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Mister Terrific: Meet the DC super-genius before his DC movie debut in 2025's Superman

Meet Michael Holt. He's Terrific!

Mr. Terrific
Image credit: DC

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DC Comics' pantheon of heroes and villains is vast. So many characters lie under the radar that fans would love to know about. Mister Terrific is one of those people. He's the third-smartest person in the DC Universe (according to him), behind Batman and Lex Luthor. That's solid company to sit in. Granted, he put himself in that category, but that confidence and bravado make Mister Terrific a great hero in the DC Universe.

With the DC cinematic universe rebooting, Mister Terrific will play a role in the new crop of heroes introduced to the public. If you are a fan of tech geniuses who use their considerable wealth to transform themselves into vigilantes who fight crime on the streets of their city, Mister Terrific is for you. Learn a little about Michael Holt before he rides his T-Spheres to a theater near you in 2025.

Who is Mister Terrific?

Michael Holt founded the tech giant Holt Holdings Inc., a multimillion-dollar company in the DC Universe. What do you do with a successful tech company once it's profitable? You sell it to a richer person for a boatload of cash, that's what. Michael sold Holt Holdings to global megacompany Wayne Tech for a mint. That is after Holt used his considerable genius and company resources to turn himself into a superhero.

Created by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, Mister Terrific first appeared in The Spectre #54 in June 1997. His origins are tied to the original Mister Terrific and a member of the Justice Society of America, Terry Sloane, created in 1947. Terry and Michael are dedicated to cleaning up the streets and being role models for the youth. Holt come a long way from a street-level hero to a dimension-hopping, genius-level millionaire. Over the years, the writers adopted aspects of the original Terrific to Michael, inheriting Terry's wealth and

What are Mister Terrific's powers?

Holt is a genius, and like many incredibly brilliant people in the DC Universe, he uses his smarts to beat up criminals and super-intelligent cavemen. As Mister Terrific, Michael wields the versatile T-Spheres. These autonomous robotic orbs are a true marvel in the DC Universe. The spheres can do various things, including create holographic projects, fire lasers, and help Holt fly by carrying his weight.

The T-Spheres generate electrical charges to incapacitate enemies. They can be used as self-propelled projectiles and respond to mental and physical commands. These AI-driven orbs aren't Holt's only tools in the field. Michael is a black belt in six forms of martial arts, and his T-Mask shields him from detection by electronic devices. He is all but invisible to technology, thanks to his technology. Is that irony? Holt is also a trained medic, making Mister Terrific one of the few DC heroes capable of patching someone up after a ruthless day at the office. Mister Terrific is determined to live up to the moniker.

Where can I read more about Mister Terrific?

Michael Holt's Mister Terrific made his big-time debut in The Spectre #54 in June of 1997. From there, he's made numerous appearances in the Justice League Society series and Infinite Crisis. He also plays a substantial part in the Strange Adventures Graphic Novel by Tom King.

If you want a hefty dose of Holt, you should check out The Terrifics by DC Comics. In it, Mister Terrific leads a small team of heroes on wild, universe-hopping adventures. He's joined by Metamorpho, Plastic Man, Phantom Girl, and his wife, Mrs. Terrific, from an alternate dimension.

The series is a loving homage to the Fantastic Four story structure. It presents their universe in a fun, campy, retrofuturistic light and builds a family dynamic between the heroes as they careen through the universe. The Terrifics Volumes 1-4 are on sale now. I highly recommend them.

Where have we seen Mister Terrific before?

2025's Superman movie won't be the first time Mister Terrific has appeared in a live-action setting. The CW's Arrow series had its own Terrific genius, played by Echo Kellum. This version of Mister Terrific, Curtis Holt, was inspired by, but ultimately different from, the comic book Michael. Curtis was introduced in the fourth season of Arrow and became a series regular soon after. He was the "guy in the chair" for much of his stint before donning the iconic T-Mask and jacket and began smacking around the scum of the city at night.

Where does Mister Terrific fit into the DC Universe?

Mister Terrific's name popped up as one of the heroes making their big screen debut in the upcoming DC Universe reboot Superman. As James Gunn and Peter Safran prepare their DC Comics magnum opus, several characters, including Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, and Metamorpho of The Terrifics, are confirmed to grace the screen in the next iteration of the DCU.

Michael Holt will be played by actor Edi Gathegi. This isn't Edi's first foray into the superhero genre. He played Darwin in the film X-Men: First Class. Let's hope Edi's version of Holt is treated better than Darwin. Michael Holt could play a massive role in forming either the JSA, JLA or The Terrifics with the slate clean for the DCU. Gunn is known for pairing oddball characters to significant effect, and The Terrifics fit that bill quite nicely.


DC watch order: How to rewatch all of the DCEU in release and chronological order, from Man of Steel onwards.

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Carl Waldron avatar

Carl Waldron

Contributing writer

Carl studies the stats of old Marvel trading cards, collects dope domain names, and has a growing backlog of video games and comics he'll never get to play. He spends his time getting beat up by his kids, playing Destiny 2 (Titan Main), and designing things for money. Carl has written for DCComics.com, IGN.com, Multiversity Comics, and Newsarama, all while disguised as a mild-mannered Creative Director.
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