Review: THE TERRIFICS #20
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Terrifics #20: Invasion of the backwards! The broken brute Bizarro accesses a time machine and decides to help the world by making it a better place-Bizarro-style! A misguided attempt at heroism turns deadly and only the Terrifics can stop the dawn of the broken age of man!
Me no like The Terrifics at all! It am awful title! The writing am garbage and the art am ugly! Terrifics am worst tragic book that DC not publish!
Sorry for that, but this issue brought out my inner Bizarro for a moment. Bizarro stories can be a lot of fun, but they can also be very formulaic. Very often the entire story involves Bizarro showing up, raining accidental destruction until the hero manages to master Bizarro’s backwards logic enough to convince him to go away again.
But talented writers can use Bizarro to have a lot of fun, using him to hold a warped mirror up to the DC Universe. There is more to the character than his ungrammatical speech pattern and backwards logic. A good writer can add new wrinkles to the standard Bizarro tale. With this current storyline, Yang proves himself to be up to the task.
I really like the new team of Bizarro heroes this story introduces, the Terribles. As the backwards version, you might expect Mister Terrible to be the third stupidest man on Bizarro Earth. But, he actually does have a genius intellect… a warped intellect, but definitely smarter than other Bizarros.
The other Terribles are likewise the opposite of their counterparts, but not in the most obvious manner. For example, instead of making physical objects intangible, Figment Girl can make intangible items real – intangible things like memories or feelings. And Change-O-Shape-O can alter his shape like Metamorpho, but he’s so enamoured by his own ‘ugly’ face that he doesn’t want to.
And Disposable Man can make extra body parts for sharing, by which he means shooting them at others.
I also love the backwards Onomatopoeia and sound effects: “!HSARC”, “!PSAG”. But the funniest is Bizarro’s newly revealed superpower. We have seen his Cold Vision and Heat Breath before, but did you know he also has X-Ray smell? And the Terribles battle cry is hilarious, “Stop, Terribles, Stop!”
But Bizarro gets what he was after, which was Linya’s necklace that contains a Phantom Zone crystal that he can power a time machine with. But what does Bizarro want with a time machine?
Apparently, a Bizarro time machine doesn’t take you to another time, but brings that time to you. Thus, Earth begins to regress into the past. Technology, hairstyles, and fashions start regressing to earlier eras. When reaching the 90s, the older team members start getting distracted by their teenage hobbies: video games, rollerblading, and cars.
Stephen Segovia and Brent Peeples do a lovely job of depicting the atmosphere of each era as the world regresses through them. I especially how they capture the 90s Image-like style of the Terrifics’ costumes.
The issue ends as Bizarro and the Terribles arrive in Hamilton County, where he confronts his wayward son, Boyzarro. Boyzarro’s reaction? “Yay,” which is obviously Bizarro for “Crap.”
Also, I love that Boyzarro is shown playing with Batman and Superman figures from the classic 80s Super Powers Collection.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, from cover to cover. The only way I could make any complaints is to list all the things I liked in Bizarro-speak.
The Terrifics is consistently the most fun of the titles that I read every month. At this point, I am fully convinced that Gene Luen Yang gets The Terrifics, and was the ideal choice to take over the title. Kudos to Yang and to the art team as well.