The Terrifics #12 – Jeff Lemire, Writer; Viktor Bogdanovic, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Back to Teamwork
Ray: As the final arc of Jeff Lemire’s run on The Terrifics dawns (before New Super-Man writer Gene Luen Yang takes over), the domestic downtime of the last issue makes way for one last big adventure in The Terrifics #12. When we last left off, Mr. Terrific had chased Java/Doctor Dread through the Multiverse, only to find him accompanied by a twisted version of Holt’s old team – and threatening an alternate version of Mr. Terrific that was Holt’s late wife Paula. The evil doppelgangers consist of a vampiric version of Plastic Man, an emo/goth male version of Phantom Girl, and a robotic/metal version of Metamorpho. They make great visuals, but they’re mostly stock villains to up Doctor Dread’s menace factor – and I’m still amazed by how Lemire has managed to make Simon Stagg’s neanderthal bodyguard one of the best villains in the DCU at the moment. With Mr. Terrific in peril, he puts out a call to his former allies – all of whom are still consumed with their own dramas.
While Phantom Girl’s storyline of being forced into an arranged marriage may be a little bit of a cliche, I did appreciate her practical solution to it. Rather than wait for things to get more serious, she simply dips out immediately and borrows a spaceship to Earth. The best segment of the issue was Plastic Man’s, as he tracks down his son and tries to win him over. What starts as a high-stakes superpowered game of basketball turns into a joyride in the Batmobile, and the genuine emotions and humor in this scene are some of the best stuff Lemire has written in his work-for-hire career. The Rex Mason story didn’t work quite as well for me – his decision to try to destroy the Staff of Ra to make sure his current happiness can’t be taken away again, but we all know exactly where this is going. It may have just been rushed along a little, unlike the other plotlines. Visually, this is some of the best work of Viktor Bogdanovic’s career, and it’s likely this whole run will go down as an underrated DC classic to come out of a near-defunct line.
Corrina: LInnya certainly had the easiest and most practical solution: get outta town. Rex’s transformation again to Metamorpho seems rather abrupt, even though it was triggered, in the end, by his need to destroy the Staff of Ra. (These things never work out for Rex.) I would have liked to see more of human Rex and some conclusion to the romance with Sapphire, either good or bad, before his superhero alter ego emerged.
But the Plastic Man segment is lovely, adding pathos to Eel’s lost time, because his son lost that time as well. And, just when the pair is bonding, it looks like they’ll be interrupted.
As for Michael Holt it’s about time he learned he can’t do everything himself.
I have no idea what to make of Java/Doctor Dread and his Dreadfuls team but the artwork is menacing and spectacular.
But, please, please, don’t kill off Paula Holt at the end of this.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.