Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Terrifics #8 Review and **SPOILERS**

Get Along with Tom Strong

Storytellers: Dale Eaglesham & Jeff Lemire 
Colors: Mike Atiyeh 
Letters: Tom Napolitano 
Cover: Eaglesham & Ivan Nunes 
Assistant Editor: Andrew Marino 
Editor: Paul Kaminski 
Group Editor: Marie Javins 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: September 26, 2018


Umm…something with Tom Strong, wasn’t it? I hope there’s some kind of recap to catch me up to speed with what’s happening in The Terrifics #8, which I have reviewed below!

Explain It!

Meanwhile, at the Forest of Eternity, the Terrifics and Tom Strong are caught up in some magic vines that are squeezing the life out of them. What is the Forest of Eternity? I have no idea, but it seems like an ideal place for Metamorpho Dog to take a whiz if he’s so inclined. Which he can, because he’s not caught up in the evil plant. Why? I don’t know. Phantom Girl phases through the branches, despite her worry that she won’t be able to become corporeal again, but luckily she can in this place for some reason. She still has to power to make things explode with a touch, though, and she uses it to free the rest of the gang. Why didn’t she use this before, when she was still tangible? I don’t know. Could they have employed Metamorpho Dog to help somehow? Probably.
Once freed from the tree, which may have been the Tree of Eternity if that is meaningful to anyone, the Terrifics realize that they are no longer bound by the Dark Multiverse energy that’s kept them within a mile of one another for six issues. How can they tell? They get a feeling. That’s all. Whatever tingle they had before, it’s gone, so now they can each dive into another dimension to…uh, find Doctor Dread, it looks like. Or maybe Tom Strong’s wife. Whatever. They split into three groups of two, with Plastic Man going with Tom Strong’s robotic butler Pneuman, Mr. Terrific going with Tom Strong, and you can figure out the other two by process of elimination.
And the places these folks go are all pretty awesome: an Aztech Empire, which is like if Aztecs had wi-fi; Funnyland, a cartoon world where Doctor Dread is a hooded duck; and Slaughter Swamp, just outside Gotham City…that’s just the same place it’s always been. Each team has some adventures: in the Aztech world, they link up with Tom Strong’s daughter Tesla Strong; in Funnyland, they rescue Sam Simian who is being sent over a waterfall for being expressed too realistically; and in Slaughter Swamp, Tom and Mr. Terrific become BFFs before being best by Swamp Thing!
The action that happens in the two “weird” dimensions is pretty great, and the visuals are top-notch throughout. I’m not sure what hideous cabal it is that keeps Dale Eaglesham from drawing the bigger books on the DC roster, but they are foolish because he is absolutely spectacular. If you picked this comic up and flpped through it, you’d be treated to some gorgeous pages that look like a lot of wacky fun. But as you read it, the whole thing feels like a slog, from one pointless situation to the next, where the rules can change at any point to suit that particular moment. It feels like this is being written as it goes along, and that’s only fun when you’re passing notes in English class. I’d definitely agree that this book is “fun,” but it lacks any real substance or stakes, leaving the reader feeling somewhat empty.

Bits and Pieces:

There are a lot of fun scenes and wacky goings-on that are disparately connected, and seemingly exist solely to give the artist a chance to draw crazy stuff. There are worse reasons for a narrative, but after eight issues I'd have hoped that convenient changes to the status quo and other contrivances would be ironed out. Because I'm not sure this series is going to get another eight issues to figure it out.


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