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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
Terminator: The Bee Stings "The Bee Stings"
Terminator #5
NOW Comics
Written by Jack Herman
Illustrated by Thomas Tenney
Inked by Jim Brozman
Cover by Ken Call
February 1989


Can Yanomami tribesman Shaki lead a rival village into defeating the Terminator?


Story Summary


As the Terminator is about to kill brothers Shaki and Kao, it is suddenly attacked by a black panther from out of the jungle. The Terminator drives off the beast, but not before the brothers make their escape.


Returning to their village of Serigama-teri from which they had fled last issue, they find it burning and only the shaman Teke and their severely injured father are left alive. Teke tells the brothers to journey to the foreigners' mission, weeks away on foot, to get help and weapons to fight the half-metal demon. Teke himself will take their father to the rival village of Tukini-teri and hope for medical aid.


During the weeks of travel by the young warriors, the Terminator, meanwhile, begins construction of a giant device to implement Skynet's plan to eradicate the Amazon rainforest, using parts brought aboard the HK.


Finally arriving at the mission, Shaki and Kao find it abandoned, with some human skeletons littering the grounds. They do find a couple of rifles and a box of dynamite, but they don't know how to use them. Shaki also finds a large stack of comic books. Though neither can read the foreign language, some of the drawings prove useful in deducing how to use the rifles. They head to Tukini-teri with what they've found.


Arriving at the rival village weeks later, they learn their father died shortly after he was brought there, but Teke lives and is inhaling ebene powder in an attempt to gain a vision of where the Terminator came from and what it wants. Shaki then decides to inhale some of the powder himself and gets an accurate, if culturally-colored, series of visions about Skynet and its desire to wipe out humanity. He comes out of the trance knowing that he must lead a group of warriors against the metallic demon in the jungle. The warriors of Tukini-teri agree to follow him to the spot in the jungle where the Terminator and its HK were last seen.


The group of warriors find the site of the Terminator's constructed device, but the Terminator ambushes them there, killing most. Kao has the dynamite and has learned just enough from a Ralph Snart comic book to know that a dynamite stick can be lit and used to deadly effect. He uses the dynamite to destroy the constructed device, and all but destroying the Terminator in the process, sacrificing himself in the bargain.


With the skull of the Terminator as a trophy, the warrior band returns to Tukini-teri. With Shaki now a respected member, the village vows that at least their own pocket of humanity shall survive the threat of the metallic demons who seek to end human life on Earth.




Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue








Didja Notice?


On page 15, Baro blows ebene powder into Shaki's nose through a bamboo shaft. This is an actual common method of inhaling the drug among Amazon tribes.


On page 16, Shaki's hallucinatory vision tells him of the foreigners' "boxes that could think" (computers) and the hekura headman (spirit) of the boxes who threw a net over the sky (Skynet) so no one could escape.


Page 19 states that the Terminator's flesh is dying due to the villagers' curare-dipped arrows. Curare is a toxin that can be extracted from several species of plants native to Central and South America.


On page 23, Kao remembers how to use dynamite from having looked at pictures from a comic book found at the mission. The comic book panels appear to depict the farcical comic book character Ralph Snart and another character that looks similar to Wile E. Coyote from Looney Toons cartoons.


At the end of this issue, the writer gives grateful acknowledgement to the work of Napoleon A. Chagnon. Chagnon is an American anthropologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia, known for his field work with the Yanomami.


Unanswered Questions

Why are there human skeletons at the abandoned Christian mission? Who did them in and why? 


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