Review: THE TERRIFICS #18
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Terrifics #18: The end of the God Game is upon us—and technology has turned the Terrifics’ lives upside down! At long last, the secret origin of the mysterious technological being known as the Keeper is revealed, and this story is actually a tale as old as time. If the Terrifics are to shut the Keeper down and stop his tech infection from spreading worldwide, our heroes will need to do something they never thought they could: stop evolution itself. The Bizarro Terrifics were almost the most dangerous things in the universe. When Lex Luthor gives them a time machine, they become the most dangerous things in the universe. This will get weird.
In this issue, the Terrifics have their final confrontation with the Noosphere, but situation isn’t ultimately solved by fighting, but by coming to an agreement. The Noosphere agreed to spare the Earth in exchange for Terrific’s T-Ship, which an artificial intelligence could use as “his own tiny planet.”
Ms. Terrific is scandalized by that, believing that the Noosphere should have been destroyed, just as she promised the Biosphere that the would do. Paula believes the Noosphere will remain a potential threat to all life, while Michael believes in the Noosphere’s potential to truly become a superior lifeform.
I find it interesting that two character with identical costumes, abilities, and equipment can be worlds apart in how they approach the world. Paula has a more spiritual approach, while Michael’s world view is based on his rational analysis of his experiences.
This illuminates a gulf between them wide enough for Paula to question that there is any future for their budding relationship. This makes me wonder if Paula is going to adopt a heroic persona that differentiates her more from Michael. This might be a good idea, as her current identity appears very derivative of his.
Or maybe she will be leaving the team. She does apparently have another life on her own Earth that she could return to. There’s also the possibility that she may quit the team, but still stick around in the title’s supporting cast. Hopefully, she will stick around as the relationship between the two heroes offers a lot of interesting story potential.
Last issue left Plastic Man near death, but it turns out that each mini-Plas that has separated from him embodies one of his sins. With them gone, what of left of Plas feels at peace, having been purged of his sins. He would rather die than return to his normal state.
However, there is still one thing that can trump this impulse. When his diminutive doppelgangers threaten Luke’s life, Plas forcibly reabsorbs all of them. Plastic Man literally puts his son’s wellbeing over his own happiness. Despite Plastic Man’s poor history as a father, this shows how much he truly cares for Luke.
The epilogue supplies the connection to Year of the Villain teased on the cover. This time, Lex makes his offer to the Bizarro of Earth-29, a.k.a. the Bizarroverse. It is unclear how this will cause problems for the Terrifics, but it’s almost certain that it will do so.
I also found it amusing to see Luthor forcing himself to speak in Bizarro English to make his offer. “I’ve come to give you– Excuse me. I’ve gone to get from you a gift– a way to not destroy tomorrow.” A Bizarro story promises to be a lot of fun, especially with this team.
There’s not much to criticize about the issue. I did feel that the resolution to the Noosphere crisis felt a bit anticlimactic, but it was something novel. It’s great to see that the occasional threat to all life on the planet actually can be resolved through peaceful negotiation – especially when the team leader is a thinker more than a fighter.
Now that we’ve reached the conclusion of Yang’s first story arc, I feel I can safely say that he is capable of filling Lemire’s shoes as writer of the Terrifics. The Terrifics has been one of my favourite titles, and it looks to remain so despite with Yang as writer.