ComicsAlliance Reviews Every Comic in DC’s New 52: Week 2
The second week of new #1 DC Comics has arrived, and the biggest question for most fans facing racks and racks of new books is simple: Which ones should I try? The ComicsAlliance staff has gathered together to help answer that with a roundtable review of every relaunched DC book this week: Batman and Robin, Batwoman, Deathstroke, Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E., Green Lantern, Grifter, Legion Lost, Mister Terrific, Red Lanterns, Resurrection Man, Suicide Squad, Superboy. Join Let’s Be Friends Again writer Curt Franklin, Chris Sims, David Uzumeri and Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk as they rate each book on a scale of 1-10 and try to gauge the success of DC’s bold new experiment.
MISTER TERRIFIC #1
Douglas: This might be the most obviously doomed of the New 52 series: Some variation of this character has been around for close to 70 years and I don’t think he’s even had a solo story of his own, much less anyone calling for him to get an ongoing title. Still, it gets a decent start — casting him as a bitter, near-suicidal Tony Stark type is a nice move, and there’s a lot of plot packed in here. (Plus: Karen Starr as just plain Karen Starr, not Power Girl! Plus actual class consciousness!) Then it all falls apart at the end, with weak figure drawing, dull writing (“You’re a hypocrite, senator!”) and a very boring cliffhanger. It has to be difficult writing a character who’s “the third-smartest person in the world” (for the same reason it’s hard to write a brilliant poet, etc.), but Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente’s Amadeus Cho fits that position a lot better than Wallace’s Mister Terrific. 5
Chris: This one was a big surprise for me as well — I love the setup of Michael Holt being the technological James Bond of the DC Universe, going around fighting SCIENCE CRIMES! Even the stuff from the solicitations about how he’s an eligible bachelor, which seemed crazy at first since his entire origin revolves around his wife dying — was handled in a better way than I thought. It’s a little awkward, especially the son-from-the-future origin and the fact that I guess he’s sleeping with Power Girl, who I didn’t think existed anymore, but I enjoyed the attitude and execution well enough to be curious about where it goes from here. 6.
Curt: This opened really well, but got bogged down by it’s own desire to explain Mr. Terrific’s relatively simple background. Once it got back to what was happening in the now, it picked up again. Not excellent, but a good enough start to a character that always seemed to deserve a chance at the spotlight. 7
David: This book was kind of dumb. And by that I mean totally dumb. I get that it’s trying to show this supercool, supercompetent, superawesome black dude in the same way Superman is also superawesome or whatever, but you have to be really smart to write the 3rd smartest man in the world, and man, Wallace just doesn’t fit that description. Convoluted doesn’t equal intelligence. The Gordian Knot is a thing for a reason. And Power Girl being rebooted as normal ol’ Karen Starr would be interesting if she wasn’t in the middle of a love triangle between him and his assistant. This was weak, weak, weak comics. 2.
Chris: SCIENCE CRIME.
Average rating: 5 out of 10