scene inside Skynet is the shining moment, with a large cinematic look at various machines making killer robots. His attention to detail and facial expressions are fantastic though, and it is all on par with his past work. There’s nothing bad about the art but the issue suffers from looking too cramped and confined.

BOTTOM LINE: NOT WORTH $5O TO FINISH

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1 turns out to be a confusing and needless continuation of the Terminator franchise. Too many elements have been seen before and the reintroduction of time travel causes more problems than it’s worth. There’s also a lot of ambiguity to the issue, probably due to it being twelve parts long. This is likely for hardcore fans only, and even then keep in mind that you’ll be dropping near fifty dollars to get the complete tale. Even with the art, I don’t think it’s worth it. Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #1 earns 2 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆