I’ll admit, Mister Terrific is not a character that I was that familiar with prior to the reboot, so I was skeptical about the series before picking it up. The cover doesn’t really offer any kind of expectation of what the series will be like when you just look at it but it does make more sense after reading. Mister Terrific, for those also not familiar, is a technological genius and the self proclaimed ‘third smartest man in the world’. He’s a part of a long tradition at DC of having genius, billionaires becoming super heroes, which I can understand why they do it (go with what works right?), but let’s move it around sometimes.
Eric Wallace is the writer on the series and he offers the best part about the entire series. His story, while starting off rather slow and dull, builds up to a point where it surprisingly gets really good. The way he strings his plots together is pretty remarkable considering most of them are very episodic in nature, but he manages to give them connections that make the story seem rather seamless. You can tell he put a lot of research into writing this story because it reeks of scientific expertise. The dialogue of the comic does not skimp out on the science and as a result might make you feel dumb when you read it because you don’t understand it. It would be nice if I had Neil deGrasse Tyson reading it with me to explain it all.
While I do enjoy Wallace’s writing, it’s not without its faults. A lot of the panels end up being very cluttered as a result of his very precise use of narration and dialogue. There’s also not a lot of room inside explaining the precise nature of the character and his powers which will result in a lot of frustration for new readers, though he tries to weave more of it in near the end of the comic which will make you look back at the start of the series with more glamor than when you initially read it.
The place where this comic really gets hurt though is the inconsistency with the art. Three different artists lent their talents to the series, two of them only for a lone issue each, but I digress. Gianluca Gugliotta drew the bulk of the series but it’s a real flip of the coin whether or not it’s great. The first two issues are decent artwork but not spectacular and the second arc he tackles with the Kryl is fantastic and his best of the series. Other times his action sequences and body features are so inconsistent that it’s maddening. Scott Clark and Oliver Nome’s art isn’t bad but it does nothing to differentiate itself from Gugliotta’s work (which was probably intentional but still a little disappointing).
Mister Terrific is a lot better than I expected. It has a great story, good writing, manages to tackle social issues in a way only comics can, and a surprising set of interesting and diverse villains. The art though isn’t the greatest, some issues are better than others, and if the inconsistency in the drawings doesn’t upset you then the fact that there’s not ever going to be a Volume 2 might.
Rating: 7 / 10
Head over to Page 2 to see our glowing reaview of Batwoman.