Meet the Terrifics ended with the cliffhanger introduction of a villain with the distinctly unpromising name of Doctor Dread, and the thrilling premise of the title team journeying to another world to meet Tom Strong.

As Tom Strong’s own series (see recommendations) was a previous attempt to twist the original idea of the Fantastic Four around, the idea of the Terrifics meeting him and his family has possibilities. Jeff Lemire teases this out well, especially contrasting the single Mister Terrific with the Strong family unit. However, the other Terrifics also have family issues, and those are not quite as convincing, some of Lemire’s plotting a little clunky in fitting square pegs into round holes. Accept that as a narrative hazard, and this is high octane adventure improving on the first volume.

All the fun on offer is in danger of being scuppered by the constantly changing artists, none able to contribute more than two consecutive chapters. For some reason Dale Eaglesham’s opening two chapters earn him cover billing (sample art), but he’s the best of a bunch working roughly in the same naturalistic style by virtue of being the most imaginative. A particularly nice touch is his drawing Plastic Man in the exaggerated lunatic fashion bringing classic Warner Brothers cartoons to mind.

In addition to the opening few chapters of the title story giving a prolonged look at Tom Strong and family, Lemire takes a tour around the 52 worlds of the DC multiverse, some alternate Earths only briefly visited, and others offering a longer stay. There’s even some sense to Doctor Dread, who’s not exactly what they seem, and is the source of a thoughtful revelation fleshing someone out. Lemire’s stay as writer ends here, but he tells a complete story over two volumes with an emotional purpose, and leaves more than enough for Gene Luen Yang to pick up on in The God Game.