The cover: Farrow Greene is fighting side by side with the Terminator? He’s very much the worse for wear as he’s missing much of his synthetic flesh. She’s looking okay, so far, as she’s blasting at the bad guys as much as he is, though she has two pistols and he a rifle. A terrific cover from interior artist Jamal Igle. I like how the villains are in silhouette and are in various states of distress, with red being used to show where they’ve been hit. All in all, a solid cover illustration. Overall grade: A
The story: The penultimate installment of this limited series from writer Dan Jolley opens with our human lead knocked unconscious after last issue. She’s laying on a metal table, side by side with the Terminator, also unconscious, whom she’s stricken a deal with: they find Dr. Elise Fong, liberate her, and then they battle over who gets her. The military types are besides themselves with the luck of having a Terminator’s head arrive on their doorstep. They’ve been able to reverse engineer other Terminator units, but without the heads. Now that they have one, they can improve the models they’ve made. The story then goes one year into the past as readers are shown what got Greene kicked out of the CIA, and it’s a pretty brutal story. I didn’t see the surprise coming on Page 7 and it’s so big it completely justifies all of her actions from the previous four issues. Once this flashback is over it’s back to the present, where one person on Page 10 changes their current situation. There’s a lot of nice action this issue, with Pages 11 and 15 have some scenes that are worthy of being in a film, and isn’t that what you want to see in a comic originating from a movie franchise? My favorite part of the issue comes on the final page. Again, didn’t see it coming–and I love that–and it fits flawlessly into the best of the films. This is such a winning story on this series. Overall grade: A
The art: This was a surprise this month. I’ve been pretty pleased with the art by Jamal Igle, who only does pencils for Pages 1 – 8 and roughs for 9 – 22. He’s inked on the first eight pages by Ray Snyder, who also finished the roughs. It’s an obvious change up in art as one reads the book. I don’t know how rough Igle left things for Snyder, but I wasn’t happy with what I got. For Igle’s opening pages, I did enjoy the flashback. It’s a definite change in every way from what this series has done before and I liked it. I’m always a fan of artists who get away from the usual layout of square and/or rectangular panels in a comic, and something as simple as rounding the boxes of the flashback sequence is a great way to differentiate it from the “present” scenes. Once Synder comes in to clean up, the art gets really thick in the lines. Greene looks like an entirely different character on these pages: she’s much stocker and emotionless. Page 18 was confusing when I first read it, but after going back I got what was going on; the art had me lost initially as to what was occurring. I hoping that Igle is getting a partial respite on this book so he can wholly complete it for the finale. What we get for visuals this month left me disappointed. Overall grade: C+
The colors: There’s no disappointment in the work of Wes Dzioba this month. Great coloring on every page, with the flashback sequence being outstanding with colors chosen to completely make it different from the rest of the book. What he uses gives this past a classy 1960’s cold war spy vibe, which added a lot to the emotion of the scene. I also like how the sound effects in the past also get tinted for age. Such a cool job! Even though the scenes in the present are set at night, explosions and sounds go off with lots of color, all having several different shades within their blasts. My favorite panel is the fourth on Page 16. Great use of blue and white. Overall grade: A
The letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot provides the dialogue, scene setting, and sounds to this book. He does a great job on them all, but those sound effects are brilliant. I want to “hear” every shot and explosion in a Terminator book and Piekos delivers. Overall grade: A
The final line: I’m loving the story, but I expect better from the art. Overall grade: B
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.