Terminator: Sector War #1 review



Badass cop takes on a T800 in 1984. What else do you need to know?

There’s another Terminator loose on the streets of America in 1984 and this time there’s no Resistance soldier around to oppose it. But that’s okay, because the target can take care of herself.

Dark Horse synopsis

Two Terminators went back in time to 1984, one to kill Sarah Conner, 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 backup, Castro faces off against the relentless T800, relying on unlikely allies to see her through to dawn.

What’s the skinny?

Lucy Castro is a New York City cop living in one of the many bad parts of town and she’s stuck with a deadbeat, alcoholic boyfriend for a roommate. Her department offers no overtime pay, it’s run down and she reports to the sergeant we see in every ’80s cop film — yells, complains about the budget, doesn’t wear a uniform and rocks the torso-style gun holsters openly over their shirt.

So yeah, life kind of sucks for Officer Castro. Not to worry though! Things are about to get better. Just kidding, a T800 has just arrived from the future and its mission is to terminate Lucy.

What’s the catch?

Zero complaints to be found here. This book rules. Continue onward and I’ll happily tell you why.

Image via Dark Horse Comics

Is it good?

Everyone has flaws and while some individuals are more glaring than others, we all got ’em. That’s partly why I took to Lucy Castro immediately. She becomes relatable to essentially the entire world once you find out that her job sucks and that she’s in a bad relationship. So yes while most of us don’t experience relationship trouble to the degree that she does (at least I hope so), we all go through a few bad ones in our life and who hasn’t had a job they couldn’t stand?

Brian Wood and Jeff Stokely only has four issues to tell this story and they’ve succeeded in fully fleshing out the lead character by the time you reach the halfway point of issue #1. It’s important to add that the dialogue is pretty sparse, just to help add weight to how great of a job they’ve done here.

Speaking of Mr. Stokely, I’m in love with his style. At times it feels like a hybrid of Japanese manga, of the Miyazki flavor, with very clean and simple line work. The action scenes are a lot busier with the line work and there’s often a gritty feel to them. The characters appear a lot more cartoony at a distance and a bit dirty with the lines, but the quality doesn’t suffer for it. Everything you see feels like it belongs exactly the way that it is.

I had the opportunity to interview Wood about this project and one thing in particular he had to say in response to a question about Stokely really rang true when reading this story: “It’s not something that’s been shouted from the rooftops — maybe it should be — but one of the initial concepts of this miniseries was to do something that is primarily art-focused, let the writer fall back into a supporting role.” Wood couldn’t be more on the mark. Pull all the dialogue from this book and you wouldn’t have too much trouble understanding the story. The art is that good. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring Triona Farrell to your attention. Her color work is quite simply incredible. This book would not be as good as it is without her contributions. The image I shared above is one of my favorite pages from the art department, for both Stokely’s lines and Farrell’s colors. I love how she handles the light trails of the cruiser as it speeds, the shadow work inside of Castro’s car and the background as she speeds by it.

If nothing else, this book is a veritable feast for the eyes. Jeff Stokely and Triona Farrell are freaking all-stars; I can’t wait to see what they bring in the coming issues. Brian Wood brings a Terminator story that’s a tribute to where it all began, but will also clearly leave its own distinct mark on the franchise. The classic ’80s sci-fi action story vibe is strong and there are pieces of both Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese peaking out of Lucy Castro. I can’t wait to see where this story takes us and I find that I’m already worried that there are only going to be four issues. If that’s not a mark of a good comic book, I don’t know what is.

Terminator: Sector War #1
Is it good?
Brian Wood and Jeff Stokely bring a Terminator story that's a tribute to where it all began, but will also clearly leave its own distinct mark on the franchise. The classic '80s sci-fi action story vibe is strong and there are pieces of both Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese peaking out of Lucy Castro. I can't wait to see where this story takes us and I find that I'm already worried that there are only going to be four issues. If that's not a mark of a good comic book, I don't know what is.
The art is so good that it can tell the story all by itself.
Triona Farrell's color work is exceptional.
Story has that classic '80s feel that you don't see much of these days.
Action and laughs are in ample supply.
10
Fantastic