Thursday, 13 September 2012

New Beginnings - Team 7

This week’s New Beginning is Team 7, a new title joining the New 52 lineup. The original incarnation of the title was published in various incarnations by Wildstorm. During Flashpoint, an alternate universe version appeared in the DCU and featured an interesting line up. This new version is set 5 years in the past and concentrates on the team's inception and creation in reaction to the emergence of superheroes (seen in Justice League) as penned by Justin Jordan.

The first thing to mention before even delving into the story is the cover. It teases you to begin with. The obvious addition in the team that most will immediately recognise due to his shroud is Grifter, however even more enticing is Slade Wilson, who appears with both eyes...

Jordan’s story begins when the DC Universe is in a state of flux. Men, women and aliens with powers and abilities beyond the normal have begun to appear, which could be seen as a blessing or a curse. At this point the metagene has only emerged in a handful of individuals, but what about in years to come? How do you monitor and if necessary control them? A very similar premise to Marvel’s opening to Civil War, however instead of registration a very different tack is taken. The creation of an incredibly skilled team – welcome Team 7. Recent issues of Justice League have certainly implied this team will leave a legacy...

Taken from Justice League #8

The majority of the issue is dedicated to the formation of the team through The Majestic Project. Dinah Drake (who goes on to become Black Canary - her maiden name used here is a name callback to the original version of the character from the Forties!) and Kurt Lance are tasked with tracking down specific individuals, including the aforementioned Grifter and Deathstroke, for their skills and abilities to create a non-super super team.

There is an overall story to follow throughout but essentially this is a number of very quick and punchy recruitment stories rolled into one. Very similar to a Hollywood opening reel for a film such as Mission Impossible or The Expendables so very light hearted and easily enjoyed.

Whereas Jordan may not be too well known, the artwork is provided by Jesus Merino. Merino has worked on a number of high profile titles with both Superman and Batman under his belt. Something I have liked though is that, whether this is the case or not, the artwork has a certain feel about it. DC has a number of different imprints which have now been brought under the same umbrella. But for me Wildstorm was one in which there was always heroes and villains but with a bit more grit and realism to it. I felt this echoed through the artwork. Things aren’t soft and fluffy in this story. It’s about finding a way to create a preemptive strike (if needed) against super humans. Things are going to get dirty at some point. Merino really captured it for me and pushed it back out through the characters and their expressions. One of the best examples is the recruitment of Alex Fairchild. You can tell he really doesn’t care about the job, just the money.

For a team I had never heard of together this is a great little opener. Although I feel it is limited to a degree as it’s potentially only given itself a five year window to work in, I like the team's attitude. It will be interesting to see how it pans out as even in the back it alludes to the mainstream titles and what happened to the rest of the team. Worth a read if you’re looking for a new team with a different twist.

Matt Puddy is really not sure what to make of next week's Sword of Sorcery.

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