In September, Zero Month introduced you to four all-new ongoing series: THE PHANTOM STRANGER, SWORD OF SORCERY, TALON and TEAM 7. With these #0 issues, you got a taste of the new characters and stories that will be impacting the ever-growing DC Universe.


This month, each of these four series will launch their #1 issue. To celebrate these releases, we’ll be putting a spotlight on each of these new titles every day this week on THE SOURCE. First up is TEAM 7 #1. From writer Justin Jordan and artist Jesus Merino, TEAM 7 #1 hits stores on October 10. We asked Jordan and Merino to tell us a little bit about their creative processes and to tease what readers can expect from issue #1.


How did you use issue #0 to help you launch issue #1? How were your creative approaches to these two issues different?

JUSTIN JORDAN: Well, issue zero established the team, so I was able to dive right into their first mission with issue one, which was nice. I’m still trying to layer in as much character defining interaction as I can, but there’s a lot of pipe already laid. In terms of approach, the zero issue was basically a series of small vignettes, which is a pretty different beast than writing the entire team doing their whole thing for the issue.


JESUS MERINO: I see the first issue of any comic like a shaking the hand of the reader. It's love/hate at the first sight, so it's very important to me to establish the characters and the tone of the book. This way the reader knows what to expect in the rest of issues. As soon as I read the script from Justin, and in the pre-production, when I was looking for a voice to the book and doing all the designs, I found out that the characters fit perfectly in a western movie, so I moved in that direction. Issue #0 was easy: they were "The Magnificent Seven Samurais", the first half of the movie (any of them), when the characters were reunited. Issue #1 was more "Fort Apache", sort of.


What’s been the most fun aspect of writing/drawing and launching the new series so far?

JUSTIN JORDAN: Getting to play with the new toys. I mean, writing Grifter and Deathstroke and Dinah and Amanda is great fun, and it’d be great to get to write any one of those characters, but getting to write them all and bounce them off of each other? That’s great fun.


JESUS MERINO: To me it’s always the time before the first issue is released, when the page is blank and you have lots of things to say. As I said, I thought that the book could work visually in a western tone. Even in the designs, I called Grifter "a mix between the Lone Ranger, Billy the Kid and Han Solo". Then Slade was crystal clear that he had to be a Lee Van Cleef wannabe. Alex Fairchild was Donald Sutherland in "Kelly's Heroes"...and so on. I confess that I was having a good time (I always do) recreating the characters ...


Do you have a ritual (music you listen to or something you eat or do to get you prepped) before approaching the writing/drawing for the series? If so, what is it?

JUSTIN JORDAN: I shut off the Internet. No, really. I have way too short of an attention span to get the work done otherwise. So basically I just make sure it’s me and the computer and not much else and pound out my five or so pages for the day.


JESUS MERINO: Actually I have tons of rituals that I do before I begin a new book. The first and most important is that I have to clean and put in order my drawing board and by extension, my whole studio! Then I put some music on (preferably old style rock) ... and the party begins.


Below, take a first look at TEAM 7 #1 by taking an exclusive look at some of the issue’s interior art by Merino.