DC announced that the six lowest selling titles of new 52 would be cancelled and Mister Terrific was one of the titles being cancelled with the last issue coming out on April 11, 2012.
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 millionaire, 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.
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.
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.
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 215 lbs (98 kg)
Powers and Abilities
Enhanced Intellect: 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. As Holt himself put it, "everyone has a talent...Mine is learning."
Polymath: 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-including assorted doctorates and masters in degrees in:
- Electrical Engineering
- Political Science
Gymnastics: Holt is an Olympic Gold Medalist in the decathlon.
Martial Arts: Holt is a black belt in 6 different forms of Martial Arts.
Multilingualism: Holt is also 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.
Self-Made Multi-millionaire: Before becoming a super hero, Holt founded a company called Cyberwear later named Holt Holdings Inc. He has since sold that company to Waynetech, a company owned by Bruce Wayne.
T-spheres, are floating spherical robots that allow him an array of abilities. He can create holograms and laser grids, take audio and visual surveillance, and they also pack a punch! The floating robotic spheres can do many things including: link with outside data networks, allowing him to fly by bearing his weight, self-destruct, generate powerful electrical charges, and strike as flying projectile weapons. They respond to his mental and vocal commands.
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.
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.
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.