TERMINATOR: SECTOR WAR #4
Lucy takes the fight to the Metropolitan Transit Authority in an attempt to find something to combat her implacable foe. After a night on the streets and making a deal with the devil to beat her opponent and save her life and that of her unborn child, she finally faces the seeming unbeatable relentless machine alone and takes more desperate measures to end her torment. After barely surviving her ordeal she hears news of another similar incident in Los Angeles and makes a decision to compare notes with Sarah Connor.
Writing: Once again another huge gap between the previous issue and this one. Given this was the finale I felt the pacing to be somewhat lacking and I found myself hardly even caring what happened. Unlike Terminator: Sector War #3 the action and pacing was way off in comparison to the rest of the series and there was so little actual narrative it could easily have all been covered in the previous instalment. The basis of the finale of the story resulted in her being tailed into Port Authority, where she was heading at the end of last issue, and coming up against her pursuer taking the ‘Ripley way’ with the aid of a piece of heavy work machinery. Whereupon she drives it over a cliff into the ocean. Hardly the definition of a cliffhanger despite the setting. Anyone who knows anything about the Terminator knows this is hardly a conclusive way to finish the machine even remotely permanently.
Art/Characters: Conversely the art did all the actual work here, right from the dynamic cover. Robert Sammelin’s imagery with the scenario in the iconic New York subway system has it all in one page. The grim and determined look on Lucy’s face as she stares down her nemesis cleverly reflected in the shattered glass says it all. Whereas Brian Wood clearly took his foot off the gas Jeff Stokely, Triona Farrell and Nate Piekos took up the slack entirely and went for it. Controlling the characters, story and the action and drama of the whole ending here. Lucy has little actual voice throughout the final act, so it falls to Nate to figure out how to fill the void with the sound of battle. And fill it he does. Throughout the series he has held his own with lettering that became integral to the narrative and here he gave the finale it’s identity. And with sound effects he gave a resounding crescendo of mechanical menace and vocalized the clash of humanity against machine. Every page screams conflict and violence.
The background was again full of Stokely’s trademark graffiti and the scenery had that gritty realism that pervaded the whole series and gave it a realistic voice that every living city needs. Triona’s colors of course fed into this and fleshed out that identity vividly, contrasting the darkness of the subway with the bright and shining final page, as Lucy walks victoriously into the warming glow of daylight and sweet freedom. The action, being as it was all visual with very minimal text, was full on and given the rather limited story was at least strong enough to take over the brunt of the heavy lifting needed to tell the story. This image alone says it all. I felt exactly as deflated and alone as our hero, who until now has managed to hold my attention throughout and I had been rooting for her to get the payoff she deserved.
And Stokely is the man! He uses perspective with pinpoint accuracy in every panel. So many panels that were worthy of the art team. But it all flew by too quickly, without any sense of meaningful narrative to hold it all together. And with no actual story going on the eye skims over the panels and a whole slew of images fly by without pulling you into the action, despite the best and bravest attempts of the art team. The wonderful work of Jeff, Triona and Nate is left high and dry without the writer putting in the same amount of effort to tie this series together to a satisfactory end. Which is a shame. And as such my final score is for the art team and the writing on the rest of the series overall.
Some amazing art that sadly falls apart without the solid foundation of actual written narrative.
Terminator: Sector War #4 Train in Vain
- Writing - 6/106/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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