Eric Wallace on MR. TERRIFIC
(The cover for MISTER TERRIFIC #1 by J.G. Jones)
This fall, Michael Holt will finally get his own series. Helming MISTER TERRIFIC will be TITANS writer Eric Wallace. He told us a little bit about some of the new characters and what else to anticipate from the series when it hits shelves this September:
THE SOURCE: What about DC's new 52 titles excites you the most?
ERIC WALLACE: What jazzes me the most about the entire September launch is that it’s potentially an entry point for a whole new group—and possibly the next generation—of fans. Think about it. Hopefully these 52 books will kickoff a lifelong love affair with comic books for the kids buying them. Again, and I’m specifically talking about new readers now, the idea that there’s a girl or boy out there who’s about to discover a whole new world is just wonderful. It’s just like my friends and I when we picked up Giffen & company’s JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 or George Perez’s WONDER WOMAN #1 back in the 80s. For us, it was the most exciting time ever. Now it’s happening again. It’s like the superhero torch is being passed, which is really, really inspiring. And if that’s not the most exciting thing ever, then I don’t know what is!
How and why are you shaking up the series' status quo?
Michael Holt hasn’t had his own book before now, so the fact that MISTER TERRIFIC #1 will bring a diverse character out of the sidelines and into the comic book spotlight is a big deal. Especially for diverse readers looking for diverse characters. As many comic book fans have pointed out, the “status quo” for superhero adventures are stories where diverse characters are always supporting characters to their non-diverse counterparts. Not with MISTER TERRIFIC. Michael’s the star, and his world is chockfull of diverse characters. It’s a deliberate attempt on the part of the creative team to craft a book that more accurately reflects the world we live in.
What new characters will debut in the series?
Michael’s entire supporting cast will be new. One of the most important figures in his life is ALEEKA OKAFUR. Black and brilliant, Aleeka keeps Michael on the straight and narrow while running a billion dollar corporation, Holt Industries. When Michael makes mistakes and everyone else is afraid to speak up, she’ll be the one who tells it like it is. She’s the “heart” to Michael’s “head” when it comes to business affairs, and together they make quite a team. Another new character I’m excited about is JAMAAL, a sixteen-year-old intern at Holt Industries, who also just happens to have an I.Q. of 192. Needless to say, Michael sees a lot of himself when he was a boy in Jamaal, which makes Jamaal’s life really tough, really fast. Yes, he might be a genius, but Jamaal still has a lot of growing up to do. The problem is that Michael often forgets this fact.
Will we see new character designs?
Yes. I think by now many readers has seen the new redesign of Mr. Terrific’s costume. Don’t worry. There is a reason for this. While I can’t reveal why yet, let’s just say that sometimes Michael’s costume has a mind of it’s own.
What's the first line of dialogue in the first issue?
“Now where would I hide a ten-foot suit of biomechanical armor?”
What's the biggest surprise you've had working on this character/book?
Until I started writing MISTER TERRIFIC, I never realized how deep and complex this character is. So I’d have to say it’s Michael himself that continues to surprise me the most.
What secret has been the hardest to keep?
That a particular special guest character in issue #1 is, indeed, still alive and well in the new DCU. Sorry I can’t be more specific, but the secret will be out in MISTER TERRIFIC #1. And then things really get interesting!
What’s the unofficial tagline for this series, in your own words?
“Insuring the future.”
What were your thoughts about the day-and-date digital announcement?
I’m really excited that now anyone can purchase the new stories as soon as they are available.