"This is where everything changes"..."This is where everything changes". So goes the final lines to Issue #3 of Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle. And I would say a very appropriate line for this installment, the best one, thus far in this miniseries. The battle between Skynet and humankind has reached its climax and we are now a quarter of the way into this 12 issue run. All I can say is that if this is only the first quarter, then we are in for one hell of a ride the rest of the way. We better buckle up. The first two issues began with some back story with a nice set of pacing between the past/present and future. Big things have been at play as the humans are mounting their final assault on Skynet and the machines are trying to preserve their victory through time manipulation. It appears that all things now hinge on serial killer Thomas Parnell. The machines need him for their plans and the humans need him dead. Issue #3 deals with the chase and I would like to use a line from the book itself to explain where this story goes..."Follow the collateral damage".
The action, which has been good, turns up the intensity to white-hot as we bare witness to the chase for Parnell, with Simon representing the humans and two of the baddest assed upgraded terminators we have ever seen representing the machines. You get it all here, explosions, chemical weapon releases, deadly hair extensions? Plus, you get the extremely interesting touch in the reversing of roles where the human is trying to do the killing and the Terminators are trying to do the saving.
Oh yeah, and if that is not enough for you, we flash forward to the future where the heat of the final battle is underway. John Conner's master plan begins to take shape and we see that this plan is no holds barred. It is wide open and means to be the end all of the machines once completed. If this issue isn't enough action for you, better check your pulse because you might be dead.
J. Michael Straczynski Is beginning to become one of my favorite writers in recent months. I have been enjoying this run thoroughly as well as his new Twilight Zone book that started last month. He writes his stories in the pace and flow of a movie, making for a truly entertaining read. You just get drawn in and want to see it to completion. Hell, I am looking to start eating popcorn as I read these installments. The only thing that is missing is the surround sound (and the monstrous movie screen). Even on the small comic medium however, Stracynznski makes the most of his words.
Adding to this issue, Pete Woods' art "blows up" literally. He has been drawing great images that convey the intensity of the story. But like with Straczynski's writing, a new level of intensity occurs with this issue taking things to the next level. Woods' action is detailed in rapid fire succession that just makes that movie feel even more realistic.
If Issue #3 is any indication of what the final three-quarters if this story have to offer, then we are in for some kind of ride. At worst, this will be a good story that adds substance to the Terminator mythos. But at best, which the story is showing signs, this could be considered arguably the best work within the whole terminator series, period. It has my vote right now. Here's hoping that it will continue.
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artist: Pete Woods Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/5/14