Adventures in Space with The Terrifics #4
Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl are a team whether they like it or not. After being trapped in the dark multiverse together, they cannot travel more than a mile apart from each other without exploding. So now they are literally forced to adventure together so they can solve their conundrum. In The Terrifics #4, our team travels to Phantom Girl’s home planet. She has been stuck in the dark multiverse for ten years and is longing to see home even for a short time. The team heads into space. And there, travel is not without trouble, as space squids are always look to spoil a nice road trip!
Jeff Lemire continues to bring this team together in tremendous ways in The Terrifics #4. Lemire is playing the “long game” with this team. He has let them start to come together organically. He has slowly been building up their companionship through each issue. Lemire catches the attitudes of each character and lets them play off each other well. Mr. Terrific’s tough exterior has slowly begun to crack. He puts off a tough science guy that only cares about facts and his personal mission, but his soft spots are starting to show. I am still loving Plastic Man and Metamorpho riffing on each other; it continues to be tons of fun.
The ending of The Terrifics #4 is good, but for me did not quite have the emotional impact I feel Lemire was going for. With only four issues I am not super “attached” to any one of them. So while, yes, the ending is heart-wrenching, it did not have that real “gut punch” feeling. I do, though, like what the ending sets up for the team and building them as a “family.” In that purpose, the ending is very well done.
Evan “Doc” Shaner may be the perfect artist for this series. His classic cartooning style fits like a glove to this series! His comic strip styling gives The Terrifics #4 a golden-age feel with modern sensibilities. Shaner’s style is immediately recognizable and gives off this”warmth”-like feeling. It is very odd but as soon as I see Shaner’s art, it’s just a feeling of almost calmness/lightheartedness. Even if our heroes are fighting a giant space squid there is this joy that leaps off the pages from the characters.
Shaner adds great detail and the story has a greater impact with his nuanced body language and facial expressions. He has this way of bringing out great details in characters with little lines here or there or subtle glances of the eyes. He gets great detail with his more minimal style. It is really stunning to see how much he gets across on the page from the little things he does with his inks.
When you have an artist like “Doc” Shaner you need the right colorist and Nathan Fairbairn does a terrific job coloring The Terrifics #4. Using a more “flat” coloring style helps Shaner’s pencils and inks shine while magnifying that classic feel. Fairbairn also gives a nice little sheen or glint to Metamorpho’s “metal” side that is a very nice touch.
The Terrifics #4 is a great issue and probably the best of the series so far. The team and family dynamics are slowly coming together and Jeff Lemire is doing a good job of slowly bringing these characters together. Adding “Doc” Shaner to the mix brings this series to the next level with some truly superb artwork (too bad he is only on for one more issue). This series has been good from the start but now I can say it is Terrific! (I’ll see myself out.)
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