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CSBG Archive

Everybody’s Somebody’s Baby – Day One

Okay, so we had the Top 100 Comic Book Runs List. I even went a little further, and showed you the NEXT fifty-six runs on the list. But what about those runs that were less supported? THEY have their fans, too, right? So each weekday (so long as I have pieces to run), I’m going to take a look at some runs who did not make the top 158, but were still quite loved by readers out there!


Mark Gruenwald and Paul Ryan’s D.P. 7 – 27 points (2 first place votes)

D.P. 7 #1-32, plus an Annual

D.P. 7 stood for “Displaced Paranormals” and, well, the seven stars of the comic.

The seven were disparate folks who all suddenly gained super powers then went on the run to evade an evil group of people looking to control the new super folks.

Written by Gruenwald and drawn by Ryan, the series was like their previous work, Squadron Supreme, in the sense that it really spotlighted characterization.

These were normal people caught up in a fantastic world – it really WAS like a precursor to Heroes.

Here is Thenodrin on why it was his top pick…

When I voted, I almost tried to vote for Jim Shooter’s New Universe. After all, the New U was his baby. Just ask him.

But, really, I was reading the rest of the Universe titles so that I could keep up with the setting. And, I was mainly interested in the setting because of DP7. The other titles were really just another super hero universe. Aside from the rather unique concepts (such as what might be the first some-assembly-required superhero, Psi-Hawk) there was really nothing all that different about the New U to separate it from Marvel or DC.

Except for DP7. This was, to my experience, the first super hero title that wasn’t about super heroes. It was about people who happened to have powers. Sometimes the powers caused problems (such as the opening story arc), sometimes they had their own problems (Lander’s unrequited love for Stephanie), but the overall title was about people, not about super heroes.

It was the logical conclusion of what Spider-Man started. Spider-Man was about Peter Parker’s problems just as much as it was about Spider-Man’s. But, DP7 didn’t have super villian problems, didn’t really have super heroes, either. This book was about Randy, David, Lenore, Stephanie, Jeff, Charly, and Scuzz’s problems.

It was, really, a concept long before its time. One that I, personally, thought would work on a mass appeal. One that I see in the TV show, Heroes.

Thanks, Theno!

Remember, if you wish to write up a piece for your top pick that did not make the top 158, just send me your bit at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


Right link, wrong words. It’s the Runs list, not the Characters.

D.P. 7 was definitely my favorite of the New Universe runs. I always thought it was a shame the way Marvel abused the New Universe, before totally trashing it and shoving it under a rug. There were so many great characters in this series.

Agreed: DP7 was clearly the best of the New Universe. Star Brand had a heckofa potential and a great start, but it petered out quickly. MERC was just… no.

Some people’s babies are ugly.

I feel Psi-Force was much better, but only after Fabian Nician? took over.

Yeah, DP7 was great. I also liked Star Brand and Nightmask. The other titles I think were pretty forgettable.

Is it true that one of the DP7 characters…the guy sitting down on fire on the cover of #32…was visually based on Michael J. Fox?

Right on! I stuck with the New U up until the bitter end. DP7 was one of their most consistent titles, if not the best of all.


May 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm

The only New U title I liked from the start was Starbrand. Initially DP7 felt like an X-rip-off. But then the DP7 characters developed some real life and it became not just my favorite New U book but one of my most eagerly-awaited books each month.

Yes, Merc was just bad. But was there ever a lamer book than Kickers Inc.?

“Yes, Merc was just bad. But was there ever a lamer book than Kickers Inc.?”

Yep, but it’s a tossup: NFL Superpro or U.S.1.

Doug Atkinson

May 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

I still have the personal response postcard Mark Gruenwald sent out to everyone who wrote a letter about an issue of D.P.7 toward the end (I forget if it was the last issue or just near the end of the run). Very cool of him.

DP7 was clearly the best one of the bunch. Star Brand was all right, though I did like Psi-Force. Spitfire I never read, was it any good? And Nightmask had lots of potential, it’s be interesting to see it done today by Morrison and Quitely or Ellis…

Ellis is as of now doing Newuniversal.

Stephane Savoie

May 20, 2008 at 9:08 am

Start Brand was kinda interesting, but you had to wonder where it was going. The strength of it was Ken’s loser-status, but how long could it have been interesting. Byrne demolished it, and the time travel made no end…. but Byrne’s time travel rarely does.
DP7 was definitely the star of of New Universe. No matter the metaplot, it remained strong. One of Grunwald’s more consistantly strong works, I think.
And didn’t he give Quasar the Star Brand power, eventually?

Stephane Savoie

May 20, 2008 at 9:11 am

Oh wait… Justice was intriguing, if out of place in the NU. I remember Giffen’s artwork rattling my brain as a youth. Peter David’s reboot wasn’t as strong, although intriguing. He later ported Tensen over to 2099 as the “Net Prophet”, as I recall.
Honestly, while Kickers Inc seems weak, I recall enjoying it at age 12. Nightmask was the boring one.

D.P.7 was a great title. It is a favorite of my childhood. I truly felt while reading it that anything could happen to these characters and I knew that I would be devastated. That’s more than I can say about some of the BIG characters from Marvel or DC. Gruenwald and Ryan were really the first creative team that I wanted to follow onto their next project, which is what I did with Quasar. Excellent choice, I would put this in my Top 10.

>Ellis is as of now doing Newuniversal.

Or at least is supposed to…

Didn’t Kickers Inc have some good art by undervalued Ron Frenz?

I wouldn’t pick DP7 as the best series ever, but I might put it in my top 10. It was consistently strong from beginning to end. I hope my own comic-book effort will have the same real-life feel.

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