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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: Factories "Factories"
Terminator #11 (NOW Comics)
Writer: Ron Fortier
Penciler: Thomas A. Tenney
Inker: Rich Rankin
Cover by Konrad Fahrner
August 1989

 

DIX-190 meets Skynet in person; Tama leads Konrad and Tim to a baby-making factory run by nuns beneath an amusement park.

 

Story Summary

 

DIX-190 arrives at the location of Skynet's CPU at a NORAD base in Montana. There, Skynet informs him he is an obsolete model and that he will be reconstructed as the unit 103, code-name Goliath.

 

Tama leads Konrad and Tim to the ruins of Mort Dizzy World in Orlando, where a resistance cell has teamed with a group of nuns, scientists, and other survivors to raise human babies in artificial wombs of seaweed through in vitro fertilization, part of John Connor's plan to repopulate the world while fighting Skynet.

 

CONTINUED IN TERMINATOR #12

 

Didja Know?

 

The cover artist of this issue, Konrad Fahrner, is the comic book nom de plume of fine artist Warren Prindle.

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue

 

Tim Reese

Konrad

Tama

Major Iron-horse Adams

Horse Soldiers

Tucker

Sarah's Slammers

Deffard

DIX-190

Skynet

Dog

Peter

Sister Claire

Sister Betty

Dr. Hiram Potterwax

Colin Savoy

Sister Gladys

Eddie

John Connor (mentioned only)

Amazon Annie (seen in flashback)

Palin

Goliath

 

 

 

Didja Notice?

 

The airborne explosion witnessed by Konrad, Tim, and Tama on page 1 is presumably the mid-air destruction of the war shuttle Viking by Sarah's Slammers and the Horse Soldiers, as previously seen in "Cocoa Beach" Part 2.

 

DIX-190 arrives at NORAD Command Center in the Rocky Mountains of northern Montana. NORAD is the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a joint operation of the U.S. and Canada to provide early warning and defense against air and space offenses against the two nations. There are no official NORAD command centers in Montana, however. NORAD headquarters is located at Peterson Air Force Base, close to Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a nuclear bunker and alternate command center at nearby Cheyenne Mountain. This issue states that Skynet's central processing unit is located at this Montana base; in most other Terminator stories, it is located at the Cheyenne Mountain complex. 

 

As far as I can find, the NORAD emblem depicted on page 3, panel 4 has never been in use by NORAD. There is a somewhat similar motif that was used by the Army Security Agency (now known as United States Army Intelligence and Security Command).
NORAD Command Center emblem Army Security Agency patch
NORAD Command Center emblem in this issue Army Security Agency patch

 

As throughout this NOW Comics comic book series, the company that created Skynet is called Techno-Dyne (or, at times, Technodyne) instead of Cyberdyne.

 

On page 5, panel 1, as DIX-190 speaks to the Skynet hologram, notice there appear to be human brains suspended in fluid-filled glass canisters in the background!

 

On page 7, Skynet states that DIX-190 is a Techno-Dyne Terminator Unit 101, created nearly 30 years ago. This is meant to be analogous to the Cyberdyne model 101 seen in The Terminator, though in the film the 101's weren't created until around 2029. Since the current story takes place in 2031, that would mean the 101 model seen here was created in the early 2000s.

 

Tama's dog doesn't have any name beyond "Dog"; Tama thinks it's stupid to name animals.

 

Sister Claire's shirt pocket has IVF printed on it. We learn later it stands for In Vitro Fertilization, a method of artificially fertilizing a female egg with male sperm (so-called "test tube babies"). In Vitro is Latin for "in glass".

 

Sister Claire's resistance cell makes its base inside Mort Dizzy World in Orlando. This is a fictitious amusement park based on the real Walt Disney World which has existed in Orlando since 1971. This is why Tama kept calling the place she was taking Konrad and Tim to, "the magic place"; the Magic Kingdom is the first of the four parks that exist within Disney World.

 

One of the rides seen within Dizzy World is Never Dream Land. It seems to be based on the Neverland concept from the stories of Peter Pan created by J.M. Barrie in 1904. Walt Disney Pictures made an animated Peter Pan film in 1953 and, later a ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Claire even tells Konrad that the Never Dream Land ride was the inspiration for the name of the boy Peter in this issue.

 

On page 16, panel 4, "miracle" is mistakenly spelled "mircle".

 

On page 17, panel 3, the doors to Dr. Potterwax's embryo tanks are labeled "embryo tanks". But when he pushes them open in the next panel the signs are gone.

 

Sister Gladys, whom Tama is seen talking to in the cafeteria on page 20, appears to be wearing a pendant of an upside-down cross. This is the Cross of St. Peter, a symbol representing humility in comparison to Jesus, based on a Christian legend that St. Peter, when he was sentenced to crucifixion by the Romans, asked that he be crucified upside-down, as he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus.

 

In this issue and next, John Connor's last name is mistakenly spelled "Conner".

 

Savoy relates to Konrad how John Connor and his forces freed him and other survivors from Skynet's Atlanta death camp "five years ago". This would mean it occurred in 2026. Atlanta is the capital city of the U.S. state of Georgia.

 

Savoy goes on to say that John Connor was like a messiah. There are, in fact, many intentional parallels in various Terminator stories with the concept of John being a messiah, including the frequent trope in fiction of giving the character in question the same initials as Jesus Christ.

 

Savoy explains that the in vitro fertilization and artificial womb project was conceived by John Connor as a way to possibly increase human population without tying down half his fighting forces through pregnancies.

 

Skynet takes on the holographic guise of both a demon and a circus ringmaster at different points in this issue! As stated in previous studies of the NOW Comics series, Skynet and its Terminators are given rather strange human-like personality quirks.

 

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