Mister Terrific


Mister Terrific

One of the smartest men in the world, Michael Holt has used his genius and belief in "Fair Play" in several super teams, including his namesake, the Terrifics.


Aliases: Terry Sloane, Michael Holt
First Appearance: (Terry Sloane) SENSATION COMICS #1, 1942; (Michael Holt) THE SPECTRE #54, June 1997

Team Affiliation: Justice Society of America, All-Star Squadron, Checkmate, Terrifics, Justice League, Black Lantern Corps




For the hero known as Mister Terrific, the term "Fair Play" isn't just a corny old motto, it's a truth to live by. During the Golden Age, genius millionaire Terry Sloan used his considerable intellects and combat skills to become a masked vigilante. Seeking to not only fight criminals, he wore the term "Fair Play" on his costume as a way of sending a message to impressionable youths to not take the easy way out, and always fight a fair game. He served as a member of the Justice Society of America, before ultimately being killed by an old enemy. But it was his successor Michael Holt who truly took the name and legacy of Mister Terrific to new heights years later.


Much like Sloane had been decades before, Holt was one-of-a-kind, an Olympic level athlete with a genius intellect, who was adept in a multitude of skills. But when he lost his wife Paula in a tragic accident, he saw no point in living anymore. Thanks to the interference of the Spectre, who told him about the life and legacy of Terry Sloane, Holt found a new lease on life, and took on the mantle of Mister Terrific. Sporting the phrase "Fair Play" on his costume just as his predecessor did, the second Mister Terrific became a member of the Justice Society, and later, the Justice League and the super group known as the Terrifics. He is considered the third smartest man in the world, right behind Lex Luthor and Batman. 




Golden Age

Terry Sloane was a child prodigy during the early part of the 20th century, who exhibited an advanced intellect and a photographic memory from a very young age. He graduated from high school when he was only eleven, and finished college by twelve. Having honed his mind to perfection, He then pursued extreme physical discipline, and became an Olympic level athlete. Having conquered that world as well, he became an entrepreneur, becoming a millionaire in almost no time at all. 


Having accomplished so much at such a young age, he felt lost and depressed, wondering if there was anything left for him to do in life. He even considered suicide. But one night as he was contemplating ending it all, he saw a young woman named Wanda Wilson jump from a bridge. He saved her life, and discovered that her despair came from learning that her younger brother had become a criminal in a local gang, run by a mobster named Big Shot. Sloane became a costumed vigilante named the Mr. Terrific, the defender of fair play, and became known as the "true blue champion of all things fair." As Mister Terrific, he drove Big Shot out of town, and cemented his status as local Super-Hero.


Now a fully-fledged costumed adventurer, Mister Terrific joined the Justice Society and the All Star Squadron during the height of World War II. On his own, he usually fought various street gangs, although he did have an arch enemy in the form of the supernatural villain the Spirit King. Not too many years after the end of World War II, Sloane retired from being a Super-Hero and became an English literature professor at Gateway University. 



Bronze Age

misterterrific-origin-Spectre-#54_19-v1.jpg After several years spent in retirement, Terry Sloane returned to the Super-Hero profession and rejoined the Justice Society part time, although he still maintained his job as a college professor. It was there that found out that his old enemy, the Spirit King, had plans to steal a dangerous device from the campus laboratory. The two old enemies engaged each other one last time in battle, with the Spirit King strangling him to death, all while using the body of the Flash, Jay Garrick, to do his dirty work. The Justice Society of America eventually brought the Spirt King to justice, and Mr. Terrific was memorialized as a great hero of the Golden Age.




Similarly to Terry Sloane, young Michael Holt was a genius child prodigy, learning several different skills by the time he was in elementary school, any one skill which would take the average person years to learn. By the time he was in his early 20s, Holt had 14 PhDs, and was a self-made billionaire thanks to his company Cyberwear, which later became a part of Wayne Industries. On top of all that, he was also a gold medal winning Olympic decathlete. 


But despite all the riches life offered Michael Holt, he was struck by tragedy on two occasions, both of which dealt him a serious blow. First, the death of his mentally challenged older brother Jeffrey, followed by the accidental death of his wife Paula and their unborn child. All of his accomplishments seemed to pale in comparison to their loss, and he contemplated suicide. It was at his lowest point that Holt was met by the supernatural being known as the Spectre, who told him the life story of Terry Sloane, the original Mister Terrific. Now Inspired by Sloane's life story, he assumed the name Mister Terrific, and began a career as Super-Hero.


At first, Holt's costume was simply ordinary clothing with a leather jacket that initially had Sloane's "Fair Play" emblem on the back, but his costume got more elaborate later on, as he adopted a T-shaped mask, and a new jacket with the original Mister Terrific's slogan written on the sleeves and "Terrific" written on the back. Armed with his multi-purpose weapons he called "T-Spheres," and with his own considerable gifts, the new Mr. Terrific joined the modern incarnation of the Justice Society of America, and even became its chairman. 


After serving for a time as leader of the JSA, he joined the United Nations Security Council's intelligence agency Checkmate, where he initially held the position of White King's Bishop, and later, White King. Thanks to time travel, Michael Holt got to meet his predecessor in the role, Terry Sloane. He also fought against him when his corpse was briefly reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.



New 52

After the events of 2011's FLASHPOINT, reality was altered, and some of Michael Holt's history was changed. He was still one of the world's smartest and most accomplished people, who suffered tragedy after the loss of his wife, after which he started his own company, Holt Industries. He became a Super-Hero and adopted the alias of Mister Terrific, even though there was no previous Mister Terrific in this new timeline. Thanks to his company, Holt became of the most prominent tech moguls on Earth. He also started dating Karen Starr, owner of Starr Industries, who was secretly the Super-Heroine Power Girl. 


Holt soon found out that Karen Starr had been secretly breaking into his company lab and stealing technology in order to create a quantum tunnel, which she was building to get back to the alternate parallel Earth she called home, after having become trapped on our world. He then followed her through the rift she had created and discovered another world, which is designated as Earth-2. There, he had several adventures with the group of heroes collectively known as the Wonders, many of whom were alternate versions of his JSA comrades from the previous reality. 




After spending a long time in the universe of Earth-2, Michael Holt would eventually come back home to his own Earth. Not long after he returned, he found out about the rise of the Dark Multiverse from Batman, and its threat to the regular Multiverse. He soon joined with the Dark Knight and other heroes to fight off the incursion of the Dark Multiverse, reestablishing himself once more as Super-Hero in his home dimension. 


Not long after his journey into the Dark Multiverse, Holt found out that his company had been bought out by greedy industrial billionaire Simon Stagg, which didn't exactly make him happy. Upon returning to his old company's building, now fully owned and operated by Stagg Enterprises, he discovered that Stagg had been performing experiments on Metamorpho, the Element Man, and forcing him to transform himself into the mysterious Nth Metal. This opened a portal to the Dark Multiverse, where Mr. Terrific, along with Metamorpho and the hero Plastic Man were transported to. Together with the heroine Phantom Girl, the four heroes take the name "The Terrifics," and begin to explore the Dark Multiverse together.



Powers and Abilities

misterterrific-powers-TTERR_3_p26-v1.jpg Both men called Mister Terrific were exceptional human beings, who both accomplished the pinnacle of what mankind can achieve without having any sort of meta-gene. Sloane was a master martial artist, and an Olympic-level athlete with a genius-level intellect. He also possessed photographic memory. 


Michael Holt surpassed Terry Sloane, as he has been deemed the third smartest man on Earth, behind Batman and Lex Luthor. Holt has the ability to pick up complex skills quickly, and much like his predecessor, he also has a photographic memory. He's an expert in multiple fields of medicine, engineering, and science, and possesses fourteen PhDs, two of which are in engineering and physics.


When fighting as Mr. Terrific, Michael Holt is aided by his invention he calls "T-Spheres", floating robotic orbs which create holographic projections, can project laser grids, and can connect with any and all other electronic devices. Responding to his mental and vocal commands, these spheres allow him to fly, as well function as weapons which can project electrical and force blasts on to his opponents. 


Through the nanotechnology in his mask, Holt is invisible to all forms of electronic detection, and through the advanced tech embedded into it, he can change instantaneously into costume and back. He's one of very few Super-Heroes that is a practicing medical doctor, and he speaks several different languages, only a few of which have been revealed thus far.



Essential Storylines and History



"Who Is Mister Terrific?" (SENSATION COMICS #1, January, 1942)

In the very same issue which was Wonder Woman's solo series debut, the original Mister Terrific first appeared. In this back-up story, we learn how Terry Sloane was a man who had accomplished everything in life, but when he saved a young woman and her younger brother, and drove out a local crime lord from his neighborhood, he found a new calling as a costumed Mystery Man.




"The Haunting of Jim Corrigan: Atonement" (THE SPECTRE #54, 1997)

Long after the death of the original Mister Terrific, a new hero who bears his name emerged. Genius Michael Holt is introduced in this story, contemplating taking his own life after the accidental death of his wife and unborn child. But when Holt is confronted by the Spirit of Vengeance known as the Spectre, he shares with him the story of Terry Sloane, the Golden Age Mister Terrific, and inspires Holt to follow in his footsteps.




"Thunderstruck" (JSA #27, 2001)

misterterrific-essential2-terrific2.0-CVDRr-JSA0076-1-v1.jpg After joining the Justice Society of America, Michael Holt reluctantly took on the role of leader, when Hawkman was forced to step down, after JSA member Sand confronted the Winged Wonder about his leadership duties. When the team decides who will be their new leader by putting up to a vote, Mister Terrific wins hands down, although he is shocked at learning he is the new chairman. He fills this role until after the events of 2005's INFINITE CRISIS.





"Software Update" (MISTER TERRIFIC #1, November, 2011)

misterterrific-essential3-takingthereins-MTERR_Cv1-1-v1.jpg Following the events of 2011's FLASHPOINT, in which much of DC history was reimagined, we are introduced to Michael Holt as a fully formed superhero, as he fights with Miles Dalton of Dalton Technologies in the UK, who is using stolen armor. We learn of Mister Terrific's origin in this new universe, where he is stopped from committing suicide not from the Spectre, but by his own adult son time-travelling from the future, inspiring him to become Mister Terrific.





"Meet the Terrifics" (The Terrifics #1, 2018)

misterterrific-essential4-anewbeginning-TTERR_Cv1_con_var-v1.jpg After spending time in the parallel world of Earth-2, Mister Terrific came back to his home dimension to help with in the battle against the denizens of the Dark Multiverse. Not long after, a beacon from one of Mr. Terrific's T-Spheres alerts him to industrialist Simon Stagg's plans to open a portal to the Dark Multiverse, in what used to be Mister Terrific's company HQ. He is pulled into Stagg's portal along with Plastic Man and Metamorpho, and along with Phantom Girl, find themselves stuck in the Dark Multiverse. There, they receive a message from Tom Strong informing them they must band together to save the universe, and the Terrifics are born.













Team Affiliations

  • • Justice Society of America
  • • All-Star Squadron
  • • Justice League
  • • Checkmate
  • • The Terrifics 
  • • Black Lantern Corps

Appearances in Other Media





  • • Justice League Vs. The Fatal Five






Live Action:

  • • Arrow (as Curtis Holt)




Live Action: 

  • • Legends of Tomorrow (as Curtis Holt)



  • • Justice League Unlimited
  • • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • • Beware the Batman (as Michael Holt)
  • • Justice League Action
  • • Freedom Fighters: The Ray (as Curtis Holt)



Video Games

  • • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • • LEGO DC Super-Villains