The Terrifics #14 – Jeff Lemire, Writer; Joe Bennett, Penciller; Dexter Vines, Scott Hanna, Inkers; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Good-Bye, Crazy, Wonderful Lemire Terrifics
Ray: Jeff Lemire has been working on and off for the Big Two for the bulk of ten years now, but with the exception of his upcoming Black Hammer/Justice League crossover, The Terrifics #14 is his swan song as he heads off exclusively for the world of creator-owned. Fortunately, the final issue of this oddball superhero team book’s creative run is a perfect illustration of just how good his writing is. Equal parts big superhero showdown and character-driven dramedy, this final issue kicks off as the Terrifics are united once again in the battle against the Dreadfuls. They’ve picked up some new members in the process – Element Dog, Offspring, and the alternate universe Mrs. Terrific. While the first half of the issue is almost entirely action, Lemire shows a great talent for DC continuity as the heroes pull surprising moves to take out their enemies – Phantom Girl uses a rarely-used technique, the Strong family uses science to deliver a definitive blow to Java, etc.
Once the fight is over, Lemire is able to really show his strength and the final segments deliver in both comedy and emotional power. The Terrifics bring the defeated Dreadfuls to the House of Heroes for a cameo by the popular cosmic heroes of Multiversity and then head back to Earth where Mr. Terrific finally gets to unbutton a little and show what he’s learned from this whole bizarre journey. But it’s Phantom Girl who narrates the final segment, as the lost girl finally finds her home away from home. I was also really glad to see Mrs. Terrific seems to be sticking around as the two geniuses decide not to mess with what the multiverse provides. Between Holt coming to terms with his grief, Metamorpho finally embracing his unique nature, Phantom Girl getting the courage to leave a toxic home, and Plastic Man finally finding something to make him want to grow up a little, The Terrifics has hit every right note as one of the most human superhero stories on the market.
Lemire will be missed, and here’s rooting for Gene Luen Yang to keep this title one of DC’s best.
Corrina: I am so sad to see this particular run end, though with Gene Luen Yang, there is a good chance the title will continue to be very good.
I have a niggle in that the final issue seemed somewhat rushed. Perhaps Lemire had more extensive plans on the title that he wished to hint at in the final segments of the Multiverse. But that’s only a small complaint because what we do get this issue is the best kind of superhero battle, in which the bad guys seem to be winning until the good guys get up off the mat and show that they’re smarter and better than the villainous versions.
In between, there’s also a nice moment between the plastic father and son, Linnya coming into her own, and Mr. and Mrs. Terrific working together.
But it’s the final segment, as Michael Holt admits to his personal failings and expresses his love and respect for the rest of the team that brings a tear to more than Plastic Man’s eye. Michael getting a happily for now ending was not something I anticipated, much less that that alternate version of his wife would be a superhero in her own right.
If you have never read this book, go buy the collections ASAP.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.