You can debate the comparative strengths of Aaron Sorkin’s most recent offering, Newsroom. Has he pushed the model he began with Sport’s Night too far? Has something in that idea of dialogue-driven storytelling gotten broken by being revisited time and again, through Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and now through Newsroom? Is Newsroom itself fraught with too much ideological grandstanding to lure viewers into the inherent dramas of cable news?
You can debate the various merits and the comparative strengths of Sorkin’s miscellany of TV shows. And if you know Sorkin as a producer and as a writer, you know that he takes on a Woody Allen-like aura for his fans—each fan defending their own favorite Sorkin project.
But in the year 2000, just in the wake of the Clinton Administration, one Sorkin did seem to capture the popular imagination. By Season Two, and more so in Season Three, Sorkin’s the West Wing delineated a very different kind of television drama. It was a drama fueled by dialogue, sustained by thematic bursts of language, a drama that relied on viewer memory and viewer engagement.
It’s the kind of drama that seems deeply at odds with the adrenaline-hyped freneticism of Jack Bauer in 24 that hit at the same time. How could a season of shouting at civilians and fellow intelligence agents ever get to grips with the heart-wrenching drama of decision-making senior White House aides were faced with on the Sorkin drama?
You’d think those two modes of entertainment would be at odds—but then, just 13 years on, there’s Justin Jordan.
We’ve seen the high-paced action sequences play out successfully in the first four issues of Team 7. And we’ll see a fair share of action this issue #5 too. But Jordan doesn’t begin with the action. Instead, he writes out a character drama that could easily have found its way into those magical seasons of the West Wing.
Max is old, but has she seen too much? She’s definitely been wizened by the years of off-the-books missions—her cybernetic prothesis is testament to that. And in an elegant narrative arc, Max’s story of the weathered veteran becomes Caitlin’s story of the eager newbie—her entire future rolling out before her like a desert highway.
But the character drama doesn’t end there. The baton gets passed on to Dr. Henshaw. Henshaw is not an unfamiliar name in the DC Universe. As passionate and dedicated and bright as Henshaw is there, longtime DC readers know that Henshaw is a name synonymous with the worst kind of terror, with the death of millions. Longtime readers know that Henshaw, as the Cyborg Superman, will eventually dedicated his existence to ending all sentient life.
From the wizened warrior to the young intern with a bright future to the story of a supervillain yet to be—Jordan’s frame for the action yet to come in Team 7 is just perfect, and something that’s elevated to an artform.
Please enjoy our exclusive preview of Team 7 #5: “The Spartan Way”.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.