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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
"Tempest" Part 1
Terminator #1
Dark Horse
Writer: John Arcudi
Penciler: Chris Warner
Inker: Paul Guinan
Cover: Chris Warner
August 1990


Months after the destruction of Skynet's central complex by John Connor's forces, the remaining machines continue their programmed war against humanity, including the construction of a new time displacement chamber.


Read the complete summary of Tempest at the Terminator wiki


Didja Know?


This was a 4-issue mini-series subtitled Tempest, published by Dark Horse Comics as a sequel to the 1984 film The Terminator.


The Dark Horse Terminator comics imply that all Terminator units have number/letter designations to identify each individual. In this issue we meet I825.M (later to become known as Dudley in "Secondary Objectives" Part 2), C850.D, C890.L, and HC875.S.


Didja Notice?


Page 1 states the story opens in 2029. This is the same year a T-800 and Kyle Reese were sent back to 1984 in "All My Futures Past" Part 2 as well as a female model T-800 in "One Shot".


This story and the two follow-up mini-series show that Terminators are easily able to communicate with each other through non-verbal electronic transmissions.


On page 6, a small, mobile, electronic device used by Skynet appears to be hovering a few inches above the floor. In panel 2, an opening in the rear of the device suggests what may be fan-like rotors at the bottom which may provide the levitation.


Also on page 6, a resistance member sees the hovering device and seems to think it innocuous, suggesting the "Terminators forgot to put out the dog." It seems unlikely that any person growing up during the war against the machines would take any independent ambulatory device lightly. Also, would he really be familiar with the phrase "put out the dog" in a society far removed from the simple pleasures of a family home with a pet.


Page 7 reveals that Skynet was destroyed months ago (page 8 states 3 months), but the many machine-run complexes around the world continue to fight the humans, as per their programming.


Page 8 reveals that at least one other machine complex has built a more advanced time displacement platform based on the prototype used by Skynet in "All My Futures Past" Part 2 (or in The Terminator for you purists).


The time displacement platform seen on page 8 actually looks very similar to the one seen in "One Shot". There must have been some collaboration between the artists or editors.
Time displacement platform in this issue. Time displacement platform in "One Shot".


On page 12, five resistance members strip themselves in preparation for the time jump. But they don't appear to ever cover themselves with conduction jelly as described in the novelization of The Terminator. 


On page 13, an unidentified type of Hunter-Killer bursts into the time displacement chamber. It looks rather similar to the ED-209 robot from the 1987 film Robocop. (The Terminator and Robocop universes do cross over in two comic book mini-series, RoboCop Versus The Terminator from Dark Horse and Terminator/Robocop: Kill Human, as well as a RoboCop Versus The Terminator multi-platform video game.)
Unidentified HK model ED-209 from Robocop


Page 18 implies the resistance members have chronoported to 1990, the narrative calling it "the present day" (this issue was published in 1990). The end of the issue also describes the setting as "1990's Los Angeles". However, it's clear from the issues of the three mini-series that followed (particularly End Game) that it's meant to be 1984, shortly after Sarah Connor becomes pregnant with Reese's child. It seems the year of our current mini-series was retroactively modified when the pregnant Sarah Connor storyline was decided on for the later mini-series.


The resistance members arrive in Los Angeles, possibly on Melrose Avenue, where small clothing and fashion outlets are popular. This is based on the fictional, but trendy sounding, names of the storefronts, such as Turbo, Voodoo, Psycho, and Bomb. (Though "The Enemy Within" Part 2 suggests it was on Pico Boulevard; Pico is known for it fashion warehouse district, but not so much for fashion retail outlets).


This issue introduces Doctors Bertram Hollister and Ed Astin of Cyberdyne Systems, working on Project Bellerophon. Project Bellerophon is revealed in "Tempest" Part 3 to be the Cyberdyne initiative that perfected artificial intelligence sometime before 1993, leading to Skynet. This project is not mentioned by name in the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but it may still be considered a precursor to Dr. Miles Dyson's work as portrayed in that film.


A stylized "CD" is seen as the Cyberdyne logo on page 19.


On page 23, we see that the four Terminators have brought a fifth member back in time with them, a human (resistance member Lt. Koufaks who was captured earlier) who has been used as a living container for a future weapon brought back with them, as only living tissue (or metal encased in living tissue) can chronoport, as stated by Reese in The Terminator. A somewhat similar method is used in the pilot episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles ("No One is Ever Safe") when the Terminator called Cromartie arrives in 1999 and cuts open the flesh covering his own leg to remove a handgun. 


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