THE TERRIFICS #3
Written by Jeff Lemire and Joe Bennett
Cover Art By Ivan Reis and Marcelo Maiolo
Ink by Sandra Hope, Jaime Mendoza, and Art Thibert
Colors by Marcelo Maiolo
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Published by DC Comics
Released April 25, 2018
Issue 3 of The Terrifics pretty much picks up exactly where the last issue left off, with Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Phantom Girl, and Plastic Man all finding out that they are essentially stuck with one another. As you would expect, it’s a pretty hard pill for the team to swallow especially Metamorpho who is now bound to close proximity with Plastic Man, a rapport that he despises. Plastic Man and Metamorpho’s relationship is actually the one that I’m the most interested in seeing it expand and develop because I could honestly see the two of them becoming good friends and working great together. Later on in the issue, we get a pretty good idea of just how great the two of them can work together using their powers.
The issue continues with Mr. Terrific being his usual self and needing to find answers to the questions that now seem to be pressing the entire team. However, as usual, Simon Stagg acts as an obstacle. Stagg states that all of Mr. Terrific’s technology is now in his possession and that he will not be getting his toys back unless he uses legal means. Which then essentially presents Mr. Terrific with the unsavory idea of having to stay at Stagg’s headquarters and conduct whatever experiments he needs to do there. What is most interesting about this whole dilemma is just how okay with the idea and gung-ho Simon is about The Terrifics setting up base on his property. This leads me to believe that Simon has something up his sleeve and something to gain from the presence of the heroes. We also see more of Linnya pressing to get some answers about her current physical state only to have them pushed to the back burner by Mr. Terrific.
As the book presses forward, we get a glimpse of what seems to be a future Metamorpho-related incident, something which looks as if it will be revisited at a later date. The book continues to deal with the questions and answers that everyone on the team is looking for, but that all gets interrupted when a giant “war wheel” attacks the base and, by extension, the Terrifics. This is where that teamwork that I mentioned earlier comes into play and where we really get to see Plastic Man and Metamorpho working together. Mr. Terrific being the natural-born leader that he is, begins delegating which member is to handle which part of taking down the war wheel. One of the best things about this book is that it continually gives the audience glimpses of just how great and fluid this team can be when they actually work together and utilize their gifts in tandem. Everyone uses their strengths and, as expected, the group takes down the War Wheel…..only to find out it’s one of Simon Stagg’s investments. This is the point in the story where I am convinced that Stagg has something up his sleeve and that he is testing the team for some clearly nefarious purpose.
The issue ends with Mr. Terrific revisiting Tom Strong’s holographic message from the antenna and, in true Mr. Terrific fashion, putting his intelligence to work in solving the mystery of Tom Strong.
Overall this was an extremely dialogue and character interaction heavy issue. The issue focused more on allowing the readers to get a feel for the characters and their different dynamics more than actually focusing on advancing the story and answering some of the questions that have been left open. This is an interesting direction to take this issue considering it is the final issue of the first arc and it leaves more questions open than answered, however, they’ll certainly be answered in the coming issues and story arcs.
My favorite aspect of The Terrifics remains seeing this group of heroes, who ordinarily probably wouldn’t even interact with each other, be forced together through circumstances outside of themselves and then find a way to adjust and deal with that. Individually, The Terrifics is filled with a lot of very strong and very distinct personalities that clearly do not mesh well, right now, within a team model. Bennett and Lemire do a fantastic job of not only staying true to the characters personalities but also staying true to the characters and the reality of their interactions. I often say when it comes to team books one of my favorite things is just seeing how the characters interact with each other and seeing how these already established personalities work together for the greater good of the team. In team books, it’s always easy to tell when a writer or writers aren’t familiar with a character because many of the characters decisions and interactions end up feeling out of character, but that’s certainly not a problem with Bennett and Lemire at the helm.
The art of The Terrifics continues to be fantastic with Hope, Mendoza, and Thibert packing in tons of bold lines, detail, and texture to not just the characters but the settings as well. The art for Metamorpho was my favorite throughout the issue because of the attention paid to the detail within the different sections of his body, each one seeming separate yet part of a whole.
Perhaps one of the greatest things about The Terrifics is the sense of nostalgia that it rouses within the reader. The book is very clearly an homage to an era of cosmic discovery within comics. It invites the reader to follow this freshly formed team of heroes, who honestly aren’t even a team yet, into the mysteries of the Dark Multiverse. While the issue takes place on Earth the presence of the Dark multiverse and its energies are still very much felt. The book manages to capture the sense of wonder and exploration that is quite often found in the pulpy and Flash Gordon-esque realms of science-fiction.
Overall the 3rd issue of The Terrifics is a solid read, not my favorite in the series but definitely a solid read. It laid the groundwork for an interesting team dynamic and I’m certainly along for the ride. The Terrifics #3 earns a solid 7 War Wheels out of 10.