Review: Terra #1


Well, that’s another way of bringing ‘em back from the dead


A picture of a hot girl on the cover, a title hearkening back to the days of the Teen Titans, and another story written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray?  Sounds like the makings of another stellar issue from DC Comics, right?  Right?

terra1cover.jpgStrange things are afoot beneath our feet.  While we mine and drill above the surface, an entire world beneath the planet of the monkey boys thrives with its own battles between good and evil, and one girl appears to stand on the side of the good.  Unfortunately for the world beneath, the world above is ever encroaching, which means those under dwellers are going to have to bring the fight to the surface.

If miners are trapped by an earthquake caused by the beasties from Necropolis, or if a tropical village is about to be destroyed by Lavarians (that’s lava men to you and me), then it makes sense a do-gooder from below would come to the rescue.  There’s just this one thing that may make you sit up and take notice – she’s got the power to move and control rock and dirt.  Kind of like that Brion Markov guy, or more specifically, like Tara Markova, the duo we all know as Geo-Force, and Terra.  And there’s your title. Ta-Dah!

The good deeds performed by a single girl haven’t gone unnoticed by the people of the world.  Reports from all over have this Terran appearing and disappearing, and the news media, and super heroes have taken notice.  We don’t learn much about the central character – heck, we don’t even learn her name this issue, but it does come to light that she is indeed a perfect genetic match to Terra.  For those who missed out on the fantastic Judas Contract story line, you might want to catch up via the Major Spoilers Podcast.

If you are going to bring a character back from the dead by having them suddenly appear, there are a couple of ways to do it; A) create a time paradox, where the hero travels from the past or future, B) Tom Welling Prime Punch! or C) go the identical twin sister route.  Comparing the raven haired beauty to the scrawny blonde from 20 years ago kinda skews the identical twin theory, so perhaps all Terrans have the same genetic make up for males and females.  That’s something future installments of this four issue mini-series will have to answer.

For a first issue, this isn’t such a bad one.  Palmiotti and Gray build enough suspense and leave enough mystery to draw the reader in, and they introduce a potential foil for the central character to fight, who just happens to be turned into a mineral based lifeform.  There is a slight preachiness about humans thinking they can do what they will with the planet, that could get really old if Palmiotti and Gray decide to continue with the eco-friendly hero, but as a catalyst to get the central character to the surface in order to explore open old wounds regarding Terra, then it works just fine.

For those that were digging lusting over the art by Phil Noto in the last Palmiotti and Gray review, then you’re going to flip when you see the work by Amanda Conner.  My god, this woman can draw some pretty pictures.  I personally have a certain style that I like my comics to be drawn in, and Conner hits it on the head.  It’s kind of a cross between the Dodsons, Jeff Moy, and Adam Hughes.  I just love it, and can’t wait to see more of it in this series.  If you guys like what she does with the ladies, then ladies, you’ll like what she does with the guys.

Beyond the art, and the solid set up by Gray and Palmiotti, there isn’t a lot to this issue, which is a shame.  It’s all set up, with a nice cliffhanger.  I don’t want to say it is a paint by numbers plot, but it does seem to follow a fairly generic formula.  As much praise as I want to give the issue, I ultimately ended up giving Terra #1 3 Stars out of 5.