The Terrifics #18 – Gene Luen Yang, Writer; Stephen Segovia, Artist; Ray McCarthy, Inker; Protobunker, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Last issue threw the Terrifics into one of their biggest battles yet – pitting a cosmic entity encompassing the Green and the Red against a new entity known as the Noosphere that wanted to replace all of that with sterile machines. The Noosphere is a pretty clear Galactus expy, which makes sense given the very distinct Fantastic Four vibe in this series, right down to the shiny herald. Despite that, this story has been very interesting thanks to the surreal, often creepy effects of the Noosphere’s tampering with the world. For instance, last issue saw Plastic Man afflicted with boils – that burst and turned into little bouncing Plastic Men who embody all of Eel’s worst traits and leave him a hollowed-out husk. It would almost be Vertigo-influenced body horror if it wasn’t so hilariously absurd. But things turn very serious when the Noosphere hacks the world and sucks countless people into his cyberscape.
It can often be hard to balance a cosmic story with a personal one, but Yang has been doing a good job of giving every character in the expanded Terrifics something to do. It still feels like Phantom Girl is getting the short shift in this run, as she’s mostly limited to chasing after Plastic Man and convincing him that his bizarre suicidal streak can’t be the right move. The relationship between Plastic Man and his son is the real heart of The Terrifics #18, and Mr. Terrific and Metamorpho have a great bit where they literally get uncomfortably close to defeat the Noosphere – sort of. The news isn’t nearly as good for Michael and his alternate-dimension wife Paula, as the more ruthless Michael makes a deal to save the world that might come back to haunt him, and Paula finds that she can’t tolerate his mercenary streak. I’m hoping this isn’t an attempt to write her out but just part one of the story. The addition of a new Bizarro in the Year of the Villain tie-in feels like a mandated inclusion, but Yang writing the character could be fun.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.