The Terrifics #3 – Jeff Lemire, Writer; Joe Bennett, Penciller; Sandra Hope, Jaime Mendoza, Art Thibert, Inkers; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Corrina: Good Crazy Weird
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The crown jewel of the New Age of DC Heroes line enters its second arc in The Terrifics #3, and with it picks up a new artist in Joe Bennett. Although almost all these titles are switching artists after their first arc, Bennett is only doing a stopover before Doc Shaner comes on board. This many creative switches early in a title’s run is never good, but The Terrifics has what many of these titles lack – a compelling storyline and lead characters to carry it. At the end of last issue, the motley crew of Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, and the mysterious Phantom Girl found themselves yoked together by dark energy following their journey into the Dark Multiverse. Now, they’re forced to set up camp at Stagg Mansion, where Metamorpho and Sapphire spar verbally, Phantom Girl is desperate for answers about her condition, and Plastic Man continues to get on everyone’s nerves.
While a lot of this issue’s appeal is in its dialogue and the interplay between the team members, there’s a good amount of action here too. First, there’s a mysterious, second version of Metamopho that appears in a small town and begins assimilating people into monsters. Then the Stagg compound comes under assault by a massive crimson war wheel, putting the Terrifics into their first combat test as a team in the normal world. This is where we see Lemire’s skill as a writer of science fiction come into play, as the unconventional heroes each display unique skills that take down the powerful machine. There’s a clever twist involving where the enemy actually came from, and the cliffhanger sets up where the next big mystery in this series is leading. A lot of the New Age of DC Heroes titles feel like a concept in search of a story, but this one has both, and it’s being rewarded for it with the best sales of the line.
Corrina: This should be the part where the characters take a breath and readers learn more about them while a mystery grows in the background.
And it is that issue, as we receive a look at Rex and Sapphire’s complicated relationship, Michael’s continuing arrogance, Linnya’s growing isolation (is she telling the truth?), and, well, Plas is just being Plas. But it also seems Java is being sneaky and that while they can’t leave Stagg’s complex, they can’t trust him either. Or each other, as yet.
Toss in the wacky action sequence and you have the most interesting group of characters working together in a DC comic in a while. This is a blast.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.