Thanks to a surprise that would send the Rick Santorums of the world into conniptions, this issue of Mr. Terrific is much stronger than the previous opening chapter. What started as a simple science fiction pulp prison break turns into an uplifting bid for tolerance.
A Short History of Slavery
The Kryl are slavers, and their alien targets asked for the help of Michael Holt aka Mr. Terrific. Too late. The Kryl captured the hero, but the genius atheist escaped and instigated a revolt.
When facing such resistance, the Kryl abandon ship, but this is no victory. Rather than let their former captives win, the Kryl intend to destroy their cargo. Salvation lies behind a heavy, vault door.
Eric Wallace's dialogue for the guest star rings true and echoes that of numerous gay teens that have been bullied, assaulted and worse. Mr. Terrific lives up to his name, and Wallace instills power to Mr. T's heartfelt words. I like that he seems to forget about the needs of survival and throws everything into the alien youth's self-esteem. That's what I think makes a moment that could have become preachy, instead potent and honest.
Adding to this presentation, artists Gianluca Gugliotta, Wayne Faucher and Mike Atiyeh issue the teen's complete dejection in her body language. While her delicate anatomy helps convey the desperation, they contrast her with members of her own race, and you see a proud birdlike quality in them. The teen however looks as if someone plucked out her plumage one feather at a time.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.