Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Terrifics #6 Review and **SPOILERS**

Make Mine Mr. Terrific

Storytellers: Joe Bennett & Jeff Lemire 
Inks: Sandra Hope and Matt Santorelli 
Colors: Hi-Fi 
Letters: Tom Napolitano 
Cover: Dale Eaglesham and Mike Atiyeh 
Assistant Editor: Andrew Marino 
Editor: Paul Kaminski 
Group Editor: Marie Javins 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: July 25, 2018


Whoa, Doc Shaner’s out, Joe Bennett’s in? Well, that’s certainly not a downgrade in visuals. It just seems weird to have these punchy, three-issue arcs, but the artists can’t even stay on for the triple. Maybe my review of The Terrifics #6 can shine some clarity on the subject. And you’re in luck, because that review is right here!

Explain It!

We left the team in dire straits last issue, each dealing with their own elemental conundrum: Mr. Terrific was being suffocated by a green gas, Phantom Girl was tackling, like, I dunno, purple ghosts or something? Plastic Man was up against rock formations, and Metamorpho himself tackled the Element Man himself, Algon (take me away!). Now, they all get out of their individual situations, which we might have expected. What I didn’t expect is that each one was unique to the character: Mr. Terrific has to face his dead wife, a possible solution brought on by the gas. Phantom Girl finds she is suddenly corporeal and destroys her purple ghosts through touch. Plastic Man…well, he just crushes rock by grabbing it, then goes to save Mr. Terrific. And Metamorpho goes into a full slobber-knocker with Algon, defeating him with the help of the team and snatching the Orb of Ra from his grasp. And you know what, it was all pretty fun to read!
The Element Man shoved back into his portal, the Orb of Ra restores all the Metamorphosized citizens of whatever town to regular people, as well as Element Dog which was disappointing. Even stranger is that this turned Metamorpho back into regular old human Rex Mason! Which is what he’s wanted all along, but I suspect the change isn’t permanent. Of a more imminent threat is Dr. Doom Dr. Dread, a cloaked fellow in a metal mask that has been pulling the strings behind the scenes all along! And now he threatens to kill this world’s greatest hero, Tom Strong! Who sent a beacon that was intercepted by the Terrifics in the first issue, if you’ll recall.
So that was a real whirlwind of fun to read, though it was alarmingly quick. Big panels give the artwork and action lots of room to breathe, which is nothing to complain about with this creative team at work, but as this series has gone on I’ve come to perceive it more as an experiment in storytelling, rather than a coherent comic book. Going “artist first” before scripting dialogue may have been a great time-saver in the days of Stan and Jack, but the combinations offered with Jeff Lemire haven’t been as fruitful or as complex. For three bucks, you could do a lot worse than this title. But you sure should expect a damn sight better.

Bits and Pieces:

We're treated to another visually-arresting, bombastic issue of large panels, but little narrative substance. I have a good time reading this book, but things move along incrementally, never actually reaching a visceral climax. Maybe that's the point. This book keeps me hooked for now.


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