aaron_bourque (aaron_bourque) wrote,
aaron_bourque
aaron_bourque

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He's Terrific, Thanks For Asking

Mister Terrific

I go back and forth on this one.

On the one hand, it's not good. On the other hand, it is kind of fun. But it's so not good.

One of the big problems is that the series has an over-reliance on really bad technobabble that not only doesn't mean anything, it makes Mr. Terrific look like an idiot. He's supposed to be one of the top 3 smartest people on Earth, and he doesn't use science to solve his problems, he essentially uses fucking magic.

That's the main problem with technobabble. The layman doesn't fully understand science, maybe somewhat, but anything that "sounds" like science gets a pass with them. But technobabble does whatever the hell the writer needs it to do, whereas science--even fakey comic book science--is somewhat consistent, and there are (or should be) actual limitations on what science--even fakey comic book science--can do.

But technobabble, with its inconsistency and "does whatever the writer wants" methodology, masks actual science and makes it so that not only the layman but actual experts in the field don't know what it means, and so it just comes off as narrative fiat, and since technobabble includes "babble," it just pads out the pages with talky scenes in which nobody says anything.

Also, the art for the first two issues, was really bad. Everyone looked encephalatic and wall-eyed, which made them look really stupid. And the supporting cast is rather unlikable.

So what's good about it? Well, when the writing isn't overdoing the technobabble, it's actually kind of tight and managed to be thrilling in a couple of places. And the main character actually manages to have at least one heroic moment per issue. The villain for the opening arc was satisfyingly evil and it was very nice to have him get beaten. And it was actually an interesting threat, at first, with him making people super-intelligent but unempathetic, and then stealing their smarts. That was rather clever.

There's also a hint at an overarching storyline, but right now it's just a hint, and an uninteresting hint at that. In all, Mister Terrific has all the seeds to be a great comic book, but is hampered by its own presentation.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque; there's also Karen Starr, the secret identity of Power Girl, but she doesn't seem to have her powers so I don't know what's going on there.
Tags: analysis, comic books, essays, the new 52
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