Mister Terrific #1 (DC) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Mister Terrific #1


Written by Eric Wallace; art by Gianluca Gugliotta (penciller), Wayne Faucher (inker), and Mike Atiyeh (colorist); cover by J. G. Jones

Sep 15, 2011 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Mister Terrific (aka Michael Holt) is the third smartest man in the world, but towards the end of the old DC continuity a villain had reduced his intelligence in the final Justice Society of America issues to the point that he couldn’t even read anymore. But Mister Terrific is back in the New 52 and as smart as ever. And he now has his own solo series, which gets off to a somewhat promising start with issue #1.

The issue opens with Mister Terrific in the middle of a fight high above London, a city unfamiliar to the brainiac (“Unfortunately, what I know about London could fit into a two-part episode of Doctor Who,” he remarks). Bystanders on The London Eye ask Mister Terrific who the first and second smartest men in the world are and if it bothers him that he’s only the third, two understandable questions any reader might also ponder, but ones he doesn’t answer. (Another question that could have been asked is how often people are tempted to jokingly refer to him as Mr. T? Was The A-Team even a TV show in the new DC universe?!)

From there we flash back to the character’s generic origins (he was motivated to fight crime because of the death of his wife, which might be at least the number three most motivating factor for many a male fictional hero) and then get a look in on the character’s current Los Angeles life as a scientist/industrialist/political fund-raiser. A mysterious adversary is introduced, but not seen. And is Holt’s old friend, a well-endowed blonde woman only referred to as Karen, supposed to be Power Girl? If so, how does she fit into the new continuity, considering there’s no Justice Society and her character was originally an Earth-2 version of Supergirl? (Although, Earth-2 apparently exists in the New 52 and there will be a Justice Society there.)

Mister Terrific’s new sleeveless costume is sleek; it’s a nice modern touch to have his signature “Fair Play” phrase tattooed on his biceps, rather than written on his sleeves. Gianluca Gugliotta’s art is effective enough, although he hasn’t quite decided how to draw Holt, as his face looks decidedly different at multiple points in the issue. Some of the dialogue is a bit clunky and too expositional (“This is exactly the kind of situation I envisioned when I provided the L.A.P.D. with a way to contact me securely.”).

As with many of the New 52 #1’s, the issue shows potential while not being amazing in its own right. But a mystery involving time travel and an effective brainwashing cliffhanger will have this reviewer coming back for issue #2. Even if this is far from being even the number three smartest New 52 comic, it’s still an enjoyable read. (www.dccomics.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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