Terminator: Sector War #2
Officer Lucy Castro gets a little respite from the T-800 as the relentless killing machine is on the move and closing in. With barely time to make a last-ditch voicemail, to leave evidence of her situation before heading out to make for her precinct, she is soon again under attack in a crowded club and goes on the run.
With one final defiant shot taken against the enemy at her heels, she desperately crosses the line and stumbles into enemy territory. Where she gains some unlikely allies, before deciding to seek out the one man who may hold enough firepower to put a stop to the hunter once and for all.
With regards Brian Wood’s dialogue, there doesn’t seem to be much going on for the anecdotal reader, the talk is sparse, reserved for Lucy’s voicemail message and the set up of the finale and the hunker down and final battle that will be next issue. Here the focus is more on the action, which is no surprise as this is usually always the case in the second act and is a consequence of the plot being more set up last issue. Whereas Sarah had Kyle Reece to not only come to her rescue but explain to her, and by way of exposition us, the reason for the Terminators presence, Lucy doesn’t have that luxury. The only source of information was the T-800 itself and so it became rather chatty. Handily so, as it even informed her why she was targeted for termination. But as both Lucy and the reader know WHY he is after her, the crux of the story now is how she deals with the situation and how the Terminator counters her every move. Act one is over and now we have act two, the chase. And the writer delivers plenty of that.
Nate Piekos also has a large part to play with the action, which is unusual for lettering. Not only injecting drama with the shoot out scene at the end, where Lucy teams up with the street thugs against the Terminator, but also the scenes leading up to it. First in the claustrophobic confines of the crowded club and the live act, the vocals of which seem to mirror the action going on and then the moment the Terminator makes his big arrival.
And as the main responsibility falls to the action I think the brunt of the work falls heavily on the shoulders of Jeff Stokely, who does an admirable job here with the art. It is telling a tale of one woman’s struggle in a fast-paced drama and so not only the art, but the coloring of Triona Farrell work wonders to convey that here. From the surroundings themselves, the mood of the scenery and the background characters, it’s all a perfect marriage to express the grim and gritty appearance. The tagging of the surroundings last issue carries on throughout here and is included in the garbage truck the Terminator uses, as well as the dingy club Lucy runs to for a breather. This isn’t the polished look of some titles and though the style may come off messy to some it is perfect for the narrative here. Anyone looking for something pretty and shiny should take note.
This isn’t Nuclear Twilight or Rise of the Machines. This is a return to the origins of both Terminator and Dark Horse themselves when one small voice stood out against the big boys. A shout out to the good old days when Dark Horse first showed us their mettle and their true indie style, when the market wasn’t dominated by just two big comic companies. Sure, it’s scrappy, yes a little sketchy, but it has it’s own voice and doesn’t simply bow down to the order of the day and conform to what others describe as art, simply to appease the greater masses and appeal to the casual observer.
This is for those who appreciate what comics are really about, storytelling in multiple styles for multiple tastes. And for the true die-hard fans of the Dark Horse series from its early days in Tempest, Secondary Objectives or the finale of End Game, there is plenty to keep you satisfied. Similarly, those who remember the titles return to Dark Horse in 1998 with Terminator: Death Valley and Terminator: Dark Years will also recognize that flavor. There is also a little of the same feel of the first movie as well. We have the hunted hiding out in a club, reminiscent of Sarah hiding in Tech Noir, and also even the ubiquitous vehicle smash into the building, much as Arnie did in the police station massacre.
These are perfectly mimicked here and I think that is more telling than the actual hunt in progress. This isn’t the slick and flashy sci-fi story we know of the further movies in the franchise. This is a return to form and the bare bones of what the story was in its origins. Pitting one lone heroine against the big bad of the piece. There may be some fans feeling let down by this, as too many the Terminator is all lasers and tech wizardry. But this to me is the perfect matchup of the little guy taking on the might of the implacable enemy.
It’s David versus Goliath, Ripley versus the Xenomorph. Even the visual back to the ruins of Lucy’s apartment and the recording of her voicemail message, which was similar to the scene played out while Sarah was hiding out in Tech Noir and strangely Ripley’s final message reporting the destruction of the Nostromo.
Until the final scene, where Lucy and the street thugs team up, it seems what little support she gets is short-lived, as DiMarco from 11th gets taken out easily enough. But Lucy clearly has more going for her than being a police officer, as she is confident enough to run into enemy territory in full uniform and is now headed into the lion’s den of a crime boss and his crew looking for weapons and a place to set up an ambush. And until the end of the issue she still isn’t totally clear on what she’s up against either, as when she makes her call to her voicemail she mentions looking up perps she had put away before.
But that soon changes when she sees his true face, which is always a giveaway as well as being a great reveal, no matter how many times we’ve seen it before. My only problem was how the Terminator knew she was going to the Noise Hole. She also isn’t clear on this as she muses on it when making her recording, so I feel there will be more to tell next issue.
COMING NEXT: The price for protection from the T-800 is to betray the uniform and destroy key evidence in a case against local crime boss Papa Oso. Were it just her, Officer Lucy Castro would never give in, but she’s fighting for two now, and is determined to make it through to dawn.
Terminator: Sector War #3 On Sale 16th January 2019!
The diminutive lone warrior has again taken on the big guns and is winning where it counts. Defiant to the last, no fate but what we make.
Terminator: Sector War #2 Send in the Big Guns
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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