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on 7 May 2014
New52. Team 7. Year 0. 5 out of 5.
I read this collection on Kindle.
Sometimes the kindle format seemed to have ‘slipped’ a little and some highlighted frames missed the odd word of dialogue but otherwise the reading experience adds a cinematic quality I enjoy.
I really enjoyed this series and count me among those disappointed that it was cut as short as it was.
This reads like a cross between Blackhawks and early (all-new-all-different) X-Men.
It’s a rollercoaster of a rollicking adventure and there’s some great action with enough characterisation to pique interest and quality artwork that enhanced the stories.
The ‘five-years-ago’ angle is one I thought deserved some attention and is a fascinating extra dimension to the adventures being showcased, what I find intriguing is that, for instance, I don’t generally like Deathstroke. – But Slade is brilliant here and he’s not unique in that.
Black Canary at last gets an origin that doesn’t involve mothers, other earths and odd wigs.
Grifter and Majestic were new to me but I’m impressed enough to support their integration.
Amanda Waller appears here and fits into her role in Suicide Squad which I also collect (and thoroughly recommend) with a natural flow.
Eclipso, Basilisk, even Pandora’s Box thread through the stories so, yes, this is a ‘relevant’ early chapter.
Perhaps this series was attempted too early in the new52 launch, maybe they could redraft a return or selected stories in mini-series format to bolster the past of this young new universe.
As it is this book holds interest and deserves attention.
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on 27 August 2013
After discovering Justin Jordan's excellent writing on books like Luther Strode and Shadowman, I decided to hunt down more titles he's written which led me to the only other one I could find - Team 7. Normally I would avoid this because of the New 52 label on the cover, which has obtained the same notoriety as a hazardous sticker on a drum of toxic waste, but I thought, hey, this guy is awesome, I bet he brings his awesomeness to this book too!

Ah, optimism. Go die in the face of DC's unrelenting awfulness that is the New 52!

Team 7 is a failed hotdog.

I know hotdogs are made from weird leftovers in meat processing plants but all those leftover scraps in a hotdog taste awesome in the finished product. With mustard in a bun? The greatest snack.

Team 7 is made up of leftover characters from other failed New 52 books - Deathstroke, Grifter, Black Canary, and the ever annoying Amanda Waller whom DC seem determined to make into female Nick Fury, and continue to fail in this goal. There are some others that make up the 7 but they're nobodies. Put all these together and you have the world's worst hotdog. No amount of mustard or fresh bread can save this thing from making you violently sick!

The book starts off mimicking the worst moment of The Phantom Menace (and that film was all bad moments), specifically the midi-chlorians scene where George Lucas ruins the Force by saying it's all biological. In the opening issue the boss of Team 7 says that the emerging meta-humans (superheroes to you and I) all have special genes that give them superpowers. I know DC love their realism and are trying to take away all sense of wonder and fun with their characters, but really - the meta-human gene?

I pretty much zoned out on the excessive narration employed in this book so I can't tell you the plot. It's bad enough having one narrator telling you what's going on, but two at the same time, while the art shows you what's happening as well? What the hell were you thinking, Justin? And it's not like they're saying anything interesting either. Despite Deathstroke, Grifter, Black Canary, and Waller all being supposedly super-skilled fighters, they rely an awful lot on guns which is just plain boring and the whole thing reeked of yet another failed New 52 series, the godawful Blackhawks. Now I think about it more, the kinda good/kinda bad characters in this team book reminded me of an even worse New 52 series, Suicide Squad. So basically, this book has all the worst associations possible.

The "story" is about the usual guff - end of the world, bad guys wanting power, blah blah blah. The villain is called Eclipso which I think is the name of an ice lolly and just looked like yet another arbitrary bad guy - monstrous looking, big toothy smile, and, if this were a movie, almost certainly speaking with an English accent. In other words, predictable schlock from start to finish.

Except I didn't finish it. Despite having shelled out for this book (I know, even heavily discounted, more fool me) I couldn't keep going. It was just making me too miserable. So I closed the book at the halfway point and put it on the pile of books heading to the charity shop - more than a few of which are published by DC. And, like puking up a bad hotdog, I immediately felt better! Especially as I picked up the latest trade of Fraction and Aja's Hawkeye which is the polar opposite to this book in terms of quality.

I know there are a number of people who rail on DC's editorial as bringing the quality of their comics down, and I'm kind of on the fence with this opinion - that is until I read Team 7. How could Justin Jordan have gone from being an awesome writer putting out brilliant books like Luther Strode and Shadowman only to plummet so far with this book? It can't be as simple as Jordan not trying on his work-for-hire, saving his A-game for his creator owned stuff, because Shadowman is work-for-hire at Valiant and that book rocks. Hmm... yeah, it's DC editorial all right!

The one good thing I'll say about DC editorial (because there's nothing good to say about the book itself) is that Dan Didio has always said that he's always on the lookout for new, exciting talent to come write for the company. And that's certainly true of Justin Jordan, one of the most exciting new voices of recent years, so Didio deserves props for standing by his statement. It's just a shame that working at DC completely sucks the creative juices out of said talent.
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The stories from issues #0-8 DC Comics' New 52 title `Team 7' are collected as Team 7 Volume 1: Fight Fire With Fire TP (The New 52). This series is set at the very beginning of the New 52 superhero explosion, as mysterious US Government organisations set about preparing for a superhero arms race. A number of characters - some of whom will become prominent in the subsequent New 52 universe - are recruited from various backgrounds to join `Team 7'. They include Amanda Waller, Dinah Lance, Slade Wilson, Cole Cash and Steve Trevor. We bump into people with recognisable names, such as Hank Henshaw and Caitlin Fairchild, Majestic and Eclipso, as we go about our adventures.

The team's job seems to be a mixture of recovering artefacts and taking care of super-powered incidents; but somewhere along the way the Government has been experimenting on them - Project Majestic -, and several members end up with powers or abilities beyond those of ordinary men.

It is well enough written and illustrated, but the plot can be a bit confused at times; whether this was because they had a limited run to pack everything in to, or whether the series was cancelled before they could develop the story in more depth, I don't know. The grand finale does set the scene for the current Trinity War crossover event, so I suspect it was intended to be a limited series.

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE

Issue #8 sees Majestic unleash an earthquake & tsunami on Gamorra, before joining the team in combat with Kaizen. In the fight, Majestic gets hold of the Pandora’s Box. The finale involves a supercharged Dinah Lance (she got married along the way) using her voice to open a warp of some kind into which Majestic, Kurt Drake and others disappear. Director Lynch makes a grab for the Box, and Waller stops him… Steve Trevor rescues some of the team, but a number are missing in action, though we know that some of them are not dead…

Issue #7 opens with the metahuman Majestic – formerly Team 7 agent Bronson – beginning an attack on the Island Nation of Gamorra, ruled by evil dictator Kaizen. Apparently, Director Lynch has been experimenting on Team 7 members in order to develop metahumans-powered agents, and Majestic is the ultimate deterrent. Kaizen has what we recognise as Pandora’ Box, as well as his own metahumans development, and Team 7 is there to close him down…

Issue #6 with the Team deploying to the Advanced Prosthetic Research Center, which is overrun with cyborgs of all shapes and sizes, caused by something called the Spartan Project. They fight their way through to what remains of Dr Henshaw, who is able to inform them that Spartan is, for some reason, targeting team member Bronson, who is on leave…

Issue #5 opens in the present as Deathstroke boards a private yacht and threatens Director Lynch; we then drop back 5 years to Team 7 where we are introduced to the Advanced Prosthetic Research Center, who have been repairing Slade Wilson, among other people. We recognise a number of people working and being treated there… Meanwhile Dinah Drake is confronting Director Lynch about what Team 7 is really for, followed by an outbreak of cyborgs at the Prosthetic Centre…

Issue #4 sees the team, helped by Essence, struggle to re-imprison Eclipso in his diamond, while keeping Slade alive.

Later, in hospital Director Lynch visits the badly injured Wilson and begins to discuss Operation Majestic with him… while Eclipso’s diamond is locked away in what we will come to know as the Black Room.

Issue #3 opens with the team approaching Sentinel Island, where Eclipso is imprisoned. They find a mercenary group is already there, and busy killing the inhabitants as they search for Eclipso’s prison. A mystic force – called Essence - is charged with keeping Eclipso contacts Team 7 and offers to help them. During the operation, Eclipso manages to possess Slade Wilson…

Issue #2 sees the team fighting their way through the floating prison Facility 9. In the medical bay, they find that someone has been testing a new version of the Jekyll and Hyde formula (from Arkham Asylum’s vault – see All Star Western for that story) and their test-subject was the bio-terrorist captured in issue #0. He is a follower of one Kaizen, a fiendishly evil oriental villain with his own island-state, where the prison appears to be taking the Weaponised virus. They confront the villain and the captive scientist, and discover that Eclipso is behind it all…

Issue #1 sees the team on their first mission – to investigate the loss of control of Facility 9, a floating prison for metahumans. Contact has been lost. Their aircraft cannot get through the Prison’s defences, to the team have to make a fly-by jump. After gaining entry, they find a zombie-like infection running rampant, and the victims sporting a very familiar blue/white face-pattern…

Issue #0 opens “five years ago “with a man called Lynch (who looks like Ra’s al Ghul, which confused me, and still does) briefing someone about the rising tide of metahumans, and talking about the “Majestic Project” and forming “Team 7” as part of it. We then get a look at a number of proposed recruits who are performing special ops, showcasing heir talents for the reader; including Dinah Drake, Kurt Lance, Slade Wilson, Alex Fairchild, James Bronson, Summer Ramos, Cole Cash, Amanda Waller and Dean Higgins. Some you will recognmise, some you won’t. This is the very first Suicide Squad, however…

We also get the first mention of ‘Basilisk’, which is the Enemy.

Basically, this is the team being recruited.
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