[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artists: Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion
Colors: Michael Spicer
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Is there a totally titanic termination in store for the Terrifics? Mr. Terrific and company team with the Tom Strong family in a final battle against Doc Dread, who’s leveraging the power of a dark god to kill everyone in his path. With the fate of the Multiverse AND the Dark Multiverse hanging in the balance, it’ll take a team-up of Terrific proportions to save the day. Just don’t expect the group to escape unscathed when all is said and done…
Unfortunately, with the team disbanding at the end of the issue, this means that this is the final issue of this stellar series – wait is that a next issue blurb on the last page? Something tells me that the team’s breakup is temporary, and that the team being put together will cause the Terrifics to reband.
However, even though it seems obvious that the team will ultimately remain together, Lemire still manages to sell the breakup as real. Both Metamorpho and Plastic Man have their hearts elsewhere. Rex just wants to start a new life with Sapphire away from Simon Stagg’s influence. Plastic Man is so eager to get back to his old life that he doesn’t even stick around long enough to say goodbye. Mister Terrific seems resigned to the fact that the team never was a family like Tom Strong has, and that the Dark Multiverse energy was the only thing that was holding them together.
Phantom Girl is the only one who wants the group to stay together: “We’re Supposed to win and then go on a bunch more adventures! This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen!” However, Mister Terrific tells her,”This isn’t a game, Linnya. This is real life.”
However, with Java still at large as Doctor Dread, it seems likely that the team will have to come back together to defeat him. Java had only planned to pose as Doctor Dread temporarily, but his unmasking pushes him into taking on the role permanently. He tells them that “Doc Dread was supposed to be a ruse. But you all made him real”
There is also an interesting epilogue, where Java is promising to put together an army to come after the former Terrifics. But even more interesting is what’s on the monitors in front of him. The screens show a number of parallel Earths, most notably Earth 10 (a.k.a. Earth-X), the home of the Freedom Fighters, and Earth 5 (a.k.a. Earth-S), home of Captain Marvel. That’s right – I said Captain Marvel. On that Earth, the Big Red Cheese goes by his original name and sports his classic look.
I would be interesting to see the Terrifics, especially Plastic Man, interacting with the Freedom Fighters. Both Plas and the Freedom Fighters were acquired by DC from Quality Comics, so there is a historical connection between them.
If I thought for a second that the breakup was going to last, that would be a devastating negative, but knowing that they will re-form the group at some point, I’m not counting that. In fact, it gives an opportunity to see how each of the members fares against Doctor Dread’s attacks on their own, before being forced back together.
The New Age of DC Heroes titles have been something of a mixed bag, but The Terrifics is the biggest success of that line. Although Mister Terrific denies that the team isn’t a family, I predict that their inevitable reunion will demonstrate that the Terrifics are well on their way to becoming one.