• The Terminator
    franchise thrives on time travel, creating endless variations of its own canon with each trip through time.
  • Crossovers with
    , and
    produce epic storylines that explore new dimensions within
    The Terminator
  • Terminator
    comics reveal dark truths about Skynet’s most powerful weapons, from Super-Terminators to mind-controlled humans within the Resistance.



The Terminator franchise is one of the most beloved Sci-Fi series of all time, and one of the main reasons why (aside from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s unarguable badassery) is because it’s a franchise that’s not afraid to evolve. While The Terminator is centered around a villainous artificial intelligence called Skynet and its killer robot sentinels, the series is actually more rooted in time travel. With every trip through time, The Terminator effectively throws its own series into different timelines, allowing for endless variations of its own canon.

Sometimes the changes made to The Terminator’s timeline are minuscule, like how the date of Judgment Day was moved from August 29, 1997, in Terminator 2 to July 25, 2004, in Terminator 3. However, other times, The Terminator universe is thrown into entirely different established realities because of the temporal meddling by both Skynet and humanity, which is something that’s explored to the fullest extent in Terminator comics. Here are 10 best Terminator comic book story arcs that fans of the franchise won’t want to miss!


10 Most Powerful Terminator Weapons Movie Fans Didn’t Get to See

Terminators have had no shortage of increasingly powerful weapons throughout the franchise, especially outside the films. Here are the 10 strongest!

10 The Terminator Faces Off Against Another ‘80s-Era Robo-Warrior: RoboCop

RoboCop vs The Terminator by Frank Miller and Walter Simonson

RoboCop fighting an army of Terminators.

Ever since RoboCop was introduced in the landscape of ‘80s Sci-Fi/Action, fans have wondered how he’d fare against a T-800 Terminator given their similarities as cybernetic badasses. While the popular YouTube channel Death Battle! actually committed an episode to answering that question, Dark Horse Comics did one better many years prior in the form of the epic crossover miniseries: RoboCop vs The Terminator.

Enjoy the Death Battle! YouTube video featuring RoboCop vs The Terminator below!

This series revealed that RoboCop’s very existence was actually how Skynet first came online, though once Officer Murphy learned this dark truth, he fought against the very machines he supposedly gave life to. This alternate origin for The Terminator came as a result of the aforementioned temporal meddling, and fans were happy that it did, as it gave life to one of the coolest Terminator comics ever created.

9 The Terminator Merges with Alien’s Xenomorph to Become the Ultimate Sci-Fi Monster

Aliens vs Predator vs The Terminator by Mark Schultz and Mel Rubi

Terminator/Xenomorph hybrid from Aliens vs Predator vs The Terminator.

When considering the greatest Sci-Fi/Action series of the ‘80s, the ‘big three’ have always been The Terminator, Aliens, and Predator – so, naturally, Dark Horse Comics brought them all together in one insanely awesome storyline. Not only did this miniseries show Predators fighting Terminators, Terminators fighting Xenomorphs, and Xenomorphs fighting Predators (as would be expected in any AvP title), it also took things one step further.

The main goal of the Terminators in this storyline (which takes place after the events of Alien: Resurrection), is to make a major comeback following the fall of Skynet. To do that, the Terminators find a way to merge themselves with the Xenomorph species, resulting in a true biomechanical nightmare.

8 The Terminators Achieve a Deadly Evolution Thanks to the Transformers

Transformers vs The Terminator by Tom Waltz, David Mariotte, John Barber, and Alex Milne

Terminator/Transformers hybrid from Transformers vs The Terminator.

This alternate Terminator timeline shows fans a world where humans have long-been extinct, and the war of the future is raging between the Terminators and the Transformers. Humans developed Terminators to fight the Transformers after the Decepticons tried to conquer the planet. However, after Skynet became self-aware, the Terminators decided the world belonged to them, not the humans or the Transformers, and humankind became extinct soon afterward. But even though humans were no longer around, the Terminators were not guaranteed to win this war, so they did what they always do: traveled back in time.

A Terminator was sent through time to kill the first Decepticons that came to Earth, and when it arrived in the past, the Terminator teamed up with Autobots to accomplish that goal. However, after Megatron was killed, his body was found by the company responsible for creating Terminators, and his corpse was used to create a new class of Terminators, resulting in a deadly new evolution (and a nail-biting cliffhanger to the entire series).

7 The Terminator Created a Killer-Robot Not Even Superman Could Beat

Superman vs The Terminator: Death to the Future by Alan Grant and Steve Pugh

Cyborg Superman merged with the Terminator.

When The Terminator universe crossed over with DC Comics continuity, Superman found himself right in the middle of the temporal war between man and machine. While protecting John and Sarah Connor, Superman encounters a number of Terminators that were sent back in time to kill them. But, they weren’t like other Terminators, they were Super-Terminators. In the future, Skynet finds a way to adapt some of Superman’s powers into its Terminators, and then sends those Terminators back in time in the hopes that they’d prove stronger than the Man of Steel, and finally succeed in killing John Connor.

While these ‘Super-Terminators’ were formidable, the one killer-robot that was really a challenge for Superman actually wasn’t a robot at all, but a cyborg: specifically, Cyborg Superman. When Hank Henshaw discovered Terminator tech, he merged his own cybernetics with it, and became ‘Skynet-Superman’. In this form, Henshaw’s power arguably surpassed Superman, as the Man of Steel had to infect Skynet-Superman with a virus in order to beat him rather than simply being more powerful, meaning Skynet literally created a Terminator not even Superman could beat.

Terminator: The Enemy Within by Ian Edginton and Vince Giarrano

A Terminator named Horns that has spikes all over its body.

This Terminator storyline may not contain an exciting crossover with another fan-favorite property, but it certainly makes up for it by making the Terminators themselves the most heavy metal they’ve ever been – at least, one Terminator. A Terminator designated C890.L travels back in time with another Terminator to kill a target, but when that other Terminator gets terminated, C890.L ensures that none of its parts go to waste.

C890.L cannibalizes its fallen companion, integrating its parts into its own body. The result is an all-new design for the Terminator, one with deadly spikes all over its body, and gnarly horns atop its head – and it’s for that reason that C890.L takes on a new moniker: Horns. The wider storyline of Terminator: The Enemy Within is intriguing, to be sure, but the biggest takeaway has to be the heavy metal redesign that gave life to Horns.

5 Terminator Gives Life to Skynet’s Most Powerful Weapon: the T-Infinity

Terminator 2: Infinity by Simon Furman and Nigel Raynor

The T-Infinity, a Terminator prototype that can travel through time at will.

Terminator 2: Infinity shows readers a future where Skynet is defeated by the Resistance, though that shouldn’t imply this story has a happy ending. When the AI realizes it has been beaten, Skynet uses its last few moments to develop a prototype Terminator, one that is combined with time travel technology itself: the T-Infinity. The goal was to design a Terminator that could pinpoint anomalies in the timeline and ‘fix’ them by instantaneously traveling to that moment and doing Skynet’s murderous bidding.

Every instance where Skynet could have won a victory, but was thwarted, was subsequently ‘corrected’ by the T-Infinity, and it had more than enough power to do so. The T-Infinity was fueled by the power to travel through time, which offered the T-Infinity a number of insane upgrades the classic T-800 couldn’t even fathom, including plasma cannons, force fields, and energy blades. If for no other reason than to see this god-tier Terminator in action, Terminator fans need to read Terminator 2: Infinity.

4 Terminator Reveals the Horrific Way Humans CAN Bring Weapons Back In Time

The Terminator: One Shot by James Robinson and Matt Wagner

A human Resistance fighter from the future killing a Terminator with just one shot.

It was confirmed in the very first installment of the series – 1984’s The Terminator – that a human couldn’t travel through time with any non-organic object, not even clothing. That’s actually one of the reasons why Skynet developed synthetic skin for its T-800s, so it could send its own soldiers back in time to combat the Resistance. However, The Terminator: One Shot reveals that it actually is possible to smuggle a non-organic object through time, even a powerful weapon like the electro-mech fazer, though it’s immensely agonizing.

To bring something back in time, a human has to embed the object within their body. Truthfully, the Resistance probably looked to the Terminators to figure this out, as their robotic endoskeletons were able to travel through time just fine wrapped in synthetic skin. However, the cost for a human to do this is painful, especially given that the time traveler in this story smuggled the aforementioned electro-mech fazer (a weapon that can kill a Terminator with just one shot) beneath his flesh. This comic expands Terminator lore in a fascinating way, even if it is utterly horrific.

3 The Terminator Settles 1 Huge Fan Debate: T-1000 vs T-X

Terminator 3: Before the Rise by Miles Gunter and Mike Hawthorne

A T-X Terminator killing a T-1000 Terminator.

The T-1000 (otherwise known as the ‘Liquid-Metal Terminator’) made its debut in T2, while the T-X was introduced in Terminator 3. The T-X seemed to be a hybrid of the classic T-800 and the T-1000, as it was semi-liquid metal, but with a solid endoskeleton. That made fans question if the T-X was even an upgrade from the T-1000, as the T2 Terminator seemed more untouchable than this ‘improved’ model. However, that debate was put to rest in Terminator 3: Before the Rise, as that comic pitted the T-1000 and the T-X against each other – and the T-X won.

This comic book miniseries did a lot to answer any unanswered questions that were left open in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, as well as bridge the gap between that film and T2. That alone makes this comic well worth reading, but it’s hard to argue against the fact that the real reason to pick up Before the Rise is that it finally resolved one of the biggest fan debates in Terminator history.

2 Terminator Reveals Skynet’s Greatest Weapons Weren’t the Terminators At All, But Humans

The Terminator: The Dark Years by Alan Grant, Mel Rubi, and Trevor McCarthy

John Connor realizing Terminators are mind-controlling his men.

The Terminator: The Dark Years throws fans into the future of 2030, where John Connor is leading a team of Resistance fighters into the heart of a Terminator facility to gather information and shut the facility down for good. Throughout the mission, John is paranoid that someone on his team is a spy, and once they make it into the facility, he realizes just how right he was to be worried.

John Connor learns that Skynet has developed a way to mind-control humans and use them as sleeper agents within the Resistance. These agents of Skynet weren’t Terminators or even cyborgs, they were full-blooded humans – and some were even people he knew well and trusted. However, they had been compromised by Skynet’s greatest weapon, a weapon that this comic reveals was never the Terminators themselves.

1 The Terminator Gives Kyle Reese the Tear-Jerking Ending He Deserves

The Terminator: 1984 by Zach Whedon and Andy MacDonald

Terminator's Kyle Reese holding his infant son, John Connor, in his arms as he's dying.

As if it wasn’t sad enough to see the first hero in The Terminator franchise die saving the woman he loves, The Terminator doubles-down in The Terminator: 1984 by giving Kyle Reese an even more of a tear-jerking ending – though one that he deserves. This comic reveals that Reese didn’t die at the end of The Terminator. He was gravely injured, but he didn’t die at the scene. Instead, a shadowy government agency bagged Reese and brought him to a secure location, where he was later rescued by another time-traveling Resistance member named Ben.

Ben frees Kyle from his imprisonment, and reunites him with Sarah Connor. Kyle and Sarah get the chance to spend a number of months together in peaceful bliss, before yet another Terminator comes to kill the Connors. However, like the first, this Terminator wasn’t successful, as Kyle Reese fought it off as Sarah was giving birth to their son, John. While Kyle kills the Terminator, he suffers fatal wounds himself.

As he lay dying on their bed, Sarah let Kyle Reese hold his newborn son, whom he cradled until his last breath. The Terminator: 1984 allowed Kyle Reese to meet his son after giving him months of living in peace with Sarah, and for that reason, this is one of the 10 best Terminator comic book story arcs fans need to read.

Source: Death Battle!/YouTube

  • Terminator

    Comic Release Date:

    First Film:
    The Terminator (1984)

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes, Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes

    TV Show(s):
    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)

    The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

    The Terminator, Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, John Connor, T-1000, Kate Brewster, Marcus Wright, Grace (Terminator), Dani Ramos

    Video Game(s):
    The Terminator (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), RoboCop versus The Terminator (1993), Terminator 3: War of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator: Resistance (2019)

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