blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Terminator (1988) #6

The Terminator  6Truth be told, I have a hard time motivating myself with The Terminator. It’s not bad in peculiar ways related to the licensed property, and it doesn’t have some undiscovered talent doing fantastic work on it. But it’s had its moments. It’s also had irregular writers, with the original writer (and copyright holder on new characters in the indicia) Fred Schiller still not back and Jack Herman apparently the new series regular writer.

Herman had an interesting first couple of issues. He doesn’t have an interesting third. Instead, he’s got what appears to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator—only with a rat ponytail—interjecting himself into the main story. Except this issue isn’t really about the main story—the main story from issues one through three, before Herman came on the book and made it—temporarily—not uninteresting—chuck all that now, now… well, now, NOW Comics’s The Terminator is about to flex that license.

But not completely. Like, the Arnold Terminator doesn’t talk like Arnold. Everyone else in the comic talks, like Herman just watched James Cameron’s Aliens again—solid move—which is how The Terminator comic kicked off. Like they decided they were doing Terminator with Aliens Marines. Sure, why not. But it’s a little late now. Instead of just doing an Arnold Terminator in the series to start, they’ve waited until it appears desperate.

Also, in addition to it not sounding like Arnold, the Terminator doesn’t look much like him, either. Artists Thomas Tennessean and Jim Brozman draw the same three guys over and over again. If they’re lucky, the guys have facial hair, which can distinguish them. Except they’re rarely lucky, and all of them look like white guy resistance fighters in Aliens Marine gear.

This issue has numerous guys who look identical, sometimes shooting at each other, sometimes dying in each other’s arms. The issue’s about a team of… humans or Terminators (can we really tell—yes, yes, we can; it’s a bad comic, no subtexts here). But it’s about one team of guys trying to rescue a civilian from another team of guys. We’re pretty sure we know who’s the Terminators and who’s the humans, but then Herman will occasionally toss a red herring on the deck.

Are any of them good? Nope, not at all. And Herman seems to get it because Arnold zooms into the comic like anyone cares. He’s just a badass Terminator against a bunch of humans until he starts shit-talking them. That’s right… The Terminator is now about an Arnold Terminator with a grudge. Will Terminator get meta and have Arnold go after the license holders and the comic book creators?

One can only hope. But, surprisingly, I found something to be enthusiastic about. Terminator’s nowhere near rock bottom yet.

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