Monday, January 6, 2014

Team 7 #0

"Mission Zero: The Majestic Seven"

Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Jesús Merino with Norm Rapmund and Rob Hunter
Colors: Nathan Eyring
Lettering: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Eddie Berganza

The cover is by Ken Lashley with Nathan Eyring. It's your generic Issue #0 cover with all the characters posing and popping out of a page of the comic. It's nothing special, but not bad in any way, either. I do, however, wonder why Jesús Merino didn't draw it.

Our story starts five years ago with John Lynch holding a conference with secret government officials. He is discussing the current rise of superheroes, and is playing several videos to illustrate his point, including one of the Flash.

Lynch contends that these superheroes are incredibly dangerous and the government needs to develop ways to defeat them. So he proposes the Majestic Project, or Team 7.

The rest of the issue is basically just Black Canary going around the world to personally recruit this team that includes Deathstroke, Grifter, Amanda Waller, and a few others I've never heard of before.

The Good:

Team 7 was brought in to the New 52 during the big Zero Issue event, so it's first issue had the good fortune of actually being #0. This is the perfect jumping-on place for anybody interested in a team of non-superheroes designed to take down superheroes. Unfortunately, I am not interested in such a team, and apparently neither were most other comic book readers, as this series only lasted nine issues. The whole series really felt like a contrivance to keep publishing stories about Jim Lee's original characters, especially Grifter, whose series was canceled right when this came out. But just because Jim Lee created a character, it doesn't mean that said character will be particularly interesting or sell particularly well. Especially when Jim Lee is not drawing said character.

The Bad:

No Flash. It was kind of nice to see that the camera could only pick up a red blur, but I couldn't tell what was actually going on in that image. Was Flash just passing by a car wreck? Or was he pulling people out of the cars before they got hurt? That's actually a really weird thought when you think about it. I wish he was doing something more obvious and heroic. I guess these creators wanted to steer clear of the standard Darkseid fight scene, but that Darkseid invasion was such a huge deal, how could this John Lynch guy not show an image of him? Instead, we got a huge shot of Superman fighting Brainiac, which makes absolutely no sense when you try to consider how these people got that picture from that angle. The Brainiac fight happened before the Darkseid invasion, and no one in the U.S. government knew Brainiac was there. I guess I'm not supposed to think that much about these things, but I love to think this much.

Unrealistic scenarios. Apparently, the appeal of this book was supposed to be normal people without super powers doing extraordinary things. But this fell apart for me when those extraordinary actions became too extraordinary. The worst part was when Black Canary went to recruit the pilot, Summer Ramos. Ramos detonates her plane, then somehow jumps out toward Black Canary's plane, climbs over to the side door, and knocks on it. But she doesn't just knock — she knocks in Morse Code, saying, "Let me in." Wouldn't just three normal knocks have sufficed? I might have been willing to overlook the ridiculous plane stunt if it didn't include the Morse Code knocking. Maybe.

Amanda Waller. One of the biggest sins of the New 52 was the re-imagining of Amanda Waller. I used to love the old fat, intimidating, intelligent, powerful bureaucrat from the old continuity and especially the Justice League cartoons. But then DC decided to slim her down and make her just like everybody else. In a futile attempt to increase her uniqueness, DC then used this issue to show us that Amanda Waller used to be a highly-trained Army soldier who hid her stupid dreadlocks under a baseball cap. So even though she eventually became head of A.R.G.U.S., she has now been reduced to one of the hundreds of other boring highly-trained soldiers running around the DC. The old Waller showed that even if someone is a bit on the obese side, they can still be a powerful, competent individual. But this new, supermodel-esque Waller is completely uninteresting. I would have preferred DC kept her out of the New 52 over ruining her this much.

Boring story. But the absolute biggest problem with this issue is that it is incredibly, painfully boring. The first part is the standard "superheroes are dangerous" speech, which we've heard a million times before. Then we jump around all over the place with Black Canary to visit everybody, who all happen to be doing something that's supposed to be extreme and cool, but isn't. In every single instance, Black Canary just pops out of nowhere, says maybe three words to the person of interest, and then they instantly join her. There was absolutely no drama or tension this whole issue. Yeah, there were a few familiar faces here, but there were a lot of people I don't know and don't care about. And this issue did nothing to convince me to pick up Team 7 #1 and keep reading. I think DC needs to stop experimenting with these non-superhero titles. Who would bother picking a DC comic without wanting to read about superheroes doing super heroic things with their super powers?

Final score: 1 out of 10

Next time: So I've finally caught up on all the issues I missed the first time around (at least I think I have). But before I head into the massive Forever Evil event, I'm going to do a couple more passive Flash appearances, then I'll do something special for my 100th post. But first, it's Supergirl #23.

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