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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
"Death Valley" Part 2
Terminator #1
Dark Horse
Written by Alan Grant
Art by Steve Pugh
September 1998


Satanic motorcycle gang leader Killerman flees the two Terminators chasing him.


Read the complete story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Didja Know? 


This Terminator 4-part 1998 mini-series titled simply The Terminator was published by Dark Horse. The title "Death Valley" comes from the the name of the trade paperback collection.


Didja Notice? 


The map on page 1 depicts the original boundaries of Death Valley National Monument, established in 1933. It's odd the writer and/or artist chose this map, as its boundaries were expanded and it became a national park in 1994. Regardless, all the places named on the map are actual sites within the park.


On page 2, Ken Norden describes the fox he and his son see in the Death Valley desert as a Kits fox; the proper term is actually kit fox. This species is known to inhabit the region.


On page 4, the deputies discuss the reported explosion in the desert (seen at the end of "Death Valley" Part 1). One of them says that lava might have bubbled to the surface and super-heated the water table, causing the alleged explosion. Such a scenario is unlikely in modern day Death Valley, but the region does have a periodic volcanic history in the distant past and still has several geothermal hot springs today.


The depiction of the Furnace Creek Visitors Center on page 5 does not seem to look particularly like the real world one.


On page 13 we see that the motorcycle ridden by Killerman is a Commando. The Commando was a motorcycle manufactured by the British Norton-Villiers company in the late 1960s-1970s.


I'm unsure if the song sung by the old prospector on page 16 is real, but it does make reference to Jayhawkers and Willy Manly. "Jayhawkers" is a slang term referring to Kansans. William Manly was a trail guide and the author of the book Death Valley in '49. Despite the lyrics of the song seen here, Manly did not lead the wagon train referred to as the Jayhawkers; he and his partner found the dead bodies of two of the Jayhawkers west of the Panamint mountains just outside of Death Valley.


The old prospector finds a golden nugget on a hillside, but pronounces it "sulfurated crap". He is likely referring to pyrite, i.e. fool's gold, an iron sulfide.


On page 18, Killerman rides past the desert grave of David Foster, his marker stating he died of heatstroke in 1911. As far as I can determine, this is a fictional person.


Once young Jon Norden removes his cap, notice that he looks similar to John Connor. He may have been drawn this way for the reader to help play to the similarity between the names of Sara and Jon Norden and Sarah and John Connor in the later chapters of the story. However, starting in "Death Valley" Part 3, Jon Norden's hair is drawn in a slightly different manner, so the two don't look so much alike (possibly an editorial decision to avoid confusion between the two characters).


On page 19, Jon Norden declares he's going to play with his Gameboy. The Game Boy was a handheld video game system produced by Nintendo in various incarnations from 1989-2003.


On page 20, Ken's wife, Sara, declares she wants to go back to 'Frisco; this is a nickname for San Francisco.


An advertisement for Cyberdyne appears on the inside back cover of this issue.


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