The fourth story in the second omnibus.
Script: Alan Grant
Art: Guy Davis, Steve Pugh
Original publication: apparently a two-part limited series in 1998
Terminator Omnibus vol. 2 publication year: 2008
Publisher: Dark Horse
The story starts in 2029 when a small Resistance group ambushes a moving comm tower. However, a Terminator kills all but one of them. The survivor is interrogated and he reveals enough information that Skynet is able to send two Terminators, a man and a woman, to the past, to the Death Valley in 1998.
In 1998, a one-eyed ex-cop is on the trail of a group of Satan worshipers whose camp is in an abandoned mine in the Death Valley. The ex-cop had been hired to find a girl that the group has supposedly kidnapped. He finds the group but the girl seems the be there willingly. That point becomes moot, however, when two naked people assault the group. They ask about Sarah and John Connor and the group’s leader, called Killerman, claims to know them. The Terminators consider the rest irrelevant and start to shoot them. However, Killerman manages to blow up the mine and escape. The Terminators follow him again killing everyone who gets in their way. Later, the ex-cop (whose name we get to know much later) manages to dig himself out of the rubble. Then he starts after the Terminators.
Nearby, ecological scientist Ken Norden is trying to teach his son Jon about the nature surrounding them. Unfortunately, Jon is more interested in his GameBoy. When they get home, Ken’s wife Sara confronts him. She’s tired of the isolation and wants to get back to San Francisco. Unfortunately for Ken, his day is about to get much worse.
This is perhaps the most complex of the Terminator comics I’ve read so far. The Terminators, the Nordens, Killerman, and the ex-cop all have their own story lines even though they intersect. We also get to see Sarah Connor working as a maid in one of the Death Valley hotels. There’s also an additional storyline about a man who is working on defense robots for the military.
The male Terminator arrived a little later than the female one, and he starts show quite unTerminator like behavior, such as asking if the Terminators are live, like humans are. He also tries to stop the female from killing a wounded human.
Killerman has the most straight forward story; he’s just trying to survive. Unfortunately, he thinks that he can reason with the machines even after he saw the way that they slaughtered his followers.
The ex-cop has the most flimsy excuse for staying in the story. After he just barely survived the shooting, he really should have gone away and thanked his lucky stars. But in the middle of the fight, he accidentally shot the girl he was supposed to get away from the Satan worshipers. He blamed the Terminators and wants to make them pay. He also has horrible nightmares about being caged.
There are also secondary characters, such as the fat woman sheriff, who round out the cast in way that’s not typical to (mainstream US) comics.
One of the best ones so far.
Davis is the first artist and he’s style is somewhat sketchy but I felt that is suited the scenes at the start: the fight in the future, the interrogation, and the shoot-out with the Terminators. The machines were also naked during that time but Davis didn’t make that detailed at all, which was great. Pugh has far more detailed style.