Friday, November 25, 2016


Hey there comics fans!!

     It's me, TEX, back again to light up your life with all that comics knowledge that you can't get in any college!

     So who is the star of our show today? It's someone wonderful, marvelous, someone...TERRIFIC!!

    No, no, no, my friends. We're not talking about the Spectre, we're talking about Mr. Terrific II, Michael Holt! That's right, Mr. Terrific II first appeared in in 1997 in the pages of the above book, Spectre vol 3, #54. He was created by John Ostrander (the genius who revived and revamped The Suicide Squad in the 1980s) and Tom Mandrake. I am stoked...I've got two copies of this book. Why? Because Mr. Terrific II is one of my favorite superheroes in the DCU.

    The original Mr. Terrific was Terry Sloane, a genius,  businessman, athlete and vigilante who found his purpose in life in the early 1940s fighting crime and defending "fair play." He was a valiant member of the Justice Society of America, the predecessor of the Justice League of America. Sloane met his death in comics in the late 1970s in issue #171 of The Justice League of America vol 1 at the hands of the murderous villain, Spirit King.

EXTRA: Terry Sloane returned as a major player in the DC series, "Earth 2" and "Earth 2: Society." These series were overlooked, but extremely well-written.

   Michael Holt was a self-made multi-millionaire, a renowned inventor, C.E.O. of his own successful tech firm, Olympic gold medalist, and a polymath of staggering intellect and aptitude. By the time Holt was an adult, he'd completed 14 Ph.D.s in several fields of study, including Psychology, Engineering, Physics, Law, Mathematics, Chemistry and Political Science. However, even all of his accomplishments and success couldn't save Holt from the harsh blows that life often brings. The deaths of his mentally handicapped older brother, Jeffrey, and the deaths of his wife, Paula, and his daughter fell upon him in rapid succession like a ton of bricks. Michael Holt was considering suicide - but a chance encounter with The Spectre changed Holt's life forever. The Spectre told him about Terry Sloane, the first Mr. Terrific, and Michael Holt was inspired to continue Sloane's heroic work as  the new Mr. Terrific. On to the fun facts!!

FUN FACT 1: Despite his awesomeness, Mr. Terrific has only had one attempt at an ongoing series:

Here is my copy of Mr. Terrific vol 1, #1, published as a part of the New 52 reboot in 2011. It was excellently written, and beautifully drawn, but it only lasted eight glorious issues. 

FUN FACT 2: Mr. Terrific is one of the top three intellects on the planet. He has been said to "have an aptitude for having aptitudes." Holt's talent for learning is unparalleled in the DCU (non-powered humans), he can absorb knowledge at an astonishing rate, and pick up and retain complex skills that it takes others a lifetime to master. 

FUN FACT 3: Mr. Terrific is multilinguistic, has mastered six martial arts disciplines making him one of the most formidable human fighters on the planet, and he is an Olympic Gold Medalist in the decathlon. Traditionally, Olympic decathlon gold medalists are considered The World's Greatest Athlete.

FUN FACT 4: Eventually, Mr. Terrific became the Chairman of the Justice Society of America (he was elected by his teammates even though he wasn't seeking the position), and he served as the White King's Bishop in the United Nations Security Council's intelligence agency, Checkmate. In time, he led the agency as the White King. 

FUN FACT 5: Mr. Terrific invents his own crime-fighting tech. His T-Mask renders him invisible to all electronic detection, helps him control his T-Spheres, and gives him the power to instantaneously convert back and forth between his two personas, Michael Holt and Mr. Terrific. His T-Spheres bear his weight as devices of flight, and they can project holograms, link with any network, generate deadly electrical charges or just act as projectile-type weapons. 

FUN FACT 6: Mr. Terrific's origin was changed with the NEW 52 reboot. In the New 52, Holt's wife's death was caused by the villain, Brainstorm, and it was not The Spectre who inspired Holt to not to end his life, rather it was Holt's own unborn son appearing to him in a message from the future. 

FUN FACT 7: If you think the Batcave is awesome, you should get a load of Mr. Terrific's T-Sanctuary, an impenetrable, high-tech fortress hidden away in the Ninth Dimension:

FUN FACT 8: I am a huge fan of Mr. Terrific. I've even got the action figure:

FUN FACT 9: In the hit TV show, "Justice League Unlimited," Mr. Terrific was shown to be a member; however, in comics, Mr. Terrific has never been a member of the JL.

FUN FACT 10: Michael Holt is an atheist. 

FUN FACT 11: Mr. Terrific is portrayed on the TV series, "Arrow" by comedian, Echo Kellum, serving largely as a lovable goofball, a tech guy and a helping hand with IT issues...Oh, and as Felicity's bestie. 

Several changes were made to the character. Mr. Terrific's name was changed from Michael to Curtis, his sexuality was changed from straight to gay (not problematic for me), his prodigious intellect is hardly apparent and his Ph.D.s are not mentioned, he does not own his own tech firm, his Olympic medal was downgraded from gold to bronze (why?), and his serious demeanor was tossed in favor of a more emotional, bumbling, good-hearted personality. Mr. Terrific is essentially a rival to Batman, but on Arrow, he's not even competent enough to be a good sidekick. I don't like it. Not one bit. But, I'll hang around in the hopes that change will come. 

     That's it for today cowpokes! Do yourselves a favor: if you only know Mr. Terrific from "Arrow," grab a few comics starring our hero, and find out what he can REALLY do. I promise, you'll be a fan in no time. 

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