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Team 7 #8

team7n8cover“Mission 2.4: The Doom That Came to Kaizen”

Writers: Justin Jordan & Tony Bedard
Pencils: Jesus Merino
Colors: Nathan Eyring
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Assistant Editor: Rickey Purdin
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: Gary Frank

(No Spoilers)

After much build up since the cancellation announcement, the title has a nice wind down here.  Jordan does his best to answer as many dangling plotlines as he can with the space allotted.  In the end, it’s a decent ending to a title that was cancelled way too prematurely.

team7n8image1Team 7 has been the surprise hit of the cancellations (if that makes any sense).  It seems that once Jordan got past the initial arc, he found more freedom to tell a great and epic story.  Repeatedly it’s been said that if he had been allowed to lead with this story, the title might have survived.  For old Wildstorm fans, this quickly became the book to follow as Jordan jam-packed it with classic Wildstorm characters.  It was nice to see these characters in action again.

team7n8image2The biggest tragedy is probably the fact that one of Wildstorm’s greatest villains, Kaizen Gamorra, will get benched along with all the other Wildstorm characters from this book.  He was always a get villain in the old Wildstorm U and would easily be someone who could take on the Justice League.  The other character who undoubtedly will get benched is Majestic.  The origin they picked for him in the New 52 is really odd but aside from that, he looked like his old self.  So much potential is lost here with these characters.

There’s not too much to say about this issue other than I think Jordan wrapped it up to the best of his abilities.  The ending promises “The end of Team 7 for now…” but I doubt DC will be using this team any time soon unless it’s in flashbacks.  Overall, it was nice to have the team in the DCU while it lasted.  Team 7 was always a finite concept but I just wish Jordan would’ve had more time to tell stories in the New 52’s past.

7 out of 10 (Above Average)

Team 7 #7

team7n7coverwrap“Mission 2.3: Majestic”

Writers: Justin Jordan & Tony Bedard
Pencils: Jesus Merino & Pascal Alixe
Colors: Nathan Eyring
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Rickey Purdin
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: Ken Lashley

(No Spoilers)

Normally when a title is announced for cancellation, it’s hard to get excited about any remaining issues. But Jordan has made these last issues of Team 7 absolutely incredible! The tag team of Merino & Alixe continue to deliver on the art side and the introduction of an old Wildstorm character (spoiled by the title of the issue) make this series so much fun now even here at the end.

team7n7image1Jordan has teased inserting Majestic into this title since the beginning. The way he was created here in the New 52 is a little odd but I was at least happy to see him in a version of his classic costume. We also finally get back to Gamorra Island and its dictator leader Kaizen Gamorra who was one of the top villains in the old Wildstorm U. Here, they do well to insert the ongoing mystery of Pandora and her Box into the mix. I hope it leads some to try the issue when they find that connection here with the impending Trinity War crossover.

team7n7image2We also finally get an explanation as to why Steve Trevor hadn’t been present in the book until now which is ironic because he’s one of the characters in the modern New 52 who kept referring to the team. His insertion is quick but done in a way that makes sense considering Jordan only had a handful of issues left to bring him on board. We also get an explanation of Black Canary and how she got her powers which had a surprising link to an old Wildstorm U concept.

I can’t help but repeat, of the titles slated for cancellation so far, this one bums me out the most. It should have at least been given up to issue 12 before they decided to cancel it. Jordan has really hit his stride with the title, but it’s obviously too little too late. Well, if the momentum keeps up like this, the series will at least end on a high note next month and will make picking up the trade that much more satisfying for those who were trade-waiting.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

Team 7 #5

t7n5cover“Mission 2.1: The Spartan Way”

Writer: Justin Jordan
Pencils: Jesus Merino & Pascal Alixe
Colors: Nei Ruffino & Nathan Eyring with Hi-Fi
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: Gary Frank

(No Spoilers)

Team 7 has been amazing these last couple of issues. Justin Jordan really hit his stride with the characters and started infusing some interesting things in the New 52’s past. But rather than let the title continue with its newfound momentum, DC decides to announce its cancellation. It’s unbelievable at this point but thankfully Jordan’s greatness out-weighted the bad news for this issue.

t7n5image1Simultaneously this month, Ravagers is being cancelled. Now as much as I didn’t want it to happen, with declining sales and almost a year’s worth of issues, I can understand that Ravagers’ cancellation ( a little). But Team 7? It just launched in Sept.’s Zero Month, just 5 months ago!!! It did have sort of a rocky start but I thought the creative team pulled it together to give us a great conclusion to the first story arc last month. So how DC can decide to cancel this great title so prematurely is beyond me.

I know one complaint people have had with the title is the lack of a consistent artist. I can see how that would annoy some people. It’s one thing to have a regular artist for a few issues and then have a fill-in artist, but so far it’s jumped back and forth between three artists. No offense to the artists who did work on the title so far, but I wish they would’ve brought on a big name artist to compliment Jordan. That probably could’ve saved the book.

t7n5image2Ok, enough of my moaning. Let’s focus on this issue for a bit. I love how it jumps from the present day New 52, to fives years ago. This is a great way to start transitioning the title to present day and hopefully start answering some questions about all these characters. The solicits have let us know that Ladytron and Spartan will be showing up in this book. I love the set up for how Ladytron gets her name and it involves Caitlin Fairchild. I also love the mystery they’ve set up with who and what Spartan really is. There are also some really creepy elements to the story and I was surprised by some of the horror-like aspects.

The solicits have let us know that as far as Wildstorm characters, we’ve got Ladytron, Spartan, and Majeistc showing up in this arc. Jordan voiced his love of the original Team 7 and the Wildstorm Universe in general when he first got the book so it’s no surprise that he has added so many Wildstorm characters in the book. But it seems the curse of Wildstorm continues as they keep getting their books cancelled. If you haven’t read the news about Jim Starlin taking over Stormwatch, I think that book would’ve been on the chopping block too if not for Starlin coming on board. It’s too bad they didn’t make a similar concerted effort to save some of these other cancelled titles.

But much like Ravagers, the current creative team has been cranking out some great stories. Even if this is the end for this title, I know Jordan is going to end with a bang! There was so much potential with this book and I really think DC dropped the ball on this one.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

Team 7 #4

t7n4coverwithlogo“Black Diamond Probability- Mission 1.4: The Possession of Slade Wilson “

Writer: Justin Jordan
Pencils: Jesus Merino
Colors: Nathan Eyring
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: Tyler Kirkham

(No Spoilers)

Wow! Justin Jordan has really hit his stride with this title. He wraps up the first arc in grand style as we get an action packed thrill ride for the introduction of Eclipso into the New 52. Even Jesus Merino seemed to be on his A-game. This title is like G.I. Joe with superpowers and so far and it’s been great!

t7n4image1I’ll start with Jesus Merino’s art. I wasn’t too crazy about it in the opening issues of the series. But here it just seemed so much better. He hasn’t drawn the last couple of issues so I think all he needed was that extra time. You can tell even with his opening shot of Eclipso which I swear for a second reminded me of Brett Booth’s version of the character. Although to keep in line with the rest of the New 52, this seems to be a younger version of Eclipso.

And I love the way Justin Jordan writes Grifter! THIS is the Grifter I wanted in his solo series! Everything Grifter did in this issue is exactly how’d I’d picture him reacting to the situation. As much as I hated that Grifter’s solo series got cancelled, I am thankful that not only is the character still active in this book, he’s also in the hands of the an awesome writer. Thank you Justin for redeeming one of my favorite characters!

t7n4image2This really is a great issue all the way around. At first I was perplexed by the choice to add the character Essence to this story but as it unfolded I could see why they chose her. I also liked how the team finally came together and showed why John Lynch had faith in this group. Speaking of Lynch, there are ties to the Justice League Black Room (not a spoiler, it’s in the solicits), as well as the beginnings of Slade turning into Deathstroke, and finally we get a tease about something called the Majestic Project. Old Wildstorm fans will know why that’s relevant and we’ll see if Jordan takes that idea in the direction we’re all hoping.

t7n4image3

This title has not just found its footing…now it’s sprinting! It was kind of a shaky start coming out of Zero Month and the constant change in artists, but for those who’ve held on, I hope you enjoyed the outcome as much as I did. And if you jumped off, at least finish this storyline. It’s only issue 4 after all. And next month, we get the introduction of another Wildcat into the DCU as we get Spartan! As if I needed more reasons to love this book!

9 out of 10 (Excellent!)