The Terrifics #6
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Joe Bennett
Inks by Sandra Hope and Matt Santorelli
Colors by HI-FI
Letters by Joe Napolitano
This is a unique book, especially in the choice of panel layout. As a mystery figure monitors the Terrifics as they fight the forces of Algon and his elemental army, each page is broken up into four panels. Each panel is from the point of view of one of the characters until they all converge towards the end of the issue. It’s done really well in a story that was a little clunky at times. Rex continues to fight to escape from being trapped in the Elemental World. It’s a great fight for him as a character, but there seemed to be a lot missing from the story. I never really got the sense that Algon had a plan other than escape and with little motivation, his menace was less than compelling.
The conversation Plastic Man had in the previous issue has affected his actions in this one. There’s less joking from Eel and more focus. It was definitely needed in this instance and hopefully the reasons behind his anger are explored. Phantom Girl has an interesting arc in this issue, especially when she realizes that something is happening to her intangible form. Her story continues to get interesting as well. Mr. Terrific has the most personal arc in this issue with the tragedy that has sparked his current mood being brought to light and his having to overcome his personal pain in order to be the leader the team needs. At the same time, the architect of all of the incidents that they have responded to reveals himself and the next part of his plan.
Jeff Lemire does a great job of giving these characters individual stakes and issues to overcome. The overall story works great, but there are elements that fell flat with specific characters, especially Algon. Giving Metamorpho a villain that shared the same powers should have been more compelling, but the villain himself was a little boring in both his powers and motivation. I never got the sense that the character was fleshed out in a way that made me care if he was defeated.
The artwork by Bennett is fantastic. I loved the four panel page structure because it allowed for some much story to be placed into each panel. One could read each panel for each character as its own story and that is a testament to both the writer’s vision and the artist’s skill.