Saturday, December 7, 2013

TEAM 7 #8 (Final Issue)

The last issue either jumped months of time in the series without explanation... or it jumped the logic train.  (I would say it "jumped the shark", but c'mon, that was in issue #1!)  Team 7 has assaulted the palace of Kaizen Gamorra, who is in possession of the dreaded Pandora's Box.  The team's resident Superman, Majestic, creates a massive tidal wave that is sweeping away the entire island.

Team 7 #8: "Mission 2.4: The Doom That Came to Kaizen" is the final issue of this unwanted, ill-conceived and worse-executed comic book series.  Like the previous issue, Tony Bedard wrote the script over Justin Jordan's plot.  Jesus Merino does the pencil and ink art all himself.  Gary Frank and Cam Smith slum for one more month to provide this issue's cover.

Team 7's founder and leader, John Lynch, narrates this issue in another one of his after action reports. This will be...confusing later on.

The wave of death crashes over the island, destroying the city and killing millions of people while Amanda Waller stares out the window in shock.

The Kaizen's palace is destabilized but not flooded.  Lynch orders Steve Trevor to get the chopper so they can exfiltrate before the building collapses on them.  Even though Trevor stayed on the drop ship when the rest of the team entered the palace last issue, he is here with them now.  I would try and explain this continuity gaffe, but I give slightly less a crap about this comic than the creators did.

Anyway, Lynch tells Slade Wilson and Cole Cash to get Trevor to the chopper while the rest of the team hangs back to fight the super-powered Kaizen.  Lynch then says, "Take Higgins with you."  Dean Higgins then appears in the next panel running beside the others.  That's all for Higgins in this issue.  He's presumed to have died but we never see him again and nobody mentions him.

When the Kaizen threatens to use the power of Pandora's Box, Kurt Lance encourages his wife, Dinah Drake-Lance to use her newfound sonic scream against Kaizen Gamorra.  Kurt apparently has the power to boost or amplify Dinah's powers.  If you were reading Birds of Prey, you kind of knew that already, but this is its first mention in Team 7.

Trevor, Slade, and Cash find a Gamorran helicopter to steal.  Then Majestic comes out of the water and starts attacking the Kaizen.  Majestic accuses Kaizen of killing his family, but I thought the Spartan cyborg did that before turning James Bronson into Majestic.  Wait, did Gamorra create the Spartan cyborg?  That sounds kind of familiar... But wait, Lynch says "we created Majestic".  Who is he talking about?  What the hell is happening?

Majestic picks up Pandora's Box, feeling the lure of its power.  Dinah has a dumb blonde moment where she actually needs Amanda Waller to explain why Majestic using Pandora's Box is a bad thing.  Then Kurt talks to Majestic while "leaching" some of his power.  So Kurt doesn't just affect Dinah, but he can boost or siphon anyone's powers?

Dinah - representing the "boob window" in Power Girl's absence.
Okay.  Dinah joins hands with Lynch, who has telekinetic powers, and Waller, who has... I don't know what powers she has, if any, and then Kurt, who boosts all of their powers.  The result is Dinah's Canary Cry turns into a white that swallows up the palace, the Kaizen, Majestic, and Kurt (maybe).  Dinah, Waller and Lynch are left wandering through the rubble, Dinah looking for her husband, Lynch looking for Pandora's Box.

Lynch grabs Pandora's Box, which immediately begins to corrupt him.  Amanda Waller beats him down and throws the box to Dinah, telling her to get on board the chopper with Slade, Cash, and Trevor.  Lynch starts to pull the chopper down with his telekinetic powers, so Amanda Waller shoots him in the head.

That ends Lynch's after action report.  Because he can't continue reporting if he's dead.

But wait!  First of all, it's an after action report.  He would need to have survived and gotten off the island in order to debrief the situation.  Second of all, he does survive somehow.  We know he's alive in the current time period, so this execution isn't shocking or dramatic, it's just confusing and unnecessary.  Why did his report end so abruptly?  Why was he narrating at all?

Anyway, the last page is narrated by Steve Trevor, who says Team 7 was shut down.  Based on the title of this issue, they were only on their second mission.  Some of the dialogue corroborates that number, but most of Lynch's narration over issues #7 and #8 contradicts it.  Trevor's report says that Waller is believed dead, even though we see her there at the end.

Why did they fly away and leave her there?  She was obviously still alive?  Why didn't they come back for her?  Why didn't Dinah try to find her husband some more?

The Characters

  • Dinah Drake-Lance gets a lot of focus on her powers this issue.  She uses her Canary Cry once to knock down Kaizen Gamorra, and again the put down Majestic, with the unexpected effect of leveling an entire building.  Her powers are affected not only by her husband, but by all of the members of Team 7.
  • Slade Wilson gets shot but otherwise doesn't do anything noteworthy.
  • Amanda Waller might have a power but it's not clearly established or confirmed.  She has become a much more hard-edged character throughout this series, willing to kill to her boss to save the world.
  • Cole Cash doesn't do anything noteworthy.
  • Dean Higgins is believed dead but that's never shown.  Why did this character exist?
  • Kurt Lance has the power to amplify the powers of others, but it works particularly well with his wife Dinah, because of their love and trust.  He disappears for some reason, believed dead.
  • John Lynch uses his telekinetic powers a little.  He gets corrupted by Pandora's Box and then Waller shoots him in the head.  Sadly, that didn't kill him.
  • James Bronson/Majestic, after murdering an entire nation, fights Gamorra and takes Pandora's Box.  Note: he has already destroyed an entire nation and killed all those people, the vast majority of them being innocent civilians, but the team is worried about what will happen when he gets possessed by the evil of Pandora's Box.  He disappears.


Lynch is shot in the head by Waller at the end of this issue.  But back in issue #5, we saw that Lynch was very much alive in the present day DC Universe.  Slade went to kill him, but Lynch used his powers to defend himself.  Lynch was searching for Majestic in the ruins of Gamorra at the bottom of the ocean.  And we saw Majestic's hand coming out of the cracked ocean floor.
None of this is every addressed in this issue, and it left unresolved.

Kurt Lance disappeared when Dinah used her scream to create a white hole.  Then Amanda Waller was left stranded on a piece of rubble in the middle of the ocean.  But we know that Amanda Waller makes it back to the states, becomes a very powerful player in the military, and creates both the Suicide Squad and Justice League of America.  In Birds of Prey #0, we saw that as of four years after the end of Team 7, Waller has Kurt Lance preserved in stasis, so at some point she found his body.  Dinah probably could have found it, too, if she hadn't runaway so easily.

And back to Dinah and Birds of Prey.  The first two years of that series were bogged down by this underdeveloped mystery that Dinah killed her husband.  The awful, awful, dreadful writer who shall not be named created the impression that Dinah used her powers to kill her husband, that it was face-to-face and personal.  She was wracked with guilt and emotionally lost.  Here, Kurt's disappearance is almost incidental, and unexplained; she ought to be more curious and desperate than guilty.

Also, at the beginning of Birds of Prey, Black Canary is wanted for murder--the implication being that she's wanted for the murder of her husband, but that's a little vague because the writer did such a shitty job.  But here, Kurt's "death" is an accidental casualty of war.  That only one other living soul witnessed!  So if Dinah was wanted for murdering Kurt, the charge had to come from someone very high up in the military, someone who would have known better and not wanted to expose any information about Team 7.

I'm assuming Tony Bedard never read an issue of Team 7 or Birds of Prey before he wrote issue #7 and this one.  He may not have even read issue #7 before he wrote this one.  The questions and contradictions raised by the stupid and aborted series are too numerous and unfulfilling to spend any more time on.  I hate this.

Grade: F


  1. Agreed.
    A most confusing series, and its actual point was never fully established imo. I just couldn't get half the stories or why these heroes/villains were bothering to follow Waller's orders esp Slade Wilson whos never struck me as the obey orders at all cost type.
    This book has been so off the mark from the start I didn't even notice it was the final issue. The recent issue of BoP [the Zero Year issue] however has a kind of explanation for why Dinah joined the team so some vague attempt at continuity is maintained but too little to late. The only character that's impressed me was Amanda Waller.
    ~A far better version of a team like this is another title Id like to recommend - Forever Evil' A.R.G.U.S. Theres an improved Steve Trevor than the one here and a far better team mission. I was turned on to it because of the fairly good Wonder Woman segments in issue one.

  2. It felt like the premise was changing every issue, which tells me there were more problems with the editorial guidance and desperation facing low sales.

    I read the Zero Year Birds issue and I'll be reviewing that in a couple days (I'm going to try and review an issue a day for the rest of the week). It answered some questions and raised more.

    A.R.G.U.S. might be good, but I just can't find the strength to care about or purchase anymore new DC comics for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, I've got plenty of older Black Canary stuff to look at, and now that my scanner is fixed, I can get to reviewing her '90s series after the holidays.