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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
at popapostle-dot-com
"Father's Day"
Terminator: Nuclear Twilight #4 (Malibu)
Writer: Mark Paniccia
Artist: Gary Erskine
Cover: Unknown (believed to be Rob Prior)
February 1996

 

John Connor leads his troops to victory over Skynet...or does he?

 

Read the story summary at the Terminator Wiki

 

Didja Notice?

 

On page 5, we see that John is still referring to Mossberg as badge, as he did 30+ years ago in "Genesis & Revelations".

 

In this issue, we learn that a virus specific to Skynet technology was written by Danny Dyson and deployed through John's plan to send a compromised T-800 endoskeleton into the main Skynet complex in Cheyenne Mountain. This is how Skynet is ultimately defeated (in this timeline). In Dawn of Fate, Reese takes down Skynet with multiple shots from a plasma rifle in a pitched battle.

 

As the T-800 John and Danny have nicknamed Rusty infiltrates the Skynet annex and uploads Danny's virus on page 11, the words "Easy Money" appear on the complex's computer terminals, suggesting this may have been the name of the virus. The phrase was used by John a couple of times in Judgment Day and in a few of the later novels.

 

During the virus transfer, John's narrative erroneously describes Rusty as having "downloaded" Danny's precious virus into the Skynet system. Rather, Rusty uploaded it. The source computer uploads data; the destination computer downloads it.

 

Seemingly the same concrete block seen on page 11, panel 1, of "Suicide Mission" is seen again here on page 15, panel 1. The rock and roll names of Whale and Alanis Morisette (sic) are seen in the approximate same location as in the aforementioned chapter. But the background is not the same, as previously it was just a decimated cityscape and now is the Skynet annex.

 

On page 14, panel 3, artist Gary Erskine's birth date is seen on a concrete slab (231068), as it is also in "Suicide Mission", "Dead Men Walking", and "The Programming of Fate".

 

The scene of Reese volunteering to go on the mission to 1984 is much different than that seen in "All My Futures Past" Part 2.

 

On page 18, John describes he and his mother, along with other resistance fighters, when he was 18, storming one of Skynet's slave labor camps where humans were used ato load bodies into the incinerators. These camps were first described in the novelization of The Terminator. Since he was 18 years old at the time, the year is most likely 2003 since he was born February 28, 1985.

 

During the flashback scene of the labor camp assault on page 19, John uses the phrase "Hasta la vista". This, of course, is one of the phrases he taught the T-800 in 1995. "Hasta la vista" means "good-bye" in Spanish.

 

Also during the flashback, as the prisoners escape the camp, John sees a woman hugging a man and calling him Jonathan Ellis Reese. John tries to catch up to them, but loses them in the fleeing crowd. He doesn't know if they were Kyle Reese's parents and, therefore, his grandparents. According to the T2 Trilogy novel The Future War, Kyle's parents were Dennis and Mary Reese, so the Reese seen here may be unrelated or a more distant relation.

 

On page 20, Kyle Reese is being rubbed down with conductance jelly in preparation for his trip through time. This was first described in the novelization of The Terminator and was not seen at all in the version presented in "All My Futures Past" Part 2.

 

On page 21, John tells Kyle that he always knew he would volunteer for the the trip because Sarah had told him. This was also revealed in the Judgment Day novelization (and implied in the novelization of The Terminator). The dialog of the scene in this issue is similar but not quite the same as that in the novel.

 

The human resistance members are all seen to wear protective goggles while observing Reese's chronoport.

 

On page 22, two resistance soldiers are identified as Nyberg and Coffey. Nyberg is probably a reference to Nancy Nyberg, who worked as Manager of Development at James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment at the time this story was written. Coffey is likely a nod to actor Michael Biehn's character of US Navy SEAL Lieutenant Hiram Coffey in James Cameron's 1989 film The Abyss, especially as both are depicted with a mustache. 

 

Unanswered Questions

 

Was the man called Jonathan Ellis Reese the father of Kyle Reese? If so, it seems hard to reconcile that The Future War has Dennis Reese as his father instead. Maybe some unseen time travel occurred in one of the timelines that resulted in the parents of Jonathan/Dennis choosing one name over the other (original timeline) one. Or maybe Jonathan is just Kyle's uncle or something?

 

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