Creator-owned works within a mainstream corporately-owned superhero universe don’t happen very often, but certain high profile creators have been able to pull it off from time to time.
That would probably be why the Sovereign Seven team existed.
Who were Sovereign Seven? Well, as their team name implies, they were seven young heroes from various royal families, all from different realities. They came to Earth (DC Comics’ Earth anyway) after each had escaped something ominous called “the Rapture” which had destroyed their respective homeworlds. Who were these people? Well…
- Cascade, the team leader, had the power to teleport to different locations if she’d been there before, or the team telepath (see below) could see it for her. She also seemed to possess a fair amount of superhuman strength and invulnerability when she wasn’t turned into some sort of liquid to do the teleportation thing.
- Network, the aforementioned telepath, who actually could only function in the presence of other people. Otherwise, she mentally shut down.
- Rampart, an Islamic young man who could generate forcefields.
- Cruiser, a telekenetic from an alternate New York City, who could only use his powers by burning body fat. As a result, he tended to yo-yo his weight, being at his strongest when he was at his fattest.
- Indigo, a blue-skinned…person. Panseuxal, Indigo was the team infiltrator and could disappear into any background no matter where it was.
- Finale, a woman in some sort of bodysuit that carried a large sword and killed things with it. She seems to be Polynesian from her homeworld and was never seen without her suit on.
- Reflex, the largest, a devout Christian from a more Viking-like world. Despite being so physically big, he wasn’t the team’s muscle. He was sort of a speedster, except his superspeed manifested itself as he could react to anything he saw coming, essentially allowing him to dodge anything, even speedsters.
And that’s the team.
Now, the thing is, Sovereign Seven was created by longtime X-Men scribe Chris Claremont, and anyone who knows what Claremont’s writing style is like can guess how this team turned out. Lots of flowery prose, lot of dialogue, excuses to put the women in skimpy outfits particularly when possessed by evil things, and references to as much pop culture stuff as Claremont could get away with. That meant the team spent its time at an inn run by fictional versions of the Flash Girls since Claremont was a big fan of their music. And beyond the various DC heroes and villains who passed through the book, there were also celebrities and references to Claremont’s other work.
Claremont still owns the copyright to this group, but he did do some things with them that could spark the reader’s interest. He probably put the most focus on the 36 or so issue run of the series on Cascade, no doubt because when the series began, it did look like Cascade’s mother Maitresse would be the series’ main antagonist after the Rapture. What the reader saw of Maitresse, ruler of her Earth with an iron fist, was a horrible hellhole where she seemed to kill subjects at random. However, that turned out to be a lie. Maitresse was the greatest hero of her world, and when the Rapture came to claim her planet, bringing with it the power to make things mediocre (or something, I’ll explain in a bit), an attack she shot at the whatever-it-was bounced back and destroyed all life on her world. She alone survived, and soon gave birth to her daughter since she was pregnant at the time. The people she killed weren’t real. She was sad, lonely, and bored, as seen when she finally did escape to Earth and…happily rolled around in a field full of flowers.
Original artist Dwayne Turner didn’t stick around for the whole run, but he did share a creator credit with Claremont. As it is, Claremont did eventually put a recognized DC hero on the team in the form of Power Girl after Rampart was killed off. By the time the series ended, the team had met numerous DC heroes, including a special team-up with the Legion of Super-heroes, trained through the use of the snowball fight (Reflex tended to win those), and finally had to fend off the Rapture on Earth.
And what was the Rapture? Well, I found it disappointing. See, the Rapture took a different form for every Earth it came to, and often appeared to be some sort of mental or spiritual attack, making people dull. That’s some DC-level cosmic threat right there. So, what form did the Rapture take when it finally caught up to the Seven?
If I remember right…an army of giant robots that the Seven could just bash to bits.
Well, since Claremont owns them outright, they won’t be reappearing anytime soon unless he wants them to, and the work was never quite on par with his best X-Men material, but the final issue also had it revealed the Seven were actually comic book characters within some stories two women shared with each other, so they were really meta.
Or confusing. I’m going with confusing.