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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: Big, Bad Wolf "Big, Bad Wolf"
Terminator #7
NOW Comics
Written by Jack Herman
Penciled by Robin Ator
Inked by Jim Brozman
Cover by Norm Breyfogle
April 1989


Skynet turns man's best friend into a mortal enemy.


Story Summary


A couple of good old boys, Sam and Salvadore, the Clemente brothers, sit on a rooftop, picking off Terminators with machine guns. But they are suddenly attacked by a Terminator wolf. Salvadore is killed by the beast and Sam flees in terror. Meanwhile, the local resistance cell is holed up in a field hospital, to which their food-foraging team has failed to return. Resistance members Marissa and Rip are sent to trade an old Ford for food from the Clementes.


Searching for the Clementes, Marissa, Rip, and Rip's dog, Trigger, run into a Terminator pretending to be a man in need of medical attention and asking to be taken to the field hospital. They recognize the Terminator for what it is and try to shoot it down, to no avail. They flee into the subway system, where they lose the Terminator and find Sam Clemente and the food hoard. But Sam has lost his mind from what he saw of the Terminator wolf and the death of his brother, and he thinks Marissa and Rip and the dog are trying to steal his food. Growing angrier, he injures Marissa and shoots Trigger, before Rip manages to get the drop on him and shoots him dead. But, with the Clementes dead, the food is up for grabs, too much to carry. They head back to the field hospital.


Meanwhile, the three men of the cell's food-foraging team, having wrecked their Jeep, are attempting to make it back through the city with a seriously injured member, when they encounter the same Terminator who is impersonating a man in need of medical care. They too, recognize him as a Terminator and begin firing at him. The Terminator kills one of them before it is destroyed itself. But then the Terminator wolf shows up and kills the remaining two men.


On the way back to the field hospital, Marissa and Rip meet up with the wolf, but it pretends to be friendly and in need of food so that it will be taken to the base. They arrive at the hospital and when Rip tries to put the beast in the kennel with the other dogs, they all start barking and howling. Rip figures it's because it's a new dog and needs to get its scent around, so he lets it roam around for a while. This, of course, is not a good idea, and the wolf attacks several resistance members in the vehicle repair garage. During the melee, gasoline is spilled and a plasma rifle fired by one of the men sets off an enormous fire. Between the fire and the wolf, virtually the entire cell is killed, only Marissa and Colonel Pinewood escaping. They grab a truck and race for the Clemente food stash, with plans to head out of town.


The wolf is left behind to continue its hunt for humans.




Didja Know?


The city this story takes place in is not revealed, but according to the Terminator Wiki, the city is Duluth, Minnesota. However, the story depicts a subway system in the city, which Duluth does not have.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue


Sam Clemente (dies in this issue)

Salvadore Clemente (dies in this issue)

Doc (dies in this issue)

Colonel Pinewood

Marissa Powell

Rip (dies in this issue)

Trigger (dies in this issue)


Berryman (dies in this issue)




Didja Notice?


On page 1, panel 1, a symbolic representation of a Terminator skull is seen on the face of the Moon in the background as it rises over the city.


On page 1, panel 3, the Clemente brothers have a box of Krax and a bottle of Olde Harper at their feet as they sit sniping at Terminators. These were both probably intended as fictitious brands at the time, but there is a brand of crunchy snacks called Krax in Europe.


After blowing the head off a Terminator, saving the life of a dog the robot appeared to be about to kill, one the brothers says, "Don't worry, Timmy! Lassie's gonna be oh-kay!" This is a reference to the long-running Lassie TV series (1954-1974) in which the eponymous female collie and her boy owner, Timmy got into various scrapes. In 2031, it doesn't seem like the Clemente brothers would be old enough to have watched Lassie reruns on television before Judgment Day, but maybe they managed to dig up some old tapes or DVDs for entertainment viewing!


This issue introduces a Terminator wolf model. It is able to grow its teeth out to six inches long in attack mode! "Revolution" Part 2 features a more advanced canine Terminator, the Dire Wolf.


The vehicle the resistance members are working on in panel 1 of page 5 looks like it is probably a military-type Jeep, though only the front end is seen here. It appears to have "Nator Killer" painted on the side. This may be the same Jeep being seen worked on on page 20.


On page 5, one of the Duluth resistance members remarks they are down to the last of the civil defense rations. These are storable, long shelf-life food packages stored in boxes in public fallout shelters and other such civil defense bunkers. Some such boxes are seen on page 17 in Sam's hideout, with the triple-triangle fallout shelter symbol on them.


On page 6, Colonel Pinewood tells Marissa that their first food-gathering team is AWOL. AWOL is military shorthand for "Away Without Leave".


On page 6, Pinewood tells Marissa to see if the Clemente Brothers will trade some of their food hoard for a Ford. Ford, of course, is a manufacturer of automobiles.


Apparently Duluth was hit with a neutron bomb on Judgment Day, because Rip remarks that, for having been hit by such a bomb, "...the place doesn't look so bad," and, on pages 8 and 18, graffiti painted on walls and debris in the city reads "NEUTRONS SUK".


On page 7, Marissa and Rip enter Frank's Butcher Shop. This appears to be a fictitious business in Duluth.


The word balloon placement in panel 2 of page 12 is messed up and seems to confuse whether the person pictured in it is Rip or Sam.


Sam had lost his cap on page 4, but seems to have found another one by page 12. The current cap is the same color, but now has a CAT patch on front. CAT is a shorthand logo used by Caterpillar, Inc., a leading manufacturer of tractors, bulldozers, and diesel engines.


On page 14, a resistance member refers to the Terminator that is pretending to be a sick man as Frankenstein. This, of course, is a reference to Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein (and subsequent film adaptations) about Dr. Frankenstein, who brings to life an artificial man from the stitched-together body parts of human corpses.


On page 19, Rip gives the Terminator wolf some food, not knowing what it really is. He says, "My, what big eyes you have." This is a line from the classic European fairy tale of "Little Red Riding Hood", spoken by a young girl when she brings some food to her grandmother's house, to find that she is being impersonated by a Big Bad Wolf.


On page 20, Marissa tells Rip she has a date with the Sandman. The Sandman is a mythical character of European folklore who brings sleep and good dreams to people by sprinkling tiny particles of magic sand in their eyes.


Rip tries to place the wolf in the kennel with the other dogs, but the dogs go crazy, barking and howling as he approaches with the wolf. This scene may have been inspired by a scene from the classic 1982 horror film The Thing, in which a dog from a neighboring camp (which is actually one of the Things) is placed in the kennel of Outpost 31 and the other dogs start to go crazy when the strange dog begins to transform.


On page 21, panel 3, a box with the international radiation logo is seen on it.


On page 25, panel 2, a poster featuring a human skull and the atomic energy symbol is seen in the background.


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