blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Terminator (1988) #4

T4Even with the inexplicable cultural appropriation thread (yes, really) for the Terminator, this issue’s easily the best Terminator so far. Sure, they’re only on issue four—and on their third writer (Jack Herman takes over)—but it’s nearly okay. Until they decide to do “Terminator Meets Predator” only with Arnold as the bad guy… it’s got some real possibilities.

The issue begins with the Yanomami of the Amazon rainforest. In the NOW Comics Terminator timeline, the world stopped chopping down the rainforest in 1995 because it was bad for the environment–much better timeline, even with the whole Skynet thing.


Skynet realizes there are still people in the rainforest, which reminds it to burn down the rainforest to accelerate the extinction of the human race (and all the other animals reliant on oxygen, presumably). So it sends a Terminator down to kill the Yanomami.

The story follows three young men tasked with hunting wild boar for a peace feast between their village and a rival. It’s not great writing, but it’s better than it ought to be. Then the Terminator shows up, and there’s an action sequence. The young men return home, where no one believes their warnings of the flying craft and its dangerous pilot.

So while the villages have their feast, the Terminator proceeds to learn their language and strip down to cover himself in body paint, like the Yanomami people. Why does the Terminator need to know their language? To taunt them before slaughtering them. There’s no excuse for the body paint. Just to have a shirtless white dude running around with the shirtless brown dudes, only the shirtless white dude is a killer android.

But it’s far more inventive than it needs to be; Herman’s got actual ideas. They don’t always execute well, but ideas are more than the book’s really had going for it before.

Thomas Tenney and Jim Brozman’s art is improving. Tenney’s got some decent composition, though he still doesn’t know what to do with it.

The most unfortunate thing—besides Terminator-gone-native—is it having a cliffhanger. A done-in-one would’ve been preferable.

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