blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Terminator (1988) #1

T1If I knew there was a licensed Terminator monthly from the late eighties, I’d forgotten. I knew there was the Burning Earth limited (which concludes the NOW Comics license, with Terminator then headed to Dark Horse), but I didn’t remember there was a regular series. Though after one issue, it’s got squat to do with The Terminator. Outside the very obvious—the near future humans talk about Skynet all the time—the comic’s its own thing. I mean, its own thing meaning recycling other sci-fi bits, including moon colonists coming to Earth. But decently assembled.

However, just because writer Fred Schiller can fill a couple dozen pages and penciller Tony Akins can break out the scenes, it doesn’t mean it’s successful. With Jim Brozman inking, Akins has good comic timing, which doesn’t help for a Terminator comic. His action composition is confusing, and the characters rarely look the same from panel to panel; even the visual clues to identify someone change. Thank goodness the moon people wear special outfits.

They were on Earth in their spaceship, collecting kelp so they can feed themselves back on the moon. The moon people thing’s pretty neat. It offers an entirely new view into the seemingly rote future. Except, no, this future has humans working with the Terminators and, in turn, the Terminators trying to be nice to the humans.

There are also Terminator babies, which has potential.

Does the comic have potential, though?

It amuses as an oddity, but so far, there are way too many characters—Schiller seems inspired by Aliens for how he handles the team dynamics; there are fifteen people. Schiller skips establishing the human resistance soldiers and instead emphasizes the moon people’s origin. It’d be okay if the comic were the adventures of John Conner, but it’s original characters.

The Terminator could be a lot worse. There’s nothing to suggest it’s a hidden gem, but it could be much worse. And it’s not dull. Hopefully, Akins gets better at the action.

2 responses to “The Terminator (1988) #1”

  1. Vernon W

    Years later I would meet Tony Akins at my shop, and while we chatted, he revealed to me he was a comic artist on the Jack of Fables spin off series. That one had a lot of animals in it, and I complimented him on his ability to draw convincing horses, an almost lost art form. He just laughed, and I reiterated it was a pleasure to see a well drawn horse, haha.

    1. I mean, if they do horses in Terminator, I’m on board

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