The Terrifics #1 is another of DC’s New Age of Heroes titles spinning out of Dark Knights Metal. For the most part, these New Age of Heroes titles have been fairly solid. Of all of the New Age of Heroes titles The Terrifics was the title I was most looking forward to reading. This is due to both the creative team and the roster. I have always enjoyed Jeff Lemire’s writing. And Ivan Reis is one of my favorite artists. So, this creative team certainly fills me with optimism about this new title. The roster is also intriguing. This is a cool collection of characters. Does The Terrifics #1 live up to my high hopes? Let’s hit this review and find out!
Words: Jeff Lemire
Pencils: Ivan Reis
Inks: Joe Prado
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Mr. Terrific arriving at Simon Stagg’s secret lair. Stagg’s manservant, Java, is there to meet Mr. Terrific and to guide him into Stagg’s hideout. Java is not pleased about Mr. Terrific’s presence. Mr. Terrific is not pleased about being at Stagg’s hideout given that Stagg stole Terrifictech out from under Mr. Terrific. Java defends Stagg by saying that Stagg bought Mr. Terrific’s failing company legally.
Mr. Terrific says that he is not here to argue about Stagg. That Mr. Terrific is here because his T-spheres alerted him that Stagg was messing with one of his old projects. Java and Mr. Terrific enter Stagg’s lab. We see Stagg and his daughter, Sapphire, in the lab. We see Metamorpho hooked up to some portal.
Mr. Terrific is shocked that Stagg has used Metamorpho in order to open a portal to the Dark Multiverse. Mr. Terrific says that this is dangerous and stupid. Stagg says that he succeeded in opening the portal but that he does not know how to close it.
Mr. Terrific says that it looks like they are going to need their backup. Mr. Terrific uses his T-spheres to teleport Plastic Man into the lab. Plastic Man is still in his egg form that we saw over in Dark Knights Metal.
Mr. Terrific notes that Metamorpho has assumed the form of Nth Metal. Mr. Terrific tries to talk to Metamorpho but the pain from the portal is driving him insane and he can’t hear Mr. Terrific. Metamorpho breaks loose and punches Mr. Terrific.
Mr. Terrific yells for Stagg to close the portal. Stagg answers that he does not know how to close it. The portal then sucks Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, and Metamorpho into the Dark Multiverse.
Mr. Terrific yells at Plastic Man to use his power to shield them from the Dark Universe space. Plastic Man suddenly wakes up and asks how long has he been asleep. Mr. Terrific yells for Plastic Man to shield them now. Plastic Man opens his mouth and puts Metamorpho and Mr. Terrific inside of his mouth.
We shift inside of Plastic Man’s mouth. Plastic Man then forms his head and upper body out of his tongue. Plastic Man asks what in the world is going on. Metamorpho shakes off the control of the portal. Metamorpho apologizes to Mr. Terrific for attacking him.
Mr. Terrific says that it is fine. That the power of the Dark Multiverse was controlling Metamorpho. Mr. Terrific says that Plastic Man is shielding them from it now. Mr. Terrific asks Plastic Man what is the last thing he remembers. Plastic Man says that he remembers being in the Batcave and that Batman told Plastic Man that Batman had a super secret mission for him. Plastic Man says that everything is blank after that memory. Plastic Man asks how long he has been out.
Mr. Terrific answers that Plastic Man has been out for a long time. That Batman knew Plastic Man’s unique molecular structure had a super conductive reaction to the energies of the Dark Multiverse. That Batman tried to send Plastic Man in as a probe but when he came out Plastic Man was frozen in a dormant state. Mr. Terrific says that making contact with the Dark Multiverse again woke Plastic Man back up.
Plastic Man says that Mr. Terrific and Batman just let him stay in the frozen state. Mr. Terrific says that they could not risk opening the portal again. They kept Plastic Man in stasis and waited for the right time. Plastic Man frowns and says, “I feel used!”
Suddenly, one of Mr. Terrific’s T-spheres picks up a multiversal beacon from the landmass below them. Mr. Terrific says that this should be impossible. That there should be no life left in the Dark Multiverse.
Mr. Terrific asks Plastic Man to take them down to where the beacon is located. Plastic Man replies “I dunno know, Mr. Fair Play, am I going to turn int a giant egg agains for a few years if I listen to you?” (Ha! Brilliant. God, I love Plastic Man.)
Metamorpho calls Plastic Man “rubber lips” and threatens to punch him if he doesn’t listen to Mr. Terrific since that is their best change of escaping the Dark Multiverse. (Metamorpho is channeling his inner Thing to counter Plastic Man’s Human Torch.)
Mr. Terrific tells Metamorpho to use his element powers to change his body composition so he can stay safe out in the Dark Multiverse. Mr. Terrific says that Plastic Man will be safe due to his powers. Mr. Terrific says that he has had time to calibrate his T-spheres to create a force shield to protect him.
Plastic Man then spits Mr. Terrific and Metamorpho out of his mouth. In doing so, Plastic Man makes a large barfing sound. Metamorpho asks if we could have a silent landing instead. Plastic Man replies that Metamorpho has a real attitude problem. Metamorpho says that he knows and that it is part of his charm.
Suddenly, our heroes realize that the landmass that they are standing on is not a planet. Instead, it is a corpse of a giant celestial being. Suddenly, our heroes are attacked by a bunch of alien insect looking creatures. Plastic Man says that he wants to go back to being an egg now.
Suddenly, a woman appears and yells, “Stop that!” The woman is Phantom Girl. Phantom Girl asks if our heroes are actually real. Our heroes ask her how long she has been here. Phantom Girl replies that it has a been a long time. She does not really know how long it has been. Phantom Girl says that she is in her intangible form. That everyone on her planet can do this. She says that she has not been able to turn back into her tangible form since being stuck here.
Phantom Girl says that her name is Linnya Wazzo and that she is from the planet Bgztl. (All right. The Legion of Super Heroes’ Phantom Girl is Tinya Wazzo. So, Linnya must be one of Tinya’s ancestors. Cool.)
Plastic Man asks if Bgztl is in Eastern Europe. Metamorpho asks Plastic Man, “What the heck is wrong with you?” Mr. Terrific then says that they picked up Linnya’s distress signal and will help get her out of here. Linnya replies that she did not send any distress signal.
Mr. Terrific then wonders what sent out the distress signal. Mr. Terrific then spies an old space probe. Linnya says that the old space probe does not do anything.
Mr. Terrific walks over and says that perhaps Linnya just didn’t know how to active it. Mr. Terrific uses his magic touch and gets the old space probe activated.
We see a hologram message from Tom Strong. Tom Strong introduces himself and says that if they are viewing this recording then it means he is probably dead. Tom Strong says that means that it is up to whoever is watching the recording to save the universe. End of issue.
The Good: The Terrifics #1 was…wait for it…fantastic! I loved this issue! DC is clearly having some fun at Marvel’s expense with this title. The Terrifics is DC giving the reader what Marvel has refused to give us: A Fantastic Four comic book. And DC delivers their own Fantastic Four comic in splendid fashion.
Mr. Terrific fills the role of Mr. Fantastic. They share similar code names as well as personalities and skillsets. Tinnya stands in for Invisible Woman. Intangibility is a similar enough defensive power to invisibility and force fields. Plastic Man plays the role as The Terrifics’ Human Torch. Plastic Man has the same carefree attitude and is always cracking jokes. Metamorpho is the Thing right down to his monstrous appearance and gruff personality. I love it.
Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis come right out of the gate firing on all cylinders and deliver a delightful debut issue. I loved everything about The Terrifics #1. I love the roster. I love the setting. I love the general vibe of the title. This is an issue that slaps a big grin on the reader’s face from start to finish.
Lemire gives The Terrifics #1 a properly fun Kirby vibe to the issue. The tone and feel to this title is one of wild Sci-Fi fun. Lemire creates a world in which the reader feels like absolutely anything can happen at any moment. It is clear that Lemire is going to be placing an emphasis on action and adventure with The Terrifics.
The Terrifics #1 is a well paced and plotted issue. Lemire spins The Terrifics #1 out of the events of Dark Nights: Metal in an entertaining manner. Lemire gets this story off to a rocking fast start. There is no need for an unnecessary exposition dump or a long-winded build up.
Instead, Lemire opens this issue with a crisis event at Stagg’s lab and the adventure gets off to an explosive start. I love that Lemire eschews the common method of a #1 issue where the writer takes a decompressed approach to the story and has to fill the reader in on all the backstory for all of the characters and slowly assemble the team.
Lemire swiftly introduces the four members of our team in an organic fashion. This four person roster is assembled in a natural way. Lemire wastes no time by immediately placing our team of heroes in crisis. Lemire then ends The Terrifics #1 with a great hook ending that gets the reader wanting to come back for more.
What little backstory the reader needs to know in order to enjoy The Terrifics #1 is given during the story in an entertaining and natural fashion. This is a new reader friendly issue. Lemire fills the reader in on what they need to know from the events in Dark Nights: Metal. Lemire also gives enough basic information on the four members of the team for new readers to understand the personalities and power sets for each member of The Terrifics.
Lemire has a deft hand and manages to move the story along with a clear purpose in mind. The pacing is just right. Lemire knowns when to mash on the gas and when to ease off a bit for dramatic effect and in order to build the proper mood.
The Terrifics #1 delivers an enjoyable balance of dialogue heavy scenes and action scenes. All in all, The Terrifics #1 is a lively read. Most importantly, Lemire manages to deliver the mission statement in The Terrifics #1. This is vital to any debut issue of a new title. Lemire conveys to the reader that The Terrifics is going to be a fun Sci-Fi adventure romp through out the Multiverse of the DCU.
Lemire also performs some excellent character work in The Terrifics #1. Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, and Metamorpho have well developed personalities. Lemire also crafts plenty of great dialogue. All of the characters have their own unique external voices.
Lemire is able to whip up some surprisingly wonderful chemistry between Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, and Metamorpho in short order. I particularly enjoyed the Human Torch/Thing relationship that Lemire is going to give Plastic Man and Metamorpho. While I love this entire roster, the character I am most excited about is Plastic Man. Plastic Man a wonderful surreal and absurd character which should match perfectly with Lemire’s particular writing style. I fully expect Lemire to do an excellent job with Plastic Man as this title progresses forward
At this point, Linnya is the odd man out as she does not receive much character work in this issue. Linnya is a bit bland at the moment. However, that is to be expected considering that she is the brand new character with no established relationships with the other three members of this team.
I will say that I am thrilled that DC is not giving us the Phantom Girl from the Legion of Super Heroes. As a long-time and die-hard Legion fan, I have been patiently waiting for DC to bring back the oldest and greatest teen team title in all of comic book history. The idea of seeing Phantom Girl on this title irked me a bit when I first saw the promo art for The Terrifics.
However, having Phantom Girl turn out to be Linnya instead of Tinya makes me happy. I like the idea of one of Phantom Girl’s ancestors being on this team. It helps to further tie the Legion of Super Heroes to the present day DCU.
I enjoyed the hook ending to The Terrifics #1. Tom Strong is a fantastic Alan Moore character from America’s Best Comics. I hope that Tom Strong is not dead and that DC has plans for his character and his supporting cast in the future.
Ivan Reis and Joe Prado combine to deliver some excellent artwork. The Terrifics #1 is an attractive looking issue. Reis’ style of art is a perfect match for a Sci-Fi adventure story. Reis is equally adept at smaller dialogue heavy moments as he is whipping up stunning double page splash shots. Reis also helps to infuse Lemire’s story with plenty of emotion with the excellent facial expressions that he gives the various characters.
The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.
Overall: Buy this issue! Seriously. Lemire and Reis combine to deliver a title that is 100% pure fun. The Terrifics #1 delivers the type of Sci-Fi action and adventure romp that is sure to deliver creative and exciting stories with each issue. This is a new title that definitely deserves strong support from comic book readers.