Simply Incredible At Being Terrific
Dec 03, 2017
by Vince Brusio
Jeff Lemire does big things. He’s known for it. Commentary you’ll read that reflects on what he does often heaps praise upon the writer. They might even use words like “terrific” to describe the caliber of his syntax. Such a describer is appropriate when we see what he’s about to do with The Terrifics from DC Comics. It stars a bunch of incredible people doing many incredible things as one big family unit…which families would enjoy reading. So read our incredibly terrific interview with Jeff below, and be sure to pre-order The Terrifics #1 (DEC170222) from the December PREVIEWS catalog!
Vince Brusio: The books’ name alone could be a self-contained story for the first issue. Granted, one of the good guys is named “Mr. Terrific,” but why “The Terrifics”? Did everyone take a vote on this name? Are you going to let us see the democratic process that had everyone settle on the team’s moniker?
Jeff Lemire: Well, Mr. Terrific really is the anchor of this team and of this series, so it all came from that. And we wanted a title that reflected the tone of the series, which is big adventure and fun and a lot of heart. We wanted a team that had a really family feel to it.
Vince Brusio: Who would have thought Plastic Man would show up in a team book these days? Talk about old school. How did you dive into this one, Jeff? The direction for this book seems to be a bit of a departure from things you’ve done over the years, yes? So how did this project come about as one of your latest passions?
Jeff Lemire: It may seem like a departure, but I don’t think it is. I have always loved telling stories about families, and this book is really that. Characters thrown together, who do not choose to be together, but are inherently linked. Just like a family. And they soon learn to love one another and love being a team. I wanted to do a super hero book that was fun and exciting for adult fans, but could also be enjoyed by children. We lose that accessibility for young readers too much these days by only writing for ourselves or adults. Super heroes should be for kids too and that shouldn’t mean that we dumb them down or limit them in any way.
Vince Brusio: You’ve got some classic characters in this lineup which makes for an experienced yet eclectic team. However, these heroes are in a forced situation in that they’re “bound from the Dark Multiverse of Metal.” How will this affect their interpersonal relationships? Aren’t we already playing with some dangerous chemistry? Who wants to be bound to anything? Is this the part where you say, “Yes. That’s the point.”
Jeff Lemire: It all started with Metamorpho for me. I wanted to write that character. I love what an oddball he is and how tragic his story could be, but to have that tragedy mixed in with all the Silver Age weirdness of DC when it’s at its best. But, Dan Didio didn’t think Metamorpho could stand on his own and survive as a title, so we started tossing other ideas around and Plastic Man popped up. Once I had those two characters in place, the rest sort of happened quickly. But it wasn’t until we added Mr. Terrific to the mix that the book really found its identity. Mr. Terrific is really the anchor of this whole concept and title.
Vince Brusio: So you’ve gone from starting a new team to already reaching across the cosmos to find Tom Strong. All of these personalities in just the first solicitation! You’re setting the bar awful high aren’t you? Is this a sign of things to come? Setting the table so that there are multiple main courses to choose from before you walk away with a full plate?
Jeff Lemire: The early Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Fantastic Four comics threw out more concepts in a single issue than most series now do over 25 issues. We need to get back to that sort of huge storytelling. No limits on imagination. These are super hero comics they should be big and fun and absolutely packed with ideas.
Vince Brusio: What’s the excitement like in the room working with artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado? What are your expectations of each other, and how are the three of you going to communicate as you move forward on production to make this thing a regular staple at the comic shop?
Jeff Lemire: I would say that Ivan, Joe and I are three of the more reliable creators out there in terms of deadlines and getting work in, so I don’t anticipate any delays or problems in that regard. If we were the Terrifics, Ivan would definitely be Mr. Terrific, Joe would be Plastic Man and I would be Metamorpho.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.