Read about one of the Outhousers' favorite characters in the weekly Character Spotlight! This week, we look at DC Comics' Mr. Terrific!
Michael Holt is known as the third smartest person in the world. At age six he was absorbing theoretical physics from the leaders in the field. By the time he was an adult, Michael was a multi-PhD holder, fourteen to be exact. A self-made millionaire with his high tech firm, a gold medal winning Olympic decathlete, and a university professor, the humble Michael Holt made a life of success for himself and those around him. Some would say this amazing feat of intelligence and physical prowess should be beyond the means of a normal person, but to Michael it's just felt terrific.
However, all was not terrific when tragedy struck Michael Holt's life with the death of his wife and unborn child. Their deaths brought Michael to the edge of suicide and without the intervention of the Spectre he would have ended his own life. In the vein of 'It's a Wonderful Life', the Spectre showed Michael the inspirational life stories of Terry Sloane, the Golden Age superhero known as Mr. Terrific. At that point he knew what to do with his life. Donning a leather jacket with the words 'Fair Play' on its sleeves, Michael Holt became the modern age Mr. Terrific.
As in his previous life, Michael Holt as Mr. Terrific excelled and led a very successful career as a superhero. He was both the Chairman of the Justice Society of America as well as the White King for the now defunct international security force Checkmate.
Mr. Terrific is a character that stayed away from many of the typical stereotypes of black males in comic books. Michael was not angry at the world. He was neither an arrogant entitled youth of great ability nor a brutish thug. Created by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake with additional development by Geoff Johns, Michael Holt has been defined as a smart and capable leader who can rightfully stand next to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman as an iconic hero of the DC Universe.
What makes Mr. Terrific a positive role model for readers is, like Batman, he has no super powers. All his abilities come from his mind and body through his own hard work. Michael's ingenuity led him to create technological tools that are critical to his superhero identity. Mr. Terrific's T-shaped mask allows him to be invisible to technology which is often referred to as his one 'superpower'. This ability was instrumental to the defeat of the OMAC and Brother Eye in the Infinite Crisis. Holt also possesses a trio of flying robotic spheres called T-Spheres, which provide both offensive and sensory capabilities for Mr. Terrific at all times. In a fight, Mr. Terrific uses these items and his mind to remove an enemy from the battle field. Mr. Terrific is also a black belt in six different martial arts disciplines. Mr. Terrific is capable of using physical force to subdue an opponent, but is typically only used as a last option when all intelligent options have been exhausted.
As stated before, Michael Holt is not a fighter. If he were to fight Superman, he would use his mind and not his fists. While there are many conflicting views of Superman placement as one of the DC Universe smartest people, it is clear that Mr. Terrific is ahead of him in that ranking. While Michael Holt is a very fit human being, a flick from Superman's solar powered Super-pinky could kill him or put him in traction for months. Whatever mean would be used to defeat Superman would need to be executed at a considerable distance and in such a way that Super-hearing or Super-speed would not be able to counter or prevent the attack. With his technological skills and access to data from the likes of the Justice Society of America, Justice League of America and Batman, Mr. Terrific would be able to create a red solar ray device or satellite that could be used to drain Superman of his powers and place him in custody under similar red solar rays.
Anyone can be Mr. Terrific in real life as this character shows all it takes is self determination to make oneself the best he or she can be through hard work. So be fair to yourself and your friends, but most importantly play fair.
First appearance: Spectre (vol. 3) #54
Character Created By: John Ostrander, Tom Mandrake
- Justice Society of America (vol. 3)
- Infinite Crisis
Currently can be found:
- Justice Society of America (vol. 3)
- Mr. Terrific (ongoing) September 2011
Origin of Mr. Terrific:
Written or Contributed by: BKThomson aka Brad Thomson