First Issue Special #2

First Issue Special #2

This is perhaps the most awkwardly-named comic book I own: DC First Issue Special #2 Introducing the Green Team: Boy Millionaires! Wow, that's a mouthful. Anyway, this is a collaboration between Joe Simon and Jerry Grandenetti, the same team that gave us such masterworks as Prez.

The first half of the issue introduces us to the Green Team: Commodore Murphy, shipping magnate! J.P. Houston, oil tycoon! Cecil Sunbeam, movie mogul! Abdul Smith, shoe-shine boy! Well, he starts off as a shoe-shine boy, but as the issue progresses, he works his way to a fame and fortune through sheer moxie. Well, sheer moxie plus a combination of bank fraud and insider trading...

First Issue Special #2 p. 12First Issue Special #2, p. 12

Now there's a role model for modern America!

Anyway, once the tedious introductions are over, the Green Team gets down to business. Of course, for the Green Team, business means leveling entire towns for no good reason, ruining Shakespeare for profit, and building a city made out of french fries at the North Pole. The Green Team aren't just regular millionaires, you see, they're extreme millionaires - always searching for action and thrills! In many ways, they're a lot like Richard Branson, I suppose, except Richard Branson doesn't have to be in bed by nine.

Their latest venture is "The Great American Pleasure Machine," which electronically stimulates the mind with "the timeless thrills of the universe." The machine makes television, movies, and Broadway pale in comparison. Of course, this doesn't sit well with exiting content producers like as Broadway producer David D. Meritt...

First Issue Special #2, p. 15First Issue Special #2, p. 15

Sounds a lot like the Internet, doesn't it? Anyway, Meritt fails to stop the Green Team from building the Pleasure Machine, but he gets his revenge by locking himself inside. Of course, a week's worth of pure pleasure destroys his mind, and the Green Team are left to contemplate that maybe, just maybe, money can't buy happiness...

First Issue Special #2, p. 20First Issue Special #2, p. 20

Then again, when money buys toy boats that launch real cruise missiles, who needs happpiness?

If there's anything that's terribly offensive about this comic, it's the suggestion that money is the solution to every problem. The Green Team never experiences any significant resistance to anything they try - whether it's building without permits or leveling entire cities to build the Great American Pleasure Machine. When they negotiate with David D. Meritt to end his protest, they rather brazenly state up front that "everyone has his price." They're even able to defeat Meritt's guards by distracting them with a shower of bills. Heck, when the Green Team finances the G.A.P., the comic implies that money can buy happiness! With a message like that, it's hard to imagine this comic surviving even if the DC Implosion had been averted.

The Green Team hasn't been seen for a while, but believe it or not, they have actually made some appearances in the last thirty years. Sure, "Project Lobster Ranch" and "The Deadly Paperhanger" only made it as far as Cancelled Comics Cavalcade, but they did show up as real-estate developers in The Adventures of Superman and valiantly tried to escape comic book limbo in Animal Man.

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