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Mister Terrific (Michael Holt)

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Michael Holt is a fictional atheist character in the DC Universe. He is the second character to take up the Mister Terrific mantle.

Fictional character history

At a young age, Michael Holt showed remarkable intelligence, reading and assimilating the works of Bohr, Einstein, Planck and Feynman, the pantheon of theoretical physics, at the age of six. He studied advanced science, space, and time "while other children struggled through Sesame Street".[1] Michael grew up with his mentally challenged older brother, Jeffrey, whom Michael loved dearly. When Jeffrey died at the age of 15, Michael was devastated.[2]

Holt displayed "a natural aptitude for having natural aptitudes", as he called it, easily picking up and retaining complex skills and abilities that other men spent their entire lives perfecting. Before he began his career as a superhero, he already possessed 14 Ph.D's (two in Engineering and Physics -- including doctorates and masters degrees in Law, Psychology, Chemistry, Political science, and Mathematics),[3][4] was a self-made multi-millionaire[1] with a high tech firm called Cyberwear (subsequently sold to Waynetech[5]) and was a Gold medal winning Olympic decathlete.

The accidental deaths of his wife and unborn child were a devastating blow to Holt and while contemplating suicide, he was met by the Spectre, who told him about Terry Sloane, the Golden Age superhero known as Mister Terrific. Inspired by Sloane's life story, he took the name Mister Terrific and later joined the current Justice Society of America, eventually serving as its chairman.

He initially wore ordinary clothes and a leather jacket with Sloane's "Fair Play" emblem on the back. He currently wears a T-shaped mask composed of electronic nanites, a black and white costume with red trim, and a collarless jacket in the same colors (the black sections of tunic and jacket forming a "T") with "Fair Play" written on the sleeves and "Terrific" across the back.

For a time he acted as spokesperson for Tylerco and consulted that company on industrial espionage and security matters in exchange for that company helping fund a youth center Terrific had started.[6]

Holt has a friendly rivalry with Batman, his opposite number in the Justice League of America (in his identity as Bruce Wayne, Batman owns Holt's business). Michael Holt has encountered Terry Sloane twice through time travel, with Sloane expressing pride in having so worthy a successor. Holt has been noted as the most intelligent member of the JSA in its history, surpassing his predecessor. He describes himself as the third smartest person in the world,[7] and this notion now appears to be widespread within the DC Universe.[8]

Justice Society of America chairmanship

During a conflict over leadership of the Justice Society between former chairman Hawkman and then-current chairman Sand, Terrific was elected as the JSA's new chairman by his teammates, despite not actively seeking the office.[9] He served in this capacity until the team disbanded following the Infinite Crisis.

Mr. Terrific currently remains a member of the reformed Justice Society of America. He resumed his chairmanship from the last incarnation of the team,[10] but his leadership responsibilities in Checkmate eventually prompted him to relinquish the position to Power Girl.[11]

Infinite Crisis

Mr. Terrific was part of the team assembled by Batman for an attack on the Brother Eye satellite responsible for controlling the OMACs. He played a critical role as his invisibility to technology allowed him to reach the satellite's propulsion system, sending it crashing to Earth. On this meeting he met and befriended another African American superhero - Black Lightning.

One Year Later

As part of "One Year Later", though Holt is still a member of the JSA, he has also become part of the United Nations Security Council's intelligence agency Checkmate. He initially held the position of White King's Bishop, but when the previous White King (Alan Scott) was forced to resign, he became Checkmate's new White King, complicating his relationship with Sasha Bordeaux, Checkmate's Black Queen. He has also given up his chairman position, which has been taken over by Power Girl. Mr. Terrific has also established an ill-defined mentorship with Firestorm (Jason Rusch), over the missing year. The specifics of their meeting are yet to be documented.

Final Crisis

During the Final Crisis of Humanity, the war between Darkseid and the human world, Mister Terrific, along with Cheetah and Snapper Carr, is left trapped in the ruins of Checkmate headquarters, unable to get past the brainwashed metahuman, and caring for Sasha, who preferred using her OMAC programmation to shut down her bodly functions rather than falling prey of the Anti-Life Equation. Forcefully waking up Sasha, thus condemning her, Michael Holt is forced to activate a new OMAC population, programmed to obey him rather than Brother Eye, and protect the last few humans against the new Justifiers.

Death and return

In Justice Society of America vol. 3 series, Mr. Terrific takes over the research, just as the low-level villain Tapeworm appears on the news, taking hostages and demanding that Wildcat show himself. All-American Kid and King Chimera must remain in the brownstone, Mister Terrific retreats to his lab, and the rest of the team leaves to help Wildcat. All-American Kid goes into the lab and stabs Mister Terrific in the back.[12] Justice Society members arrive back at headquarters to discover Mr. Terrific has been attacked, and Dr. Mid-Nite tends to his wounds.[13] In the end, Mister Terrific succumbs to his injuries and Alan Scott reports that he has died.[14] However, Scott is able to use the power of the Green Flame to slow down time around Mister Terrific's body in the hopes that he can be healed before brain death occurs.[15] Michael is restored to life by the magicks of the new Doctor Fate, and attacks All-American Kid, revealing that he is actually the teenage psychopath known as Kid Karnevil, and subdues him.[16] For a short time during his recovery, Michael is forced to use a wheelchair, although he still found time to upgrade Mister America's whip.[17]

Religious beliefs

While being held captive by Onimar Synn on an adventure with the Justice Society on Thanagar, Holt first expressed his disbelief in souls and how he was uncomfortable with the notion of reincarnation after witnessing the return of teammate Hawkman. Holt states, "when my wife, Paula, was killed in a car accident... she was gone. I didn't feel her 'soul' around me. Didn't feel anything."[18]

After a near-death experience where he sees his wife and unborn child (who he decides to name 'Terry' after the original Mister Terrific), Holt's beliefs are shaken and he agrees to attend a church service with teammate Doctor Mid-Nite.[19]

However, this attempt to find religion apparently wasn't satisfying as Holt is also seen getting into a theological discussion with Ragman during the Infinite Crisis (Ragman is Jewish while Mr. Terrific describes himself as an atheist). When asked if he had faith in anything, Terrific answered, "Sure I do. I've got faith in my team."[7]

Skills, powers and equipment

  • Holt is described as having "a natural aptitude for having natural aptitudes"; picking up complicated skills quickly and retaining them, such as performing emergency surgery on teammate Alan Scott after reading about the procedure in a medical text book and subsequently becoming Dr. Mid-Nite's assistant. As Holt himself put it, "everyone has a talent... Mine is learning."[20][21]
  • Holt has described himself as the third smartest man on Earth.[7]
  • He is aided by his "T-Spheres", floating robotic spheres with multiple functions, holographic projection,[22] projecting laser grids,[23] and recording, communication, linking with and manipulating other electronic devices, from satellites to electronic locks.[24] They allow Terrific to fly by bearing his weight,[25] and can be used as weapons, both by exploding with enough force to send Captain Marvel flying back,[26] generating powerful electric charges,[27] and strike as flying, projectile weapons.[28] They respond to his mental and vocal commands.
  • He is invisible to all forms of electronic detection. Despite a claim to Black Lightning in Infinite Crisis that "I've got one superpower: I'm invisible to technology," this may have been a simplification. In all other instances this ability is tied to nanotechnology woven into his specially designed "T-Mask" (which is molecularly bonded to his face and can appear and disappear at will) and costume. Mr. Terrific was apparently the only super-hero whom the OMACs could not detect. The only exception to his invisibility however, is that of the Red Tornado, who for reasons yet unknown, is capable of seeing Terrific, despite being an android. Red Tornado's status as a wind elemental may explain his ability to see Holt. His mask also protects his face from chemicals[29] and relays mental commands to his T-Spheres by detecting the subtle movements on his face. The mask works in conjunction with an earpiece to act as a communications system.
  • Through his mask, Holt can change instantaneously into costume and back again.[30]
  • He is a black belt in 6 different martial arts disciplines and an Olympic Gold Medalist in the decathlon.[31][5]
  • Holt is also a polymath who has specialized in multiple fields of medicine, engineering, and science. He possesses 14 Ph.D's (two of which are in engineering and physics).[3]
  • Along with teammate and friend Doctor Mid-Nite and Batman, Mister Terrific is one of the three main superheroes with medical training in the DC Universe. Although it is not known if he has an M.D., he did participate in the autopsy of Sue Dibny in Identity Crisis.[32]
  • Holt's mask also doubles as an encephalic broadcaster, picking up aggregate thought-waves, allowing him to communicate with his T-Spheres and even project a speaking hologram of himself, even if he is injured or too weak to speak.[33] The mask can also form and transmit images on low- or high-band light frequencies visible to his teammate Doctor Mid-Nite.
  • Holt is also multilingual, though the extent of this hasn't been revealed. He has been shown to speak the languages of the fictional nations of Kahndaq and Bialya. Given Holt's propensity for learning, it likely that he speaks several other languages as well.[34]

Other versions

An alternate version of Michael Holt appears on the new Earth-2. This version is a college professor, who had a religious experience after his wife was nearly killed, and is now a devout Christian. He helps the Power Girl of New Earth to return home.[35]

Other media

Michael Holt makes several cameo appearances in the animated TV series Justice League Unlimited. He moves into a more prominent role in the series' final season, becoming the League's Coordinator and responsible for assigning tasks to the various heroes after J'onn J'onzz resigns from active duty. The animated Mr. Terrific is voiced by Michael Beach.

Holt had a total of five episodes in which he spoke. The first was in "To Another Shore" in which Wonder Woman had suggested that Mr. Terrific could take over J'onn's duty as the Coordinator.

It was not until the next episode he appeared in, "Dead Reckoning", where he was shown as being the League's official Coordinator, in which he helped Wonder Woman, Batman and Deadman (in Superman's body) find information on Grodd's expanded Secret Society.

He had more expanded roles starting with the episode "Patriot Act", where he had Green Arrow, Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., Shining Knight and Vigilante go on a mission in Metropolis to cover for Superman. When Wade Eiling showed up, Green Arrow told Mr. Terrific they needed reinforcements. Terrific stated every other member of the League was on another mission, but managed to call Crimson Avenger and Speedy and send them to Metropolis.

In "The Great Brain Robbery", Mr. Terrific, Green Lantern, Red Tornado and Dr. Fate all witnessed the accident by Dr. Fate that caused Flash and Lex Luthor to switch minds. After many attempts by the four of them to capture Lex in Flash's body, Mr. Terrific turned off the gravity in which Lex couldn't run without it. However Lex spun his arms in a fast motion that allowed him to fly. Terrific turned the gravity back on and Lex crashed into the ground, knocked out. Dr. Fate then switched their minds back.

In "Destroyer", Mr. Terrific had sent members of the League and the Secret Society together on teams to stop Darkseid's parademons. Later, Steel notifies Terrific about drilling machines that were eating at the earth's core. Terrific tells each team to destroy them at all costs.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 JSA #13, pg.1
  2. 52 #39, pg.22
  3. 3.0 3.1 JSA # 28, pg. 11
  4. JSA #53, pg. 8
  5. 5.0 5.1 JSA # 28, pg.11
  6. JSA #5, pg.6
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Infinite Crisis # 5, pg. 1
  8. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) # 2, pg. 3
  9. JSA #27, pg.17-18
  10. 52 #39, pg. 22, Backup Origin
  11. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) # 4
  12. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #29 (July 2009)
  13. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #30 (August 2009)
  14. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #31 (September 2009)
  15. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #32 (October 2009)
  16. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #33 (November 2009)
  17. Justice Society of America (Vol. 3) #34
  18. JSA # 26, pg. 8-9
  19. JSA # 62, pg. 17-21
  20. JSA # 17, pg. 1
  21. JSA # 53, pg. 8
  22. JSA All-Stars # 7, pg.4
  23. JSA # 61, pg.6
  24. JSA: Classified # 29, pg.11
  25. JSA # 78, pg.3
  26. JSA # 41, pg.19
  27. JSA # 31, pg.16
  28. JSA # 71, pg.4
  29. JSA All-Stars # 7, pg.6
  30. JSA # 84, pg. 8
  31. JSA # 12, pg.6
  32. JSA # 67, pg.2-6
  33. JSA # 49, pg. 5-6
  34. Hawkman vol. 3 # 24, pg. 10
  35. Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #19

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Mister Terrific (Michael Holt). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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