February 4, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: The Terrifics Volume 1

DC Comics has some familiar characters in a new team that itself looks kind of familiar.

After Dark Nights: Metal, DC Comics tossed out some new titles reflecting the ending of that story.  One such title was The Terrifics.  That series saw a foursome of familiar DC heroes form a new team.  The leader is a really smart guy the team seems to be named for.  One guy is stretchy.  One guy is a monster.  The lone female member has ghost-like powers.  And the brainy guy promised to cure a few of them.  Why does that sound familiar?

At any rate, the first trade, subtitled Meet the Terrifics, sets up the story for why these four are together at all.

Michael “Mr. Terrific” Holt goes to the home/lab of unscrupulous businessman Simon Stagg.  Stagg bought out all of Holt’s properties while Holt was dealing with the Dark Multiverse in the aforementioned Metal.  Stagg sent his daughter’s love interest Metamorpho the Element Man into the Dark Multiverse.  That was a bad idea.  Rex Mason isn’t in good shape, but Holt brought along Plastic Man, whose unique body can withstand the energies of the Dark Multiverse.  Holt, Plas, and Rex plunge through the portal and find two things.  First, they find a young Phantom Girl.  She’s stuck in her intangible form and has been sitting there for years.  Second, there’s something of a distress call from one Tom Strong.

Once the foursome return to the real world, escaping a large figure who looks like he might eat planets, there’s a new development.  The four of them now cannot go more than a mile apart from each other without all of them exploding.  Since the Dark Multiverse bathed them in weird energies, there were some weird side effects.  Now Holt has a few jobs to do.  He’ll look into curing Metamorpho.  He wants to really cure Phantom Girl.  And he wants to find a way to allow the four to go their separate ways.  Rex and Plas really don’t get along.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this is writer Jeff Lemire using DC characters to tell Fantastic Four stories.  There’s even an armored villain at the end to cause trouble down the road.  However, Lemire didn’t just do the characters as FF knock-offs.  He knows the backstories for many of these characters, and he works them into the work.  For example, Holt remembers his dead wife.  Rex and Sapphire are squabbling over whether or not Stagg is trustworthy.  Plas missed years of his son’s life.  As it is, Phantom Girl is something of a new character based on the old Legion heroine.

As for artwork, it’s good.  But there doesn’t seem to be a steady artist because the volume lists four pencillers over six issues.

As for the book itself, it’s fun.  There’s some exploration, and an invasion of Metamorphos.  Lemire balances pathos with action, and the results are good.  What they aren’t are required reading.  I liked this, but it didn’t seem to be enough to make me want to read more.  Lemire is a generally great writer, so this isn’t in any way bad.  But the work here seems inconsequential.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be coming back for more any time soon.

Then again, DC might have canceled the series recently.

For this book, 8 out of 10 element dogs.

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