The Terrifics #11 – Jeff Lemire, Writer; Viktor Bogdanovic, Artist; Michael Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Corrina: There’s No “I” in Team
Ray: Jeff Lemire is leaving The Terrifics in March to close out his time in work-for-hire, but it’s not clear yet if the series will continue. I would advise DC to let the run stand on its own because I can’t see anyone else equalling this level of quality. The Terrifics #11, following last month’s breakup of the team, splits the four cast members into their own adventures. Well, adventure might be putting it loosely – three of them are dealing with very real-world issues that range from annoying to depressing. Not Mr. Terrific, though – he’s back to solo adventuring, and his hot on the trail of the evil Java, who escaped with his T-Sphere. That leads him to the Multiverse, where the villain is traveling through dimensions and killing off alternate Mr. Terrifics. I don’t know what inspired Jeff Lemire to want to make Simon Stagg’s Neanderthal minion into his genuinely menacing big bad, but I’m glad he took the risk.
The other three heroes are dealing with much more mundane, but no less compelling affairs. Plastic Man has gone to catch up with his ex, Angel, and his son – the hero known as Offspring. That’s a little jarring because of the recent Plastic Man mini where he was at the beginning of his career, but this scene is a great take on the pain having a deadbeat father can cause a boy – with some fantastic, surreal visuals. Phantom Girl is back on her home planet, chafing under the rules of a strict mother who makes very clear that her daughter’s adventuring days are over. Linnya’s desire to escape takes on a more pressing tone when she finds out what’s planned for her next. Meanwhile, the newly human Rex Mason has found that “normal life” won’t come easy, as he can’t get a job and his relationship with Sapphire is fraying. The end of the issue has two great twists for Mr. Terrific’s quest, as the final arc of this series ramps up in a big way.
Corrina: I found Mr. Terrific’s storyline the most compelling of the bunch, despite it’s being the most superhero-y of the group. That’s because Michael Holt is one of my favorite archetypes in fiction: the extremely competent loner who believes he can solve all the problems on his own. But, of course, he can’t do it alone, and showing him a world where he’s about to lose an alternate universe version of his late wife only drives that home.
The other segments are emotional but a little too full of tropey elements for them to work for me. Sapphire is bemoaning Rex’s lack of attention. I’d have loved to have seen Rex moping about the home while Sapphire discovers that she now has the freedom of choice in her own destiny. Maybe Sapphire is the one that finds the job, while Rex is bummed he doesn’t see her enough. But I suspect this is just leading to Rex transforming again but this time as a happier, more well-adjusted Metamorpho.
Similarly, why is LInnya thrown into a princess-y trope where she has to marry someone picked for her? It seems her destiny could be a bit more imaginative.
Eel’s situation, however, tugs at the heartstrings because no one’s right or wrong in this situation but they’re all hurting. Eel, because of all that time he missed involuntarily, his son because he needed his father, and Angel because not only does she feel deserted, she resents Eel for not being there for her son. Eel isn’t helping, explaining that, hey, he’s a superhero, but that’s not exactly showing empathy, Plas. The art in this sequence, especially Offspring’s anger, is chilling.
I’m eager to see the team get back together and for the rest of Lemire’s run.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.