Sunday, November 24, 2013

TEAM 7 #6

In the present day, Deathstroke hunts down his former boss, John Lynch.  Five years earlier, Alex Fairchild's daughter Caitlin is interning at the Advanced Prosthetic Research Center under the direction of Dr. Henshaw.  Project: Spartan goes haywire and lots of little cyborg monsters start killing people at the lab and hunting Caitlin.

Team 7 #6: "Mission 2.2: Birth of a Superman" is written by Justin Jordan with art by... hoo-boyPascal Alixe (pages 1-5), Cliff Richards (pages 6-15), and Gui Balbi and Juan Castro (pages 16-20).  Once again, Gary Frank and Cam Smith provided a cover for a book that is well below their talent level.  By the time Jordan was scripting this issue he had to have known the series was cancelled, so the text on the cover confirms that this final arc is just cleaning house.

The issue opens up with most of Team 7 racing toward the Advanced Prosthetics Research Center in their ridiculous looking ship piloted by Summer Ramos, who we haven't really seen much in this series.  Ramos tells the team they're nearing the APRC, and that no distress calls are emanating from the facility.  Strange... How did Team 7 know there was a problem?

Alex Fairchild is understandably distressed because his daughter is down at the facility, but he doesn't know what kind of situation they're walking into.  Again: how did Team 7 know there was a problem and yet not know anything about the problem?

There's a bit of banter from Cole Cash and Amanda Waller revealing that James Bronson did not come on this mission, but rather went to visit his family.  Cash also mentions rather flippantly that the Lances didn't even get a honeymoon.  Really, Dinah Drake and Kurt Lance got married between issues?  We didn't see or hear anything about it before this mention?

As the stupid drop ship approaches the APRC, uh... $#@% goes down.

Ramos, we hardly knew ye.

As the ship comes under attack from little robot drone monsters, the Team fight back while Ramos pilots the ship to a safe landing before she dies.

Ramos' death might have felt meaningful if we knew here, or even entertaining if it wasn't such a blatant ripoff of this other scene.  (Man, Justin Jordan rips off a lot of movie material for this book.)

After the crash, Slade Wilson takes charge and leads the team through a crowd of cyborg zombie monsters that don't present much of a threat.  Once inside, they find a whole bunch of corpses messed up by the cyborg monsters unleashed by Project: Spartan.  From the carnage, Caitlin Fairchild emerges to the joy of her father.

Uh oh, that ain't a good look...

Slade chases the cyborg monster Caitlin and executes her/it for killing his best friend.  Dinah thinks these cyborgs are too easy to kill and that it must be part of a setup.  Her fears are confirmed when what's left of Hank Henshaw shows up.

Henshaw reveals that this whole chaotic mess was just to lure Team 7 to the Spartan robot or program (again, we don't know how they found out so we don't know how it lured them).  Also, the Spartan robot or program was created by Gamorra, a rogue nation or the name of its leader... maybe.  Also, Gamorra and Spartan wanted Team 7 member James Bronson specifically for reasons unknown.

Cut to James Bronson having dinner with his family at someone's apartment.  His mom is attacked in the kitchen by Spartan, who then... does something... transfers its core programming into Bronson, I suppose.

This causes an explosion.

The final page shows somebody who looks like the WildStorm character Mr. Majestic flying out of the wreckage.  I guess we're to assume that Bronson combined with Spartan creates Majestic.

Last issue involved a frame device with present day Slade/Deathstroke and John Lynch.  That sequence doesn't appear in this issue.

The Characters

  • Dinah Drake is apparently Dinah Lance now.  She doesn't do anything noteworthy.
  • Slade Wilson is sad that his friend dies and murders the friend's daughter, but she was a cyborg zombie so it's probably okay.
  • Amanda Waller has a line about never losing an operative in the field.  Throughout this series she has had the most consistently ironic dialogue, which is only interesting if you know they're ironic because you know the character in other comics.
  • Cole Cash doesn't do anything noteworthy.
  • Dean Higgins doesn't do anything noteworthy.
  • James Bronson becomes Mr. Majestic.
  • Kurt Lance doesn't appear in this issue.  I guess married life is too smothering for him, or more likely he was separated from the team since marriage violates all sorts of laws and regulations of the military code.
  • John Lynch doesn't appear in this issue.
  • Alex Fairchild dies in this issue.
  • Summer Ramos dies in this issue.


Given the gleeful death and destruction and the cyborg zombies, this book should have at least felt fun, but it was pretty boring.  Last week I said the new threat of Spartan and the robot monsters was a lot more interesting than the Eclipso zombies from the first arc.  Yeah, I called that one too early because this is just more of the same.  Despite the body count, these things aren't interesting or dangerous; they're just so much cannon fodder.

Also, there are two pages devoted to a building exploding.  Nothing really interesting about this double-page splash, just a building getting blown up--a building full of people we don't know or care much about.  Two pages is a lot of real-estate in a twenty page comic.  Ten percent of the story is just a big anticlimactic boom.

The series is winding down, so you can tell that Justin Jordan is rushing to tie up... just ends.  The deaths feel arbitrary and hollow.  I'm expecting Higgins to die next issue, and maybe we'll see how some of the survivors, like Dinah, got their superpowers.

Grade: C-

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