Review – The Terrifics #6: Alone Against The Element King

Comic Books DC This Week
The Terrifics #6 cover, credit to DC Comics.

The Terrifics #6 – Jeff Lemire, Writer; Joe Bennett, Penciller; Sandra Hope, Inker; Hi-Fi, Colorist

Ray – 9/10

Ray: Sixth issue, and The Terrifics is already on its third regular artist. Nothing new for The New Age of DC Heroes, but the good news is that this book has used all three artists to the best possible effect. It also has the best characters and story of the entire line by a mile. When we last left off, the mysterious Element King – an ancient elemental who predates Metamorpho – had laid siege to a city and transformed countless people into mutants like him. His goal is to force Metamorpho to take his place in captivity so he can go free. The four heroes are once again split, as Joe Bennett continues Doc Shaner’s unique storytelling style. Each of the four heroes is facing a different trial. Mr. Terrific is under the effect of an odd gas, making him hallucinate his dead wife asking for his help. Plastic Man is being beaten to a pulp by a crazed stone elemental, and Phantom Girl – accompanied by everyone’s new favorite character, Element Dog – is finding that she’s a lot more tangible in the world affected by Element King. And speaking of the villain, he and Metamorpho are currently locked in a battle to the death.

Four against the Element King. Credit to DC Comics.

They eventually find each other again, one by one. Phantom Girl’s story is definitely the most affecting, as she gets to briefly enjoy having contact with other people only to have it ripped away once again. Meanwhile, I love how Lemire writes Plastic Man – this is the most creative use of shape-shifting powers I’ve seen in a while. If I have one quibble with this issue, it’s that Element King rarely feels like more than a stock villain. He’s a scary, captivity-crazed version of Metamorpho who likes to rant. Joe Bennett, one of DC’s long-time workmanlike artists, rarely gets the chance to show off what he can do in a comic as clever like this. Here, though, he captures both epic action and small character moments. This title never slows down, and as soon as the battle with Element King is over, the story shifts to the next big villain – Doctor Dread, a mysterious new villain who has ties to Tom Strong. Lemire’s got lots of plans to explore the multiverse here, and this continues to be one of the most entertaining books in DC’s stable. Lemire has yet to find an obscure character he can’t spin into gold.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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