First Impressions: Team 7
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
This new Team 7 book introduces even more WildStorm characters and concepts into the New 52 DC Universe. That’s not something I’m opposed to, but I’d have liked to have seen it done with a little more flavor than this. For the most part, Team 7 is like white rice on blank typing paper. Even the name Team 7 is pretty bland.
Quick history lesson: Team 7 was a Vertigo title that made its debut in 1994. It starred seven heroes pulled from different branches of the military, who were then exposed to a chemical weapon that gave them super powers. The original team included Grifter, Alex Fairchild (father of Morgan Fairchild) and John Lynch. The man who brought the team together, and was in fact secretly manipulating them, was named Miles Craven. This new version of the team once again features Craven summoning a team of elite government operatives. Set five years in the past, this book is designed to give us a look at the US government’s response to the “superhuman arms race.”
Our stars are include infiltration and tracking experts Dinah Drake (the future Black Canary) and Kurt Lance, tactical genius Slade Wilson (the future Deathstroke), the “utility player” James Bronson, pilot Summer Ramos, national security analyst Amanda Waller, military intelligence officer Dean Higgins. Grifter and Alex Fairchild are along for the ride as well. John Lynch is also mentioned, and apparently he has some kind of previous connection to Wilson and Fairchild.
I didn’t find a lot to latch on to in this issue. The premise is interesting, but the execution was so dry. When I looked at Justice League Origin, I talked about how Geoff Johns and Jim Lee had the unenviable task of re-introducing us to not one, but seven superheroes in only six issues, while still moving the story along. This one issue of Team 7 crams all the introductions into the first chapter. As such, we know every character’s name and what their expertise is. But we know very little about them as people. We get decent snapshots of Grifter and James Bronson. But the other characters get pretty short changed in the character department. Granted DC fans know Dinah and Slade already, but they aren’t Black Canary or Deathstroke quite yet. And obviously, given that this is a new continuity, they’re pretty much entirely new characters.
Along that same line, I’m not a fan of the way Amanda Waller has been slimmed down in the New 52. Did DC think because she looked that way in the Green Lantern movie she had to be slim here, too? The original character wasn’t fat per se, but she had a bigger body type. She looked different than everybody else, and while that didn’t make or break her as a character, it did add a unique dimension to her that literally no other DC character had. Now she just looks like another athletic super genius.
I usually enjoy Jesus Merino’s work, but somehow he’s become the latest artist to fall into the ’90s time warp that seems to have been opened by the New 52. In the shots of the assembled team, we see a lot of body armor, big guns and shoulder pads. Why? Who knows? But hey, at least it’s consistent with a lot of the other DC books lately.
With Team 7, DC is trying to fill us in on some backstory for this newly revised world we’ve been reading about for the past year. That’s all well and good, but if things don’t get a little more interesting in the coming issues, I’d just as soon stay in the present.
Front page image from dccomics.com. Interior image 1 from tumblr.com. Image 2 from readdcentertainment.com.