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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

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"The Dark Years" Part 3
Terminator: The Dark Years #3
Dark Horse
Writer: Alan Grant
Penciler: Mel Rubi
Inkers: Andrew Pepoy and Howard Shum
Cover: Jae Lee
November 1999


John Connor finds himself at the wrong end of a gun barrel in two time periods.


Read the complete story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Notes from the Terminator chronology


In this issue, the future installments of the storyline are suddenly said to take place in 2031 instead of 2030 as in the previous two issues. But the year reverts back to 2030 in "The Dark Years" Part 4, so it appears the 2031 mentions here were just a mistake that got past the editor.


Didja Notice?


On the cover, the skyscraper seen in the flames is the Empire State Building, which also appears within the story.


1999: On page 1, the taxi driver says he and John are racing down Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the Manhattan borough of New York.


1999: On page 2, the Terminator jumps his stolen motorcycle over a Volkswagen Beetle.


1999: On page 4, the taxi driver makes a turn off Fifth Avenue in an attempt to lose the pursuing Terminator. The car soon passes a Macy's department store. The taxi is likely on 134th Street now, just two blocks from Fifth Avenue, where there is an actual Macy's store.


2031: John tells the council of war that the machines have a new facility for experimenting on humans underneath the Ubank Shopping Mall. This appears to be a fictitious location and I'm unaware of a business entity by the "Ubank" name at the time the story was written, 1999 (though National Australia Bank did launch an online banking network called Ubank in 2008).


2031: On page 7, Norden recognizes Selina's dissociative symptoms as that of what he refers to as "ongoing war syndrome". As far as I can tell, this is not a recognized psychological term.


2031: On page 8, Billy X refers to someone who would sell humanity out to the robots as a "skel". This is a slang term for "lowlife".


2031: On page 9, a previously unseen type of attack copter is used by the machines against the human resistance.

Attack copter


2031: Conscious of a possible traitor in their midst, one of the resistance members refers to Norden as "Judas" on page 17. This is a reference to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver in the New Testament of the Bible. 


1999: The narrative on page 18 describes how many people believed the millennium would usher in the end of the world, maybe from a rogue comet or aliens. It goes on to say, "It didn't occur to anyone that the threat might come from their own technology..." Well, actually, many people did think our technology would bring about an end of the world, of sorts. Not from killer machines as foreshadowed here, but from the Y2K bug (see the discussion in "The Dark Years" Part 1).


1999: The entrance of the Empire State Building on page 18 does not look quite like it does in real life. (Photo from Wikipedia.)
Empire State Building entrance Empire State Building entrance


1999: On page 18, panel 6, notice a fire extinguisher is seen hanging on the wall as John ducks into the Empire State Building. This becomes important in "The Dark Years" Part 4, when he uses it against the Terminator.


1999: On page 22, the Chrysler Building appears in the background as John looks from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. The Chrysler Building is fairly close to the Empire State Building in the real world, about 8 blocks away, on Lexington Avenue (ESB is on Fifth Avenue).


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