Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Viktor Bogdanovic
Published by DC Comics
“This isn’t over. Doc Dread was supposed to be a ruse.
But you all made him real! You made me real!”
Well what to say?
For a series that has finally come crashing into the grand culmination that is contained in this book, it’s striking how much of a let-down things are by the end of it.
Now, I say that with a full recognition that this is quite probably a consequence of the fact that our beloved team of Terrifics is one of the very few books of DC’s 2018 New Age of Heroes effort that is being renewed for another year of publication.
So, it is very likely that the surprising down-note being played at the ending of this issue is not what was originally intended as a finale of this story arc.
I mean maybe. Hard to say. It’s definitely true that writer Jeff Lemire does like to turn traditional comic tropes on their ear. Maybe this was always part of the plan, a minor chord bridge to a bigger pay-off to come.
Whatever the case, it certainly is that now. And despite the tinny dissonance of it, I will nonetheless note with great pleasure that there is now the prospect of much more of that pay-off to come.
So never mind the ending, it’s all about as foolish as Phantom Girl thinks it is. And we all know it.
Don’t worry Linnia, it’s all just temporary, I’m sure. What can I say? Boys are stupid.
I mean why would anyone mess with the magic that took down the nefarious threat of Doctor Dread? (OK, I guess Rex has his reasons.) Not now though, now that you’re all finally a family… (What’s that? Plas has a family of his own already?) But… why now, when the good Doctor has engineered a getaway that leaves the door open for the driven vengeance of a poor, insane, lost soul? (OK, sure, I’m sure Mr. Terrific can handle Doctor Dread on his own. Like everything else he does.)
Yeah, probably going to regret that.
Never mind for now. It’s still an undeniable joy to see our two teams of fantastic adventurers working side by side to foil the plans of DC’s newest multidimensional threat. And I approve of that threat. Java as Doctor Dread is just the right mix of dangerous, comical, pathetic and tragic.
I mean it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for the guy. A little. I mean, he still tried to blow up Gotham and pin it all on Michael Holt. And kill everyone. For love.
All in all, he makes for a great uber-baddy in the classic/not-classic fashion of villainous origin stories. One with just a bit too much access to the incredible possibilities of the multiverse at his fingertips…
The bold artistic style of Victor Bogdonavic is a good match for all of this, and it plays well on the page. Of course, there’s no telling whether we should pin our hopes on anything there. This book has had no artistic consistency at all.
Maybe that’ll change in 2019.
God knows, changes are a comin’. Maybe a little later than planned for some. But hey, it’s all a good opportunity for a little more character development, right?
And maybe a little more tragedy.
Don’t worry, we’ll get there. I feel I’ve said that before.
Terrifics Together! (Eventually…)
Next Issue: Who says Dark Energy is thicker than water?