Mr. Terrific pays a visit to Simon Stagg, because he stole Terrifictech while Michael Holt had been away during the events of Dark Knights: Metal. Coincidentally, Stagg is trying to access the Dark Multiverse as Holt arrives, but Stagg has lost control of the portal and is unable to close it. Stagg was using Metamorpho as a key to open the portal, but Rex had to endure a lot of pain during the process. With the aid of Plastic Man, Holt manages to free Rex, however, the trio is sucked into the Dark Multiverse.
There, they stumble upon a girl named Linnya Wazzo, the 21st century version of Phantom Girl, whom had been living on a planet-sized corpse of Dark Elder for years. Fortunately, she was able to escape thanks to Mr. Terrific and his new friends.
Back on earth, they have a new problem: they can’t travel more than one mile from each other without exploding. They are now stuck together by dark energy, whether they like it or not. Hereby, the team “The Terrifics” was born!
Spinning out of the events of Dark Nights Metal, DC decided to launch eight titles under the banner: “The New Age of Heroes”. These titles are a gateway to introduce new characters into the DC universe. Although the team consists of characters that were established decades ago (barring the new incarnation of Phantom Girl), the team “The Terrifics” is a brand new concept. Moreover, these characters (the four of them are: Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Phantom Girl (Linnya) and Plastic Man) have never formed a team before. The team was created by Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis.
The team, like the other "New Age of Heroes" titles, seems conspicuously inspired by a popular Marvel Comics property. Specifically, in this case, the Fantastic Four, a foursome with an invisible female, super-smart scientist, a nice-guy bruiser, and a sarcastic pain-in-the-butt. Furthermore, they seem to have counterparts for Dr. Doom, Galactus and Silver Surfer, and The Future Foundation.
Major Story Arcs
Night of the Plastic Men
The team went to the Stagg Internship Program’s Halloween party so that Phantom Girl could socialize with kids her own age. However, on the other side of the Stagg campus, Stagg is forcing one of his scientists to experiment with Plastic Man’s DNA, accidentally creating a batch of body-snatching plastic men. Thankfully, Stagg was able to get an SOS to Rex before he was cocooned by his own double.
Rex and Plas ran to the rescue, and Rex was able to turn into the correct gas to dissolve the plastic man cocoon. With the scientist freed, he suggested an electrical discharge that would destabilize the plastic material. However, destabilizing the material forced them to choose new forms. Unfortunately, they were created with memory implants based on Plastic Man, so the new forms they chose were his enemies. To defeat the body snatchers, the team had to rip the memory implants from their head.
The Terrifics were milling about Stagg’s campus trying not to explode when their attention was caught by a town in Michigan where many residents transformed into Metamorpho-like beings. It was a trap set by Algon: The Ancient Elemental Man. He was in charge of guarding the Element World, a collection of cities representing the base elements. He wants to force Rex to switch places with him so he can be free.
Due to the team’s unique bond, the other 3 Terrifics (now joined by Element Dog, a local dog with Metamorpho powers) are forced to follow and rescue Rex. Using the Orb of Ra, they are able to seal the portal to Element World before Algon can escape and cure everyone in town, including Rex and Element Dog.
The Mysterious Dr. Dread took credit for some of the trouble The Terrifics have been put through and warned he would go after Tom Strong next. Tom Strong was an adventurer who the team saw in a holographic message while in the Dark Multiverse.
Holt determined the frequency of Strong’s universe from his recorded message and calibrated his T-Sphere to travel there, so they could warn Strong of the coming danger. However, Doc Dread booby trapped Strong’s base of operations, sending the Terrifics to the Forest of Eternity, a dimensional way station, where Strong had also been trapped.
Luckily, passing through this dimensional gateway “rebooted” the dark energy bond that was keeping them together. Now that they were able to go their separate ways, they split up to help Tom Strong rescue his wife, daughter, and assistant, all of whom were thrown into different dimensions by Dread. Once the two teams were saved, they regrouped and followed Doc Dread back to Stagg’s mansion.
Doc Dread revealed himself to be Java, Stagg’s caveman assistant, whose campaign against The Terrifics was a misguided attempt to capture the affection of Sapphire, Stagg’s daughter and Rex’s girlfriend. Java made his getaway once more, and with the day saved and their dark energy bond gone, Mr. Terrific breaks up The Terrifics.
With the Terrifics disbanded, Holt explored the multiverse on his own looking for Java. In Java's wake were the dead bodies of Holt’s multiverse counterparts. When he finally caught up to Java, he had assembled his own Terrifics: the Dreadfuls: a robotic Metamorpho, a vampire Plastic Man, and a male version of Phantom Girl.
Outmatched, Holt sends an SOS to his former teammates. Struggling to re-enter normal lives, they jump at the chance to be heroes again, including Rex, who breaks the Orb of Ra to get his (and Element Dog’s) powers back. Along for the ride is Plastic Man’s estranged son: Offspring. To find Holt in the multiverse, they call in a favor from Tesla Strong.
When they finally catch up with Holt, he had already partnered up with a counterpart of his late wife, Paula, who became Ms. Terrific on her Earth after the death of her Michael Holt. Their combined strength was enough to defeat the Dreadfuls, who they delivered to Justice Incarnate to face consequences for their crimes against the multiverse. This time, The Terrifics decided to keep the team together, including Ms. Terrific, who returned with them to their Earth to start a romantic relationship with Holt.
The God Game
Stagg was unveiling his newest invention, an immersive combat training virtual reality simulator so good that it was tangible. The VR quickly goes out of control needing the intervention of The Terrifics, but when the military NPCs turned into frogs and the plumbing on campus turned water into blood, Plas noticed they were facing Biblical plagues.
Due to a glitch, the system cannot be turned off mid-operation, so The Terrifics are forced to play through the video-game-like simulator. Eventually, they confronted the Noosphere, a Stagg supercomputer that gained sentience and convinced itself it was God. It baited Mr. Terrific into coming to the rescue, so it could upload to a T-Sphere and make its escape from its digital prison. Still believing it was God, it began apprehending people and hooking them into its information matrix as if they were willing worshippers.
To save everyone, Holt gave the Noosphere his T-Sphere Ship so that it could leave this planet behind and fulfill its full potential. The team was not happy with his decision.
Bizarro and The Terribles (a Bizarro Terrifics) show up to the Terrifics base of operations looking for a power source for the time machine Lex Luthor gifted to Bizarro during the Year of the Villain event. They had tried to use it to stop the forward progress of technology on their home planet. When technology proved inevitable on their planet, they realized they could stop it on Earth, because everything on Earth is the opposite of Bizarro World.
Bizarro steals Phantom Zone crystals that belonged to Phantom Girl to repower his device and takes off with his team. The Terrifics give chase, but the closer they got to The Terribles, the further back in time they seem to warp. Once The Terribles have enough crystals, they are able to regress the planet all at once.
This only breaks time further. The Terrifics are transformed into children, and the planet fills up with dinosaurs and historical archetypes from across time. The Terrifics now have to avoid these new problems in addition to The Terribles, who are still trying to attack the Terrifics.
Bizarro continued to loop time so that they could victimize the miniature Terrifics over and over. Once Paula crossed into a time singularity created as a side effect, she started remembering the loops and, eventually, stopped respawning altogether. She is able to get a message to Holt, though. He rallies the team, and they work together to jump through the singularity dragging their enemies with them.
The Terrifics and The Terribles end up at the end of time with nothing left but a Noosphere simulation. Paula springs from a place outside of time with a new set of wings and a sword that can cut through time itself. She uses her new powers to bring her team back to the present but strand the Terribles in the future. However, she can’t stay. She has a new, bigger purpose and leaves the team.
The Tomorrow War
After running into The Noosphere at the end of time, Holt has been concerned about the future. To prepare for the best, he put together the T-Council to work in tandem with the Terrifics and started a partnership with Stagg. However, Stagg already entered a partnership with a demon living under his campus. When Stagg doesn’t make good on that deal, the demon kills him.
The death of Stagg led to the return of his estranged son, Sebastian, who tried to take over the business. Using a few different supervillains in his employ, he hit various Terrificitech projects, including a space station that was being destroyed by Lobo and an artificial sun that The Parasite was feeding on. The Terrifics attempted to take them on but ended up stranded in space when Lobo broke their breathing apparatuses.
Luckily, Phantom Girl’s breathing apparatus was undamaged. She gathered everyone on the T-Sphere Ship as fast as she could and rushed back to Earth where Sebastian and his team had converted a significant part of the city into parasite like creatures. The Terrifics captured Sebastian, but the Parasite cure proved harder to solve.
Holt was forced to turn part of the city into a floating island in order to quarantine the infected. A month later, they were finally cured, and Holt turned his floating island into a new base of operations so that both of his teams could build a better future.
Dark Knights: Death Metal
During the event of Dark Knights: Death Metal, the Terrifics were just a few of the many heroes that showed up to against the Batman Who Laughs and the Dark Knights alongside Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.