Review: THE TERRIFICS #26
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Terrifics #26: A bold new direction for The Terrifics begins here! Following the events of the T-Finity experiment, Mr. Terrific has at last gained control of his long-defunct company Terrifictech, with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Seeking to redefine the concept of super-heroics with bleeding-edge technology and targeted global problem-solving, Michael Holt and his team of outcasts are expanding their horizons to a bright new future. But as the Terrifics evolve, the remnants of evils past just won’t let them go…
The Terrifics #26 begins with Simon Stagg receiving the news that he has terminal cancer. Stagg barely has time to process the news before he is confronted by demonic beings who offer him “the one asset that all your prodigious wealth cannot buy. Time!”. Stagg’s response isn’t immediately shown, but given that he’s one of DC’s biggest bastards, is there any doubt that he’s going to be tempted by a deal with the devil to save his skin?
One thing I loved about this issue, is that Plastic Man’s son, Luke (a.k.a. Offspring) plays a significant role in the story. We haven’t seen as much of the father/son dynamic between him and Plas as I would have liked. When Stagg and Luke go missing, Plastic Man’s paternal instincts show through, showing that there’s some depth below his normal flippant attitude.
And Yang drops another hint of a future romance between Phantom Girl and Luke. However, Linnya seems to be in denial that she’s attracted to her teammate’s son. After she calls him cute, she quickly backtracks on that statement, “Who said your son is cute?! I didn’t say your son is cute!”. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
And then there is Stagg’s new personal security android, Staggatron. Stagg has made an interesting choice in replacing Java. Where Java was a Neanderthal from the past, Staggatron is a piece of cutting-edge modern technology. However, both are powerful and menacing figures. And Staggatron seems every bit as belligerent as Java. I can’t help wondering if Staggatron will follow Java’s example and become another supervillain for the team to face. If Java was the title’s analogue of Doctor Doom, might not Staggatron beome its Ultron?
Another fascinating bit of technology added this issue is Mister Terrific’s Cyber Mode. He describes it as “a virtual reality interface that allows us to traverse any piece of software. Essentially, it allows the team to enter cyberspace. Not exactly a new idea, but it opens a whole new real of story possibilities, especially when the team is facing technology-based enemies.
When the Terrifics find Stagg, he warns them, “You can’t win against him, Terrifics. He’s… immortal. And once I join him, I’ll be immortal too”. The identity of this being is not yet revealed, but it appears that Stagg has not yet accepted his offer. It will be interesting to see if Stagg has enough of a conscience for the team to pull him back from the brink.
The last page reveals to us that Mister Terrific has formed another group called the T-Council, which can be called in when the Terrifics need backup. This group appears to be gathering of DC’s leading scientists, including Blue Beetle, The Atom, Man-Bat, Tom and Dhalua Strong, and Shay Veritas. This is a truly impressive group of DC’s brightest scientific minds. Perhaps they should spin off into their own title. I could really get into a Justice League Science title.
It’s a delight to see Ted Kord back in action as Blue Beetle. I hope this is a sign DC is going to start making proper use of the character. No offence to Jaime Reyes, but I’d read about Ted. I don’t know if this Atom is Ray Palmer or Ryan Choi, but this is another character I’d like to see used more – especially if it’s Ray.
Gene Luen Yang has done a superb job on this title since taking over from from Jeff Lemire. The Terrifics #26 has done nothing to break this pattern. I have no complaints at all.
The Terrifics is one of the true gems in DC’s line and continues to impress me with each issue. The Terrifics #26 delivers a fun, engaging story that’s beautifully drawn, and adds some intriguing new elements to the mythos. What more could you ask for?