The Terrifics #21 – Gene Luen Yang, Writer; Stephen Segovia, Penciller; Matt Santorelli, Scott Hanna, Inkers; Protobunker, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: The Terrifics’ latest adventure sends them traveling back through time in Terrifics #21, as Bizarro and his henchmen dismantle all of human progress in the name of restoring things to the good old days (or is it bad new nights?).
It’s a clever commentary on toxic nostalgia, as Bizarro has very little understanding of technology and mainly wants to destroy it because he doesn’t understand it. But out of this plot has come a pretty funny storyline, as Mr. Terrific and his allies find themselves and their technology shifting involuntarily. They start the issue in a Voltron-esque ship and battling a giant robot scorpion, but when this 1980s adventure is over it’s time for a trip to the 1970s, as the heroes find themselves crash-landing in a disco.
Combining a dance-off with an attack by Rocket Red, writer Gene Luen Yang is clearly having a lot of fun tossing together pop culture touchstones as part of the adventure.
The heroes are in an entertaining fix, but I wasn’t as entertained by what Bizarro is up to this issue. This is the version of Bizarro from the Tomasi/Gleason Superman run, where he was basically an irredeemable jackass who hated his wife and son. That son wound up finding a new home with some of the kids from Jon and Damian’s adventures in Hamilton, Kansas, but now his deadbeat abusive dad is back in the picture and very clearly manipulating him.
Bizarro is almost always a good-natured goof whose danger is more in that he doesn’t understand his strength. This one is cold, calculating, and cruel – with his stupidity just translating into incompetence more than anything. That makes this issue an odd mix where the villains have set into a motion a plot that’s very entertaining, but it slows to a crawl whenever those same villains actually show up. I am looking forward to hopefully seeing Silver Age Terrifics next month.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.