Return with the Terrifics to the Phantom World! As these heroes continue their trek through the multiverse (dark or otherwise) to find a cure for the condition that binds them together, their journey brings them to the home planet of Phantom Girl.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Evan Shaner
Cover Artist: Evan Shaner
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know: Once coming out the dark multiverse, followed by a celestial being, the team finds themselves tied together by unknown forces, similar to the ones that turned new team member Phantom Girl into a being that blows up anything she touches, as well as those that had caused Plastic Man to go into a coma before the events of Dark Knights: Metal. But Phantom Girl wishes to return home, from which she has been gone for so long, but things are not as they once were.
What You’ll Find Out:
The issue opens with a flashforward to the Terrifics running from a giant squid monster in an unknown location. In the current time, the team is resting inside Mr. Terrific’s T-Sphere Space Ship. They are travelling to the home world of Phantom Girl, Bgztl. Green Lantern had found the planet and sent them the co-ordinates.
While in hyperspace, they get picked up by a pirate’s spacecraft which sucks up debris and other ships through a ‘vacuum’. While searching for a way out, they are attacked by a young, yet giant squid, who forces the team to work together, with Metamorpho dealing the final punch. Suddenly trap doors opens-up beneath them. They all fall through but Phantom Girl who levitates over the door thanks to her intangible form. Mr. Terrific and Metamorpho fall through one of the holes. They discuss Terrifics intelligence and how he prefers a logical approach while Metamorpho goes with his gut. Metamorpho then asks Terrific to fix his condition even when he knows other smart men, like Ray Palmer, have already tried. Metamorpho’s gut however, has sent them straight to the crew who are armed with weapons.
Phantom girl searches for her teammates and finds plastic man, who comforts her while she blames herself on her search for her family for getting in this mess. Mr. Terrific’s T-Spheres fly by, so the duo follow them, hoping to find the other two.
Terrific and Metamorpho fight the pirates, with Phantom Girl and Plastic Man joining the brawl. Once the pirates are all defeated, the squid mother attacks and chases the Terrifics back to their own ship. They blast their way old through the hull and escape.
The team finally lands on Bgztl, and phantom girl begins to regret her decision as she won’t get to stay there forever due to her bond with the others. She finds her mother, who has ged 32 years while she only aged 10 in the dark multiverse, while her father died 7 years back. Her mother hugs her and tells her she’ll never be alone again.
What Just Happened?
The fourth issue in this series continues the trend it has set in place of a weird and wacky team of heroes, battling through randomly placed situations while Mr. Terrific tries to solve the overarching plot of Tom Strong. It is the most basic form of a comic, with the characters working in harmony with each other thanks to the great writing of Jeff Lemire. Lemire has a classic writing skill that I’m sure many other writers inspire to have, which is to carry forward the character traits of these heroes from their previous series, not losing anything in the transfer, which is a gift-in-itself. He is perfectly suited to them, making the series both a team comic as well as having each of them along on their own arc.
In the case of this issue, the simpler the better. It follows the thoughts of phantom girl and Lemire starts to dig into the mind of the new addition and does so with emotion. It is clear in his writing that the young girl has found a family with her teammates and feels grateful in everything they have done for her. The bonding moment that she has with Plastic man is moving and believable, working within the group dynamic as well as with their own personalities. The artwork of Evan Shaner was one of the high points of the issue, displaying the emotion and personality of the characters alongside the dialogue and story of Lemire.
As fun as the issue was, it finds some fault in not advancing the overall story, as well as having a dull and generic plot. The villain was pretty much non-existent. It is still unknown to me the motive of the villain and why a battle even occurred in the first place. The pirates were a wasted opportunity for a more in-depth plot. However, this is unnecessary nitpicking for an emotional and fun comic which carries more depth for the characters than it cares for the plot.
Final Thought: This issue of Terrifics continues their fun romp through the universe and with an engaging story by Lemire with which he has continued to maintain my interests. Terrifics fits into its own world and the stories are not impacting the rest of the DC universe as of yet which is one of its charms. Its contained nature benefits the series as its quirkiness may not be handled well with other characters involvement. The mention of Green Lantern is enough for now. Everyone in Terrifics jumps forward with no character being left behind.