Epic comic book
series, published in 2005-2006 by DC Comics
and written by Grant Morrison
The concept for the series was conceived and intricately plotted-out by Morrison, a Scottish writer best known for creating "The Invisibles
" and for shepherding "JLA
" and "The X-Men
" through some of their most critically acclaimed storylines. He decided on the name of the series after doing extensive work on the project after realizing that DC already owned the rights to the Seven Soldiers of Victory
, a normal team of superheroes created back in 1941.
Morrison's comic is a superteam book with a twist
-- none of the seven superhero
es ever meet each other or even know that they're working toward a common goal. Each character gets his or her own four-issue mini-series
, with new artists, (mostly) new origin
s, and free-standing storylines. All of the main characters have names familiar to DC Comics readers, though most get a facelift for the new project. You could buy just one of the mini-series and get a complete, satisfying story, without needing to know about any of the other stories. Of course, if you pick up all seven mini-series (that's 28 separate issues, plus two bookend issues at the beginning and end, spanning over a year), you're going to get an intricate
, novel-length epic with a shared, interlocking set of plot
s, supporting character
s, and mythologies
, from one of the best and most ambitious comic writers out there.
of the main characters face an extinction-level event
-- a faerie
-like race called the Sheeda
who periodically invade Earth and exterminate almost everyone, leaving just enough people to rebuild the population for the next time the Sheeda invade. Can seven superheroes, working completely independently, shut down an army of powerful invaders with millions of years of experience in hunting down and killing large numbers of humans?
The series started with Seven Soldiers #0
, featuring art by J.H. Williams
. The Vigilante
(a combination cowboy
/superhero from the early '40s) hires a group of five low-rent superheroes to help him put down the threat of the Sheeda. The Whip
, Boy Blue
, Dyno-Mite Dan
, and Spyder
(all updated versions of Golden Age characters) help Vigilante put down a giant spider
... but they are unprepared for the huge numbers of Sheeda that soon attack them, nor for the cosmic villain called the Nebula Man
), and they are all brutally slaughtered. The mysterious Seven Unknown Men
, the secret patrons of the team, are disappointed, but they set into motion their plan to assemble a new team of heroes who will never meet each other... Once that's out of the way, the seven individual miniseries get started, including:
- Shining Knight with art by Simone Bianchi. Sir Justin is the last of Arthur's knights, transported to modern-day Los Angeles with his winged horse. He can't speak English, he can't understand anything that's going on, and the Sheeda have corrupted Camelot's greatest knight to destroy him.
- Guardian with art by Cameron Stewart. Jake Jordan is an ex-cop trying to rebuild his life. When the mysterious publisher of the Manhattan Guardian newspaper offers him a position as a superhero / reporter / corporate trademark, he is thrown into a terrifying world of subway pirates, killer robots, and the Newsboy Army.
- Zatanna with art by Ryan Sook. The same backwards-talking, fishnet-wearing spellcaster from the DC Universe, Zatanna is a washed-up hero who has lost her powers. Taking on an apprentice, she investigates magic threats while searching for her father's missing spellbooks and trying to regain her abilities.
- Klarion with art by Frazer Irving. The eternally youthful Witch Boy is re-imagined as a refugee from a lost, underground Puritan colony. Exulting in his magical power, Klarion and his cat Teekl explore the amazing but deadly world above his home caverns.
- Mr. Miracle with art by Pascal Ferry, Billy Dallas Patton, and Freddie Williams II. Shiloh Norman is the world's greatest escape artist, dividing his time between the city's hippest hotspots and its poorest ghettos. Plagued by strange memories and visions of a band of New Gods, Shiloh rushes toward the one man he cannot escape -- the fearsome Dark Side.
- Bulleteer with art by Yanick Paquette. Alix Harrower never wanted to be a superhero, but when she is coated in an indestructible "living metal" in an accident that kills her less-than-faithful husband, she finds herself swept up in events beyond her control. She has escaped certain death more than once -- but can she escape it -- or the terrible secrets of the past -- forever?
- Frankenstein with art by Doug Mahnke. Based on DC's '70s-era "Spawn of Frankenstein," the main character here is an immortal, poetry-quoting monster with a multitude of mismatched body parts, a big-ass gun, a razor-sharp sword, and a boundless thirst for righteous vengeance.
The final bookend issue will arrive with Seven Soldiers #1
in the spring of 2006. Morrison has promised that one of the Soldiers will die before the series ends. I'm hoping it'll be one who can spontaneously resurrect him/herself...