Things were finally starting to look up with THE TERRIFICS. They had an impromptu team up with the Strong family. They were scattered throughout the Multiverse, but then reunited, and Mister Terrific discovered Doc Dread’s true identity. The previous issue (and the TERRIFICS ANNUAL) revealed that Java, Simon Stagg’s Neanderthal fixer, is actually our antagonist! So THE TERRIFICS #10 takes all that momentum and sends the team crashing down. What do Jeff Lemire and Viktor Bogdanovic have planned? From the looks of this issue, nothing pretty!

Warning, potential spoilers for THE TERRIFICS #10 are below!

THE TERRIFICS #10 Gives Us the Showdown We’ve Been Waiting For

THE TERRIFICS #10 opens on the cliffhanger of TERRIFICS #9. Sapphire Stagg has discovered Java’s secret, and Java reveals his love and adoration for Sapphire. Java’s motivation was to wipe Rex Mason (AKA Metamorpho) off the board so Sapphire could fall in love with the caveman. Sapphire doesn’t reciprocate and, just as Java threatens her as Doc Dread, the combined might of the Strong family and the Terrifics shows up to save the day. Java’s resentments against humanity and Simon Stagg (detailed in TERRIFICS ANNUAL #1) boil over and he assaults Rex. The fight doesn’t last long. Doc Dread unleashes the Primordial Titan from the Dark Multiverse, as he tries to escape.

THE TERRIFICS #10 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Strong Family and Terrifics scramble to contain this corrupted being of immense power. Holt and Strong race to Terrific’s lab, to find the same antenna Doc used to trap the Titan, hoping to use it to pull the beast back into the Dark Multiverse. The two super-geniuses work together to repair the antenna and avert a multiversal disaster! The heroes again save the day, but right after this peak is an incredible valley for THE TERRIFICS.

An injured Rex Mason decides to quit the team, which is must easier now considering that the four heroes are no longer linked together. Rex no longer has his powers, and he wants to settle down with Sapphire and move on with his life. Mister Terrific wants to rebuild his business. Plastic Man sidles away, presumably to go reconnect with his own loved ones. Phantom Girl is the only one willing to continue the fight. Unfortunately, at the conclusion of THE TERRIFICS #10, Holt declares that the Terrifics are no more!

Fractured vs. Family

The strongest themes of this issue are of fracturing and family, with much of the plot revolving around these concepts. Java has shattered the inner circle of the Staggs family, betraying them. Java is also tragic as he himself misses his own Neanderthal tribe that he’s now outlived. He resents being revived and he’s dead set on taking it out on all of humanity. The pain and anguish that Java’s experiencing are explored extremely well in the TERRIFICS ANNUAL #1. I highly recommend reading that.

We also have the juxtaposition of the two groups teaming up. The Strong Family is a true family. The Terrifics were forced together by circumstance and are now a fractured, divided group. They’re actually a great team that functions well together, despite the break-up. Plastic Man was definitely the MVP of the issue. From saving Rex from a potentially fatal shot, and holding up Terrific’s lab so he and Tom Strong could repair the antenna, Plastic Man did a lot of heavy lifting. The group cares about each other but, other than Linnya, they don’t see this fact.

THE TERRIFICS #10 pages 2 & 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Lemire and Bogdanovic Make This a Heartfelt, Gorgeous Book

Lemire is well-known for tugging at the heartstrings with his writing. His work in books like SWEET TOOTH and the ESSEX COUNTY TRILOGY is full of authentic, heartfelt emotion. So THE TERRIFICS #10 is no exception, as you can practically feel the anguish in Java as he pines for Sapphire in his loneliness. Bogdanovic is also key to this, as he nails the emotions on everyone’s faces with his excellent pencils.

Bogdanovic’s work is reminiscent of Jorge Jimenez, who’s recently worked on JUSTICE LEAGUE. There’s a similarity in their faces, particularly the eyes, that also evokes Greg Capullo. Bogdanovic really shines when it comes to the break-up scene, the emotion on everyone’s visages tells the story: Rex’s exhaustion, Plastic Man’s desire to go home, Mister Terrific’s sense of failure, and Phantom Girl’s desire to keep the family together. Lemire is a master storyteller, and Bogdanovic’s art complements the story very well.

The Terrifics: Are They Done?

The future looks bleak for this particular heroic quartet. Who will stop Doc Dread now? Maybe the Strong family can help out, but can they also help Linnya get the team back together? Lemire and Bogdanovic have done it again; THE TERRIFICS #10 is a sometimes heartbreaking, but consistently good, issue.

THE TERRIFICS #10 by Jeff Lemire, Viktor Bogdanovic, Jonathan Glapion, and Michael Spicer
Lemire and Bogdanovic tear the team, and the readers, apart in THE TERRIFICS #10. For ten issues, Lemire has brought this ragtag group of heroes together and made them an impromptu family... only for their confrontation with Doc Dread to split them up! Lemire's a master of tugging the heartstrings, and Bogdanovic's art tells a great story.
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