Mister Terrific

Mister Terrific II (post-Crisis) + Earth 2 / New 52

Created by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake

Michael Holt

Paula (wife, deceased), Aaron (brother, deceased)


Mister Terrific #1 (Nov. 2011)
Historical: The Spectre vol. 3 #54 (June 1997)

From Mister Terrific #2 (2012); art by Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher.

Billionaire scientist Michael Holt was widely considered to be the "third smartest man on Earth." A genius inventor, he built Holt Industries, but his success was overshadowed by the untimely death of his wife, Paula, an A.I. engineer. Paula died when her car's navigation systems went haywire (something he later learned was caused by the villain Brainstrom). They had a had been trying to conceive and envisioned their own son, whom they would name "Aaron" after Michael's dead brother. Michael gave up on life, but he received an other-dimensional "visitation" from something claiming to be the spirit of his "son." After this experience, Holt dedicated himself to science with the goal of creating a costumed alter ego, Mister Terrific (a nickname given by his dead brother Aaron). (Mister Terrific #1)

The loss of his family drove the motivation for his research, much of which was spent in the study of the Ninth Dimension. While inside that dimension, he experienced an anomaly. When he entered it, he discovered a "probability matrix" wherein he witnessed the past and potential futures. These visions included his counterpart from Earth 2, Terry Sloan—killing him. In fact Terry Sloan was manipulating Holt from the beginning. Sloan had also discovered the power of the Ninth Dimension some years earlier, (Earth 2 #0) and noticed Holt's breach. Sloan considered Holt to be a threat, and so Terry was the creator behind the "visit" from Michael's son. (DC Universe Presents #0)

Matter over mind, against Brainstorm. From Mister Terrific #3 (2012); art by Scott Clark and Dave Beaty.
Mister Terrific becomes a rebel leader. From Mister Terrific #4 (2012); art by Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher.
Terry Sloan is ready for Michael on Earth 2. From Earth 2 #2 (2012); art by Nicola and Trevor Scott.

His first case in public was in response to an attacky by the Prodigy, international terrorists. The Blackhawks were also on the scene, and when Mister Terrific showed them up, the Blackhawks' Andrew Lincoln attempted to confiscate Holt's T-spheres. When the news media began to swarm the scene, Lincoln backed down. (#8)

Sloan wasn't the only one seeking to manipulate Holt for other ends. At about the time Holt became Mister Terrific, another denizen of Earth 2, Karen Starr aka Supergirl, became stranded on Michael's Earth. Starr immediately began searching for a way back home, and quickly became frustrated by the technology she could find. When she learned about Michael's work, she turned on the charm and became his girlfriend. (Worlds' Finest #3)

Key staff at Holt Industries included Aleeka Okafur his assistant; Donald Leeson, the chairman of the board; and Jamaal Mason, a 16-year-old tech prodigy. Leeson plotted with Holt's rival (and college roommate at M.I.T.) Stephen Wyzeck behind the scenes to take over the company. When Michael's life as Mister Terrific began to overwhelm, he appointed Jamaal as his successor. (Mister Terrific #6) Inside the Ninth Dimension he built the T-Sanctuary and was aided by Nola, its A.I. interface. #1)

Mister Terrific's first major adversary was Brainstorm, aka Dominic Lanse, an artificial intelligene scientist who could absorb both mental and digital data. With the help of his T-spheres—small, powerful orbs—Terrific was able to reboot his own nervous system. In the process of defeating Brainstorm, the villain learned Michal's secret identity and revealed that he'd been the one responsible for Paula's (and others') death (#1-3)

En route back to his Sanctuary, Mister Terrific was kidnapped by the alien Kryl and placed in a holding cell. He quickly mobilized the other prisoners and used his T-mask to escape. (#4) The captives escaped in a small ship and one of them, Py'Lothia, was able to absorb the energy when the Kryl fired upon them. (#5)

In Iceland, he met up with and old flame, Dr. Lilija Eriksdottir. She helmed a breakthrough rail project funded by Michael's non-profit, the Conscientia Institute. It's power source became the target of Miles Dalton (a arms creator whom Terrific defeated in issue #1). Dalton hired a French merc, the Tomorrow Thief, who can make his body and other things intangible. Once the Thief was defeated, Terrific saved himself by entering hibernation in freezing water, preserving himself until help could arrive. (#6)

Donald Leeson mutated into a monster called Digitus and attacked Holt headquarters. After that, Aleeka resigned and gave Micahel a farewell kiss. (#7-8)

Karen Starr (exhibiting her super-speed for the first time) eventually broke into his computer systems to gain access to his "quantum tunneler." But Holt had already solved the tunneling equation to travel between universes. He activated his device and was drawn into a "quantum passage" to Earth 2. (Mister Terrific #8)

When Mister Terrific arrived on the parllel world, he was greeted by none other than Terry Sloan himself (who'd anticipated his arrival). Holt was unprepared for Sloan, who quickly disabled his T-spheres and took him captive. (Earth 2 #2)

All of this was observed by Sentinel, the intelligence agency of the World Army. Its commander, Amir Khan was on a mission to expose Sloan, and sent the Sandmen on a mission to find Sloan's hidden bases. When they teleported in, the Sandmen were ambushed by Mister Terrific, who'd been brainwashed into defending Sloan's lair. In that state, Holt was easily subdued and taken. (#7)

Meanwhile, back on Michael's home Earth, Karen Starr continued her own mission. After Holt's disappearance, she managed to have Holt's quantum tunneler to a facility in Japan. Her research drew the attention of the forces of Apokolips, and it was destroyed. (Worlds' Finest #2-4)

Her own private island was then raided by people aiming to reclaim more of Michael Holt's technology. (#9) As Power Girl, she in turn raided Holt Industries in Los Angeles, where someone pretending to be Michael Holt appeared mysteriously. (#10) The impostor soon revealed himself as Desaad of Apokolips. (#11)


Mister Terrific's motto is tattooed on his arms: "Fair Play: win the day!"

Mister Terrific's New 52 costume was designed by Cully Hamner.


Michael Holt is regarded as the "third smartest man" on the planet (after Lex Luthor and Batman). Before the age of 30, he had an Olympic gold medal, multiple degrees and net worth over a billion dollars.

His physical ability is formidable. He has demonstrated one metahuman ability—he is invisible to any artificial or technological sensor. His primary weapon/tool are his T-Spheres, small floating balls that perform surveillance, defense, and any other task Holt can imagine. When T-spheres are used under his feet, he can fly. The T-spheres create an aura around him that causes him to be invisitlbe to machines and electronic surveillance. They also affect the metamaterials woven into his clothing to provide quick access to his suit.

Appearances + References



  • Earth 2 #2–present
  • Earth 2: World's End, 26-issue limited series (2014–15)
  • Mister Terrific, 8 issues (2011–12)
  • The New 52: Future's End, 52-issue limited series (2014–15)