The cover: Farrow Greene is going a lot of problems piloting Dr. Elise Fong to safety if Terminator just won’t get off the plane. Terrific action image from interior artist Jamal Igle. The Terminator has that cool weathered look that fans, like me, enjoy: it’s wearing part of its flesh suit, but is showing much of its mechanical nature, providing a great horrific contrast. Greene and Elise look perfectly terrified at their circumstances, though Greene is gritting her teeth to survive this latest threat. The plane looks amazing. It looks real–Igle obviously put a lot of time into it. I love the little detail of the crushed wing so the Terminator has a better hold of the plane. Excellent job. Overall grade: A
The story: This is a solid conclusion for this series. The book opens with the two women far away from danger, having left the mercenary camp and the Terminator miles behind. It gives the two a moment to bond and Greene reveals some past history, but is interrupted by something that causes their plane to fall. I’m pleased to say it’s not the cover image–that does not occur in this book, so that potential spoiler never occurs. I give applause to writer Dan Jolley for having his Terminator do something I’ve not seen a Terminator do before, and Page 4 has it going down in spectacular fashion (no pun intended). Greene and this machination were reluctant partners in finding Fong, and now that she’s with Greene, the “bad” aspect of the Terminator comes front and center for this finale in fine form. The solution given to what occurs on Page 4 is great and I should have seen it coming. The entrance on 8 is cinema perfect. Pages 12 and 13 bring a character full circle and it was great. Outstanding use of flashbacks make this turn, literal and mental, right on the money. The showdown between the ex-C.I.A. agent and the Terminator is fantastic, with several surprises, including the top of 18, all of 19, and the machine’s dialogue on 21. The last page promises more, with that second to last panel being an excellent example for up and coming writers on how to keep a story going. Great conclusion and I hope Jolley is allowed to do more. Overall grade: A
The art: I took the art to task last issue for being lacking when compared to previous issues. Obviously Jamal Igle and inker Ray Snyder were saving up for this issue. Great work throughout this book, including the “quiet” opening scene between the two women in the incredibly close quarters of the cockpit. They don’t have a lot of options to move their point of view around, but they make it work in spectacular fashion. If this had been a film, a good portion of the budget would have blown from the many angles he uses. The action kicks in spectacularly on Page 4, and that’s just the opening salvo with all that’s done in this book. Page 8 gives all Terminator fans the scene they want when the killer robot appears on the scene. It is picture perfect. The destruction at the top of Page 12 really sent me for a loop because the deaths that were caused are so numerous. The final battle is the show stopper it should be, with a big set piece and a very creative way to try to take out the Terminator. Of all the excellent work in this book, the final panel on the final page is my favorite because it captures a character’s emotions so well and leaves me on pins and needles for more. Overall grade: A
The colors: The book is set late at night, but Wes Dzioba is skilled enough to give readers that setting without making the artwork disappear in the darkness. Case in point, the opening pages are inside a small plane’s cockpit. The only light should be coming from the plane’s dashboard, however, Dzioba smartly uses shades of blues to create the night, rather than blacks which would sap the strength of the visuals. When the action kicks in or a character has an emotionally charged realization, such as at the bottom of Page 3, bright colors are used to emphasize the emotion. The explosions and the sounds are brightly colored and punched up the dark of the night well. Dzioba is flawless. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Dialogue, sounds, yells, whispers, and an indicator for the passage of time are made by Nate Piekos of Blambot. He does a great job and the sound effects will have fans reading them aloud in joy. Overall grade: A
The final line: A great ending for a great series. Don’t let this stop, Dark Horse! Bring them back for another! Overall grade: A
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.