Terrifics #1: The Terriffics stand in super poses, ready to battle.
THE TERRIFICS #1 BY JEFF LEMIRE, IVAN REIS, AND JOE PRADO
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis' THE TERRIFICS #1 comes as somewhat of a disappointment. I had high hopes for this series, and some of them were dashed with this issue. It focuses a bit too heavily on exposition and set-up for future installments. I will admit, though, that the art is just beautiful and that some of the characterizations are very entertaining. For even those points alone, I have hope for future issues.
80 %
Not Too Terrific

DC’s “New Age of Heroes” books are clearly meant to tribute and, in a sense, rival Marvel’s titles. They all contain characters who resemble many Marvel icons in several ways. This is no different in THE TERRIFICS #1. Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis accurately capture the feel of the Fantastic Four in this book. While set in the DC Universe and featuring DC characters, this book doesn’t quite seem like a DC title. Lemire writes enjoyable dialogue and the interactions between the four characters are quite fun. Reis’ art is, as always, beautiful. However, when I read THE TERRIFICS #1, I can’t quite discern this book’s true purpose besides being a Fantastic Four pastiche.

Back to the Dark Multiverse

After the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Michael Holt (AKA Mister Terrific) lost most of his company’s assets to his rival, Simon Stagg. His time saving the world from Barbatos wasn’t very profitable. Terrific learns that Stagg opened a portal to the dangerous Dark Multiverse, using the hero Metamorpho as an Nth Metal conduit. Terrific calls on Plastic Man to help seal the breach. The portal closes, but not before the three become stranded on the other side. There, they eventually meet the Legion of Super-Heroes member Phantom Girl.

Terrifics #1
THE TERRIFICS #1 page 6. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Not much else happens in this issue. THE TERRIFICS #1 serves as a set-up for the rest of the series, I would assume. It brings the heroes together and establishes the setting and their overall goal: to escape. Since this issue was almost all set-up, I have a hard time figuring out what this book will eventually feel like. Did Lemire double down on the Fantastic Four feel for just this issue? The characters even feel similar to their Marvel counterparts. Metamorpho acts like the Thing, Plas like the Human Torch, and Terrific like Mister Fantastic. The wildcard is Phantom Girl, who only shows up at the end of this issue. I hope that with Phantom Girl’s inclusion, along with the addition of Alan Moore’s Tom Strong in future issues, the overall feel of the comic will shift.

Dynamite Dialogue in THE TERRIFICS #1

While the plot felt somewhat beneath Lemire’s talent as a writer, the dialogue in THE TERRIFICS #1 more than lived up to it. My favorite parts of this issue were the little touches that serve to characterize the reluctant adventurers. Metamorpho isn’t a fan of Plastic Man’s zaniness, of course, since he’s a serious guy. Lemire does a flawless job writing Plas, in fact. He was one of my favorite aspects of Grant Morrison’s JLA run, and Lemire captures that feeling here. Their dialogue together, along with Plas’ conversations and quips with other characters, made this issue way more enjoyable.

DARK NIGHTS METAL: The Evil Batmen Of The Dark Multiverse!

The only character who seemed less than fleshed out was Mister Terrific himself. Most of his dialogue in this issue is exposition. When he isn’t explaining what happened before and what the Dark Multiverse is, he does have an intriguing personality. Those moments, however, are few and far between in this issue. Phantom Girl didn’t have enough time in the book for me to fully gauge her personality. Here’s hoping that in the coming issues, Lemire will flesh out both characters.

Ivan Reis’s Dynamic Art

Reis’ art elevates my interest in THE TERRIFICS #1. He’s one of my favorite artists, so his inclusion in this book excited me as much as Plas’. Reis doesn’t disappoint. There are several full and double-page spreads in this book which just look beautiful. On this page, for instance, I can feel the energy pulsing from Metamorpho and the portal. The Kirby Krackle adds to the dynamic look of the page.

Terrifics #1
THE TERRIFICS #1 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Even though they’re relatively small on the page, the characters’ body language speaks volumes about their personalities. Stagg looks angry, annoyed, and arrogant in his position pointing at the portal. His bodyguard, Java, is clearly frightened of the gateway, despite his hulking size. The best part, though, is Metamorpho. Reis took the time to infuse his face with enough detail to clearly show the agony he’s experiencing at this moment. Of course, it’s attention to detail like this that makes Reis a superstar artist.

A Fun Adventure Begins In SIDEWAYS #1

Final Thoughts

THE TERRIFICS #1 didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It’s not a bad book by any means, though. It had some delightful parts, like the dialogue and art. As such, I have hope for future installments. If you’re incredibly interested in the book, I would recommend at least flipping through some pages at the store or reading the preview on Comixology. If you had only a passing interest in the title, perhaps wait for the first TPB. I have a feeling the book will find its footing by then.

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