‘Terminator’ flashback: ‘One Shot’ (1991) (Comic book review)

We’re only up to 1991 in our “Terminator” flashback series, and those TDE (time displacement equipment) platforms in the Future War are already getting mighty crowded. The same month “T2” came out (July 1991), Dark Horse sent more folks into the time bubble in “One Shot,” which is the actual title of this 51-page one-shot comic for reasons that will become clear.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ movie and novelization (1991) (Review)

The latest issue of Star Wars Insider (No. 155) espouses ring theory as a way to glean greater depth from the repeating motifs in the “Star Wars” films. The theory could also be applied to James Cameron’s two “Terminator” films: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) copies so many plot points and set pieces from the first film that it’s as much a remake as it is a sequel.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: ‘Tempest’ (1990) (Comic book review)

As Now Comics, which would go bankrupt in 1991, wrapped up its run on “Terminator,” the license was quickly snatched up by Dark Horse Comics – so quickly that its first two issues of “Tempest”overlap with the final two issues from Now (August and September 1990). While several other companies would hold the license in the years ahead, Dark Horse – in its three stints with the license – would produce by far the most “Terminator” comics.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: ‘All My Future’s Past’ (1990) (Comic book reviews)

Now Comics wraps up its stint on “The Terminator” with its best work. The two-issue “All My Future’s Past” is a prequel to the first movie chronicling the events leading up to the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Kyle Reese climbing onto the time-displacement unit platforms and traveling from 2029 to 1984.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: ‘The Burning Earth’ (1990) (Comic book review)

Now Comics’ run of “Terminator” stories makes a significant jump from mediocre to widely lauded with the five-issue mood piece “The Burning Earth” (1990). This is because the painterly art comes from Alex Ross, who was only 19 at the time (the same age as Sarah and Kyle in the first movie!) but has gone on to widespread respect in the comic book community.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: Now Comics’ original series Issues 9-17 (1989-90) (Comic book reviews)

Now Comics’ original “Terminator” series improves from bad to mediocre — and finally gives readers the hook of meeting John Connor for the first time – in Issues 9-17 (1989-90), when Ron Fortier becomes the regular writer.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: Now Comics’ original series Issues 1-8 (1988-89) (Comic book reviews)

After “The Terminator’s” box office success in 1984, it took a while for merchandisers to pounce on the possibilities. Four years later, Now Comics finally told the first further adventures of the saga in the simply named “The Terminator.” Issues 1-8 (1988-89) of this 17-issue series were penned by three writers who took a throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks mentality.

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‘Terminator’ flashback: ‘The Terminator’ movie (1984) and novelizations (1984-85) (Review)

“The Terminator” (1984) is a pivotal movie in sci-fi history. Wanting to make his own “Star Wars”-level blockbuster, director James Cameron drew upon the tropes of time travel and robots – and more specifically and controversially, a couple of “Outer Limits” episodes (which is why Harlan Ellison is credited in the closing scrawl) — to launch a hugely popular franchise. Thirty-one years later, it has spanned four movies (with a fifth, “Terminator Genysis,” coming in July and giving me an excuse to embark on this flashback series), a TV show and myriad books and comics.

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‘Jurassic Park’ flashback: IDW’s ‘Dangerous Games’ (2011-12) (Comic book review)

Writers Greg and Erik Bear and artist George Jimenez repackage Richard Connell’s classic short story about man hunting man, “The Most Dangerous Game,” into a “Jurassic Park” yarn in the entertaining “Dangerous Games” (2011-12), which as of now is the franchise’s last comic title.

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