"Team 7" #0 by Justin Jordan and Jesus Merino is one of the new titles that DC Comics is unleashing as part of the one-year anniversary of re-launching the company's DC Universe. Set five years in the past, "Team 7" is by far one of the trickier books, because like "Action Comics" (similarly set in this earlier time frame), there are some aspects that are already set in stone. Fortunately for us, Jordan and Merino are still able to deliver a genuinely fun comic even if some of the tension's been defused already.
Originally a Wildstorm title, this all-new "Team 7" will certainly grab Wildstorm fans' attention; John Lynch from "Gen 13" shows up on the very first page and there's already talk of a mysterious Majestic Project. For some readers, there's no doubt in my mind that between those references and additional members Alex Fairchild and Cole Cash, that would be enough. For the rest of us, though, Jordan has remembered to do more than just throw references around.
With ten main characters, there are a lot of introductions to be had, and one of the things I appreciated in "Team 7" #0 is that Jordan gives everyone a chance to shine without feeling overly cluttered. We see everyone in action at various points in their everyday lives; of course, most of those lives involve covert black ops projects. Jordan doesn't assume that you'll know who the more prominent members are (Amanda Waller, Grifter, Black Canary, Deathstroke) but gives everyone equal time and footing. At the same time, those who do know some of the characters might catch little extras; the soldier named Duren that we met in "Suicide Squad" #0 gets a call-out in Amanda Waller's scene, for instance, and we finally meet Black Canary's now-deceased husband. The scenes are short because of the number of characters that need to make their debut, but I found myself impressed at how fun they are.
Merino pencils the book (and gets an ink assist from Norm Rapmund and Rob Hunter) in a clean and pleasant style. It's great to see him back on a monthly title again; he's the sort of artist who can handle the technology and hardware side just as well as the human aspects. There's the occasional head-scratching moment (if I never again see a character leap towards the reader with their crotch as the focal point, it would be a wonderful thing indeed) but on the whole I feel like the layouts and panel progression are easy to follow and the book comes together well.
"Team 7" #0 is a strong debut for the title, and Jordan and Merino definitely make their mark quite quickly. With a large cast, even though some characters are already known to survive into the present day, we've got question marks over enough other heads that there's still a "will they make it?" feel to the series. And by adding in new elements like the Majestic Project, we've got a good central mystery to hang the book on. I'm definitely back for the next issue. Check it out.