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Comicbook: DP 7

Displaced Paranormals 7 (better known as DP7) was a comic created as part of the launch of Marvel's The New Universe lines of comics. It featured seven ordinary people who, as a consequence of the mysterious "White Event", found themselves imbued with strange powers. The series lasted for 32 issues from November, 1986 to June, 1989. There was also an Annual published.

The series was noteworthy due to its realistic (for its day) examination of the real-world consequences of developing paranormal abilities. While some of the main characters had powers that were clearly advantageous, others had powers that were either balanced by tremendous costs or else were almost entirely negative.

David Landers was immensely strong and equivalently durable.

Dennis Cuzinski's body exuded an acidic substance which effectively cut off any chance of an intimate physical relationship.

Jeffrey Walters had superspeed, but had to eat constantly to avoid starving to death.

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. Used for longer periods, her power also provided her a form of parasitic (and ultimately addictive) energy boost.

Randy O'Brien created "anti-bodies", energy-based copies of himself, each of whom exhibited unique personality traits, and one of whom eventually committed murder.

Charlotte Beck could alter the frictional properties of nearby surfaces, with no apparent ill effects upon herself.

Stephanie Harrington exuded an energy which granted physical ability boosts to herself and anyone who touched her (effectively a transmissable version of a healing factor). She was able to combine this with She-Fu in combat.

The characters meet after being committed (either voluntarily or upon the request of their families) to the Clinic For Paranormal Research. The group escape after David and Randy discover that the clinic is engaging in secret Mind Control experiments, and spend the first year of the comic being hunted across America by the Clinic's own paranormal agents.

The series was notable for being a high-water mark for its time in terms of writing and the quality of its story. It is a clear forerunner- both in tone and content- of the television series Heroes.


Tropes:

  • Artifact Title: "Displaced Paranormals 7" was what the Clinic tagged our heroes when they were on the run; it doesn't really mean anything after that plotline is resolved.
  • Author Appeal: Writer Mark Gruenwald apparently loved his home state Wisconsin— which was the setting for much of DP7.
  • Balloon Belly: Sponge's power.
  • Big Eater: Jeffrey Walters was one of these, because of his abnormally high metabolism.
  • Blessed with Suck: This was a Marvel comic, so it's a given this trope would be invoked. David's powers were slowly killing him; Dennis, Lenore, and Randy all had Power Incontinence, at least at first; Stephanie's husband wouldn't let her near their children until and unless she had herself Brought Down to Normal.
    • Stephanie's husband had no problems changing his mind though and 'tolerating' her return after he contracted AIDS, since her powers were the only way to ensure his survival. Once she learned the truth she promptly kicked him to the curb.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Cure was a paranormal who had the power to do this to other paranormals. Mutator takes advantage of this, but most of the characters choose to keep their powers.
  • Code Name: Early on, Dennis suggests using these because they'd be cool. The others are dubious, but Randy points out it might keep their real identities from being publicly identified as paranormal fugitives. They all pick names, which get used with varying levels of frequency.
  • Cool Old Lady: Lenore "Twilight" Fenzl.
  • Extranormal Institute: The Clinic for Paranormal Research.
  • Freakout: Dennis Cuzinski had at least one of these, most notably after realizing that his acidic skin secretions meant he could not safely touch another person, much less have sex with them.
  • Gravity Master: The power of Deadweight, the CIA assassin who attacks the DP7 in #29.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: David Landers had a horrifically painful one as his body changed.
  • Healing Hands: Stephanie had them.
  • Horror Hunger: Lenore developed a craving for other people's life force.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Stephanie Harrington.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: The power of Recurring Extra George "Mutator" Mullaney, whose body completely changed forms every 48 hours. Since many of these forms were ugly and/or useless, Mutator was another case of Blessed with Suck until The Cure brought him down to normal.
  • Jerkass: Dennis "Scuzz" Cuzinski.
  • Make Them Rot: Dennis "Skuzz" Skuzinski's acidic skin makes everything he touches rot or burn away, including his clothes.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The White Event, the source of all the super powers.
    • Followed later by the Black Event, with the creation of The Pitt by Starbrand's poorly thought out plan to get rid of the Starbrand power while hovering over Pittsburgh.
  • Mental Affair: The psychic staff members Dexter Charne and Speck talked about this when they prepared to go into the mind of a comatose patient (either Stephanie Harrington or David Landers).
  • Poisonous Person: Dennis.
  • Power Incontinence: About half the cast had problems controlling their abilities.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: One of the effects of Dave's parability, giving him an involuntary mop of Wild Hair all around his lower face.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation
  • Rapid Hair Growth: David Landers' hair grows very fast as part of his White Event-inspired mutation. Every once in a while he gains about 50 pounds of muscle practically overnight, and that's when his hair grows out.
  • She-Fu: Housewife Stephanie Harrington only knew cheerleader moves from her high school days, but her power gave her a degree of protection, so she was able to use these in combat.
  • Shout-Out: Exiles used DP7 in a storyline in which the titular team visited several alternate realities, including The New Universe.
  • Super Speed: The power of Jeff "Blur" Walters.
  • Super Strength: The power of David "Mastodon" Landers.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted ridiculously since DP7 takes place at a clinic for paranormal research. While there are a few bad apples (mostly in the upper echelons), a large chunk of the staff seem to be on the level.
  • Wall Crawl: Charly's powers allow her to do this.

The New UniverseThe EightiesStrikeforce: Morituri
DnAShort TitlesDR
The New UniverseMarvel Comics SeriesThe Pitt

alternative title(s): DP 7
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