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‘The Terrifics #13’ (review)

Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Joe Bennett
Published by DC Comics

“Sorry, I’m not down with that plan.”

All right! OK! Now we’re really cooking!

I’ve said it before – author Jeff Lemire is a master of the slow burn. It’s part of his style. He does it well. Sly, and careful, and then whoosh – off we go.

In The Terrifics he’s been given the chance to give those impulses full reign.

And the pay-off is, well… just terrific.

Really. Don’t imagine you’re going to figure him out.

I mean, the man knows comics, that’s for sure – he knows all the tropes, and he knows all the ropes. So, his storytelling falls into familiar lines.

And that pulls you in.

But then he plays with those familiar patterns in both enjoyable and thoroughly unexpected ways. Like any great artist, or any great player. Sending you slider after curveball, but still always somehow getting it over the plate.

This issue demonstrates that in spades. We’ve been getting to this point for a long while, and there have been highs and lows along the way. I imagine there are more to come.

But right here, right now, everything comes together, and man, does it feel good.

Perhaps the first sign of just what sort of genius was in the works (I mean, aside from the obvious) was E-dog. A dog sidekick, for Metamorpho? I mean – yes! Yes, yes, and yes! What a brilliant idea.

And a rather fine addition to the team I might add. *ark! ark!*Good to have you aboard Element Dog, and look at that, there he is for us, just when Rex returns as well.

But why stop there? I mean, whatever in the world leaves us to believe that the fabulous Terrifics should ever just be a simple quartet of awesomeness?

I mean sure, that’s the normal mode for most of the familiar super-families. But just because the Terrifics can now fairly be called something very much like a family, that doesn’t mean they’re anything like normal.

And so, when the call goes out and the team rallies to the rescue, to face off against the seriously evil band of anti-Terrifics, the aptly named Dreadfuls, what we get is not just the team we’ve grown to love, but something… a bit more.

After all, we already know Plastic Man has decided this’d be a great opportunity for a bonding experience with his estranged son and junior silly putty protégé, Luke O’Brien.

And Doc Dread’s whole master plan has come to shore in a dimension where Mr. Terrific is actually Ms. Terrific, an iteration embodied in the form of Michael Holt’s long-lost wife Paula. A woman demonstrating a remarkably similarity in presentation to the life and tragedies of our own Dr. Holt… with at least one particular little twist…

So that’s three new additions to the mix. What about Linnya? Does Phantom Girl have a date for this shin-ding?

Well, I won’t ruin that surprise completely, but suffice to say, yes – and it’s a masterstroke that pulls everything about this series together on a final splash page that seems certain to be the kick-off to a whole new era of greatness for our favorite madcap band of Terrifics.

So worth the wait.

Along for the ride – and I’d be happy to see that continue – is the familiar detailed and dynamic style of Joe Bennet on pencils. His work is gangbusters throughout, lending itself perfectly to the culmination that is this issue.

Seriously, this book is an absolute blast. Go grab it and enjoy.

Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned by now, it’s that the one constant to this series… is change. Wild, unpredictable change.

So, God only knows, how long it’s gonna last.

Next Issue: Battle Royale!



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