[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion
Colors: Michael Spicer
Letters: Tom Napolitano
The Terrifics disband, but they’re going to need to get back together if they’re going to save Mr. Terrific from Doc Dread’s new team, the Dreadfuls! Plus, Rex Mason takes a huge plunge, Phantom Girl bolts Bgztl and Plastic Man stretches out the family drama with his son Luke, who’s struggling with his own super-elastic powers. Will our heroes reunite in time to save Mr. Terrific—from an evil version of themselves?!
Last issue concluded with Mister Terrific on Earth 23, alone against Doctor Dreadful and his new team, the Dreadfuls. The Dreadfuls is a team designed to counterbalance the Terrifics, with Doctor Dread having recruited alternate universe analogues of Terrific’s teammates.
Now we get a proper introduction t the Dreadfuls. Phantom Boy is a ghost from Earth 13, a supernatural-based world. Metalmorpho, from Earth 44, where Earth’s heroes and villains are robot. And most terrifyingly, Plasma-Man from Earth 43, where the world’s heroes have become vampires.
Meanwhile, each of Terrifics ex-teammates face their own crises. Unable to cope with normal life as Rex Mason, Metamorpho seeks out the Orb of Ra to regain his elemental powers. On Bgztl, Phantom Girl escapes back to Earth to avoid being forced into an arranged marriage.
Plastic Man’s is particularly touching as he confronts his son, Luke. After some initial conflict, Plas finally gets Luke to grant him 5 seconds to try to explain why he has been such a poor father. Plas makes a determined and emotional appeal, but Luke isn’t having it.
However, when Plas offers to take Luke joyriding in the Batmobile, Luke finds the offer impossible to resist. Father and son bond over the act of Grand Theft Batmobile, even though Plas states that “Bats is gonna murder me, but this is so worth it.” The whole episode clearly draws on the classic team-up between Batman and Plastic Man in the classic JLA #65, the story that first introduced Luke to the DCU.
The art is fantastic as always. This is especially evident in the scenes between Plas and Luke. Being able to keep pace with two shapeshifters facing off has to be a challenge for any artist, but Bogdanovic and Glapion manage it beautifully. And I have to say that I love the cover’s parody of the Beatles album, “Meet The Beatles.”
Once again, I have to hand it to Lemire. The story had nothing lacking and gave us a poignant and heartwarming reconciliation of a fan-favourite character and his son. I can’t think of a think I would change about the book.
This issue stands out as one of the week’s best, which is saying something considering that this weeks also sees a number of other stellar books being released. Lemire has taken an odd selection of second-string heroes and created a team book that outshines most of DC’s flagship titles.