blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Terminator (1988) #3

The Terminator  3Tony Caputo once again gets the guest writer credit—but he’s written two of the three Terminator comics, so how’s he a guest (maybe because, if you read the indicia, you see the original characters are copyright the first artist)? He also completely shuts down the story arc he started last issue. I mean, there’s still little Tim Reese, brother of Kyle (Michael Biehn from the movie), and they go to the brainwashed human town… but Caputo seems to be cleaning house otherwise.

He also reveals there’s no Sarah in “The Sarah Slammers,” the name of the outfit Tim meets up with. I don’t know why I assumed there had to be a Sarah, maybe because it seems like they have a female commander in the previous issues. However, this issue makes it clear the commander’s a dude. A tough dude named Leahy. So I guess they’re named after Sarah Conner? Like homage?


The issue doesn’t need any extra strikes against it, either, not with the art. Thomas Tenney and Jim Brozman are back from last issue, pencils and inks, respectively, but the art’s much, much worse. The most polite description of Terminator ’s art is amateurish; colorist Rich Powers changes people’s hair colors between pages, even the good robot—synthetic (guess Caputo saw Aliens too)—who’s the only one with a giant eighties mullet in the comic so it’s not like you could confuse him.

Speaking of confusion—someone, either Caputo or lettered Ken Holewczynski, went back to calling the ‘Nators ‘Gators again. I think there are only a couple of times this issue and only one character doing it; there’s a chance it could be a regional nickname for the Terminators. Unlikely, but I wanted to give the book the benefit of the doubt.

Because even though the art’s bad and the dialogue’s bad, Caputo’s got an okay plot and an incredible pace. While the story runs long—twenty-seven pages—and there’s some fluff at the beginning, it’s eventually compelling. Not with Tim and his little girlfriend, not with the humans’ inability to crack the Skynet computers, but when they’re on the run from the Terminators. All of a sudden Terminator clicks.

It’s not a good comic but it is effective by the end. If you make it through the art and the obnoxious kid.

Oh, right—it takes place three years after The Terminator. At least three years after the future part of Terminator (Reese going back in time). Will that detail be important? Doubt it.

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