New 52 Review – “Mister Terrific #1”

The second of three pleasant surprises this week is now due for review.

General Information

Title: Mister Terrific #1

Author: Eric Wallace

Illustrator(s): Gianluca Gugliotta (pencils), Wayne Faucher (inks) and Mike Atiyeh (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Michael Holt is often regarded as the world’s third smartest man. Although he almost gave up on life after his wife died, he had an experience that lit the fires under him once more and drove him to make the world a better place. He does that both as the science-based hero Mister Terrific and as a financial leader. His supporting cast including Karen Starr, the beautiful, brilliant and rich software mogul and possible love interest. There is no indication that she has super powers in this incarnation. Furthermore, her most famous physical attributes, though still large, are now of a scale which occurs naturally in human beings.

High Point

The lead character had an Olympic gold medal before the age of thirty, and he’s still in great physical shape, but he still subdues a violent criminal in a nonviolent and frightfully clever manner. The solution comes to him so easily that he has time to make a mental note to buy a friend the fifth season Blu-Ray of Doctor Who while in the battle. I strongly suspect Mister Terrific’s style will be very similar to the good Doctor.

Low Point

“See these integers? These are differential equations. The kind that would give Stephen Hawking a headache.” Um, no. First of all, they aren’t integers at all. The first line includes a malformed integral which is equal to both a constant and to a function that varies with time which seems to have been partially pulled from a third year undergraduate quantum mechanics resource. The second line is a differential expression from first year simple harmonic motion. The final line is an expression from second year mechanics kludged together with pieces of second year electricity and magnetism. Would it kill them to research the actual math? I mean, Hawking’s actual work is freely available online.

The Scores

The pacifist hero may be old news for British TV sci-fi, but it’s uncommon and original in comicdom. Michael is also an older hero than most, given that his origin story happened after he was thirty, and that was a few years ago. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is good. We know who is who and there are a variety of panel arrangements and such to work through. The character models are a bit inconsistent. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story was surprisingly engaging. Picture a non-regenerating Doctor Who in the DC Universe who is also a self-made man. Now put him in a situation that proves very challenging for the world’s third smartest man. The situation is driven by a villain who seems, at this stage, quite content to work in the background where he/she/it is completely untraceable: in other words, a villain driven by intelligence rather than ego. I give it 6 out of 6.

The characterization is great. This is a regular guy with irregular aptitudes who chose to become a hero for completely understandable reasons. He’s not a perfect man, but he’s a very interesting and likeable man, who has more clay in his feet than your typical DC hero. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was great. I’m in this for the long haul now. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow was smooth. We start with an action sequence, finish it, launch into a flashback of the origin story, and then move into the current status quo and the new threat very naturally. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this was surprisingly good. It’s far more interesting than I would have guessed from the solicitation text. I wish the art were more consistently on model, but that’s the only complaint I have (that most of the population will notice.) I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Mister Terrific #1 receives 38 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman