Untold Tales of the New Universe: D.P. 7 #1
Cover Artist: Doug Gregory Alexander
Writer: C. B. Cebulski
Penciler: M.D. Bright
Inker: John Sanisci
Colorist: Studio F
Letterer: VC's Rus Wooton
Editor: Mark Paniccia
The "X-Men of the New Universe" make their grand return to the new
millennium with an untold tale from the days of the 80s! On the run
from their captors at The Clinic, our Displaced Paranormals take
shelter and hope to find the peace they so rightfully deserve on an
Indian reservation. However, they soon discover persecution extends
beyond those with enhanced genetic abilities and they must side with
their Native American brethren to overcome an evil that threatens to
engulf them all. Deadwood meets the Seven Samurai in this blast from
32 PGS./T+ SUGGESTED FOR TEENS AND UP ...$2.99
The displaced paranormals happen upon a bar owner in trouble. His daughter begs them to help, which they do. The two show their gratitude by ordering them out of the bar before they call F.B.I. about them because they're "freaks." A passing Native American offers them sanctuary at his reservation, which they accept.
Naturally, there's a catch. He wants their help fighting his sister, Seka, who has the paranormal ability to raise the dead to do her bidding. She has turned on the tribe since gaining her powers. D.P. 7 triumphs when Randy's antibody shuts Seka down. They depart to resume their flight from the Clinic the next morning.
RANDY: . . . There's gotta be a catch.
DAVE: Maybe he just wants to help his fellow man.
RANDY: There's gotta be a catch.
DAVE: His fellow paranormals.
RANDY: There's gotta be a catch.
. . .
RANDY: Oh, no.
DAVE: What's the matter?
RANDY: There's definitely a catch.
Dave Landers mentions their "misunderstanding" with a Wompus "last week." Therefore this story takes place one week after D.P. 7 #4.
Unfortunately, the word that best describes this story is "disappointing." D.P. 7 was arguably the best New Universe title. This issue tries, but does not live up to those standards. Perhaps the biggest problem is mischaracterization. It was the different personalities and their interaction that made the group interesting. It's an oversimplification, but here they fall all too easily into the roles of superheroes.
What really drove it home for me is when Scuzz makes a verbal jab at Stephanie about her familly. She responds by calling him a "bastard" before breaking down crying. That is not what Stephanie would have said. Yes, the comment would have upset her, but that's not how she'd respond. She wasn't that kind of person. Another example of mischaracterization is when Charlotte goes charging in to the bar to help. She was not comfortable with confrontations like that this early on. Cebulski tried, but he just didn't get all the personalities right.
Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I think there's also some mishandling of their powers. In the bar fight, Scuzz is disolving weapons as people charge at him. I don't think his powers worked that fast. The same goes for the fight against the zombies. Dave and Scuzz take a page from the X-men's Colossus and Wolverine as Dave throws Scuzz through the zombies and he slices through them.
We also have Stephanie increasing Charlotte's powers to makes the zombies' joints frictionless. First, while Stephanie can give people an energy boost, I don't think she can increase their powers. Second, Charlotte's powers don't give off that kind of energy when she uses them.
Lastly, we have the deus ex machina ending when Randy's antibody appears to send Seka into a coma. Since when do they have the ability to do that?
All in all, the magic of D.P. 7 just isn't there. This issue might be fine for fans expecting something along the lines of a typical superhero comic, but for long-time fans of D.P. 7, it won't be satisfying at all.More Untold Tales: