Review: The Terrifics #5

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner

 

Summary

What happens when the Terrifics have to fight a whole town made entirely out of…Metamorpho?! If the streetlight doesn’t get them first, they’ll need to save the innocent people transformed into elemental avatars in a world gone completely berserk! We’re talkin’ gas armies, rock monsters, orbs of Ra and ancient element people to boot! Everything’s possessed and crazy! Somebody call an exorcist—or four!

 

Positives

This issue of The Terrifics uses an interesting formatting technique that simultaneously tells the individual yet intersecting stories of the four members of the team. Each character is relegated to one-quarter of the page, each having a single panel on each page. When two or more characters interact, their panels merge into a single panel.

We get some interesting developments in the personal stories of the teammates this issue. First off, Metamorpho tells Sapphire that he intends on leaving once Mister Terrific figures out how to fix the team’s Dark Energy bond, that he intends on leaving Simon Stagg’s mansion. He gives Sapphire the choice to come with him or stay with her father.

We also see Plastic Man connecting with his girlfriend Angel McDunnagh, trying to explain his five-year absence from her and their son’s lives. In the pre-Flashpoint continuity, Luke McDunnagh was introduced in the Morrison-era JLA #65 in a touching story where Plastic Man was shown as an absentee father. Later on, in Teen Titans, Luke started going by his middle name Ernie and adopted the identity Offspring to bring the character in line with Plastic Man’s son shown in Kingdom Come. It will be interesting to see how much of this history the character retains.

I have seen some complaints about the big name artists featured in the New Age Of Heroes books are departing only a few months into the titles. However, I really like Doc Shaner’s work even better than that of Ivan Reis. Reis’ art was good, but Shaner’s crisp, clean art seems ideally suited to the feel of the title.

 

Negatives

This issue didn’t strike any sour notes. In fact, the closest I can come to a complaint is that it seemed to be over too quickly. Having a maximum of four panels to a page makes an issue a very fast read. However, given the effectiveness of the structural device and the powerful story it conveyed, I don’t really count this as a problem.

 

Verdict

The Terrifics is quickly becoming my favourite title. I would be hard pressed to choose between it and The Flash, but it is definitely a treat to read each month. The New Age Of Heroes has given us some interesting new titles, but this is the foremost among them.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.