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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
"Suicide Mission"
Terminator: Nuclear Twilight #2
Writer: Mark Paniccia
Artist: Gary Erskine
Cover: Rob Prior
December 1995


The resistance intercepts a Skynet transmission suggesting that a time travel attempt has just been made.


Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Didja Notice?


The skull drawing in Danny's room on page 3, panel 5 looks like the same one he drew as a child in "Genesis & Revelations".


This issue reveals that Detective Mossberg is now Colonel Mossberg, one of John's men in the resistance.


On page 11, panel 1, a block of concrete in the rubble has "Whale" and "Alanis Morisette" (sic) scrawled on it. Whale was a Swedish rock group in the 1990s and Alanis Morissette has been a popular singer-songwriter since 1987. The number 231068 is also seen on this block and is repeated in "Dead Men Walking" on page 2, panel 3 and near the end of "The Programming of Fate"; it represents artist Gary Erskine's birth date, 23 October 1968.


On page 11, the resistance troop is seen riding in a Humvee. The word stands for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, manufactured by AM General mostly for the U.S. military.


On page 13, John's narration states that Skynet's main stronghold is in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This may be an error based on the statement in the Judgment Day novelization that Skynet's mainframe is located in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. In the following chapter, "Dead Men Walking", John does state that Cheyenne Mountain is in Colorado.


The elevator inside the Cheyenne complex is based on the pre-production artwork of the Judgment Day movie. The original script called for a scene at the beginning of the film that depicts the resistance breaking through into the complex and discovering the time-displacement equipment, Skynet's having sent a T-800 back in time to kill Sarah Connor, and John sending Reese back to protect her, leading to the events of the first film, The Terminator.
Skynet elevator Skynet elevator pre-prod art
Skynet elevator Skynet elevator pre-production art from Judgment Day


On page 14, John mentions the T-800 model known as the Cyberdyne Systems 101 Model. This model is the one that looks like actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (or, in the Terminator universe, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant William Candy as revealed in the DVD extras of the Rise of the Machines DVD; or government secret agent Dieter von Rossbach, if you go by the T2 Trilogy series of original novels starting with Infiltrator).


On page 15 we witness a Model 101 sent back in time by Skynet. This is presumably the Terminator that attempts to kill Sarah in 1984 in The Terminator. The time displacement chamber seen here is also based on pre-production art from Judgment Day; it's quite different from the chambers seen in previous comic books stories ("All My Futures Past" Part 2, "One Shot", and "Tempest" Part 1). The circumstances of the T-800's moment of traveling back in time is also much different than that seen in "All My Futures Past" Part 2 in being unobserved by the human resistance and taking place at Cheyenne Mountain instead of L.A. (part four of Nuclear Twilight, "Father's Day", corrects the Cheyenne Mountain error by stating that Skynet's L.A. annex is the time jump facility).


On page 16, John's narration mentions all of the Terminators sent back through time by Skynet that he knows of. First, he mentions the one sent to kill his mother in order to prevent his birth. Then he goes on to say, "I also knew that it later sent back four more mechanical assassins. Another to kill me, and even later, a group of three to ensure its creation." We know the one sent back to kill him was the T-1000 in Judgment Day and the "group of three to ensure its creation" the three depicted in the Cybernetic Dawn mini-series.


Connor's techs intercept and decode some Skynet transmissions that suggest that a time travel attempt has been made. One of the techs states that it sounds like Skynet has used science similar to what humans already theorized about possible time travel, but it has managed to fill the gaps that Einstein couldn't. Einstein, of course, is a reference to Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the renowned theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity in physics.


Reese's resistance troop carries what appear to be M16 rifles. But, according to the films, they would normally be carrying pulse rifles.


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