In an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, the world’s richest teens gather. They’re at a ‘poxpo’ – a pop-up expo – at which inventors with lunatic, potentially great ideas show them off. And if they impress organiser Commodore Murphy, they’ll get the money to develop the products into a marketable state – and perhaps seriously rich.
But not as rich as Murphy, oil heir JP Houston, film star Cecilia Sunbeam and the ‘Green Team’s’ potential new member, Prince Mohammed. It’s ‘Mo’ who is our point of view player, motivating the introductions of characters and concepts, and it’s Mo’s mistake which put everyone at the poxpo at risk from terror gang The Riot Act.
The intruders provoke an outbreak of action at the end of this issue; before that, it’s almost all talk – but because the talk comes courtesy of writers Art Baltazar and Franco, it’s very smart and very entertaining. Characters are introduced one by one without it feeling as if someone brought an exposition machine to the poxpo, and we get a sense of one very big conflict that threatens the Teen Trillionaires (the earlier minted mob, created by Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti, were Boy Millionaires). As well as updating the original Green Team from Seventies DC tryout book 1st Issue Special – with Cecil becoming Cecilia, and Abdul Smith promoted to Prince Mo – we meet JP’s sister, LL and Mo’s bodyguard, Abisha. Altogether, they’re a charismatic crew, and while we don’t get a clear idea of where this book is going – though a superhero thread is present – there’s more than enough here to bring me back. Like Art and Franco’s DC Kids’ books, Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, the Green Team is fun from beginning to end.
The artwork of Ig Guara really gets behind the script, saying something about our spotlight character – look at Mo on the first couple of pages and it’s all there: the burden he feels as heir to a demanding father, the awe at the poxpo, the desire to belong (click on image to enlarge). This is attractive, intelligent stripwork and I hope Guara continues to find the sweet spot as we get to know the other players; meanwhile, there’s a vibrancy to the characters that makes me want to spend time with them. As the story walks Mo through the warehouse and into a new world of adventure, Guara never skimps on the backgrounds, constantly showing us what’s happening at the tech show.
While the Green Team – Cecilia apart – are based visually on the originals, Guara takes a more naturalistuc approach than did master stylist Grandenetti, but it works well; there’s a real warmth to his illustrations, and JP Mayer’s finishes maintain a pleasing delicacy of line.
Then there’s Amanda Conner’s eye-poppingly good cover, which suggests that once this comic gets into its stride, big and mad will be the order of the day. I can live with that!
And kudos to whoever designed that logo, one of the best since DC’s New 52 relaunch gave most everybody a fresh masthead. It’s perfect and, like the rest of the cover, coloured by the excellent Paul Mounts. Interiors are toned by Wil Quintana and lettered by Travis Lanham, both of whom contribute to a superior first issue. Any Teen Trillionaire would be happy to pay $2.99 for it.