DP7 (comics)

DP7 (comics)
DP7/Displaced Paranormals 7
Dp7001.jpg
Art by Doug Alexander
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics under their New Universe imprint
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Publication date November 1986 to June 1989
Number of issues 32, one Annual
Main character(s) See Main characters
Creative team
Writer(s) Mark Gruenwald
Artist(s) Paul Ryan
Lee Weeks
Creator(s) Mark Gruenwald
Paul Ryan
Lee Weeks

D.P. 7 was a 32-issue comic book series published by Marvel Comics as a part their New Universe imprint. It ran from 1986 to 1989. Along with Justice and Psi-Force, it was one of the few New Universe titles to last for 32 issues.

The title stands for Displaced Paranormals and refers to the seven main characters of the series (who never referred to themselves by this name). All of them received superhuman powers as a result of the stellar phenomenon known as the White Event.

Contents

Plot synopsis

Randy O'Brien first encounters David Landers when he's wheeled into the hospital in incredible pain. Landers rages until two dark arms spring from O'Brien's torso that restrain him long enough for O'Brien to give Landers a tranquilizer that renders him unconscious. The two compare their experiences, and O'Brien reads a classified ad for the Clinic for Paranormal Research, a facility designed to help individuals who've acquired strange abilities. Through his Antibody (see above), he relays the information to Landers and they travel to the Clinic under assumed names. They are at first convinced of the Clinic staff's sincerity and are enrolled into Therapy Group C, where they meet Walters, Beck, Cuzinski, Harrington, and Fenzl. Late one night, O'Brien's antibody intrudes on the Clinic staff, at least four of whom are paranormals themselves, and learn the Clinic has plans to make an army out of them, to be led by Philip Nolan Voigt, the Clinic director who acquired the power to absorb and magnify anyone else's powers for his own use.

Therapy Group C fights off the Clinic staff and the paranormal Hackbarth who can manipulate others' nervous systems. They escape into the night and over the next year (twelve issues; unlike most comics, a year in the New Universe equalled a year in our own), the paranormals adjust to life with their powers. Scuzz runs away at one point; he and everyone else is eventually apprehended by bounty hunters and returned to the Clinic. O'Brien and Landers, the last two to arrive, find their friends have been behavior-modified to not remember their escape or the Clinic's ulterior motives. O'Brien and Landers defeat Voight and he disappears from the Clinic, although he later reappears to run for President in 1988. He uses his powers to win the election, but subsequently loses his power after a battle with a more powerful paranormal.

Without Voigt and his senior staff (the aforementioned Hackbarth is in a coma, memory manipulator Charne was choked to death by an Antibody, and telecognitive Speck was shot) to surreptitiously maintain order, paranormals at the Clinic soon form their own special interest groups/gangs (one is composed of Clinic teenagers, one of African Americans, etc.). The potential for major disaster is soon fulfilled, and law enforcement soon comes in to shut the Clinic down, killing many of the patients in the process. By this time, most of the reformed Therapy Group C (along with a few other residents of the Clinic) left to find Walters, who had run to Pittsburgh where his family had been caught in a major disaster. Except for Scuzz, the Displaced Paranormals begin to work with the government after all male paranormals are drafted into the United States Army after the destruction of Pittsburgh, believed to be caused by a nuclear weapon (though actually caused by another attempt to relinquish the Star Brand). Female paranormals become highly-sought-after assets for other agencies like the CIA. With the exception of Walters, who continues in the Army, the other paranormals either go AWOL or leave the CIA and many of them move into New York City trying to live normal lives, in the face of the public leeriness of Paranormals.

While in the city, some ongoing romances play out, while other Paranormals decide to become part of a superhero team.

When the War is over, the Paranormals (that had not been cured) return to lives as normal as they can.

Main characters

  • Randy O'Brien[1], nicknamed Antibody, was a medical resident who could project from his body a dark figure of himself (also called an "antibody", a word play on the medical term) that flew, could become intangible, and transfer its host's (O'Brien's) memories to another person by physical contact; antibodies could also share their experiences with O'Brien upon returning to his body. At the beginning of the series, O'Brien could only project and within limits control one of these entities. After the original was destroyed, five antibodies manifested themselves and gradually developed their own personalities. Later he developed even more antibodies, as well as the ability to "wear" an antibody like a bodysuit, granting him most of the antibody's powers (except for intangibility) and effectively disguising himself as one of his "swarm" of antibodies. Shortly before the series ended, O'Brien became trapped inside the "skin" of an antibody when he was hit by Pitt-Juice. The antibodies he subsequently created were much smaller, only a few inches tall. The Caucasian O'Brien and the African American Charlotte Beck had an off-and-on romantic attraction, but Randy's upbringing instilled a sort of aversive racism in him that left him uncomfortable with the idea of a relationship with a black woman; later, when he became an antibody himself, the somewhat shallow Beck did not want to date him because of his altered appearance.
  • David Landers, nicknamed Mastodon, was a cheese factory worker who became stronger as new muscles grew into his body, an effect that caused him great pain. He had a crush on Stephanie, but felt that a relationship between then would be hopeless. He was drafted into the military, but went AWOL.
  • Jeff Walters, nicknamed Blur, was a fast food restaurant manager whose body vibrated so fast that he could not stand still. He required vast amounts of food for his accelerated metabolism and could also move at superhuman speed. He was drafted into the Army's Paranormal Platoon and participated in The War.
  • Charlotte "Charly" Beck, nicknamed Friction, was a dance student who acquired the power to make herself, anything she touched, and any other object she thought about within a limited range friction-free enough to make the object or person slide effortlessly. Over time, Beck learned to make her power object-specific or to increase friction to stick things together, and during The Draft became a special CIA operative, but her program was discontinued.
  • Dennis "Scuzz" Cuzinski was a teenage dropout who produced a corrosive substance from his skin, which he himself was immune to. He could increase his skin's production of the chemical, to the point of burning through a steel plate in ten seconds, but could not stop it, turning anything he wore into a tattered ruin within days and affecting other objects such as bedsheets and furniture that he came in regular contact with. He learned to form his chemical-laden saliva with his skin secretion into "gobs" or "spitballs" that he could throw, and was later able to further increase production of the substance temporarily when angry or excited, making his body so caustic that it could incinerate flammable material on contact. By the end of D.P. 7, he became a member of the Cult of the White Event, which believed that paranormal powers were a gift from God, and attempted to stop the Cure, another paranormal who'd acquired the power to remove others' paranormalities. The others stopped Scuzz from killing the Cure, but not without Scuzz succeeding in severely burning the Cure's hands through which his power had to be projected. As a result of the failed attempt, Scuzz became powerless, but was still accepted by the Cult because of the circumstances of his power loss.
  • Stephanie Harrington, initially nicknamed Viva but later known as Glitter, was a housewife and mother of three who had the power to heal and energize others by physical contact. The use of this power was accompanied by the appearance of twinkling stars and when not used internalized itself to make Harrington superhumanly strong. She eventually became divorced from her husband who had placed her in the Clinic and was recruited into the CIA during The Draft. Her husband agreed to take her back, but only because he secretly wanted her to cure him of HIV.
  • Lenore Fenzl, nicknamed Twilight, was a retired Latin teacher whose body constantly produced "fatigue-poison inducing bioluminescence" that could paralyze and render unconscious individuals exposed to it. The amount of time would depend on how long one was exposed, and individuals with accelerated metabolisms like Walters would slow to normal speed. Fenzl's power required her to remain covered over her entire body at all times, and she later discovered that exposing others to her bioluminescence renewed her youth and vitality. After leaving the Clinic for the second time she became a special CIA agent during The Draft. She was killed some time later on a mission.

The main group grew to include several supporting characters by the end of the series:

  • Miriam Sorenson, nicknamed Sponge, could absorb moisture from the air and release it as pressurized streams of water. She had an unrequited crush on Dave Landers, forming a love triangle. She was cured of her condition by the Cure, a paranormal who could restore others to normal.
  • George Mullaney, nicknamed Mutator, changed form every 48 hours; thus, his appearance was often in a state of flux as he slowly altered from one mutation to another. His often repellant animal forms led most other residents of the Clinic to shun him, but he was always eager to prove himself. He was eventually cured of his parability by The Cure.
  • Jenny Swensen of Codename: Spitfire crossed over to D.P.7 when the former series was cancelled. Exposure to toxic sludge from The Pitt mutated her body and gave her metallic skin and enhanced strength. She was recruited to the CIA along with the other women, and later moved with them to New York. Known as Chrome, she became a sidekick to the telekinetic Captain Manhattan, one of the few costumed superheroes in the New Universe, whom she fell in love with. Though she seemed on the verge of having the Cure remove her powers at the end of the series, it was later revealed in the pages of Quasar that she chose to keep her powers.

Parodies and references

  • In Avengers West Coast #65 (Dec 1990), D.P.7 illustrator Paul Ryan drew a splash page featuring Wonder Man in a graveyard amongst several D.P. 7 members gravestones.
  • In Quasar #31, part of the main Marvel Universe, Quasar travels to the New Universe and meets the D.P.7. survivors, and makes it back to his normal universe by acquiring the Star Brand Power, which disappears when he returns. At the end of the issue, one of Randy O'Brien's Antibodies appears out of Quasar's cape. This issue was written by Mark Gruenwald, who also wrote D.P.7.

Collections

  • D.P. 7 Classic Volume 1 Trade Paperback
    Contains material originally published in magazine form as D.P. 7 #1 - 9. First Printing: August 2007. ISBN 0-7851-2859-X.

Creators

Writers

  • Mark Gruenwald - D.P. 7 #1-32 (November 1986-June 1989); D.P. 7 Annual #1 (1987)

Art

Cover art

  • Paul Ryan - D.P. 7 #1-32 (November 1986-June 1989)

Notes


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