For a while now, the best Fantastic Four book on the market has been at DC. While The Terrifics began at a time when Marvel wasn’t putting out an FF book, even now, not a single one of Dan Slott’s issues of Fantastic Four has been as good as any issue of Terrifics. First under Jeff Lemire’s pen, and now under the excellent Gene Luen Yang’s, The Terrifics has been exactly what you want from Fantastic Four – an unlikely family going on outlandish science adventures across space and time, with fantastic comedy and drama that really pulls on the heartstrings in equal measures.
And the characters! Both Lemire and Yang have made the cast of Terrifics so lovable. Yang drove to the heart of Mr. Terrific by introducing the parallel universe Ms. Terrific, which to a character defined by the loss of his loved one, is obviously a fantastic character track to move on to. Plastic Man, after his return in Dark Nights: Metal, is really funny, and has some serious pathos as an absent father returning home. Phantom Girl – Linnya Wazzo, the only new character in the main cast – is a really fun combination of childish naiveite and real enthusiasm, while Metamorpho – returning to a key role after years on the sidelines – has his whole supporting cast moved to the fore. Sapphire and Simon Stagg – along with the newly introduced Sebastian Stagg – are the emotional core of issue 29, in fact!
This final arc of Terrifics stars not only the Terrifics themselves, but the ‘T-Council,’ an alliance of the smartest men and women of the DCU. After the death of Simon Stagg, the T-Council is assisting the Terrifics in building a new, ultra-futuristic community in Gateway City, only to find themselves under attack by Lobo and various other super-powered baddies. Meanwhile, Sebastian and Sapphire Stagg find themselves reminiscing about their shared past, only for Sebastian to reveal himself as the one behind all the shenanigans. It’s not the next Watchmen or anything, but it’s good, fun comics, with a solid emotional core behind it.
The cover of this issue, too, is just utterly gorgeous. Dan Mora’s cover, featuring Mr. Terrific knelt beneath a blood-stained rain of cash with Simon Stagg’s name on it is just beautiful. The way that the art establishes the tactile nature of the scene, as it evokes this feeling of utter emotion and pathos; it’s spectacular. The colors on that cover, too, the red and white contrasting with the black, heavy linework, is just a really, really lovely effect. It’s an almost chiaroscuro like effect, in fact.
The art in the interior is . . . okay. It’s okay. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s perfectly fine. Nothing to write home about, either way. If you buy the book, get it on the strength of the cover and the writing, not the art. And you should get it. As Terrifics comes to an early end, this is a book worth getting.
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