Band on the Run
DP7 #2 (1986): 4 out of 10: Our heroes are on the run (literally they don’t have a car) from the “evil” institute. Can they make it to the safety of a doublewide trailer before being captured by fellow mutants hunting them?
The Good: While our second issue has plot issues, you could drive a bus through. There is some good here. A couple of our heroes get some much needed additional characterization. In addition, we get a better look at everyone’s powers.
Jeff “Blur” Walters (who is basically The Flash) is highlighted in this issue, constantly stealing food to feed his overactive metabolism. Friction spends the entire issue in lingerie while mother of three Stephanie Harrington seems to have lost her pants. We also get additional confirmation that Dennis “Scuzz” Cuzinski is, as Tv Tropes points out, a jerkass.
The Bad: There are a couple of major stumbles right out of the gate. Why are the clinic people the bad guys? I understand the comic has them as part of a secret organization looking to recruit mutants, but that does not automatically make them nefarious. Certainly, it is in the public interest not to allow an anti-social teenager whose touch melts objects out into the general population.
Why are our “heroes” the good guys? I mean, I like a couple of them. But only one group violently carjacks a bus filled with passengers and attacks a fast-food restaurant. No points guessing which group that was.
In an attempt to even the score, the comic has one of the clinics hunters (Armed with tranquilizer guns BTW) talk as if he was a murdering psychopath. “I signed up with the agency to make like Rambo, not Mister Rogers” Ugh.
Since many of the clinic staff are also mutants and one would think they would focus on using thier mutant powers to capture the fugitives. One would also think the clinic could do math and realize sending three people to capture a half dozen or so does not put the odds in one’s favor.
So we have a battle in the woods between a few folks shooting tranqs and some quite overpowered mutants using thier powers. It does not go as well as one would hope for our clinic folk.
While I appreciate the additional characterization, it turns out that Dennis “Scuzz” Cuzinski is insufferable and the old lady’s power seems to be looking like an old lady. (I looked it up it ” Lenore Fenzl was forced to cover every square inch of her body due to exuding an energy which acted as a form of anesthesia upon other people.) Which is definitively a mutant power that many old ladies have, now I think about it.
The Ugly: So our heroes escape on foot from a rural clinic and thier goal is to make it to Mastodon’s double-wide trailer. So first of all, the clinic knows where all these folks live. (DP7, to its credit, confirms this.) So this is not a safe place to hideout. Second, I doubt that Mastedon could even fit in his travel trailer after his transformation into an oversized muscle man. I have no idea how the entire troop is supposed to fit in the trailer, either. Tight quarters.
But to get to the trailer they highjack a passenger bus. So they have a bus filled with now unconscious passengers. why would they stick with thier plan? Time to flee to Canada or Mexico. And since they are in Wisconsin, I know which direction I would go. They have superpowers. They can go to Shebandowan and get a boarding house cheap and then plan their future in the quiet and relative safety of the Great White North.
In Conclusion: There is a surprisingly large amount of cringe in D.P.7 #2. From punching down in the attack on the fast-food restaurant to the musings of a truck driving passing up a comely hitchhiker for fear of venereal disease. I like some of the details of the series. I just don’t think the characters are well thought out. Stephanie Harrington (Mother of three and pantless comely hitchhiker) is ridiculously OP. The main character continues to be a charisma black hole and my current favorite Friction (Highlighted in YouTube video below) delightfully spends the issue in lingerie for no reason I can fathom. Her powers of sticking and not sticking to things still seems underwhelming, however.