The plot of the 1984 film, The Terminator, is a science fiction classic. Skynet, a sophisticated global defense system, becomes corrupted and fires off the world’s arsenal of nuclear weaponry thus destroying the planet. The surviving humans are thrust into a nearly unwinnable war against Skynet’s army of killer machines known as Terminators. The Terminators, facing defeat at the hands of the human John Connor, send a robot back in time to kill his mother, preventing his birth. It’s a plot that has been the crux of the franchise since it’s first film. But what if Skynet became corrupted by something completely unexpected?
1994’s Robocop Versus The Terminator (by Frank Miller, Walter Simonson, and Rachel Menashe) reveals an alternate source of Skynet’s corruption: Detroit police officer Alex Murphy, a.k.a., Robocop. It’s a shocking revelation that sets the stage for the entire four-issue miniseries and introduces an entirely fresh take on the series. No longer a faceless entity that gives birth to the Terminators, Skynet is now the product of Robocop himself, though the means in which he corrupts it is still rife with time traveling shenanigans.
Robocop Cause of Terminators
The series begins with a rebel fighter fleeing from the future into the past. Her mission is to hunt down the source of the Terminators, Robocop, and kill him. The mission is successful with her custom-made rifle defeating Robocop in two shots. In mere moments the future begins to mend itself. Where once was blasted hellscapes, grass and trees begin to grow, where fields of skeletons and bodies lay wildlife begin to flourish. As the sky of the future begins to clear and turn blue the Terminators scramble to send some of their own into the past to kill the rebel fighter before she can kill Robocop.
The premise of the comic runs parallel to that of the original film, except the comic shakes the narrative up by incorporating several time-traveling Terminators as opposed to just one. Finding themselves at the exact moment where Robocop is killed, the Terminators instead gun down the rebel fighter, preventing the future from being mended. The rebel fighter, though wounded badly, survives the attack and warns Robocop of what he is to become. Wracked with worry and guilt, Robocop begins to question his very existence and nature, concerned with his dark future.
The comic continues in typical Terminator fashion, with the heroes of the present defeating the villains of the future. After averting the time-traveling Terminators’ attempt at killing the rebel fighter, Robocop visits the grave of Alex Murphy, the human he once was. It’s there that another time-traveling Terminator, sent in a second attempt at preventing the defeat of the future machines, attacks and defeats Robocop. Taking only his head, the Terminator integrates Robocop into Skynet and initiates the corruption sequence. This action causes the future to be doomed yet again to suffer a fate of nuclear fire and marching robotic feet.