In DC Comics Mr. Terrific is the world’s third smartest man, an Olympic level athlete, a skilled inventor, and a complete badass.
Unfortunately something got lost in the translation at Berlanti Productions. In their adaptation, Mr. Terrific is a bumbling stumbling idiot too scared to carry his own weight on the Outsiders…I mean Team Arrow.
Something got lost in the translation of Michael Holt from comic to screen. Because the character being presented as Mr. Terrific is anything but. They may call him Mr. Terrific, but he’s more like the Cowardly Lion. A guy with a tough looking outfit, but absolutely no nerve.
When it comes to Mr. Terrific I don’t see any Fair Play in how he’s being presented onscreen by Berlanti Productions. On Arrow, Green Arrow gets to be shown as strong and confident. Wild Dog gets to be shown as tough and scrappy. Ragman is shown as mysterious and creepy. Even Vigilante is presented as a battle tactician and a strategist.
Mr. Terrific was supposed to be all that and more. A master tactician, a skilled fighter, and a brilliant inventor. The equivalent of Marvel’s Black Panther. But on Arrow he’s been turned into a minstrel in a mask. With the stupid way he acts that T on his face might as well be Blackface.
Fuck you Berlanti. Fuck You.
Almost every character on Arrow has been designed to be somewhat to the source material. Unfortunately, Mr. Terrific has not been allowed to be himself at all onscreen. Either he’s played for laughs or he’s made to look like a complete WIMP onscreen. The only Black hero on the show and he’s absolutely NOTHING like his comic book counterpart.
Michael Holt’s Mr. Terrific connected with comic fans because he was an intelligent confident Black man who showed could take on the greatest challenges in the DC Universe. He earned the respect of readers because he showed he could capably take the mantle from Terry Sloan. In the years before the 2011 reboot he made his own distinct mark in the DC Universe as a respected member of the Justice Society. I don’t see him being given any of the respect he deserves on Arrow by Berlanti Productions.
Sadly, from the way things look to me, Berlanti Productions is playing Mr. Terrific dumb to make Green Arrow look more competent. And that’s just racist. I’d like to think there’d be room for Mr. Terrific to be a badass right at the side of Green Arrow on a TV show just like they were on Justice League Unlimited. There’s no reason to turn Mr. Terrific into an idiot to make Green Arrow look better.
I’d like to think Michael Holt deserves better than the SAD adaptation he’s received on Arrow. When I look at the character presented on the CW’s Arrow and compare him to how he’s depicted in the comics, the comic book version blows the doors off his television counterpart.
In the right hands Mr. Terrific could be presented as badass as Black Panther was in Captain America: Civil War. But because there’s no Fair Play at Berlanti Productions and Warner Brothers, one of DC’s best Black superheroes looks anything but Terrific onscreen.