The Year Of The Villain continues, and now it am not Bizarro’s turn! Your Major Spoilers review of The Terrifics #19 awaits!
Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artist: Max Raynor
Colorist: Stephen Downer
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Paul Kaminski
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 28, 2019
Previously in The Terrifics: Somewhere in a twisted, distant corner of the Multiverse, up is down, back is front, a smile is a frown-and Bizarro is king! But light is the head that wears the crown, and Lex Luthor’s offer of time manipulation has given our villain a new purpose: to turn back the clock on creation. To win, Bizarro must enlist the help of the only team that could tackle a task such as this: The Terribles!
LUTHOR’S GAMBIT GOES GALACTIC
Far away, on a planet called Htrae, known colloquially as Bizazrro World, everything sucks. The world has become too easey and convenient, thanks to the T-Spheres, inventions of Mr. Terrible, one of the inverse duplicates that inhabit the planet. Bizarro, the world’s greatest protector is visited by Lex Luthor, who gifts him with a time machine as part of his ongoing gambit (explained in ‘Year Of the Villain’) to finally alter the balance in the favor of evil. Bizarro, being a complete and utter moron, decides to travel back in time and punch the stuffing out of Mr. Terrible to keep the T-Spheres from ruining the future, but in so doing, alters time and Mr. Terrible’s entire head. Worse still, when he returns home, nothing has changed: Instead of T-Spheres, everyone has a helpful robot pal created by Doc Magnuts, the Bizarro version of the Metal Men’s creator. Confronted by Mr. Terrible, Bizarro realizes that he has to go back and do it again, but only serves to change the accessories of reality. Eventually, after multiple failures, Mr. Terrible realizes that the march of technology is inevitable on Htrae… which means it is NOT inevitable on Earth.
THEY’RE USING ‘EARTH-0’ IN THE ACTUAL TEXT NOW
There’s a fine line with Bizarro, especially in the modern context, as to how much is too much. This issue really skirts the line with inverted syntax (although Lex taking a moment to remember to “speak Bizarro”, offering him a debt, bidding him “Hello and bad luck!” is wonderful.) There is a thread of absurdity that succeeds in being and STAYING funny throughout the issue, and even the bits that don’t quite land (like the name “Metazarro Men”) don’t overstay their welcome. Yang’s script also includes a montage of Bizarro taking out inventions like the light bulb, gunpowder and the wheel that’s cute, clever and beautifully drawn. The whole issue looks good, even when it’s showing us characters that don’t, and Raynor is able to balance a more realistic style with the current cartoonish, bull-necked Ed McGuinness take on Bizarro. The final page reveal of The Terribles leaping from their T-Ship (including a super-handsome Metamorpho) makes the full-issue of setup work… mostly.
BOTTOM LINE: IT’S ALL SETUP, BUT IT’S GOOD SETUP
While I’m really annoyed at ‘Year Of The Villain’ and the thought process behind it (you have to have some LIGHT stories before you make things even darker, and DC hasn’t pulled that off since 2005, at least) I have to admit that it works as a springboard for this issue. Better than that, The Terrifics #19 manages to reign in the wacky enough to keep the story coherent and on-track, and while it doesn’t give any hints as to what the rest of the team is all about, it makes me want to come back for more, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. There’s a calculated risk in focusing on Bizarro for a whole issue, but it IS the point of the crossover, and in this case, it’s looking like it will pay off.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
THE TERRIFICS #19
It Am Not Good!
It's hard to review any Bizarro story without endlessly writing in backwards-talk, but I imagine it's even harder to WRITE one that works. This one does.