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May 23 2013

Review: The Green Team – Teen Trillionaires #1

The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires #1

DC makes another grab at being, like, totally zeitgeist and stuff, and this time is a little closer to being on the money.

The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires #1 (2013)

THE GREEN TEAM: TEEN TRILLIONAIRES #1 cover

WriterArt Baltazar, Franco 

Artist: Ig Guara

PublisherDC Comics

Rating:  ★★★½

More info

A few weeks ago, DC launched The Movement, the first in a series of books aimed at grabbing some of the Occupy coin. At the very least, it was designed to appeal to a younger and more cynical market, and on paper, The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires is the polar opposite. If The Movement followed local heroes representing the disenfranchised 99%, then the titular Green Team would hold up the ideals of the “top” 1%. While the concept still smacks of opportunism, or perhaps even a tiny bit of desperation as the Newish 50-or-so continues to falter, the rich playing at heroism might just prove interesting. After all, it worked for Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark, so it could work for a handful of anonymous trust fund babies too.

The Green Team is actually the relaunch of an obscure 1975 comic of the same name, except that was subtitled “Boy Millionaires”. Now gender neutral and a little older, we’re introduced to the new world of teen trillionaires via Mohammad, a young boy hoping to please his father with independent success. Fascinated by fastest-growing rich-kid Commodore Murphy, Mo’ attends a secretive Poxpo (pop-up expo) where inventors vie for the attention and funding that only Commodore can provide. Little do they know his ulterior motive is to inch his way towards being a superhero.

DC’s fascination with older characters has been characteristic of their recent waves of new releases, including the rather odd release of Justice League of America’s Vibe. The similarly tongue-twisty The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires seems like it would be a completely unappealing concept, ostensibly a bunch of whiny rich kids playing at being heroes. It may turn out that this is the case, and DC are trying to sandwich traditional comic books into the realm of social media. The book is full of hashtags (#greenteam), mobile devices and shiny things that make Millennials go “ooh”, but at its heart it is more of a traditional superhero book than even The Movement was able to achieve. Baltazar and Franco do a great job of framing the lifestyles of the young and the restless, even if it is a life most of us will never have.

IG Guara’s art is bright and colourful, and lives up to the promise of the gorgeous Amanda Conner cover. Indeed, the interiors are quite reminiscent of Conner’s work, albeit not as crisp and “Archiesque”. As most of this issue takes place in a single location, much of the art focuses on character expression and costume design, and these will most likely be the strengths of the book going forward. Each of the main characters has a distinct style and look, and unlike The Movement, they all stand out as individuals.

Despite the absence of any true motivating factor for these characters, and only a superficial understanding of what makes them tick at this early stage, The Green Team intrigues enough to warrant a second look. How these sometimes vapid creatures will transform into a team, and what if any interaction they will have with The Movement, is yet to be seen. It’s by no means perfect, and it might be about the 1%, but it’s possible that 99% of people will probably enjoy it.


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