My personal most-anticipated comic in years has arrived, but what do Mister Terrific, Plastic Man, Metamorpho and Phantom Girl have in common? And what does it have to do with the Dark Multiverse and Dark Knights: Metal? Your Major Spoilers review of The Terrifics #1 awaits!
Storytellers: Ivan Reis & Jeff Lemire
Inker: Joe Prado
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously in The Terrifics: “Bound together by fate, united by the spirit of exploration and hope for tomorrow, the Terrifics are bound from the Dark Multiverse of Metal! When Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl find themselves literally bound together by a tragic accident, our team of unlikely allies must rely on one another to make their way back home. But a startling revelation on their return trip brings them face to face with a new mystery: Where in the universe is Tom Strong?”
THE SECRET OF THE PLASTIC EGG
As we’ve all seen in the preview that has been appearing in the back of DC books, this issue opens with Java, Simon Stagg’s Cro-magnon majordomo greeting Mister Terrific upon his return to Earth. Okay, it’s a hostile greeting, but it still counts. Mister T has arrived in response to an alarm that indicates that Stagg is mucking about with the Dark Multiverse, a strange agglomeration of parallel worlds (I think), showing up just in time to watch the experiment go awry, thanks to the use of Metamorpho as the catalyst. Fortunately, Terrific has brought along his secret weapon: The egg that was once Plastic Man. Of course, when all three of them are sucked into the portal, the situation gets more complicated. Protected by Plas, Metamorpho and Mister Terrific make landfall on what turns out to be a giant humanoid, where they meet a young woman named Linnya Wazzo from Bgztl…
WAIT… HER NAME IS *WHAT?*
Okay, obviously, in this story about parallel universes, finding an alternate version of Phantom Girl on a giant humanoid that looks remarkably like the one we last saw the regular Phantom Girl on several years ago isn’t a huge mind-scrambler. But the revelation that the distress signal that got their attention comes from Tom Strong, once the lead hero of America’s Best Comics? That’s one that got my attention. I’m actually quite sad that both of these twists were tipped so long ago, because the last page reveal could easily have made for one of those proverbial comic book water cooler moments. Even with the two biggest surprises already made public, this works for me as a first issue, assembling an intriguing team of characters, giving us several big mysteries and doing it all with some excellent artwork by Ivan Reis. Reis actually strikes that excellent balance between ‘clever’ and ‘gross’ with Plastic Man’s powers, and the sequence with the attacking aliens is breathtaking.
BOTTOM LINE: A REALLY STRONG FIRST ISSUE
In the difficult-to-succeed comic market of 2018, it’s hard to fault DC editorial for wanting to give us as much foreknowledge as possible to make sure people were exciting and talking about this book, but I feel like this time they gave us too much of the story in the preview material… Even so, this comic book is a fun read with vibrant art and some nice character bits (Metamorpho offering to rearrange Plastic Man’s face makes the Fantastic Four parallels a little obvious, but it’s also a strong character moment for both heroes), leaving The Terrifics #1 with strong art, strong story and 4 out of 5 stars overall. Even with the delays in production, I want more of these mysteries as soon as possible…