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Review: MISTER TERRIFIC Solo Comic Book Debuts

Shadow and Act By Curtis | Shadow and Act September 18, 2011 at 8:50AM

The solo tales of the DC Universe's third-smartest man, MISTER TERRIFIC, began last week full of action as the titular character battled one of his newest enemies while flying high above the streets of London.
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The solo tales of the DC Universe's third-smartest man, MISTER TERRIFIC, began last week full of action as the titular character battled one of his newest enemies while flying high above the streets of London.

As I stated in my review of the first full week of DC's new rebooted universe last week, part of the longest-running comic book company's new initiatives was to diversify its universe of books. With that, their relaunch of 52 new books include titles headlined by African-American, Latino and homosexual characters alongside books still dominated by testosterone-filled white men (the followers of whom are against many of these changes - both for historical and non-admitted yet pretty obvious reasons).

Mister Terrific, for me and many others was one of the most anticipated titles as the character has been a fan-favorite for over a decade now as he served as both team member and leader of the Justice Society of America (JSA to many). In this DCnU, we have no indication that the JSA hasn't existed - a long story that we won't get into here - but Mister Terrific has been fighting crime, preventing espionage and as his alter ego Michael Holt, been raising the level of science and technology to untold levels for at least three years (comic book time) now.

Written by Eric Wallace, the concentration of this first issue lay in establishing Holt's prominence as the world's third-smartest man, as well as his philanthropy in his home state of California, introducing his team of people and exposing us to his interesting love life. I won't spoil the latter since long time DC readers WILL recognize who this is. This Michael Holt is a lot more relaxed than the old one and I'm eager to see how that affects his stories. Wallace sums up Terrific's origin story in a natural way, much clearer than other DCnU books writers have, and it hasn't changed drastically from his origin in the old DCU - in some ways it's even better.

I'm not the biggest fan of Wallace's past work, but he's doing a good job so far with Mister Terrific. Choosing to emphasize action, technology and even science-fiction is a good route for this character, though yes it is too early to say too much. Even if readers disagree with his choice of first storyline, it's a least different from what we've seen of Mister Terrific so far and so I'll give it a chance. Though he stated in past interviews that he won't be emphasizing Terrific's race in the book, there are a few surprising (some even awkward) references made. No, a book with a Black character doesn't always have to state race - that would get boring and silly - but it's just as silly to think that a man or woman's race doesn't reflect what others think or say about him.

Gainluca Gugliotta's art is somewhat wanting for me as it's too sketchy and he draws Terrific when he's Micheal Holt kind of doofy, unlike the sexy industrialist he's portrayed as in print. For a book that's supposed to emphasize the fantastic the art needs to be more refined. Hopefully it gets that way in later issues.

I say check out Mister Terrific, if you can even get a hold of issue #1! It was sold out at my regular spot and only two copies were left at my back-up store - though that was four days ago.

In other news, Static Shock co-writer John Rozum left the book last week, a few days after issue 1 was released. You can read the lowdown HERE, though I suspect it's because he didn't get along with fellow writer and the book's artist, Scott McDaniel. Many others have the same feeling.

And as Tambay reported a few days ago, an extremely slimmed down Amanda Waller appeared in the newest incarnation of Suicide Squad. Hmm. I don't like it since she looks the same as any other skinny perky-breasted comic book character - there's nothing distinct (yet) about this great character for over two decades now. Guess we'll see what happens.



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