Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Secret Six #1
Simone, Lashley, Geraci & Wright
Gail Simone returns to the title that she turned into a classic before DC rebooted their universe three years ago. What on Earth took them so long to give her a new team to play with? This incarnation of the team is mostly all new but with the inclusion of Catman, who seemed to be the lead character from Simone’s previous run on the title. The comic book really only serves as a means to introduce Catman and then Catman to the team but the beats are all here to make this another classic title. It’s an introductory issue but get in on the ground floor for this one.
The book begins with the apprehension of Catman. It’s a familiar scene where he’s in a bar and is approached by some agents looking to arrest him. There is some muscle flexing and then a struggle ensues. Catman pretty much takes everyone out but is blindsided by an unexpected enemy.
Catman wakes up in a cargo container with five others. They are curious about the newcomer, though some seem to be vaguely familiar with him. After some initial dialogue they realize they are part of a deadly game. The full introductions then come after they realize they are against a clock. This is mostly to determine what powers (if any) they possess. It’s a clever way to inform the reader as to just what the characters are all about though it seems a little awkward. The book ends with a decent, but fairly tame cliffhanger.
The beauty of the book is how Simone takes largely unknown characters and gives them voices and a level of importance. To pick this up you wouldn’t think any of these characters to be any different or less important than a member of the Justice League and that is a gift that Simone obviously brings to the table in her writing style. The characters all seem to have unique attitudes that play against one another perfectly.
The book has some missteps. The clock management doesn’t really line up in the story. The clock jumps from twelve to four minutes with very little action or dialogue occurring. This is confusing but perhaps the clock is not a real clock.
Another misstep is the artwork. The decision to go with two completely different inkers is a bad one. The book takes a sharp turn in the middle of the comic book as the art has a totally different presentation once the switch occurs. It’s not to say that either style works or doesn’t work, but to have them together in the same comic book isn’t a great thing. The fact that this is the first issue of the series brings about concerns about the long-term prospects for the comic.
Secret Six is the kind of comic book that you follow the characters, enjoy the story but are more entertained by the growth over time than in individual issues. The last run was a great one and I am willing to gamble this one will be great as well. Simone is already making her mark with this new cast and I am sure the surprises will keep coming. I definitely recommend starting on this journey.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles