Review: THE TERRIFICS #27
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
The Terrifics #27: Scientists of the world unite! When Simon Stagg sabotages Mr. Terrific’s latest world-changing invention, reinforcements are needed. Enter the Terrific Council: Blue Beetle! The Atom! Man-Bat! Shay Veritas! Tesla Strong! (Just hum a theme song in your head, it’ll be more exciting that way.) Looks like Michael Holt has been building a real path to progress behind the backs of his Terrific comrades-but the real question is, what else is he planning?
Last issue, we briefly got to meet Mister Terrific’s new team, the T-Council. The council consists of DC’s foremost scientists and technological wizards. Some are superheroes like Blue Beetle and The Atom, but others like Shay Veritas and Silas Stone (Cyborg’s father) are not costumed adventurers.
But why has Mister Terrific formed this new group? Is it meant to complement the Terrifics or replace them? Michael starts to explain, “I’ve been thinking about the future. The mission of The Terrifics is to–“. Unfortunately, he is interrupted before he can finish. However, it looks that Michael has some plans in mind that will affect the group’s future. Is it possible that the group is going to go their separate ways when the title ends in a few months? I certainly hope not.
Silas Stone’s presence causes a lot of conflict. He is being portrayed here as believing in progress at any cost, which makes him appear rather callous and ruthless. This puts him in conflict with Plastic Man when they face Plas’ son, who has been transformed into a monster. It’s somewhat ironic that Stone has no sympathy for Plas, considering his history with his own son. Plastic Man certainly comes off as the better parent of the two.
Metamorpho drops his gruff exterior a little this issue, revealing his affection for two of the biggest irritants in his life. First, he defends Plastic Man when Silas refers to him as “you ridiculous rubber band”. Rex replies, “Watch it buddy! Only I get to call him that!”. This acknowledges that his digs at Plas aren’t really meant maliciously.
And strangely enough, although Rex loathes to openly admit it, he admits that deep down, he actually has some affection for Simon Stagg. And oddly enough, this admission manages touches Stagg and causes him to break his pact with the demon Sleroku the Blind.
However, Sleroku retaliates for this betrayal by killing Simon. Simon Stagg has been a staple DC supporting character for decades, so this comes as shock. Stagg’s death will undoubtedly have a deep impact on Rex’s life, especially since Simon was his girlfriend’s father.
I have a minor quibble with the issue’s cover, as there are some characters that are shown as part of the T-Council that aren’t present in the book at all. There are two Atoms on the cover, but only Ryan Choi is in the story. Roundhouse from Teen Titans is also shown, and one person that I am guessing might be Lucius Fox. I am especially disappointed at Ray Palmer’s absence, but that was balanced out by getting to see Ted Kord back in his Blue Beetle costume.
The other problem is that the the title is ending. Now this isn’t the fault of the creative team. They have done a superlative job for the entire run. Gene Luen Yang has done an admirable job of keeping up the high standard of writing set by Jeff Lemire. And the artwork has been top-notch. Unfortunately, the cancellation appears to be the result of the title’s sales figures.
I don’t really blame DC either. Although they might have promoted it more, DC has supported the title for much longer than Marvel would support a title that had the same figures. I love that DC will often support a quality title with less than stellar sales.
While the title ends with issue #30, The Terrifics #27 is the final issue that will be available in print. The last three issues will be released exclusively digitally. I’m disappointed by this, as The Terrifics is one of the few titles I collect in print.
However, whether this is a negative or a positive depends on how you look at it. You could choose to see it as DC cancelling the print edition of the final three issues. Or you could see it as DC giving us three extra issues instead of cancelling it outright with this month’s issue. And this way, Yang gets some room to bring his story to a conclusion.
While I am very disappointed that The Terrifics #27 is the final print issue, I am quite glad that DC has gone to the lengths they have to support this gem of a title. I look forward to seeing how Yang will wrap up the series.