Read of the Week 9/14/11 – MISTER TERRIFIC
When someone get’s the idea in his head to become a costumed hero-adventurer, he needs to think long and hard about what he’s going to call himself.
A hero’s name has say a lot about who he is. Some heroes are bestowed a name that signifies how the world perceived them on their arrivel. Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, these are all names that reflect awe and inspire confidence. Then there are the heroes who’s name describe them in some way, Batman, Spider-man, The Flash.Their names are more descriptive of how they work, and what their powers are. We know what these guys are about. We know what they do, and how they do it.
What does it say about a guy who calls himself Mister Terrific.
Well, he’s not lacking in self esteem that’s for sure.
Mister Terrific, a/k/a Michael Holt is the third smartest man in the world. (Who are numbers 1 and 2, I wonder?) Before Flashpoint, he possessed 14 Ph.Ds and had won a Olympic Gold Medal, in the decathlon, naturally. This is a guy who is good at everything he does. No, not good, terrific.
I can’t blame DC for picking Mister Terrific when they were choosing their new 52 series. He’s been a favorite character of mine for a while, and always a stand out as a member of the Justice Society of America. Plus he had a prominent role in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon series, and it’s the kids who grew up watching that cartoon, but aren’t reading comics now that are a natural demographic and are certainly being targeted for the relaunch.
Mister Terrific has a lot for writer Eric Wallace (Titans, Syfy’s Eureka) to use in his stories, Holt’s basic back story has not changed, he is still the science genius who lost his wife and unborn son in a tragic car accident. Moved to suicidal thoughts, brought on by grief, but has a change of heart after an encounter with something spectacular. (pre-Flashpoint, the Spectre told him the story of the Golden Age Mr. Terrific, Terry Sloane) Here Holt’s failed experiment in quantum physics suddenly becomes active, as a portal of some sort opens. and a visitor from, somewhere, or somewhen else give Holt a message.
Suddenly given new purpose, Holt is driven like never before, and suddenly Mister Terrific is born.
I have to admit, I like any book that slips a Doctor Who reference in the first 5 pages. But I liked this book for more reason than pushing my geek buttons. I love the idea that in this fantastic world, where magic is wielded, angels and demons wage war on one another, and a dead circus performers can possess the living, that Mister Terrific is a man of science. His atheistic viewpoints color his approach to the superfantastic.
Artistically, relative newcomer, Gianluca Gugliotta has a very fluid style. No overly render and lined costumes here. Mister Terrific’s look is very sleek. Even in scenes loaded with technology, the world is smooth, lines pour like water. There is definitely a manga influence, especially evident in women, like Karen Starr (who may or may not be Power Girl, I don’t know. Teamed with inker Wayne Faucher, who has worked on just about every character in the DC universe at one time or another, this book pours off the page, and into your eyes.
In all, this is a book that lives up to it’s name.
(w) Erie Wallace (a) Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Fauchner