blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Terminator (1988) #7

T47Despite The Terminator not offering much (if anything) in the way of entertainment, much less artistry, I’m still intrigued by the series. Like, where’s the bottom? This issue has a guest penciler, Robin Ator, who’s probably the series worst (so far). The script’s from Jack Herman, who’s written more issues than anyone else at this point (pretty sure). Jim Brozman’s back inking, which is an inglorious task. But the comic’s even more of a mess than usual.

At one point, Herman’s narration is talking about someone shooting a pulse rifle–or whatever the laser guns are called in Terminator—and Ator's very obviously just drawing a machine gun. Then there’s a scene where someone talks about how the neutron bomb has dropped. Neutron bomb? What? One of the amusing things about the Terminator franchise, in general, is how it went from eighties nuclear war paranoia and became an excuse to keep Arnold Schwarzenegger employed regardless of age, but The Terminator’s supposed to be based on that first movie, on that eighties nuclear war paranoia.

And it’s not a nuclear bomb anymore. It’s a neutron bomb.

This issue doesn’t feature any of the “regular” cast, though the letters page threatens their return. Instead, the comic opens with a couple of ne’er-do-wells saving a dog from a Terminator. There’s also no use of the “gators” term, which I remain convinced was the letterer confused about “nators.” There’s no continuity in the future.

Anyway. They’re able to save the dog, but then a wolf attacks one of them. Is there anything suspicious about the wolf? Definitely. Are we going to ignore all that obvious fishy stuff, even when a dog lover meets the wolf, even when the comic’s got omniscient third-person narration? Of course, we are because The Terminator’s a terrible comic book. There’s also some stuff about the apocalypse still being sexist and garbage. Most of the action is spent with this squad of soldiers, specifically their medic and teen sidekick–not the same teen or tween sidekicks from before–searching for food.

Ator’s composition is so bad letterer Kurt Hathaway can’t keep track of who’s speaking from panel to panel—colorist Rich Powers also doesn’t keep characters’ clothes consistently colored between panels, so I do get it—keeping track of The Terminator’s unrewarding enough as a reader, it must’ve been more so as a creative.

The comic’s predictable but not so predictable better art and scripting wouldn’t have greatly improved things.

It’s another lousy, shockingly inept comic. It also doesn’t have much lore—neither from the movie nor the previous issues—which makes every issue a perfect jumping-on (or off) point. Mostly off. But not me. I’m staying here locked behind the door.

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