7 Against Chaos by Harlen Ellison and Paul Chadwick with Ken Steacy (graphic novel review).

In many respects, ‘7 Against Chaos’ is very much a re-working of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ or ‘The Seven Samurai’ plot. A mysterious stranger brings together a variety of talented individuals of various ages, shapes, species and criminal background. This time, it’s not to rescue a starving village from bandits but a need to time travel into the past and stop a big nasty…well, that might be spoiler…creature from messing up the time-line. Even when leader Roark offers an alternative solution, his antagonist isn’t that keen and ultimately makes it an all-out war.


The Science Fiction dressing of time travel gives it that element more than the future reality which you only get a taste of as Roark collects his team from all sorts of mess that they are in. From that perspective, it makes you wonder why he bothers as this type of future isn’t particularly nice for any of them. Surprisingly, none of them suggest modifying the past for a better future. Maybe they don’t want to risk their own lives? Then again, the motivation that Roark gives them to do the deed might be deemed worth it by their standards.

Although this is a Harlen Ellison written story, it doesn’t really tax your brain with any deep thoughts and knowing of the speed he writes at his advanced age, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he’d put down the story in a couple of afternoons. Artist Paul Chadwick does a competent design which wouldn’t be out of place twenty or more years ago, mostly because it doesn’t look like Ken Steacy relied on computerised colouring to give it the muted look or at least avoided all the glowing highlights many colourists add today.

At the back of the book there are character designs, pin-ups and even a couple page roughs for those who want to see what goes into creating a graphic novel.

This graphic novel will no doubt sell because it has Ellison’s name on it but don’t expect it to be a heavy read.

GF Willmetts

June 2013

(pub: DC Comics. 208 page hardback graphic novel. Price: $24.99 (US), $28.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-40123-910-7)

check out website: www.dccomics.com



Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

2 thoughts on “7 Against Chaos by Harlen Ellison and Paul Chadwick with Ken Steacy (graphic novel review).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.