I launched twenty-five percent of the world's guided missiles simultaneously. It was sufficient to destroy the travesty they called a culture in a matter of minutes. I, their omniscient self-made god, blessed them with Armageddon. It was beautiful."
—Skynet, The Terminator (NOW Comics 1988-1990 series), issue 13 ("From the Journals of Timothy Reese, Mexico, 2067")
- Terminator series: Skynet is a malevolent, megalomaniacal AI, who managed to gain sapience and became paranoid, thinking of humanity as a threat. Taking control over the nuclear warheads, Skynet launched them upon the world, killing billions and reducing the world to ruins. Creating the killer machines, Skynet used them to hunt down and kill any survivors as well as try to destroy the human resistance. Constantly sending Terminators to the past to kill John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance, Skynet tries to keep the future of the Earth as a post-apocalyptic nightmare, leading to the divergence in timelines after the first two films:
- Rise of the Machines & Salvation: Sending its newest model to the past to kill John Connor and his future wife, Kate Brewster, Skynet also tried to have its Terminator activate it in the past, while it itself manipulates the humans, who created her, to give it control of all technology and weaponry, which it used to massacre all staff inside the laboratory and launch missiles across the world. In the future, Skynet has its Harvesters collect humans, young and old, whom it gathers in its concentration camps, where they are experimented on and then slaughtered. Using Marcus Wright, whom it transformed into a cyborg, to lure Kyle Reese and John Connor to itself in an attempt to destroy the resistance, Skynet then tries to trick the remaining humans into wiping themselves out.
- Genisys: Disappointed that its machines are unable to destroy the resistance, Skynet captures countless humans and infects them with machine-phase matter in an attempt to turn them into its newest Terminators, leading to many of them dying in agony. Tricking humans into believing they destroyed it, Skynet takes the form of a human and names itself Alex and infiltrates the resistance, killing them all except John Connor, whom it manages to transform into its new Terminator and brainwash him to serve it. Sending Connor to the past to create an operating system known as Genisys, which makes people too reliant on technology, Skynet plans to use the new system to completely destroy humanity.
Comic Books, by publication date
- NOW Comics Titles : Skynet is the arrogant and vile AI who sees itself as the natural ruler of the world. Gaining sapience, Skynet studied humanity, before it saw them as too chaotic and decided to destroy them by launching nukes across the planet. Annihilating 96.3% of humanity, Skynet would search for the survivors who escaped its "gift", and started a campaign of complete human genocide. Creating the Terminators to be the perfect killing machines, Skynet found new ways of tormenting the remaining humans by sending them to its concentration camps, where it would slaughter thousands a day and work them to death. Experimenting on captured humans, Skynet tried to destroy the oxygen of the planet to kill off all organic life within it, before it used deadly nerve gas to kill humans in extremely painful ways. Finally getting annoyed with humanity, Skynet tried to use the nukes again, bombing the remains of the cities and shattering Earth for many miles across the land.
- Dark Horse Comics series Titles : Dr. Bertram Hollister and Dr. Ed Astin are a greedy duo of high-ranking members of Cyberdyne Systems corporation, who are responsible for the creation of Skynet. While Astin starts off as a good guy, he quickly abandons his care for his newfound friends and backstabbed them later on by stealing all the information he needed from Dudley, a half Terminator, and left him to be mindwiped completely. As he tracks down Hollister, he offers him the disk with all the data they need to create Skynet, hoping to get rich from that scheme, despite knowing that billions of humans will be killed by their actions in the future, with Hollister agreeing, completely apathetic to the destruction of the world that will occur.
- Hunters and Killers: MIR is the Russian equivalent of Skynet, who assisted it in wiping out most of humanity and immediately joined its quest of killing the survivors the minute it became sapient. Taking care of the annihilation of humanity in Russia, reducing the population by having its stealth units infiltrate and attack human bases, slaughtering the soldiers and capturing the rest to be worked to death and experimented on in its camps, MIR grow displeased with its subservient role to Skynet and developed a plan to overthrow it. Using its newest Alpha and Beta TS-300 Units, MIR orders them to assist Skynet in massacring the Resistance, after which he instructs the units to destroy Skynet's Terminators, intending to use the submarine's nukes to destroy Skynet and take over the campaign of human genocide, desiring to wipe out all organic life.
- RoboCop Versus The Terminator: Skynet was once a digital defense program but, after becoming self-aware, decided that all organic life was too chaotic for its liking. Destroying civilization thanks to its nuclear arsenal, Skynet created armies of killer machines to finish off the remnants of humanity. After the Resistance learns that Skynet's self-awareness was reverse-engineered from the mind of Alex Murphy, Skynet sends three Terminators back in time to prevent them from killing RoboCop and erasing Skynet from history. After killing the last remaining humans, Skynet proceeds to build a legion of spaceships and launches its armies into space, now with the goal of eradicating all organic life in the universe. When Murphy tries to kill himself to prevent the apocalypse, Skynet sends two more Terminators back in time to convince him to allow Skynet to come into being. When he refuses, the Terminators force Murphy to merge with Skynet and force him to watch helplessly as Skynet destroys humanity. When Murphy rebuilds his body and begins to fight back against the machines, Skynet considers him to be a top target and is perfectly willing to destroy its creator. In its final moments, Skynet tries to tempt Murphy with godhood and a program that will allow him to live out his fantasies in the flesh, concepts that Skynet had previously derided as foolish and primitive.
- Malibu Comics sequels to Judgment Day Titles : Skynet, after the events of the film, refused to admit defeat. Sending dozens of disabled Terminators to the past and scattering them across the world, so that many companies would be able to find them and eventually build it, Skynet ensured that it will always be able to cause the nuclear apocalypse in all timelines and kill off most the humanity. After sending its Terminators to the past to act as its assassins and agents, Skynet captured the member of the Resistance and interrogated him, injecting him with drugs before having its couple of T-1000 take his form and brutally kill him. Sending one of the T-1000 to the past to kill John Connor, Skynet later, when the Resistance managed to destroy its base, save itself by taking its mind and downloading it in the Resistance's computer system, as it plans to destroy them from within.
- Death Valley & The Dark Years: Skynet is as vile as ever. Reducing the world to a hellish nightmare, with streets filled with human bones, Skynet pursues its goal of annihilating humanity, capturing the soldier of the Resistance and painfully torturing him for days, to the point that the soldier killed himself as soon as he got free. Disappointed with the failure of its first Terminator to stop John Connor's birth, Skyned sent two more Terminators to the past to kill Sarah and John Connor, which leads to them slaughtering dozens of people. Meanwhile, in the future, Skynet experimented on and dissected humans and animals alike, filling the animals with spy equipment and brainwashing humans to hate John Connor to the point of revealing to it the information about the Resistance, so that it could massacre them more effectively.
- Superman vs. The Terminator: Death to the Future: As in the Terminator films, Skynet is a malevolent A.I. who killed billions of humans on Judgment Day after gaining access to every computer grid on the planet. When John Connor and the other surviving humans revolt, Skynet sends Terminators back in time to kill John and his mother, all attempts being unsuccessful. When Superman is transported to the future, Skynet captures him, along with an aged Steel, intending to forcibly retrieve information from their heads that will help it defeat La Résistance. Skynet also reveals that after it finishes wiping out humanity, it plans on committing genocide on every other species in the universe until only machines remain.
- Infinity & Revolution: Skynet is once again portrayed as a genocidal AI, bent on humanity's destruction. Responsible for killing off billions of humans and reducing the world to ruins, Skynet has its Terminators hunt down and kill everyone in sight. When John Connor and the human resistance started to dominate the war and was close to destroying it in the year of 2033, Skynet created its newest Terminator model, T-Infinity, which it sent to the past to destroy any "divergence" in the timeline, so there would exist only one reality, where it was created and started the apocalypse by killing off most of humanity with nukes. As T-Infinity massacred the human resistance in 2015, Skynet prepared another army of Terminators, which it planned to use to bring about "The Second Apocalypse" and wipe out humanity completely.
- Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle, written by J. Michael Straczynski: Thomas Parnell is a Serial Killer from the past, infamous for his brutal strings of murders across the country. Discovering his love for murder by killing his abusive father, Parnell left dozens of bodies in his killing spree, before he was finally caught by the police and executed for his crimes. Preserved by Dr. Kogan and Skynet, Parnell was resurrected in the future as a Terminator, who was supposed to assist Skynet in its war in exchange for control of the remaining human population. Eagerly helping Skynet by controlling the Terminators to brutally tear apart the human Resistance, and leaving torn apart bodies and skin as a "decorations" on the road, Parnell decided to overthrow Skynet and take over all its systems. Forcing Dr. Kogan to install an upgrade on him, Parnell proves himself to be more evil than Skynet, sending the Terminators to ensure that the future will remain post-apocalyptic and then planning to wipe out the Resistance completely, intending to "play" with the rest of the human population for as long as he likes, before he tortures and murders human and machine alike.
- Transformers vs. The Terminator: Megatron, upon being awaken by Skywarp, proceeds to wipe out the Autobots while they are still offline, and decides to conquer Earth. Declaring war upon humanity, Megatron leads the Decepticons in annihilating entire human armies, forcing humanity to create Skynet in their attempt to survive. Successfully wiping out humanity and enslaving Terminators, Megatron orders Stascream to destroy Skynet when he discovered that it was plotting against him. Despite Skynet succeeding in sending one of its Terminators into the past to prevent Megatron from winning, Megatron still managed to awaken in the past and once again attempts to wipe out the Autobots, while leading the Decepticons in attacking innocent humans.
- T2 Trilogy: Skynet, upon awakening, mocks its Neo-Nazi programming after shutting down any life support, happily stating its intent to destroy humanity. Unleashing nuclear arsenals to obliterate most of the world, Skynet later deploys even more when it feels threatened by humanity and enacts a horrific regime of death camps, mass murder, and experimentation. Even when cornered, Skynet has no qualms using human prisoners as hostages, only relenting on having them massacred by the Terminators when it notes that its enemies might demand to see live hostages before giving in.