THE TERRIFICS #4 by Doc Shaner, Jeff Lemire, Nathan Fairbairn, and Tom Napolitano
THE TERRIFICS #4 shows the reader what this series can achieve. It's a great standalone tale that hit all the right marks from characterization to art.
95 %
Best Issue Yet

THE TERRIFICS #4 by Doc Shaner, Jeff Lemire, Nathan Fairbairn, and Tom Napolitano is the strongest issue so far. Our heroes venture towards Bgztl, the home of Phantom Girl, in order to help her reunite with her long-lost family. During their mission, they encounter just a few bumps in the road, including a giant monster!

THE TERRIFICS #4 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Off To Space in THE TERRIFICS #4

Our story starts with the team in space. Mr. Terrific has constructed a massive T-Sphere for the team to travel to Bgztl in.  Phantom Girl narrates the journey through her new journal. All of the sudden, the team’s craft is hijacked by a larger vessel manned by space pirates. The team is almost immediately separated after they board the ship. They must face squids, pirates, and their inability to get along with each other!

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More Than Invisible

Like other “New Age of Heroes” titles, the series is picking up steam after getting its current story arc established. It’s a wise move to have Phantom Girl narrating the story considering that, out of all the cast members, she’s the only original character (granted, she shares her title with a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, but their similarities are cosmetic at this point).

THE TERRIFICS #4 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Linnya is a sweet and caring person, based on her narration in this issue. The fact that she can’t touch anything or anyone rarely affects her attitude. She shows her humility and graciousness in this installment. Michael gives Phantom Girl a new costume and the aforementioned journal, which she can use in her phantom form.

These are relatively mundane items, but for her it represents a chance to touch something again after a long time, which brings Linnya great joy. Her reaction clearly contrasts with the fact that she’s been alone for decades. Mr. Terrific gets some much-needed development in THE TERRIFICS #4 as well.

THE TERRIFICS #4 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Phantom Girl notices that Holt appears very sad underneath his stoic personality. Additionally, Mr. Terrific and Metamorpho have a touching heart to heart as Rex explains that he’s failed to find a cure for his condition and Michael agrees to help him. I enjoyed seeing Mr. Terrific gaining some depth here and I’m curious to see where Jeff Lemire will take the character next.

Terrific Art

So Doc Shaner joins the creative team on this issue and he’s a fantastic choice for this book. To begin with, each of his character designs are completely unique. While comic book art can be somewhat generic at times, the Terrifics each look completely different.

Phantom Girl having a more round face with soft features. Mr. Terrific has a more oval shape head and design that reminds me of Mike Allred’s style. Both Plastic Man and Metamorpho are completely unique due to their physiologies.

So Doc has an eye for detail, which shines in his art. There are two different parts of this book that are perfect examples of this: the first being the shot of the exterior of the pirate ship that captures the Terrifics. The second, the panel where Mr. Terrific pulls up a schematic of said ship. Each of these pages are so wonderfully done, and readers should enjoy the attention to detail.

Doc also has a talent for action sequences as well. Mr. Terrific’s fight scene is a good example of this. Space pirates attack the team while they’re exploring the ship. The Terrifics defend themselves; at one point Mr. Terffic jumps up in the air and has his leg pulled back, then in the next panels he’s following through and kicking one of the pirates. That kind of physical activity is sometimes hard to convey in art, but here it’s smooth and incredibly natural.

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What Does It Mean?

THE TERRIFICS #4 is a perfect example of how this series should be. It features drama, comedy, sadness, and action all in one place. It’s full of fun surprises, like Plastic Man coming up with the team name (I figured it would be Mr. Terrific himself). It develops the characters while also making a fun space adventure.

So if the creative team can keep up this pace, I can’t wait to see where we go from here!

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