I’ve been waiting to write about this for a couple episodes, but didn’t want to until someone actually spoke the name Mr. Terrific. Thankfully, it finally happened in tonight’s episode.
I’m a big Mr. Terrific fan—partly for his involvement with the Justice Society of America (one of the coolest teams of all time), but more so as a man of high character and also for a personal reason that I’ll get to in a minute.
But first, I want to touch on something that happened in this episode…
What did you think about that ending with Wild Dog?
I think we can all agree that the more you see of him, the more you realize how much of a “wild dog” he really is. He lacks discipline. He’s overly aggressive. He’s headstrong, unpredictable and extremely selfish. I see him as a guy who needs to learn to control those emotions and hone his abilities. It’s obvious he’s desperate for direction and approval from someone and he feels he’s not getting it from Oliver.
Which makes him a prime target for Tobias Church.
Obviously, Church sees Wild Dog and his skill set as a potential asset—as evident by their conversation before torturing him. It’ll be interesting to see if Church will manipulate Wild Dog’s impressionable personality, or if Wild Dog will hold firm and stay on the good side.
What do you guys think?
I was first introduced to Mr. Terrific in the pages of JSA many moons ago. He’s actually a second generation (not related by blood, but carries the name and ideals) hero, which are always cool. Actually, my fellow Couch Clubber Meg has written a lot about that as it relates to Nate Heywood on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, so I’m clearly not the only one of us who has a fascination with legacy.
I mentioned before that I like Mr. Terrific for a special reason. I got into inking comics a few years back; nothing professional, but I enjoy practicing—it’s kind of therapeutic. Anyways, early on, I was fortunate to get some pencils from former JSA artist, Don Kramer, and even got to work next to him a couple times and get some pointers. I believe Wayne Campbell summed it up best when he said, “Excellent!”
But enough about my failed artistic endeavors. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the column, shall we!
In the comics, Terry Sloane was the first Mr. Terrific. He was a child genius who excelled in his studies—graduating from Harvard at the tender age of 12. As he grew older, he became an Olympic medalist and millionaire businessman. Sounds good, right? Not so much for Terry. Having achieved so much, so quickly, he became suicidal—believing there was nothing left for him to accomplish. His life changed one day when he rescued a woman whose brother had gotten mixed up in organized crime. Saving her presented Terry with a new challenge that he desperately needed. Donning a suit and the words “Fair Play,” Terry upheld a sense of moral responsibility and high ethics while taking down criminals. He also served as a member of the JSA and All-Star Squadron during WWII.
Years later, a new Mr. Terrific would come along for our era. His name is Michael Holt and like Terry, he’s extremely intelligent and athletically gifted. Having won a gold medal in the Olympics, he started his own cyberwear company—where he enjoyed an abundance of wealth and success. After his wife died in a car accident, he contemplated suicide—like his predecessor. Before he could take his own life, The Spectre (dear God, if he ever appears in a DC show, I’ll fan out!) stopped him—helping Michael see the value of his life. Given a second chance, Michael found inspiration in Terry’s Mr. Terrific and paid homage to him by becoming the second hero to operate under that name. Known for his unique “T” mask, sleek “Fair Play” jacket and T-spheres (floating devices he created to collect information and project holograms), he became an important member of the JSA.
Arrow’s Mr. Terrific (Curtis Holt) is a little different than the Mr. Terrific in the comics, but I’m okay with it. I like both versions. In the comics, he’s a more serious and calculated guy, whereas in the show, he’s lighthearted and kind of dorky. It works because it’s a nice contrast from the seriousness of characters like Oliver and Wild Dog. I dug how in episode three, Curtis explains that he’s adopted the “Fair Play” moniker from his favorite wrestler he used to watch as a kid. In my mind, that was a cool way to keep Terry Sloane’s comic spirit alive, while letting Curtis stand alone as a new Mr. Terrific for the TV medium.
Lastly, Arrow has done a great job with Mr. Terrific’s costume. The “T” mask is so good. It isn’t cheesy looking like you might have worried. It looks great! The jacket is perfect, too. In my opinion, it’s one of the better costume adaptations from the comics to the screen. It’s exactly how I want it to look!
Until next episode,
Matt Ross covers Arrow as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. Catch new episodes of Arrow Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.