It all ends here (?) It has been a fun twelve months of reading following the well publicized but never seen until this series, final battle between Skynet and the humans for all the marbles. Throughout these twelve issues we have had some incredible action and some interesting plot questions relating to what it means to be human and what it means to be a machine. For twelve thunder pounding installments, we have addressed those questions and seen the outcome of an end all winner. Last month saw the end of one threat placing everything on an even playing field. With this, the final issue of Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle we are enlightened as to the outcomes of those events that occurred in issue #11.
There was lots of potential to really tank this one and have some crummy wrap since for all intents and purposes the battle itself had concluded. It could have been bad…Real Bad…Thank goodness it wasn’t. In fact, this final issue of The Final Battle is quite good, more emotional than I would have thought, and appropriate based on what acts and actions we have seen throughout the course of this story.
This entire series made a strong statement for the relevance of the Terminator franchise. It removed some of those bad vibes that previous work had given it. And it put a nice tone on things, capturing the original feeling that has not been seen since maybe the initial two movie installments. This comic not only matched those two. It actually surpassed it in some ways. What I found throughout the series was a well thought out, well written, and well drawn story that captured my interest and kept it throughout the entire series.
With the heavy action occurring in Issue #11, writer J. Michael Straczynski, changes pace and hits the reader with a more emotional tone. Events occurred to hero/leader/icon John Conner last time and a choice was made to fight serial killer Thomas Parnell with the “assistance” of Skynet. On the line was the survival of both parties. That battle concluded at that time and we now find Conner in the situation that he is in having to make another decision….Destroy? or Save? Conner makes his decision here and gives his reasoning behind it. We witness the outcome and see what happens next.
Some people may not like this ending. But I think after all of what went down on the previous issues, that J. Michael Straczynski has written John Conner to be the enlightened man that he is supposed to be. He has seen the pathway. He has analyzed the data. And he has used his heart to make the decision in spite of his current situation. In the decision lies the truly human element that is set across the backdrop of what Conner has become. It is a nice touch and really feels honest in its outcome. I could see this happen and it maybe should happen if a battle such of this ever occurred. Straczynski tugs at those strings of emotion and writes an enduring conclusion to a masterful series.
There is not much to be said regarding Pete Woods’ art. It has been incredible and I have been impressed throughout of how he worked to humanize certain machines, while mechanizing certain humans. On this the last issue, I think we have reached his final master stroke. His depictions on here push the limit of that human/mechanized look like. And I think he absolutely kills it. Much like Straczynski’s writing, Woods delivers and emotional response to this final issue that tugs at the heart strings and makes for an appropriate and honest ending.
It was sincerely my hope that the final issue of the series would not fall flat. I have enjoyed nearly all of these issues and found only a couple lacking in perfection. Overall, the series is phenomenal and worthy of multiple reads. This final issue simply seals that deal and offers the proper send off to a very good story.
Writer: J. Michael Straczysnki Artist: Pete Woods Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/24/14 Format: Limited Series; Print/Digital