Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Steve Epting (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Comicraft (lettering), Steve Buccellato & Team Bucce! (colors)
Summary: In the past, in the Sultanate of Numidia, both Team X and Team 7 are sent on separate missions to investigate the country’s escalating super-soldier program. Leni Zauber, Mystique’s latest alias, is sent as an inside operative for Team X, while Mirielle Duplessis is working undercover for Team 7. Omega Red is inside the facility, representing the Soviet government, who licensed the program to Numidia in exchange for oil concessions. Both Team X and Team 7 make it inside and face Omega Red and the Numidian soldiers. When Team 7’s government superior decides that he can’t get the information he wants from the mission, he orders Mirielle to trigger a static nuke and kill everyone inside. Mystique kills her before she can trigger the bomb, and Team 7 combine their powers to destroy the warhead. The teams are rescued by John Wraith, and soon agree to forget each other’s secrets.
Production Note: This is a forty-eight page, bookshelf format comic with no ads. The paper is the regular, non-glossy stock Marvel was using at the time. The cover price is $4.95.
Continuity Notes: Since this is an inter-company crossover, its place in continuity is dubious at best. This is the first time the “Team X” name is used, and I think it has become the official name for Wolverine’s Cold War-era black ops group. Team X consists of Logan, Creed, and North (who will become Wolverine, Sabretooth, and Maverick in the future). Team 7 features the Wildstorm characters Lynch, Cray, Dane, Cash, and Chang (I guess the other two members are their boss Craven, and his assistant Gabriel).
According to this issue, the Weapon X project already exists at this time, and Logan, Creed, and North are already undergoing experimentation. This doesn’t seem to work with the original Weapon X serial, which had Wolverine as a government agent who was abducted and experimented on by the Weapon X project. It’s possible that Wolverine left the project and was then forced back into it, I suppose.
Review: This is one of the many Marvel/Image crossovers that occurred after the “Heroes Reborn” deal was finalized. A few years earlier these crossovers would’ve been unthinkable (I think Marvel’s lawyers at one point even killed an X-Force/Youngblood cover for Wizard), so this was something of a big deal at the time. Not only did we get an actual X-Force/Youngblood crossover special (I assume this was published, although I don’t recall ever actually seeing it), but Spider-Man and Wolverine met Badrock, Gen 13, and a few other Image characters in various one-shots. I suspect the market was oversaturated with these crossovers, as I was able to purchase this one for fifty cents a few years ago. I can’t think of any independent comic book characters deemed popular enough to interact with the Marvel Universe today, outside of Red Sonja and the Transformers, who teamed up with Spider-Man and the New Avengers recently. And since Red Sonja and the Transformers began life as Marvel characters, it’s hard to compare them to new properties like Gen 13, which really was a phenomenon briefly in the ‘90s.
I know nothing about Team 7, outside of the fact that it was one of the very few military comics published in the ‘90s, and it apparently filled in the backstory for most of the Wildstorm line. By the time the series began, the market was already flooded, so it doesn’t have the novelty of being one of the original Image titles, nor was it able to break out the way Gen 13 and Witchblade did in the mid-90s (Seven members and not one Playmate in a thong? Outrageous!). I don’t know if there was a huge demand to have Wolverine’s retconned covert ops squad meet Deathblow’s retconned covert ops squad, but here we are. The story consists of a lot of action, macho dialogue, double-crosses, and obscure military jargon. It’s a Larry Hama comic. I had fun reading it, even though I occasionally had no idea what was going on. The art is capably handled by Steve Epting, who can draw military hardware as well as the more traditional superhero action. I don’t know if this fulfilled the expectations Team X fans had for an intercompany crossover, but it’s a decent action comic with nice art.