Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Terrifics #5 Review and **SPOILERS**

Everybody Metamorpho With Me

Storytellers: Doc Shaner & Jeff Lemire 
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn 
Letters: Tom Napolitano 
Cover By: Dale Eaglesham & Wil Quintana 
Assistant Editor: Andrew Marino 
Editor: Paul Kaminski 
Group Editor: Marie Javins 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: June 27, 2018


Say, it’s another issue of The Terrifics with Doc Shaner and Jeff Lemire at the helm! Lemire is old hat, but I sure did like the dynamic way Shaner drew and plotted the last issue. Though maybe Lemire had something to do with that, too! It’s tough to say when they’re both labeled as “storytellers.” I like to imagine that they make the comic together, sitting on a bench before a drawing board, drawing and writing simultaneously as if they share one mind. You can’t prove I’m wrong about this! Unless you are Doc Shaner or Jeff Lemire. Or probably anyone else actually working on this series. Anyway, have a look at my review for issue #5 of The Terrifics, which is right here!

Explain It!

Typically in modern comics, the fifth issue is the penultimate one before the end of an arc, neatly crafted for trade collection, where we’d get a massive infodump in preparation for the final, cataclysmic confrontation between Captain Thunderpants and Doctor Skullington or whatever. But The Terrifics, bless its staple-covered soul, is different. The Terrifics didn’t open with a six-issue story arc. The Terrifics opened with a three-issue arc and then—you may want to sit down for this—that was followed by a one-off issue. Yes, a story began and concluded in one issue. And not a Special or an Annual, either! Nope, it was plain old issue #4, just as innocuous and unassuming an issue as you ever did see. And while it wasn’t a singularly perfect issue, its perfection lay in it being a single issue. I’m as giddy as a billy goat to see this, and I will champion shorter comic book arcs wherever I see them!
I would call the current issue an Interesting Comic Book Exercise. Using bold, three- and four-panel pages, it follows the individual members of the Terrifics—that’s Plastic Man, Metamorpho, Mr. Terrific, and Phantom Girl, to be thorough—while they deal with their individual problems. Respectively, that would be: Eel O’Brien hasn’t seen his daughter in five years since being balled up in an egg, as seen during the events of Dark Nights: Metal; Rex Mason wants to leave Stagg Industries once the team’s ethereal bond is broken, and he wants Sapphire to come with him; Michael Holt is trying to extricate said team members using science, and is also hiding a secret past whose details I personally forget, and Linnya Wazzo…well, she’s still cranky about having to be translucent all the time. I don’t really blame her. While helping Mr. Terrific run some tests, she mentions being peeved at not being allowed to stay on Bgtzl, despite their mutual destruction being the primary reason, and then prods about his past—he is less than forthcoming.
Suddenly, an audible alert brings the team together to Mr. Terrific’s office, where they see that the entire town of Belmont, Michigan is being turned into Metamorphos! I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing…personally, I’d head out to Belmont just to get Metamorphosized myself. But our team T-Spheres it on over there and gets to work: rescuing, containing, quipping. Looks like all of this is due to some green gas billowing from a manhole cover, but before this can be examined, a giant Metamorpho God bashes through Metamorpho (who has assumed the shape of a solid wall) and announces that he’s Algon, the Ancient Elemental Man! He scoops up Metamorpho and jumps into the proper sewer hole, where he holds the thing that gave Rex his weird powers in the first place. The rest of the gang follows, but they end up elsewhere—facing a variety of unbeatable threats!
Not to mention that this has got to stretch their need to remain less than a mile apart pretty far…not sure of the technicalities there. Also, a Metamorpho dog got thrown in the mix somehow, so that’s cool. This is a brilliant-looking, fun issue that provides some much needed background on a few of the core characters. But the pacing is a little clunky, and much of the issue seems given over to laying the groundwork for future stories, rather than telling the one to hand. Metamorpho and Plastic Man breaking each others’ balls provides some decent comic book relief, and I’ll be glad to see what’s what in Michael Holt’s background that I probably forgot about. I think you need to check some expectations for this series at the door, the shorter story arcs imply that it is more concerned about immediate fun rather than telling bloated epics. This particular issue, however, could have used a little more of that immediate fun.

Bits and Pieces:

A bold and bombastic look belies some smaller, internal stories of the individual Terrificeers. It all wraps up with some goofy, Silver Age-style antics, which is right in my wheelhouse. Not a bad time for your three bucks.



  1. I enjoyed this, it was a bit wacky when the Metamorpho stuff started happening but it had that Fantastic 4 feel finally. It's cool to see that plastic mans son is still in continuity(I've become a fan of Offspring because of the injustice book). I'm wondering if Mr. T and earth 2 is still in continuity, he might feel bad because he might have been in a relationship with someone on earth 2. It would have been cool to see element woman show up since we have a bunch Metamorphos. Solid art, solid story.

    1. I really liked the big panels, this issue let Doc Shaner's artwork shine something lovely. It was also really bright and colorful, which is good for us aging guys that are going blind