REVIEW: Team 7 #2

by

Or – “Steeling Myself For The Very Worst…”

Nearly 20 years after the fact, a portion of my comics-reading brain has yet to forgive certain creators and concepts for their roles during that Dork Age of comics.  The concept of Team 7 dates back to early Wildstorm books, and served as an attempt to tie several series together, but only really succeeded in showing how seven different heroes were basically all the same guy.  Will this iteration finally let the healing process begin?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

TEAM 7 #2
Writer: Justin Jordan
Art Breakdowns: Ron Frenz
Penciler: Julius Gopez
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Nathan Eyring
Letter:  Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Team 7: Originating in the old Wildstorm universe, Team 7 used to be a commando group that included Grifter, Deathblow, Lynch and other members of the Wildstorm roster.  Now that the Wildstorm reality has been subsumed into the mainstream DCU, that group has been partially recast, with a team consisting of Dinah “Black Canary” Drake, Amanda “Suicide Squad” Waller, Kurt “I Was Married To Black Canary” Lance, some new fellows, original Wildstorm-reality team members Cole “Grifter” Cash, John Lynch and Alex “Has Great Genes” Fairchild, as well as Slade “Rob Liefeld Loves Me” Wilson.  Some time before the current heroic age began, this group was sent into action for unknown reasons, only to find a herd of people transformed into zombie-like creatures with strange facial markings… the markings of possession by (Dun DUN DAAAH!) Eclipso!

ARTISTICALLY MUDDY…

My first impression of Team 7 #2 was how damn ugly the cover (featuring Slade and Dinah overrun by eclipsed monsters) was.  It’s an indistinct, muddily-colored mess, featuring a strange perspective on the characters, but my hope was that it wouldn’t be the same art style as seen in the book’s interiors.  (I later found out that there is an even uglier variant cover by Brett Booth, but that’s neither here nor there.)  The interiors of the book are handled by a different art team, with much more distinct coloring, thankfully, but the pages of this issue are still a jam-packed hot mess, with every panel teeming with guys in body armor and slavering monsters.  The first half of the issue has the Team 7 squad working their way into a secret military base, complete with the requisite tough-guy dialogue and cute moments (Agent Bronson discovering that his armor was capable of flight did give me a bit of a chuckle.)  They fight their way to the middle of what is revealed to be a floating prison, to find that one of their first foes (the bad guy from issue #0, actually) is possessed by the spirit of (Dun DUN DAAAH!) Eclipso!

SIMILAR THING, ONLY DIFFERENT…

Turns out that it’s not precisely Eclipso, actually, as the character seems to refer to himself as Basilisk, and is trying to force a scientist named Montez (who I’m presuming is the same as Alex Montez, who captured and channeled Eclipso’s power in the old DCU) to help him restore the real deal.  The biggest flaw for me about this issue is that it consists of two things:  shooting and talking.  Dinah and Kurt Lance talk about how they have a relationship, Dinah talks about the team, Basilisk talks about his plan, Montez talks about how he might be able to drive the possession out of Basilisk…  It’s an endless cycle of expositionary dialogue, punctuated with explosions here and there, and leading to a climax that reveals (Dun DUN DAAAH!) ECLIPSO!  The construction of this reveal seems to want to treat it as a meaningful revelation, but it’s hard to swallow that expectation after the character’s name is plastered across the cover and he has already been a key piece of the build-up to an upcoming crossover amongst titles in the contemporary DCU.

THE BOTTOM LINE: NEVER QUITE GETS PAST ‘CONFUSING.’

The simplest way for me to describe the effect of reading this issue?  “Okay, that happened.”  The draw seems to be in seeing the ‘Black Ops’ characters of the current DCU in action earlier in their career, which I can understand.  But aside from an okay take on Amanda Waller as the team’s comptroller, they’re all really bland and boring.  Add to the fact that Grifter and Deathstroke are the stars of the most stultifying-ly unpleasant current DCU books, and a lot of the steam is taken out of this one for me.  I read the #0 issue and found it to be pretty much inoffensive, but this issue comes across as clichéd, bland, and over-rendered, leading Team 7 #2 to a less-than-ideal 1.5 out of 5 stars overall.  If #3 shows up in my pile of back-issues to be boarded in a couple of months, I might flip through it, but nothing here compels me to buy this book, even if it serves as backstory for a new Eclipso crossover shmageggi…

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!

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