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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
"All My Futures Past" Part 1
Terminator: All My Futures Past #1
Script: Chuck Dixon
Illustrations: Diego
Cover by Diego
August 1990


The year is 2029. As the human resistance battles the machine soldiers of Skynet, a lone pilot crash lands and hands off vital information that must be delivered to resistance leader John Connor in Los Angeles...or the war may be lost!


Story Summary


After an aerial battle with a Hunter-Killer, a human pilot crash lands his jet fighter near a small, tranquil village left virtually untouched by the war. Two young men of the village, Breed and Lanny, investigate the crash and find the pilot barely alive. He gives them a compu pac that he says must be delivered to John Connor in Los Angeles before dying.


With the blessings of their village, the two boys and their faithful dog begin a walk of hundreds of miles to the city of Los Angeles to deliver the data. In the ruins of Fresno, they encounter an ancient and damaged, but still operating, Terminator. Lanny takes it out, but not before it kills Breed.


After weeks of travel, Lanny and the dog finally reach L.A. and are soon brought in by a resistance patrol. Lanny hands the compu pac over to Connor, who has the data decoded and learns that Skynet has successfully built a time travel device, located in a compound in the Los Angeles area. Fearing that Skynet plans to alter the past, Connor orders an insertion team led by Kyle Reese to infiltrate the complex. Lanny talks Connor into assigning him to the mission as well.




Didja Know?


Terminator: All My Futures Past was a 2-issue mini-series that is a prologue to The Terminator. It opens during the war against the machines in 2029, leading into human resistance leader John Connor sending Kyle Reese back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah Connor, from the T-800.


Didja Notice?


An 800 series Terminator is seen on the cover (without exoderm), more familiarly known as a T-800. This is the same model as the Terminator sent to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor in The Terminator and protect John Connor in Judgment Day. An aerial Hunter-Killer variant is also seen in the sky behind the T-800.


Are the dogs seen with the Terminators on the cover and on page 1 cyber-dogs as seen later in Terminator #7, "Big Bad Wolf"?


On page 3, Breed states the plane crash could've been seen by Monk with his bad eye. I believe he's speaking of the dog that accompanies them. It's not very obvious, but on page 9, panel 1, it looks like the dog's left eye may be missing.


Breed wears a Chevy cap. "Chevy" is the popular colloquial name for "Chevrolet", an American car company.


The data unit given to Breed and Lanny by the dying pilot looks slightly different on page 5, panel 1 that it did when first seen on page 4, panel 3. (The data unit is later referred to as a compu pac by John Connor and, in "All My Futures Past" Part 2, is also referred to as a data box.)


The mountain village where Breed and Lanny live is not named in the story. In fact, in "All My Futures Past" Part 2, Lanny remarks that the village is nameless.


Texaco remarks that Los Angeles is a thousand miles or more south of the village they live in. This would place the village somewhere in southern Washington most likely. Yet, later, on page 8, Breed and Lanny arrive at their first city, the remains of Fresno, CA, just three days later. Fresno is only about 220 miles north of L.A., meaning they managed to walk around 800 miles in three days! Impossible. Lanny later indicates it took him weeks after Breed's death in Fresno to get to L.A., further indicating the impossibility of travelling 700-800 miles in three days. So it would seem that the town was less than 1000 miles from L.A. or Fresno was not the first city they entered after three days. Or Texaco was full of shit when he said the village was 1000 miles from L.A.! At three days walking distance from Fresno, that would be approximately around Modesto, CA. (As a side note, the promotional blurb in the "NOW on Sale" page of NOW comics published in August 1990 states the pilot crashes in California, indicating the nearby village is most likely in the state as well.)


Texaco gives Breed and Lanny his Jaeger rifle, capable of knocking a Terminator on its "tin can", if not exactly kill it. It appears to be a relatively modern rifle, but Jaeger (or Jäger) refers to German soldiers of a light infantry that began with the Seven Years War in 1756; the Jäger term largely fell out of use after about 1858. Lanny later refers to it as an "elephant gun", referring to a gun capable of bringing down big game.


Looking at a map, Lanny remarks that they can follow state highway 99 from Fresno right into L.A. This is true. State Route 99 runs from Red Bluff (north of Fresno) to Wheeler Ridge where SR 99 merges into Interstate 5 to L.A.


On page 14 the dogs indicate to the L.A. resistance members that Lanny is human, just as Reese describes the performance of dogs in The Terminator.


The map on the resistance screen on page 16 shows the southern California coastline. The easternmost island on the map is Santa Catalina and the westernmost, San Clemente, though the map is not quite to scale.


In this issue, John Connor is depicted as blond-haired instead of black. Kyle Reese is also depicted with blond hair.


On page 17, John Connor seems to play dumb when one of his officers reads the data off the compu pac and reveals that Skynet is experimenting with a time travel device. He remarks, "why go back in time?", "what's in it for them?", "fix some mistake they made" and give themselves "the edge to win?" At first, it seems as if we, the readers, may be seeing the original timeline, one in which no time travel to the past has occurred. But in "All My Futures Past" Part 2, John does hint that his mother revealed his and Reese's future destiny to him.


Page 18 suggests that Kyle Reese is the leader of the team that is sent into the Skynet tower to take out the time machine.


On page 18, John Connor asks Reese how old he was when he killed his first 101. The model 101 Terminator endoderm is the one based on U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant William Candy (actor Arnold Schwarzenegger), as revealed in the DVD extras of Rise of the Machines.


Skynet and its minions are sometimes referred to as "gearjammers" by the human resistance.


Page 19 seems to suggest that popular chants among the human resistance were "Power to the people!" and "Death to the machine!"


On page 19, John Connor says to Reese, "Vaya con Dios, my friend." Vaya con Dios is Spanish for "Go with God."


On page 21, Skynet land vehicles referred to as "skidmos" by the human resistance are seen. These are not seen elsewhere in the Terminator series.


On page 22, Reese tells Lanny that the resistance truck he's riding in is filled with boxes of C-4. C-4 is a plastic explosive used by many militaries around the world. 


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