Terry Sloane was a famous child genius who graduated from high school at age eleven and completed college by age twelve. He then pursued athletics, and became an award-winning amateur athlete. Finally he entered the business field and amassed a vast personal fortune. However because of his constant effortless success he felt unfulfilled and depressed. He decided life had nothing more to offer him and contemplated suicide. Driving his car one night he resolved to kill himself when he saw a young woman, Wanda Wilson, jump from a bridge. He rescued her and learned that she was in despair because her younger brother Billy had fallen in with hoodlums who worked for and idolized a gang boss named Big Shot. Sloane assumed the masked identity of Mr. Terrific and drove the cowardly Big Shot from town. Billy and his gang friends witnessed this, and now looked up to Mr. Terrific as their hero. Having found a new drive in life, he continued fighting crime as Mr. Terrific, the “defender of fair play.”
Jason Bleek framed Wanda Wilson for the murder of his uncle Jabez, and Mr. Terrific had to clear her name. He deduced that Bleek would try to kill his other rich uncle next, and followed him. He caught Bleek and gave him a beating, but Bleek’s uncle saw the fight and called the police to save his nephew. Terrific was undeterred, and when Bleek tried to kill his uncle with a poisonous gas he prevented it and got the uncle on his side. Terrific presented Bleek and the uncle at Wanda’s murder trial, and after Bleek confessed Wanda was acquitted.
Skinny McSlugg’s gang started a letter-writing campaign to convince radio station WMCG to have Mr. Terrific sell war bonds on their programs. The write-ins were a success, and soon Terrific had a show selling bonds, answering trivia and demonstrating his myriad talents. McSlugg’s gang committed crimes only when they knew Terrific was busy selling bonds. Terrific figured out their scheme, and got three prodigies, one versed in boxing, the second in music and the third in scientific knowledge to play “Mr. Terrific” on the WMCG program. McSlugg’s gang heard the imposters’ broadcast, and committed their latest heist, but were shocked when Terrific showed up to apprehend them.
Wanda Wilson asked Terry Sloane to go to a masquerade ball with her friend Patricia Jones. Terry thought Pat was a battleaxe, but agreed as a favor to Wanda. At Pat’s house he was turned away by members of “Muggsy” Mc Graff’s gang, and soon learned that “Muggsy” was posing as Baron de Granby to take Pat to the ball and then marry her for her money. Terrific tried to tell Pat about “Muggsy” but she wouldn't listen to reason, so at the masquerade ball Mr. Terrific exposed the Baron and his friends as crooks. Pat cried on Terrific’s shoulder about not being able to land a husband because of her plain looks, so Mr. Terrific used his talents as a beautician to give her a complete makeover. She was pleased with the result and asked Terrific to marry her, but he told her he had to run.
Terry Sloane attended an art opening and was approached by Benson, who showed him a copy of the painting “Proud Lady” by Hector. He offered Sloane a commission to convince Sloane’s socialite friend Rogers to sell the original, and accept the copy as a replacement. Terry told Rogers about the offer, but Terry’s art history background uncovered the fact that the painting Rogers had was a copy as well, so he knew Benson was up to something fishy. Terrific learned that Benson was actually Rogers’ former gardener, who’d robbed the Rogers house. The most valuable item taken was a $100,000 pearl pearl necklace that Benson hid in the picture frame of Roger’s “Proud Lady,” because he never had a chance to remove it from Rogers’ house. Terrific brought Benson into police custody, and gave the reward money to Rogers as compensation for having his painting revealed as a copy.
Terry Sloane’s friend Jim Cowley was released from prison after stealing fifty dollars from his uncle. Cowley explained that he badly needed the money and intended to pay his uncle back, and he still wanted to repay his uncle so he hit Terry up for a loan. Later Terry heard that Cowley had been arrested for his uncle’s murder. As Mr. Terrific he investigated and found the true culprit was the uncle’s gardener Emanuel, who knew the old man was afraid of Jim and had written a note saying that if he was murdered Jim was to blame. Terrific cleared Jim’s name and had Emanuel arrested for murder.
Terrific was apprehending the Mullins Gang when he was pulled into the year 7532 by a futuristic science council’s time machine. They explained that a hundred years before an alien planet entered Earth’s solar system, and its’ gravitational pull would have ripped Earth apart if not for the efforts of the coordinator. The tyrant Black Barax was holding the coordinator hostage, and the council sought Terrific’s help because his exploits had become legendary by their time. Once Terrific learned that Barax was located on what were once the South Sea islands, and he knew Barax’ island fortress was right over dormant volcanoes. He used dynamite to reactivate the volcanoes and frighten Barax into handing over the coordinator. Terrific was returned to own time and finished rounding up the Mullins.
Meeting The Future
The time traveling Black Barax and his time-cube arrived in Hartford. Mr. Terrific entered the time-cube and met two heroes from the future, Hawkgirl II and Mr. Terrific II. Terrific learned that his successor would one day be chairman of the JSA, and Terrific was pleased to learn that America would give equal rights to African Americans in the future. The heroes helped the Freedom Fighters in a battle against Barax. Mr. Terrific convinced Barax he was his ancestor and threatened to shoot himself in the head, thereby erasing Barax from the timeline. Barax fell for his ploy and retreated back to his own time. Human Bomb helped Hawkgirl and Mr. Terrific II reactivate Barax’ time-cube, and before they left Mr. Terrific made it clear he was impressed with his successor.
Back to the Past
Terrific noticed a commotion over a cat with its’ head stuck in a sewer grating and freed the animal. While a crowd was distracted by the cat in peril Mr. Flaster’s famous jewel collection was robbed. Terrific suspected that Flaster hired men to rob the collection so he could cash in on the insurance, and used his own pet cat as a distraction. Terrific told Flaster he’d trained the cat to catch the robbers, then surreptitiously rubbed dog-hair on Flaster’s clothes. The cat scratched Flaster, and he was convinced the cat knew he was guilty. He sent the men he hired to rob his jewels to dispose of the cat, but Terrific defeated the thugs and got a confession from Mr. Flaster.
A newly opened public library collapsed, and Mr. Terrific saved all the patrons from death, save the architect Mr. Desmond. Desmond suspected his builder Mike Fogarty was using inferior materials, and Terrific confirmed it by comparing Desmond’s plans for a bridge versus Fogarty’s finished product. Terrific told Desmond’s architect son Paul how to fix the bridge, then brought Fogarty for justice, using his alterations to the bridge blueprint as evidence.
Terrific learned that someone was harming one of his business enterprises, Cur-It Cough Syrup, by selling imitation Cur-It that was just sweetened water. Near his Mudville Cur-It production center he found the body of the man responsible for the Cur-It knock-offs, Toothy Gamlin. Terrific went to Gamlin’s former base of operations and found his killer and the new leader of his gang, superhuman Gorilla Ganty. Ganty physically outclassed Terrific so Terrific spilled ammonia nitrate on a radiator, creating laughing gas that subdued Ganty and his gang. Terrific saw gangsters trying to kidnap Jim Grace, a millionaire playboy who was in the habit of handing out $100 bills to strangers. Terrific fought the gangsters, and Grace was shot in the struggle. While Grace recovered in a hospital Terrific impersonated him and allowed the gangsters to kidnap him. The gangsters were working for “Big” Bill Steven, who was Grace’s former partner in crime. They’d both been arrested over 20 years ago after pulling off an enormous heist, but Steven received a light sentence for turning state's evidence. Grace gave away $100 bills from the heist to get even with him, which was why Steven wanted to kidnap Grace, to get his share of the heist before Grace gave it away. Terrific revealed himself and brought Steven and his gang into police custody.
Mr. Terrific went to town to buy a garden hose for Wanda Wilson, who was afraid her garden was going to dry out. After finishing his errand Terrific caught up with a gang of bank robbers, who’d taken attention away from themselves by playing a phonograph record of gunshots and explosions on a nearby rooftop. They escaped, but Terrific used his photographic memory to recall the license plate number of their getaway car, and soon located them. He defeated them and returned to Wanda’s garden. Unfortunately he’d used the hose as a weapon against the thugs and found that it was now full of holes and useless to Wanda.
Terrific and Wanda Wilson caught Mr. Futile robbing a jewelry store, but were unable to apprehend him. Futile later kidnapped Wanda, and Terrific raced to her rescue. Futile captured Terrific, and planned to dispose of him only after going to the Theatre Awards banquet and stealing the award for best actor. Terrific escaped his bonds, freed Wanda, and met Futile at the banquet. Terrific defeated him and proclaimed his criminal/acting career a flop.
Wanda Wilson contacted Terrific, telling him her home had been burglarized, and the thieves took a jewelry box Terrific gave her as a present. He offered to get her a new one, but she told him what she had inside was extremely important, and asked him to get it back. Terrific ran an add in the paper claiming the box was a fake, and that the real one would be on display at the Central Art Museum. The thieves took the bait, and Terrific followed them back to their hideout where he apprehended them and recovered the box. Wanda revealed she kept her diary in the box, and her diary revealed that Terrific was actually Terry Sloane. Terrific told her women were nothing but trouble and ripped up her diary.
Wanda invited Terry to see hypnotist Don Greco perform at her woman’s lodge. He told her he’d meet up with her, and changed into Mr. Terrific. He remembered Greco was an ex-con who was jailed for stealing from his hypnotized audiences. At the lodge he found “Big” John Tolley and his gang robbing the women who’d been hypnotized by Greco. Terrific made short work of them, then hypnotized Greco, who told Terrific he was going straight, but was coerced by Tooley into helping him rob the lodge. Terrific knew he was sincere in going straight so he used hypnotism to erase the memory of his involvement with Tooley from his mind.
At Wanda's insistence Terrific investigated a new crime syndicate and discovered the members were five genius friends from Terry Sloane’s Clubmen’s League. Albert Smith, George Peters, Stewart Wilson, Michael Andrews and John Cavanaugh were so bored with success that they turned to crime. Terrific foiled them from robbing a gold mining office and explained their situation to their judge. The judge told them they should turn their minds to solving crimes, not committing them. With the geniuses working for the police Mr. Terrific felt comfortable taking a month long vacation.
(Sensation Comics I #56) - Terry Sloane and Wanda took a cruise aboard a yacht when someone started stealing valuables from the guests. Terry changed into Mr. Terrific, and found the culprit, Junior Elwood, , who was turning to crime because his father didn't pay attention to him. A masked criminal entered Junior’s room, knocked out Terrific, and stole the valuables Junior had snitched. Terrific uncovered the crook’s identity, Shaw, the captain of the yacht, and captured him with Junior’s help. Junior realized how misguided he was, and decided he would rather fight crime like Terrific.
With the JSA
Terry Sloane received a ransom note from Roulette, who demanded he bring $10,000 to the Flying Pig Casino in New Orleans or he’d never see his brother Ned alive again. Terry knew he had to go save his brother. At the casino Roulette revealed she needed the money to raise her and Ned’s child, Veronica. Ned came up with the kidnapping hoax, then disappeared on her. Terry hated the idea of his niece being raised by a disreputable woman in a casino and snatched the child and ran from the casino. He saw the time-traveling Mr. Terrific II, who was fighting KKK members. Terrific I helped Terrific II, who explained he needed Terrific to return to action to stop Per Degaton from altering history and ending the Justice Society legacy. After Terrific I found a safe place for Veronica they met up with the rest of the reformed Justice Society and the time-traveling JSA at the Justice Society brownstone. Hourman informed them Per Degaton was going to assassinate the President. The Justice Society and JSA went to Washington to warn Truman that his life was in danger. Degaton and the Red Morgue attacked Washington, but the teams were ready for him. Degaton used a time-disc to speed up Atom’s metabolism and turn him into a nuclear bomb ready to go off. If he exploded millions would die, but Jakeem Thunder and Johnny Thunder summoned the Thunderbolt to turn Atom back to normal. Terrific and the other heroes defeated Degaton, who fled into the time stream. The resulting time distortion caused Terrific and the other Society members to forget their adventure with the JSA.
Terrific and the Spectre were on the verge of capturing Terrific’s arch-enemy the Spirit King, but Mr. Terrific insisted Spectre leave him to Terrific, so the King could face trial. Spectre ignored Terrific, and damned the Spirit King to Hell after killing him.
Death of a Hero
Terrific retired as a superhero and became an English literature teacher at Gateway University. There he discovered an old enemy, the Spirit King, stealing a device from the campus laboratory. He resumed his identity of Mr. Terrific to hunt down Spirit King. Spirit King got the jump on Mr. Terrific, strangling him to death. At the time he was using Jay Garrick body which was under his control . The Justice Society of America pledged to bring King to justice and avenge Mr. Terrific, but it would be many years before they were given the opportunity.
Mr. Terrific befriended Starman VII in the afterlife. Starman VII brought his brother Starman VIII to a banquet in limbo attended by Mr. Terrific and several other deceased mystery men. Mr. Terrific warned Starman VIII that he would one day be tempted by vanity.
Reunion of the Dead
When several heroes traveled to the gates of Heaven to meet Jim Corrigan, Mr. Terrific and other dead JSAers met their old friends at the gate. They enjoyed a brief reunion.
Thunderbolt summoned the spirit of Mr. Terrific and several other deceased JSAers to help J.J. Thunder, who was being attacked by Gentleman Ghost an a gang of spirits under the Ghost’s control. After defeating the Ghost’s underlings Atom and the others faded back into the ether.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Eidetic Memory
- Enhanced Intellect: He was also a genius, and an expert in numerous fields of science and academics, including music, art history, ballistics, seamanship, navigation and geography. He is also a well read polymath.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic)
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- Terry Sloane is often known as the Man of 1,000 Talents.
- 146 Appearances of Terrence Sloane (New Earth)
- 18 Images featuring Terrence Sloane (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Terrence Sloane (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Terrence Sloane (New Earth)
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Mister Terrific (Michael Holt)
Justice Society of America member