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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

at popapostle-dot-com
"The Programming of Fate"
Terminator: Nuclear Twilight/Cybernetic Dawn #0
Writer: Mark Paniccia
Artist: Gary Erskine
Cover: Gary Erskine
February 1996


Having sent Reese back to 1984, John Connor has one more task to perform after the fall of Skynet.


Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki


Didja Notice?


In the credits of this issue, editors Dan Shaheen and Mark Paniccia are listed as "ready for vacation". This may be a reference to the T-800 saying "I need a vacation," after his battle with the T-1000 finally ends near the conclusion of Judgment Day.


On page 6, panel 1, one resistance soldier in the background has what appears to be the word "DONUT" written on his helmet.


   On page 10, panel 1, a soldier in the background has the name Paxton on his helmet. This is likely a reference to actor Bill Paxton, who has appeared in a number of Cameron films, including The Terminator (as one of the punks at the Griffith Observatory at the beginning of the film, identified as Johnny or "Kotex" in the novel).

   Another soldier in the background has the number 69 on the helmet. "69" is a slang term for a, uh, sexual position; feel free to look it up.


On page 10, a concrete slab has the words "Whale" and "Massive Attack". These are both musical groups, Whale having been seen as graffiti twice previously in this mini-series (in "Suicide Mission" and "Father's Day"); it must be one of artist Erskine's favorite bands!


Also on page 10, artist Gary Erskine's birth date is seen on the concrete slab (231068), as it is also in "Suicide Mission", "Dead Men Walking", and "Father's Day".


The last page of the story implies that the T-1000 disguised as Griff has used Danny's own Skynet source code to potentially bring back the machine ruler. 


Unanswered Questions


Has the T-1000 disguised as Griff absorbed the Skynet source code to become the new machine ruler after Skynet's defeat in 2029? We don't get a firm answer since no follow-up series was produced by Malibu. Possibly this "reborn" Skynet could be considered responsible for some of the additional time-travelling Terminators seen in stories produced by other publishers in comics and other media.


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