Subway Shorts – The Terrifics 3

The new team of space-faring superheroes learns more about the situation they face in the third issue of Jeff Lemire’s The Terrifics.

The Terrifics 3
Written by Jeff Lemire 
Pencils by Ed Benes and Joe Bennett
Inks by Ed Benes, Sandra Hope, Jaime Mendoza and Art Thibert

In just three issues, it feels like the main point of the NEW AGE OF HEROES has completely faded as DC Comics has already moved on to more important things to focus on. But the 8 new series are still out there, and THE TERRIFICS is still the best of the lot. The publisher’s homage to the competition’s First Family, the FANTASTIC FOUR, though, is already feels like its slowing its pace down a bit. The third issue continues to establish the world Mr. Terrific and his gang of misfits are inhabiting. And Terrific starts to take on some of the more unsociable traits of his Marvelous counterpart, Mr. Fantastic.

Michael Holt may be one of the smartest men in the DC Universe, but he’s never before been portrayed as such an inhospitable jerk. Sure, Plastic Man can be annoying. And I’m sure Metamorpho kind of smells, but the new Phantom Lady is in a much worse spot than everyone else. She can’t phase into this plane without exploding, she’s lost from her homeworld and stuck together to these three weirdoes. But all Holt wants to do is get lost in his experiments to figure out what’s wrong.

Combine that with the other mission of discovering who Tom Strong is, how did he die and why is he important here. We get just enough of a focus to remind us that it’s part of what’s happening, but the focus is on working out how to get away from the others.

It’s delayed a little bit by the War Wheel on the cover attacking the Stagg compound, requiring the team to work together to take it down. Considering how important the weapon seems to be – its on the cover and in the issue description – it barely takes up any of the story. How the members of the team are dealing with what’s happening is much more important, and those interpersonal relationships are a strength of Jeff Lemire’s writing, so it’s not much of a surprise.