When I started picking up The Terrifics with its premier issue, I was blown away. It started out with a kick, and ended with a huge reveal that I didn’t see coming. Its first issue was what I keep saying is what we needed more of in comics. It didn’t have any tropes, and put a good story above just trying to sell comics.
Unfortunately each issue since has thrown that first issue’s example right out the window. Jeff Lemire seems (as I’m reading each issue) to be distracted, or simply not into the story of “The Terrifics,” which is a shame.
This issue displayed such as we see this classic, and much so overused “freeze frame, record scratch, ‘you’re probably wondering how I got here'” trope, as Phantom Girl starts the issue with saying a couple of things had happened, and that she’d have to go back a little to show us. This form of storytelling always has been a pet peeve of mine. It reeks of laziness, and a desire to get quick laughs, since it’s almost exclusively used in comedies.
Another failing (and showing of the laziness feeling) was the substantial time jump. In that same breath of “freeze frame,” we find that some substantial strides in story development have been made. One big thing being that Phantom Girl can now touch objects that have somehow been altered to be intangible like she is. This would’ve been something that could’ve helped the story move forward if shown in story instead of just being admitted to.
Again we also have no grand scheme plot movement, and we find yet another throw away, “villain of the week” antagonist for the issue. Like the WHEEL OF DOOM from last issue, we get a STARRO looking creature, and some bounty hunters who are dispatched of just as quickly as we get introduced to them. Normally, you’d expect some substantial strides in uncovering the mystery that was presented in its premier issue and that was made the blatant life blood of the issue — TOM STRONG, but nothing.
I’ve also taken notice to the uptick in forced comedy. Like the unnecessary dig at MR. TERRIFIC being the “third smartest guy on Earth.” It felt exactly like a Marvel movie one-liner where they throw in way more jokes than necessary, and miss hard on them.
One of the biggest tragedies of this issue (for me) was that Ivan Reis’ art felt rushed. You can see panels where it doesn’t hold up to the usual high standard that we’ve come to expect with Reis. Despite being what I felt hurt me the most reading the issue, it wasn’t the worst part, and didn’t really affect the issue all too much.
When it comes down to it, Lemire using a “recap” style to this issue didn’t fit the story, and really pulled me out of it.