Review – The Terrifics #10: Doctor Dread Unmasked

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The Terrifics #10 cover, via DC Comics.

The Terrifics #10 – Jeff Lemire, Writer; Viktor Bogdanovic, Penciller; Jonathan Glapion, Inker; Mike Spicer, Colorist


Ray – 9/10

Corrina: Turns Out, Java Is Formidable

Ray: Jeff Lemire is leaving this title – and work-for-hire comics altogether – in March, but before then he’s gone one spectacular final act to go on The Terrifics. This oddball dimension-hopping team book comes back down to Earth in The Terrifics #10 as the ragtag group of heroes and their new allies in Tom Strong’s family discover the identity of the mysterious Doctor Dread. It’s Java, as we learned the last issue, and the scheming Neanderthal seems to be driven by a combination of romantic jealousy of Rex Mason and a desire to avenge all the slights he received at the hands of his corrupt employer Simon Stagg. Despite his brutish nature, Java proves himself to be a legit threat, and it’s not clear if this Dr. Dread persona is affecting his mind somehow. But there’s no time to debate that because soon he’s managed to unleash the Dark Elder, the massive abomination that led to the Terrifics being fused together in the first place – and whose arrival Tom Strong had a lot to do with, as we saw in the annual.

Although this title’s had a LOT of creative team changes over its run on the art end, Viktor Bogdanovic does a great job with the epic battle scene this issue. There’s a great sense of scale and scope, as the heroes battle something that dwarfs them in every way. But even in the middle of the chaos, Plastic Man manages to get a few great laughs in via his absurd and often inappropriate transformations. While most of the heroes fight the Dark Elder head-on, Mr. Terrific and Tom Strong head into the lab and come up with a solution that banishes the creature. Java gets away, but the Terrifics have another problem – with the dark energy gone, Metamorpho no longer powered, and the crisis averted, they’re ready to go their own way.

Although Phantom Girl is the only one who wants to keep going as a team, the crew breaks up – but we know there’s an arc yet to go. In terms of dysfunctional team dynamics, this is one of the best I’ve read in a while. Both on an action and character level, this book is a big winner.

Doctor Dread unmasked. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: The Terrifics break up?


But, whew, I know the series continues until March, so I’m getting over my concern and, instead, I’m wondering just what might happen to draw this group back together again. I’m surprised that so many of them walked away so quickly. Not Tom Strong, no, he has his own team and his own world to protect and explore.

But Plas, Rex, Phantom Girl, and Mister Terrific do have something in common: the need for a community. It’s simply that they’re too stubborn to realize how much they’ve come to trust and rely on each other. Phantom Girl knows and it’s absolutely cold of the others to simply walk away from a person when you’re one of their few connections on this world.

Rex, I understand somewhat, because he finally has his normal form left and a chance to live the life he wants, not the life he’s been forced into. The reunion with Sapphire seems a bit rushed, however, but then, the one flaw in this series has been her portrayal.

As for Plas, well, he’s Plas. His brain doesn’t work quite the same as everyone else. Perhaps he’s gone to check on his son.

But Michael should know better. I hope this break-up means a chance for a solo issue featuring Mister Terrific where he learns to open up. Because, while he’s terrific at most things, interpersonal relations isn’t one of them.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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