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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

1st Issue Special 2 - the Green Team debut


1st Issue Special 2 (May 1975) features the debut of the Green Team, and was the first issue of this book that I bought. I really loved the concept, and the first half of the story.


Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti helm this piece, which opens on Abdul Smith, a shoeshine boy whose route includes the Millionaire's Club. He innocently asks if he can join the club, and the men there laugh at him, but tell him to come back and talk to the Green Team, which is essentially the youth version of the group.


Then we get introduced to the three members of the Green Team, each with a two page chapter. The first is Commodore Murphy, who owns a shipping line. He amuses himself by buying towns and then using his ships to destroy them. I thought that was cool when I was 9. Now it appals me.


JP Houston is a teenage oil magnate, and the only one who doesn't come off badly in his itnroduction, sky diving out of his personal jet.


Cecil Sunbeam is a movie director, but his films do not look like they would be much good. His Merchant of Venice has a black Shylock and lots of street fighting, and that's all we see of it.


There is a very strange passage, which really confused me as a kid, in which Abdul becomes a millionaire. He deposits 5 dollars into his account, but winds up with $500,000. The creepy face of the bank teller made me think he was intentionally messing with Abdul, and the stock market element was so far beyond my comprehension that I was just lost.


And from there on, although Abdul does get to join the Green Team, the story ceased to really interest me. People come to beg the group for money to build projects, and they agree to finance the Great American Pleasure Machine. This gets a lot of blowback, as people fear it will put all other forms of entertainment out of business. Even Superman and Batman (and Spider-Man) seem upset by it.


The protests are being organized by a Broadway producer, who tries to blackmail the team, offering to call off the angry hordes, but later breaks into the machine and takes the first ride himself. It looks pretty psychedelic. One has to wonder how the guy is fed, and about the bathroom facilities, on a ride that lasts days.


In the end, the ride leaves the guy insane. The Green Team decide to shut it down, and plan to use one of the Commodore's boats to blow it up.

The Green Team would not be seen again for 10 years, returning in the Ambush Bug miniseries. I am ashamed to admit I really wanted this to be an ongoing series at the time. I was 9 years old, though. That's my excuse.

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