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‘The Terrifics #7’ (review)

Written by Jeff Lemire 
Illustrated by Dale Eaglesham
Published by DC Comics

 

“Is that — a ray gun?”

“Yes.  Yes it is.”

 

Oh yeah.

It’s finally here.

It’s been six months of origin story and team building and character development to get us, and The Terrifics, ready for this issue. It took a roller-coaster of the fantastic and the astonishing and the downright weird to get us to this point.

But boy is it worth it.

Welcome to Millennium City, and the greatest hero of a world you’ve only ever seen in someone else’s imagination before.

Adventurer-at-large, and eternal champion of the Good, Tom Strong has returned to a comic book panel near you (and a pretty nifty issue cover too, courtesy of the great Dale Eagelsham), back in his whirlybird-propeller saddle once again, beating down on Nazis, and presiding over a fearless family of the future with the smarts, the resources, and the notoriety to change the world.

Not our world of course. Not the DCU’s. At least, not until today.

For today is the fateful day that the dastardly Doctor Dread has finally penetrated the flimsy vibrational membrane between our two unsuspecting worlds, to lay waste to Tom Strong’s home and family in the pursuit of a scheme as terrible and as dangerous as it is clearly insane.

Probably. I mean that seems likely. He certainly seems insane. Maybe. Hard to say, actually we don’t really know anything much about Doctor Dread, except he has a ridiculous name, and an admittedly pretty nice-looking suit of bad-guy armor, that’s strangely evocative somehow, and whatever else we might be inclined to deduce from the action of this month’s episode.

Make no mistake however – Jeff Lemire knows. Jeff Lemire knows all. And he’s got matters well in hand.

I told you this would all come together. Just took a little time, and a little of Lemire’s signature magic… and suddenly, right when you weren’t looking, BOOM! Where once we had a reluctant band of misfit heroes, now we have a team.

With character depth to match. No longer is Mr. Terrific just an emotionally unavailable stick-in-the-mud, hiding from life behind his work and his T-spheres. No longer is Plastic Man merely an irresponsible, wise-cracking boob, without a care in the world, or feelings of his own. Phantom Girl is no longer quite so meek and mild. And certainly Rex Mason isn’t exactly the monstrous sad sack we’ve always known him to be. Well, not at the moment anyway.

They even got a dog.

Not to mention a nefarious evil mastermind, all of their very own.

That’s right everyone – the Terrifics have arrived. And just in time to take the fight straight into the unknown multiverse, to confront a reality-spanning threat that looks likely to endanger the lives of Lemire-only-knows how many innocent souls. (My guess is: Many, many, innocent souls.)

There’s no doubt that Lemire and Eaglesham – who is exactly where he belongs, stepping up to take the reins as lead penciller with this issue – had a hell of good time doing this issue. And they absolutely nail it. The opening pages are a pure joy to read. Millennium City is as shining and sublime as we remember, Tom Strong as absurdly heroic and capable – and it’s all just perfect.

Up until it isn’t of course.

But that’s where our heroes come in. And just as they’re wont to do, they don’t hesitate to jump into the fray.

Maybe not the best plan there, guys.

Off we go! Welcome to the DC Universe, Family Strong!

Let’s make some magic.

 

Next Issue: Great Cats! What a mess!

 

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