Review: Mister Terrific #1 (Wallace & Gugliotta)


A new cosmic book has been added to my stable with DC's new Mister Terrific #1!

Wallace gives us a very much a classic super hero tale with heavy touches of science fiction and cosmic goodness. What else would you expect from the third smartest man on the planet? We don't stop there as time travel elements come into play, in addition to diabolical villains, an interesting – almost controversial – backdrop, and twists and turns at just about every corner.

The book opens with Terrific thwarting the evil plans of an armored up CEO, and as the two battle back and forth they explain to each other their actions. It's really almost too much, and might comes off as a bit corny to some, but I found myself captivated by the action and discussion. It was fun!

However, the issue is not all fun and games as Terrific narrates what brought him to the position in the first place. The guy has it all, great job and business, perfect wife, but the fates have something else in store for Michael Holt. Tragedy strikes, and Holt is left shattered. Having lost his faith, he turns to science, and fate continues to turn the wheel for Holt, yet again. A failed experiment further deepens Holt's depression, and he decides to end it all. However, as Holt is about to fling himself into the quantum flux, a visitor intercedes and informs Holt he is not to die, as his life has meaning for the future! No spoilers as to who the visitor is, but suffice to say this is MORE than enough motivation for Holt to continue on as CEO of Holt Industries – and on as Mister Terrific!

From there, something is enhancing the brain patterns of common folk giving them an exponential increase in intelligence. This leads to a speaking of the mind, to say the least! The newly given powers also give the recipients a sense of superiority as we see an "infected" individual totally demean a waitress and then a homeless person. However, these braniacs think so highly of themselves that others more inferior should die! 

And at the end Mister Terrific is "infected!"

In regards to the backdrop, as Terrific fought the armored juggernaut which took place in London, there was a panel with comments from the crowd. The crowd consisted of a majority of ethnic minorities. Now before you get yourself in a tizzy, furthermore, Holt brings with him a white woman on a date who ends up arguing with a black woman over Holt – and they bring up the race difference. That's not all, as Holt has stopped believing in God, ie an atheist, and we see reference to political parties, as liberal Holt attends the party of a Republican Senator, by the name of Gonzalez. In addition, the "infected" obviously represent a higher class of people looking down on a less-smarter, lower class. Holt's even dubbed a terrorist at the end in the blurb for next issue.

The political overtures didn't turn me off, as Wallace includes them as a necessary part of the story; one that flows naturally and doesn't come off as preachy. Is there an agenda at play? Could be, but I'm far from a liberal as you can get, and this didn't cause my blood to boil. It was a well written story, and one I found rather interesting as it combines cosmic, sci-fi and super hero all wrapped into one. And let's be honest, Mister Terrific would be far from the first sci-fi book that features a heavy leftist basis.

Gugliotta's art I found adequate. It contained all the necessary components for a book such as this: large action packed panels, and colorful cosmic and sci-fi hues when called for. However, I would have liked to see more detail in regards to the characters. To be honest I wasn't clear on just who that was in the last page, and needed to back-track to make sure. Still, with time Gugliotta can only get better and I do like the style.

Another week of the New 52 is upon us, and it brings with it another terrific read in the form of Mister Terrific #1!