The Terminator (Now Comics) #1, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12

71giddd1dlAs I said in my previous entry on these books, I’ve been picking up various issues of Now Comics’ The Terminator series from the late 1980s and early 1990s whenever I see them in discount bins or at conventions.  There are three total series, with this one being the first published although it technically takes place after the All My Futures Past series that was the final published.  I’m reading them in chronological order as far as the continuity is concerned, so that means this is the middle section of my incomplete read-through.

The conceit of the book–which lasted 17 issues–is that Connor and the resistance essentially fail in their mission in 2029 and are overrun by Skynet.  Therefore, as the cover copy says, the battle continues.  But our focus, at least in the issues that I have, is not on Connor and his resistance fighters in the Los Angeles area, but with a group that is in and around Miami, one of whom is Tim Reese, the younger brother of Kyle.

It’s hard to review this series because I only read fewer than half the issues, so I think what I am going to do is talk about the positives and negatives in broad terms, especially if I decide to hold onto these and finish collecting the series (which, upon completion, I will thoroughly review either in blog or podcast form).

So the conceit of the series has some merit and the focus is a good one.  I like the idea of keeping John Connor off the table–although he does appear in issue #12–so that we can focus on an area beyond what we saw in the movie.  I’m not sure if this was deliberate on the part of the writer or if 20th Century Fox had guidelines about how much they could directly expand on what had been in the movie.  Either way, expanding the setting to other parts of the country is a good one because there are more opportunities for different types of stories.

That being said, in the first issue, they’re joined by people who were part of a moon colony that the United Nations established prior to judgment day and among those people is an android named Conrad.  So it’s a “good Terminator”?  Okay, I realize that’s what we’ll see in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but this seemed unnecessary, to be honest.  I guess that you could make the argument that if our society was advanced enough to develop fully aware A.I., we would have advanced to the point where we put a colony on the moon; however, Skynet could have simply been an offshoot of the Strategic Missile Defense Command (or “Star Wars”) project, which never actually came to fruition but could have been the first step in R&D to the Machines.  Plus, they’re a renegade group known as “Sarah’s Slammers” that is enough of a nuisance to the Machines that they send several Terminators after them.

And these Terminators are, at times, very weirdly written.  They seem to have more emotion than that of Schwarzenegger or Robert Patrick.  There’s an interaction between a Terminator and the main Skynet computer in issue #11 where Skynet is almost a moustache-twirling villain.  Now, it’s possible that the machines themselves were starting to evolve to act “more human” than they had when they rose and destroyed the world, but the lack of coldness at points feels a little off.  And honestly, the artwork makes everyone look like they belong in a biker movie from the decade, a roadie for a hair metal band, a member of the Dreadnocks from G.I. Joe, or some sort of off-brand Schwarzenegger.

It’s a curiosity of a series, but I’m sorry to say that if you’re paying more than a dollar an issue, you’re wasting your money because it’s very much what you’d expect from an old independent comic of questionable quality.   And yet … the collector/reader in me wants to fill in the gaps and find out happens.  Especially when there are only 17 issues in the complete series and I’m getting them for very cheap.  So I think I’m going to file this away for now and see what I can get in the cheap bins in the future.

Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?

Keep (for now).

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