Review – The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy #4 (Dark Horse Comics)

24923Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Dan Jolley
Artist: Jamal Igle
Release Date: 9th July 2014

Rothlake mercenaries have kidnapped Bio-technician Elise Fong from under the noses of her captor-turned-saviour, Farrow Greene, and her would-be assassin, the seemingly indestructible T-800 terminator unit. With Elise’s fate still to be decided, Greene and the T-800 must work together to infiltrate Rothlake’s military compound to secure her immediate future.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s ‘The Terminator’, a film which gave birth to one of cinemas most enduring movie monsters, creating an indelible piece of 1980’s pop culture iconography in the process. Whilst the quality of the cinematic additions to Terminator lore have gradually declined, certain comic-book adaptations (Frank Miller and Walt Simonsen’s amazing Robocop Vs Terminator, for example), highlight that with a little creativity the franchise has much to offer.

This latest series adopts a similar narrative structure to that of the original film, in that it’s a sci-fi/action story set within a ‘cat-and-mouse’ framework, and as such treads some very familiar ground. Several elements, set-pieces and character tropes from the first two films have been rehashed, so unfortunately it doesn’t really offer a fresh perspective.

The pacing of the series so far has been reflective of it’s obvious influence, and moves relentlessly forward. The consequence of which is a cast of as yet undeveloped characters. For example, beyond her impressive physical capabilities and CIA background, we know very little of Farrow Greene and her motivations. Similarly, it is still unclear why Elise Fong has been targeted for termination, the full extent of her impact on Skynet has yet to be explored.

Perhaps the biggest gripe I have with this latest issue is the uneasy alliance formed between Greene and the T-800. I refer you to this quote:

“Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

Sure, In T2 we see the T-800 learning and adapting, but that is under instruction from the man who reprogrammed it in the future. The truce is an obvious device to facilitate Greene’s entry into the compound and move the story forward, but I was left unconvinced by how it was handled.

On the plus side, the art on display is solid, and Jamal Igle’s handling of action sequences is creative and cinematic in execution. Additional visual effects, such as lightning, smoke, muzzle fire, and explosions are well rendered giving the scenes a little extra depth and vibrancy. The only minor criticism I have is the lack of a discernible 1980’s feel to the art. Perhaps a different colour palette, or some more period detailing might have grounded it more firmly in the era.

Rating: 2/5.

The writer of this piece was: Martin Doyle
You can follow Martin on Twitter, and check out more of reviews and thoughts on all things retro over at Retromuse

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