DC’s New Age of Heroes has been a frustrating initiative. It was promoted as an artist-driven line, but the majority of these series have lost their original artists within the first few chapters—including The Terrifics, which had Ivan Reis on board for one-and-a-half issues. Reis was never going to be a permanent fixture on the series (it was announced early on that Evan “Doc” Shaner would also be on the creative team), but it’s still irritating to see a publisher heavily push an artist that’s only going to be with the book for a short period of time. That said, Shaner is an exceptional fit for this series, and he nails the classic superhero tone of Jeff Lemire’s story, which assembles a quartet of heroes as DC’s answer to Marvel’s Fantastic Four. The series has really come together with the addition of Shaner and colorist Nathan Fairbairn to the creative team, but they unfortunately also have a limited run on the title.
Lemire is making the most of his time with Shaner and Fairbairn, and this exclusive preview of this week’s The Terrifics #5 has the creative team using a four-panel grid to give each hero their own area on the page. These panels bleed together when the different characters interact, a clever way of tying the layouts to the action. Shaner and Fairbairn visually distinguish each of these individual sections with graphic background details and specific color palettes, and there’s some outstanding character work in these pages reinforcing each member’s unique personality. It’s a pity that Shaner and Fairbairn won’t be sticking around for longer, but hopefully they’ll get the opportunity to return to this series down the line.