Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future is a four-part comic book crossover story published in 2000. It was published by DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics as an out-of-continuity battle between DC's superhero Superman and the T-800 Terminators.
While walking in a Metropolis shopping mall, Sarah and John are attacked by a T-800 Terminator that emerges from a time portal and immediately begins destroying everything in sight using laser vision. Superman spots the destruction while patrolling the city, and manages to subdue the killer robot. Eventually, Superman discovers that John Connor is destined to lead a resistance against Skynet, hence the reason for the attempted assassinations by Terminator cyborgs.
Superman is taken through a time portal to the future world of 2032, where he meets an aged version of Steel, a fellow hero from his time and universe, and the future John Connor. Superman promises to aid the two men in bringing down Skynet. Meanwhile, back in 1999, Lois Lane, Sarah Connor, Supergirl and Superboy fight off a continual wave of Terminators, each iteration being upgraded to be stronger, tougher and faster than the previous destroyed Terminators, eventually being able to punch through titanium steel like paper, and being equipped with various equipment like hoverflight packs, laser vision, and multiple integrated laser cannons that allows them to challenge Supergirl and Superboy.
Although Sky-1, the physical manifestation of Skynet, manages to capture Steel and Superman using synthetic kryptonite laser based on information downloaded into a salvaged Terminator skull by Superman's old foe, Hank Henshaw, now the Cyborg Superman, Steel manages to escape captivity thanks to an voice-activated antigravity unit in his hammer, allowing him to summon his hammer to him and break his bonds. The two heroes then destroy Sky-1 before Superman detonates an EMP device in Earth's upper atmosphere, destroying a majority of Skynet's forces, before Superman, Steel and John Conner fight and destroy the remaining Terminators that were equipped with EMP-shielding around their heads.
Returning to the past via a time machine that was protected from the blast, Superman helps Superboy and Supergirl deal with the remaining Terminators before confronting Henshaw, now working with a Terminatrix unit sent back to assist him. Attempting to gain an advantage in the fight with Superman, Henshaw merges with the T-X, but their merged form is defeated by a computer virus developed by Lex Luthor based on his analysis of salvaged Terminators, forcing Henshaw to split and retreat. Most of the Terminator components are subsequently disposed of in the Sun by the three heroes, but Luthor retains some components, intending to ensure that he takes charge of Skynet when it is created.
- Written by Alan Grant
- Penciled by Steve Pugh
- The story takes place after the events in the The Terminator: Death Valley.
- The fourth issue of the series references the storyline The Terminator: Death Valley, thus placing the DC Comics Universe and the timeline of the second Dark Horse Comics Terminator license in the same timeline.
- The DC robotic villain Hank Henshaw, also known as "Cyborg", makes an appearance, forming an alliance with a Terminatrix. Lex Luthor also makes an appearance, where he reveals that he had invested in and supported Skynet back in 2000, and believes that he will be in charge of Skynet if it is activated.
- This series is possibly the first official appearance of the Terminatrix, roughly four years before it makes its appearance in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. It shares many similarities with the movie version: this Terminatrix is an attractive blonde woman that is tougher than a T-800 and it too carries onboard weapons. Unlike T3 character, its skeleton resembles that of a T-800, and its skin is not made of mimetic polyalloy.
- Sky-1 tells Superman "I have been waiting for you", which is also said by "Pops" to the T-800 in Terminator Genisys.