War Will Bring Us Together
Storytellers: Joe Bennett & Jeff Lemire
Inks: Sandra Hope, Jaime Mendoza & Art Thibert
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Cover: Ivan Reis with Marcelo Maiolo
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: April 25, 2018
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
So this should conclude the first arc of The Terrifics, which was set at three issues. Since I regularly champion shorter arcs, this thing is starting out on a good foot already. But does it stick the landing? Read my review of The Terrifics #3 and see what you think!
Now that the Dysfunctional Four have to remain within proximity of each other—no further than a mile, discovers Michael “Mr. Terrific” Holt, they’ve got to find a place to hang out while Mr. T figures out how to remove the curse of smelling each other’s body odor. And what better place than where they’re hanging out at the moment, Stagg Industries? Simon Stagg is merely the jerkoff that started all this nonsense by trying to access the Dark Multiverse through Metamorpho’s transubstantiative properties. It’s a swell spot for a base, and Sapphire Stagg agrees, since it will give her more opportunity to break Rex “Metamorpho” Mason’s balls a little more.
I mean, had they ejected from the Dark Multiverse into a Denny’s, would they set that up as their headquarters? It seems so arbitrary. Even more unlikely-seeming is how Simon Stagg is so into the idea…I predict he causes the usual kinds of issues that setting up your base at the home offices of an evil corporation might incur. Folks settle into a routine pretty quickly: Phantom Girl wafts around wishing she were corporeal again, Metamorpho gets chewed out by Sapphire, Mr. Terrific holes up in some kind of computer cradle to play Minesweeper, and Plastic Man…well, he doesn’t really have anything to do but crack wise and make quips. So he does that.
It isn’t long until Stagg Industries is attacked by the War Wheel, a strange weapon first seen in Blackhawk #56 (September 1952) that is essentially a tremendous, studded wheel with guns on the side of it. It works great, until you tip it over, then it’s practically useless. And after working as a team to weaken the War Wheel, that’s just what they do. It was kind of cool, seeing them work as a team, under the direction of Holt. I could do with some more of this kind of thing. In the end, everyone has a hearty laugh or whatever, it doesn’t matter because a future story was also seeded within this issue, something about a Metamorpho plague turning ordinary folks into elemental freaks? We’ll have to find out.
I liked a lot about this issue, namely the interactions between members of Team Terrific, which is what counts. But it was also kind of strange for the conclusion of an arc to have so much standing around and chatting. The pacing was clunky here, which is a real shame since issue #2 was so bereft of actual story, it might have been better to expand this issue into the previous one a little, and let some of these concepts breathe. I like the fact that they’ve holed up in Stagg Industries for now, this gives newer readers a chance to see the dynamic between Simon, his daughter, and Rex—not to mention the beleaguered Java, who is made to clean up all of the messes that The Terrifics leave lying around. So far, it’s all being presented as “new,” so I hope there won’t be any Silver Age callbacks to confuse people. The creators have already pulled out the War Wheel, which is not a great portent.
Bits and Pieces:
The plotting of this issue ain't pretty, but then neither is most of the team. We get an inkling of how this four-person crew might operate in the future, but the high amount of exposition might limit one's enthusiasm. The potential for something special, yet unrealized, is here.