The Terrifics #20 – Gene Luen Yang, Writer; Stephen Segovia, Artist; Protobunker, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: This arc that continues in The Terrifics #20 didn’t start great, with way too much focus on the less-interesting Bizarro (the one from Bizarro World with a family he hates) and his obsession with destroying technology, leading him to invade the main DCU and come after Mister Terrific with his own twisted version of the Terrifics.
The idea of an evil version of the Terrifics isn’t new – it was the plot of the last Lemire arc and that one featured much creepier versions of the characters, while the only Bizarro Terrific that really stands out here is Figment Girl, a character with emotion-based powers who stalks Phantom Girl. She’s genuinely creepy, but the ersatz versions of the others just crash around the tower and try to steal Mr. Terrific’s time machine, leaving it up to us to try to figure out what they’re saying thanks to the constant use of Bizarro-speak. The issue takes a major turn upward, though, when it turns out the power source they’re seeking comes from Phantom Girl’s world.
Once the time machine is activated, the issue takes a very clever turn as the Terrifics find that the world is changing around them. First their ship starts shape-shifting and their technology returns to Analog – as their costumes become the ridiculous pouch-covered armors of the 1990s.
The Terrifics #20 becomes a tribute to the various eras of the comics, including the 1980s and the 1960s in other segments. But there’s a decent running plot throughout the issue of Phantom Girl feeling out of place on the team filled with much-older characters with different concerns, and eventually finds her place on the team and manages to banish the creepy Figment Girl.
Overall it’s a fun issue with some clever visual gimmicks, but the major threat this arc doesn’t really click with me – and the return of Boyzarro at the end of the issue makes it look like we’re going to get more of the abusive Bizarro that ruined that arc, which is my least favorite take on the usually good-natured character.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.