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This month of reading WildStorm from the beginning has frequently defied my expectations, with my enjoyment of the contents nearly reversed from what I expected.
Team 7: Objective hell tops that list of unexpected outcomes. It’s a riveting, gorgeous, well-written book that merges military themes with superhero powers. There are a few tiny nods to the future of these characters, particularly for Slayton/Backlash, but otherwise this series hardly acknowledges the wider WildStorm Universe and the future it holds in store.
Chuck Dixon shines here even more than on the original limited series. Past needing to introduce his massive cast and take them through multiple missions, this series has both more action and better character moments. No one gets the sort of monologue or grandstanding they did in the first series. It’s all tiny beats that tell us more about the team – particularly Slayton’s temper and the babyfaced Cash’s rise to leadership before an eventual fall from their graces.
Every page of this book looks damned great. The covers truly don’t do justice to the interior pages.
Chris Warner spares no detail in illustrating the jungle environs of Nicaragua and Cambodia. A gang of multiple inkers introduce some variation but fill every page with plenty of contrast for colorist Monica Bennett to make pop with rich greens, golden flesh tones, and Team 7’s red war paint.
The long-haired, well-muscled men of Team 7 have a certain mercurial hint of motion that’s reminiscent of issue #1’s cover artist, the legendary Barry Windsor Smith. The members who we don’t know in the present day stand out the most, with Caitlin Fairchild’s father clearly modeled on Iggy Pop and Grunge’s father Chang drawn more distinctly as an Asian than on the prior outing.
The inspiration for this story seems near to that of The Divine, an OGN I reviewed last year. The difference is that while The Divine was about child soldiers in an eternal war, Objective Hell is about a small bubble of peace that Team 7 is forced to disrupt for the greater good.
Was a greater good achieved? There’s no question that removing low-yield nukes from the grasping Khmer Rouge is a positive, but the open psychic warfare between US and Russian forces signaled a new front of the Cold War that Team 7 found themselves alone to defend. While they escape with only one serious casualty this time, it helps to frame their later choice to splinter and become mercenaries. As long as the specter of their reassembling as a team exists in the world, the US Government will find some threat that demands their intervention … but does their existence also escalate the seriousness of the threats?
Team 7: Objective Hell doesn’t hold those answers or very many keys to the big questions we’ve been asking about Backlash, Grifter, Dane, Lynch, and Cray, but it is a superior WildStorm offering that makes me wish we had an ongoing comic to add more past missions to Team 7’s published history.
Want a recap? Keep reading for a summary of how these soldiers became super. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this month’s WildStorm re-read. Tomorrow is the main event! WildStorm Rising! Let’s get ready to cross over, baby!
Need the issues? This series has not been collected, so you’ll need to grab the singles – try eBay or Amazon. Since further series hit these same issue numbers, be sure to match your purchase to the cover images in this post. [Read more…] about From The Beginning: WildStorm Universe – Team 7: Objective: Hell (1995) #1-3