Bad Astronomy

Mister Terrific gets it right

I get mail. Some good, some bad, some cryptic. In the past few days I’ve gotten some of the latter; people telling me I should take a look at the new DC Comics reboot of “Mister Terrific”, a super-genius superhero who uses science and intellect to defeat the forces of evil.

The thing is, nobody would tell me why. OK, I figured, I’ll check it out when I get a chance.

Then I got another email, this time from my pal Eric Wallace, who writes for the TV show “Eureka”. And who, it so happens, writes “Mister Terrific”! He asked me if I’d like to get a copy of the first couple of issues, and not being a complete idiot, I said yes.

I got them in the mail the other day, and sat down to read them. By the time I got to the end of the first issue, all the cryptic notes became clear to me. It’s because of this panel, where Michael Holt (aka Mister Terrific) is holding a fund raiser for a politician:

Ha! Perfect!

And does it sound familiar? It should. Unfortunately, this exact scene has precedent in reality. Too bad there’s no genius billionaire superhero science-enthusiast IRL who could do this.

Of course, on the next page, a mind-control device makes Holt want to kill the Senator. But it is a comic book.

And “Mister Terrific” looks like a pretty good book. I’ll note that since it’s a reboot, I’m walking in to the middle of what looks like a lot of back story, but that’s going to be true of most big-title books these days. That’s OK though. It’s the science in comic books that I love, from Bose-Einstein condensates (fact) to the ninth dimension (fiction, kinda)… and even to the politician who supports it (fact? Fiction? Hmmm).