It’s 1984 and a T-800 has arrived and this one is taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Rookie cop Lucy Castro is already having a bad day as news reaches her that her deadbeat boyfriend has caused a domestic disturbance at her home and when has to contend with a visit from a model 101 Terminator series 800, who has her firmly set in his crosshairs and targeted for termination.
TERMINATOR: SECTOR WAR #1
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Colors: Tríona Farrell
Letters: Nate Peikos of Blambot TM
Cover: Robert Sammelin
Variant Cover: Grzegorz Domaradzki
Publisher: Dark Horse
What You Need to Know:
Two Terminators went back in time to 1984, one to kill Sarah Connor, and another targeting NYPD Officer Lucy Castro, a rookie cop assigned to one of the worst sections of the city. Isolated and unable to call for any backup, Castro faces off against the relentless T-800, relying on unlikely allies to see her through to dawn.
What You’ll Find Out:
It’s 9:52 PM in 1984 and New York plays host to the all too familiar electrical interference caused by the arrival of a Terminator into it’s back alleys, the only witness a homeless man, who walks by oblivious to the danger. After procuring clothes in the usual fashion the cyborg sets about looking for his target.
Lucy Castro has enough to contend with as her superiors label her insubordinate, demanding she doesn’t apply for any overtime and clock out immediately and her colleagues don’t respect her. When she is about to finish her shift she gets news that a domestic disturbance call has been reported in her building and she immediately knows it’s her deadbeat boyfriend and she asks the officer to not call it in, asserting that she’ll handle it, her only answer is to be told not to keep the cruiser out all night.
No sooner has she got to grips with dealing with her boyfriends flippant nature than she hears a disturbance outside and upon going to investigate, encounters her neighbor under attack from a tall imposing man, one who takes a bullet without flinching and has extraordinary strength. As any good cop would do she tries to discern the motives of her assailant and finds the truth, no matter that it sounds completely outlandish to her, she is his true target. What follows is the beginning of a fight for survival, which will see her on the run without any means of communicating with her colleagues in the precinct and her only ally her own wits and a stash of weapons she hastily gathers.
What Just Happened?
Characters: Lucy appears to be perfect for the role of a cop in the South Bronx precinct and can clearly give as good as she gets. Despite the fact she is tired from a ten hour shift and being caught offguard, she quickly tests the strengths of the T800 from the moment she encounters him and she may not know his skillset and origin but assesses the situation as best she can. After a brief fracas she realises running is the safest option until she can find a way to deal with him and she makes good her escape right away. And the way she is incapacitated and unable to call for help is completely believable and makes for an organic motivation for her actions. The T-800 himself is vastly different to the Arnie model thankfully and like the other Dark Horse versions is his own character, in as much as a cyborg can be. With heavy set build and granite hard features he cuts an imposing figure in the surroundings and definitely stands out, as well as being in complete contrast to the diminutive but feisty Lucy and towers over her right away which gives a clear indication of the vast difference between the two and his immediate advantage. He also seems to have some character traits over and above the basic cyborg model. He knows how to give oblique answers, much as Arnie did when assessing his options and answering the hotel manager who asked about the smell in his room. When asked if he knows what White Pages are the deadpan retort, though not immediately revealing, does seem a little more talkative than other models and it even seems to become noticeable as the plot progresses and he even answers questions Lucy asks him.
Writing: Brain Wood is no stranger to writing strong female characters, having penned the all female volume of the X-Men and he is also in total synch with the decade and makes it fit perfectly with the art of this book. And as writer of Briggs Land and creator of DMZ and Northlanders he is more than proficient in war stories and full on battle scenarios and his story here marries these two perfectly. Having also started the Aliens: Defiance book for Dark Horse he is proficient in adapting movie properties and ensures this is very reminiscent of the first movie. The start even mirrors the opening sequence of the movie perfectly with the opening credit scrawl and the reminder that the battle for the future is to be fought in the past, very nice touch.
From the very first confrontation and the ensuing chase the set up also brings it right back to basics of one woman struggling against the ultimate nemesis and she doesn’t even have the luxury of a time travelling resistance fighter to help her. I had also thought there was some significance in the arrival time of the Terminator as the San Francisco Terminator landed in the movie at 1:52 AM in San Francisco, but the time zones meant that would make it 4:52 AM in New York, so this clearly occurred some time before, because as we all know, John blows up the time platform when Kyle goes through and so the 9:52 PM timing was just coincidence. Or is it? Will there be an explanation of how the minutes match so perfectly? Also this isn’t the first time we’ve seen another T-800 target someone in 1984. Way back in 1991 Terminator: One Shot told the story of a female Terminator coming after the wrong Sarah, with only a future resistance fighter mistakenly sent back to 1955 to protect her. In that tale the retired cop finally gets his chance to finish his mission. Only time will tell if another cop can find the measure of the T-800 and give it a challenge. She seems to be off to a good start.
Art: Robert Sammelin’s cover informs the contrast between the gritty underbelly and the brightness that is New York as well as the chase element of Lucy vs the T-800, while the variant cover by Grzegorz Domaradzki has all the fantasy and sci-fi hallmark touches of the movie. As for the interior art, Jeff Stokely is well versed in fantasy art, from covers for Deadly Class and Power of the Dark Crystal and as an artist on Labyrinth. But he is also a master of grim and gritty, with past achievements such as Six-Gun Gorilla and award-winning The Spire. So he is a natural for this book and he delivers the reader right into the harsh realistic scenery of the Bronx and the hellish night shift of the NYPD precinct. With touches like graffiti on the corner of the phone box and perps and assorted punks sat in the waiting area of the police station, the feel is very in keeping with the narrative of the Terminator story and you can almost hear the strains of Brad Fiedel’s synth and industrial beat in the background.
As Lucy goes on the run, the surrounding area also has that 80’s feel to it and as a train rattles by overhead daubed in tags I could see she was going to be in for a long lonely night with little help to combat the nemesis hot on her trail. Various different staging areas for the confrontation and chase are in great contrast with each other, from the grim work environment, the seedy area she calls home, then on to dark isolated city streets as she goes on the run in a densely populated but yet equally lonely city and on to the bright stark lighting of a pharmacy. Each scene showing she will have a challenge to make it through the night.
Final Thought: Has Lucy got what it takes to survive the night against an unstoppable enemy? So far she is giving him a real workout.
TERMINATOR: SECTOR WAR #1
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Jeff Stokely
Cover by Robert Sammelin
Variant Cover by Grzegorz Domaradzki
On Sale August 15 2018.
Check out www.darkhorse.com for more and don’t miss out on this exciting new chapter in the Terminator saga in August.
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