The penultimate issue of Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle is finally here. And as we prepare to see how this twelve issue series that has really brought back my good memories of the Terminator franchise that has been decimated by some really crummy movies and some inspired comics in recent years play out, I am beginning to become a little curious to see if things will drop in success like they have in the last couple of issues of this tale that were simply ok, but not mind-blowing . No, not here with Issue #11, Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle Issue #11 is hard-hitting and action packed from beginning to end looking into the nature of what it is to be a human, and in how a machine believes that humans can be destroyed while once again underestimating the ramifications of the decision almost like an impulsive human might do. It has been a good character study and has addressed new ground from what has been done in the past with the franchise. It would be difficult to explain the many plot points building up to this issue, so I will give you a brief mini version….Skynet, recognizing defeat is imminent, sends three terminators back to the past to rescue the scientist who will set things in motion for a possible victory and to also bag a notorious serial killer that they aim to use as a weapon against the humans believing what better way to terminate humankind than with a human terminator of other humans. Plans to stop them failed and Thomas Parnell has been merged into the machines and is on an onslaught of bloody disgusting destruction. Unfortunately for Skynet, Parnell is beginning to increase his power to eventually make him in complete control, putting an end to both man and machine alike if things continue. In an effort to stop this, Skynet has called for a truce with the humans utilizing another part of the past to try to bring cooperation to occur under the ever-increasing vision of Parnell. Issue #11, brings to a conclusion the ramifications of that truce and we are led to quite an interesting battle between John Conner and Parnell with a winner take all feel to it.
Yeah, this is one sweet issue that packs a hell of a punch to the soul. The action is fierce, the dialogue, perfectly timed, and the story itself, is really, really good. Writer J. Michael Straczynski, after slowing things down a little bit in Issue #9 and #10, kicks the action back into overdrive and lays out a feast of ferocious fighting that will not disappoint and will thoroughly entertain. The writing is white knuckled and Straczynski keeps it simple letting the art do the talking when it needs to be and utilizing the dialogue after the action can adjust to make for a well-played issue. I have to say that the last few pages of this one really fires on all cylinders.
Pete Woods’ art has been stellar throughout, but I noticed a much deeper use of shadowing with this issue as we are into a life and death winner take all situation. Woods delivers making the action fluent and flowing, making for rapid reading and strong detail orientation.
I am at a loss as to what can happen next. We are given a slight peak as it does look like when Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle wraps up next month, it will definitely be complete. I just don’t know if they can quite top this issue in regard to the level of intensity. Only time will tell, but Straczynski and Woods will be having their work cut out for them. Good luck guys. I’m pulling for you. .
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artist: Pete Woods Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/19/14 Format: Limited-Series; Print/Digital