Michael Holt isn't simply gifted, he's extremely special. He learned the theory of time and space continuum and read and assimilated the works of Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, Max Planck, and Richard Feyman by the age of six years old. Though things for him have never been fair. A child prodigy, he has an astronomical IQ and is a natural athlete. On the other hand, his older brother Jeffrey, was mentally challenged and died at the age of 15.
Michael went on to acquire numerous doctorates and degrees, precisely 14 of them, as well as becoming an Olympic Decathlete. He was a self-made billionaire, due to his natural aptitude for learning. Even these accomplishments garnering him a small fortune, his greatest moment though was when he married his wife Paula. She gave him a purpose for living. And then she died in a car accident. He lost her and their unborn child.
Considering suicide, Michael contemplated his life. He was than approached by the Spectre. The Spirit of Divine Vengeance told Michael Holt about a man named Terry Sloane, the Golden Age Mr. Terrific. Inspired by Terry's similar natural gifts and origin, Michael decided to take up his mantle. He realized that though he was a prodigy, it was Paula and Jeffrey who were his role models. In their memory he turned his anger and sadness into resolve. If life wasn't fair, he'd make it fair.
Continuing the legacy identity of Terry Sloane, Michael Holt was created in a single issue story of the Spectre by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake where Holt was convinced by Jim Corrigan to take up the mantle of Mr. Terrific and be a hero of the streets like Terry Sloane had been. Michael Holt's first appearance is The Spectre 54
Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths / New Earth
Michael Holt was created as a grounded, street hero in his introduction in the Spectre. His costume consisted largely of normal clothes, and he relied on his own wits and physical abilities much as his predecessor Terry Sloane had.
Changes were quickly made to the character after his appearances in the Spectre. He soon appeared in the new JSA series in a very different costume and elements of the character were clearly reworked. As Mr. Terrific began to appear regularly in JSA under the writing of David Goyer and Geoff Johns, the character developed in more substantial ways away from his original concept. He debuted a sudden new metahuman ability to be invisible to technology and became very technologically oriented with the introduction of his T-spheres. His character transitioned away from focusing on street crime and instead became one of the foremost scientific minds of the superhero community.
The changes to Mr. Terrific were extremely well received, possibly due to how they broke the mold of black heroes being all about street crime and gang activity. Mr. Terrific was instead a rising star in the superhero community who eventually became chairman of the JSA. and later White King of Checkmate.
Post-Flashpoint / Earth 0
When DC revamped its entire universe after Flashpoint, Mr. Terrific was one of the characters to receive a new ongoing series. However, this came with major changes to his continuity as the Justice Society of America no longer existed as part of the DC Universe's history. This necessitated having almost Mr. Terrific's entire history rewritten. The basics of his origin was maintained with the tragic deaths of his wife and unborn, but the Spectre's involvement was stripped away. Rather than join the Justice Society soon after, Mr. Terrific now remained a solo superhero in Los Angeles and the billionaire C.E.O. of his own company. Michael Holt's unborn son was a genius in an alternate universe. This version came across the unknown to inspire him to act and become Mister Terrific. He introduced himself to the world against The Prodigy, a group of international terrorists. The Blackhawks, led by Lincoln, were battling the Prodigy. Mister Terrific debuted his T-spheres and Lincoln and Holt were at odds. Lincoln believed all tech should be controlled by the government. Holt discovered that Karen Starr broke into Holt Industries computers to create a quantum tunnel. Once he gave the order to stop Karen Starr from ever setting foot in Holt Industries he jumped into the quantum tunnel and went to Earth 2. Mister Terrific had jumped into the quantum tunnel earlier and believed it to be a rift. He saw glimpses of future events. The encounter with Lincoln and his Blackhawks, being a member of Earth 2's JLA/JSA team, Power Girl and himself in a battle and seemingly being killed by that Earth's Mister Terrific. A surge knocks him from the rift and when he awakes he his memory and the T-sphere's logs have been wiped. When he left to diffuse a potential threat the person who was a young son from another universe became Terry Sloane from Earth-2 and would later manipulate events where Michael Holt would travel there.
Eventually Mr. Terrific returnet to earth-0 in time to help Superman against the machinations of Vandal Savage and his Savage clan in a battle above Metropolis.
Dark Nights Metal
After the Metropolis adventure, Mr Terrific helped Batman to investigate what was happening in relation to the Dark Multiverse. He was involved with the use of Plastic Man to explore that cluster of realities but he had to join the rest of the heroes when the Dark Knights attacked earth 0. Along with Hal Jordan they traveled to Thanagar where they had to face Onimar Synn and Starro and were helped by Martian Manhunter.
Back on earth and with the invader defeated, Mr Terrific went against Simon Stagg, accusing him of stealing his technology and using it to explore the dark multiverse. Mr. Terrific discovered than Stagg had been performing experiments on Metamorpho, forcing him to transform himself into Nth Metal. When a portal to the dark multiverse was open, Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, and Plastic Man were sucked to that place and ended in a place they discovered was the corpse of a titanic being. There they discovered the stranded Linnya Wazzo, native of Bgztl. They also found a record from another explorer, Tom Strong, warning tham about the dangers of that place.
After escape from the attack of the awakening titan, Mr Terrific was bonded by a strange energy to his companions in the dark universe adventure. Reluctantly, he accepted to stuck together to his new companions forming the newest team know as the Terrifics!
Major Story Arcs
Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths / New Earth:
One Year Later
For further information: Checkmate, One Year Later, 52
When the United Nations rebuilt and restructured Checkmate, Alan Scott was appointed to the position of White King, and he recruited Mr. Terrific to be his White Bishop, basically a chief adviser role. While serving in this position, he began a secret relationship with the Black Queen of Checkmate, Sasha Bordeaux. The impropriety of their romance increased when Alan Scott was removed as White King and Mr. Terrific found himself elevated to that position.
As White King, Mr. Terrific drafted the Thinker, an artificial intelligence and enemy of the Flash, to serve as his White Bishop and kept Tommy Jagger in the position of White Knight. Amanda Waller, White Queen of Checkmate, attempted to use his secret relationship with Bordeaux as blackmail. She wanted to position of Black Queen and for months had quietly gathered leverage against the other Checkmate royals to make it happen. Mr. Terrific, along with Bordeaux and Black King Taleb Khalid, turned the tables on her, and she was instead forced to resign from Checkmate.
For further information: Final Crisis
Mr. Terrific was one of the few people left on Earth free of the Anti-Life Equation when Darkseid took control. He sealed himself in a bunker along with a handful of Checkmate personnel, trying to manage a resistance against Darkseid from there. Sasha Bordeaux was with him but had used her OMAC circuitry to shut herself down rather than succumb to the Anti-Life Equation.
Backed into a corner, Mr. Terrific made the risky decision to risk Bordeaux's life by reviving her to get access to the OMAC protocols, which he then used to activate OMACs all over the Earth. This became his army against Darkseid.
JSA vs. Kobra
An assassination attempt on Mr. Terrific's life by Kobra initiated a clash between him and Jason Burr, the new leader of Kobra. The chess-like conflict between them tested Mr. Terrific's bonds with both Checkmate and the Justice Society as he played both the role of White King and superhero. Tension rose with Power Girl, who had succeeded him as the chairperson of the Justice Society.
On a personal level, the clash was about Mr. Terrific's faith in sciences and others against Burr's extremist religious faith. Ultimately, it came down to a draw. Mr. Terrific prevented the assassination of President Suarez and eliminated much of Burr's organization, but Burr succeeded in killing the United Nations Secretary General and was free to replace what he had lost.
It was a bittersweet turn of events for Mr. Terrific, but it was made better by Sasha Bordeaux finally coming out of her coma.
- Gender: Male
- Height: 6' 2"
- Weight: 215 lbs (98 kg)
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Black
Peak Human Conditioning: Mr. Terrific's bodily functions are at the pinnacle of human conditioning.
Peak Human Endurance/Stamina: Mr. Terrific has a highly developed musculature that generate less fatigue toxins than the musculature of most other humans, enabling him to gain greater endurance. While fighting the Tomorrow Thief, he was able to survive in Arctic temperatures with two broken ribs.
Peak Human Strength: Mr. Terrific's strength is superior to any normal human.
Peak Human Agility/Reflexes: Mr Terrific's agility is pushed to the very limit of human capability, and his reflexes are heighten to the peak of human potential.
Athlete: Holt is a natural born athlete. He's also a Olympic Gold Medalist in the decathlon.
Business Man: Holt is the Billionaire C.E.O of Holt Industries aka HoltCorp, a high tech firm he founded himself. He's also a Engineer, Inventor, Industrialist, and Scientist.
Child Prodigy/Genius: Holt is known as the third smartest man on earth; 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. By the time he was 6 he had already advanced knowledge of theoretical physics, and read/assimilated the works of Bohr, Einstein, Planck and Feynman. He was able to learn the theory of time-and space continuum while other kids were struggling with Sesame Street. As Holt himself put it, "everyone has a talent...Mine is learning."
Martial Artist: Holt is a black belt in 6 different forms of Martial Arts disciplines. Holt was able to fight Tomorrow Thief without his T-spheres, in Arctic temperatures, with two broken ribs, defeating him just using his agility and chemistry knowledge.
Multilingualism: Holt is multilingual, though the extent of this hasn't been revealed. He has been shown to speak the language of the nation of Kahndaq. Given Holt's propensity for learning, it's highly likely that he speaks several other languages as well.
Polymath: Holt is a polymath who has specialized in multiple fields. He possesses 14 Ph.D's (two of which are in engineering and physics), including assorted doctorates and masters in degrees in:
- Electrical Engineering
- Political Science
Strategist: Holt is good in strategy, playing chess against two opponents with eyes closed.
T-Mask: Holt is invisible to all forms of electronic detection. This ability is tied to nanotechnology woven into his specially designed "T-Mask" (which is molecular-bonded to his face and can disappear at will) and costume. Mr. Terrific was apparently the only super-hero whom the OMACs could not detect. His mask also protects his face from chemicals and relays mental commands to his T-Spheres by detecting the subtle movements on his face. The mask works in conjunction with an ear piece to acts as a communications system. Through his mask, Holt can change instantaneously into costume and back again. Holt's mask also doubles as a 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.
- His mask is pretty useful, it's able to scan the vicinity, and calculate how many people are coming at him, how far they are, how fast they are moving, hell, he can even see their temperature level. His mask insures nobody is going to be able to sneak on him.
- His mask is capable of connecting into other technological equipment and things.
- His mask can take over every radio and television station in the world.
Invisibility to Technology: The T-Mask also allows him to be invisible to all technology and forms of electronic detection. He's remarked how he is a "walking blind spot" when it comes to technology. Even Batman's night vision lenses, while not working on purely electronic standpoint, can barely see him. He is capable of extending the cloaking field to a greater area as well. Even the nigh-invincible OMAC's can't spot him. Terrific can walk right through the base of OMAC's, the Brother Eye satellite. Machines can't hear him, see him, or record him.
T-spheres: Holt is aided by his "T-Spheres", floating robotic spheres each with different capabilities, and can do many things including: project holographic images, project laser grids, serve as cameras, link with outside data networks and orbital satellites, open electronic locks, allow him to fly by bearing his weight, explode with enough force to send Captain Marvel flying back, generate powerful electric charges, and strike as flying projectile weapons. He usually carries 3-5 of them, but he has a gigantic supply of them, which he can access at any time. He doesn't need to command his T-Spheres with speech, his mask doubles as an encephalic broadcaster, enabling him to command them with his mind, even if he is laying on a hospital bed, and isn't capable of moving or talking.
Holograms: The T-Spheres can create extremely intricate holograms, with sound included. They are good enough to fool Ultra-Humanite, a telepath, with the powers of the Thunderbolt for some time. The holograms have been used to fool a thug, fool Kobra, and with enough realism to make it seem like he killed Sand. The holograms can also be used to make people invisible.
- Weapon Capabilities: The T-Spheres can explode, with enough force to separate Captain Marvel and Black Adam and send them flying. They can can shoot out gas, release electrical charges, and are able to create lasers and laser grids to very specific degree.
- Computer hacking/scanning: The T-Spheres can scan things pretty specifically, as shown when they were able to detect nano infestation from blood, three parts per million. They are able to download data and show it to Holt. His T-Spheres automatically warn him of things trying to sneak up on him, even Batman.
- Levitation/Flight:The T-Spheres creating some sort of forcefield that Holt uses to levitate himself and other people off the ground.
In the potential future of Futures End, which takes place five years into the future of the current DC universe, Holt returned to Earth 1 after being stranded on Earth 2 (presumably during a war between Earths 1 & 2) and established Terrifitech, a tech company. He's now adopted a rap mogul-like persona.Terry McGinnis was sent back to kill him in order to prevent Brother Eye from being brought online. 35 years into the future it was shown that he was living in Terrifitech Tower as a prisoner of Brother Eye.
On Earth-2, Michael Holt exists not as Mr. Terrific but a college professor. His life took a very different turn, because his wife Paula never died, resulting in him never having the crisis of faith that motivated him to become both a superhero and an atheist.
In an alternate timeline unintentionally created by Barry Allen, Michael Holt still became Mr. Terrific, but he did so along with his wife Paula who joined him as Mrs. Terrific. Their lives resulted in tragedy at the hands of the Outsider. He had them both framed and imprisoned for five years. When they got out, they made an assassination attempt on him along with Rising Sun. The attempt failed, and Michael was the first to be killed during the fight.
In Other Media
Justice League Unlimited
For further information: Justice League
Voiced by Michael Beach, Mr. Terrific became a recurring character on the expanded Justice League Unlimited animated series. These began as non-speaking roles but expanded after Martian Manhunter took a leave from the team. Mr. Terrific stepped up in J'onn's absence, taking over the role of the Justice League's dispatcher in the Watchtower, organizing and coordinated the team's efforts.
Though the character of Mr. Terrific never appears in the CW television series, Michael Holt is referenced by Lois Lane in the episode "Absolute Justice" as a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. He later appeard in the comic book series Smallville: Chaos
Mr. Terrific appears beginning in the fourth season of Arrow. This incarnation, played by Echo Kellum, is named Curtis Holt and is gay.