Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Secret Six #15
Ostrander & Calafiore
John Ostrander gets a chance to play in a very familiar sandbox with this issue of the Secret Six as he pens a character he is very familiar with: Deadshot. While the character debuted in Batman in the 1950s, he’s made his bones recently in the pages of the Suicide Squad, Secret Six and various other projects. However, a case could be made that the character was never more interesting than when Ostrander was at the helm, so Ostrander takes the reins from Gail Simone for this issue and knocks it out of the park.
On the surface this comic is merely an updated origin story of Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot. In many ways, that in of itself makes for a great story. However, the comic offers a look at Deashot’s current day behavior as a pattern tied to events in his early life. As the pieces of his origin are revealed, they are cleverly reconstructed at the end of the comic to display the deeper meanings behind all of his actions. It’s a terrific story.
The setup of the issue is that Floyd seeks out Reverend Richard Craemer as he feels extremely homicidal. Floyd begins to lay out how he became who is. He walks through his strange childhood and his interactions with his parents and his first encounter with Batman. While describing the key scenes he mentions other events in passing, such as the deaths of his brother, wife and son. The comic ends with Floyd faced with a youthful punk that triggers in the Reverend’s mind how all of the events in Floyd’s life are connected.
There’s a lot to like in this comic book. The comic is violent but doesn’t rely on it. The story uses Batman as a minor supporting character instead of making Deadshot completely tied to the dark knight. This helps to keep Deadshot as his own, unique entity. The story lines up the origin, but manages to tie it to the present day, so this isn’t simply a “here’s my story” comic.
The only drawback to the issue is that because it doesn’t give the paint by numbers origin story some of the events aren’t explored enough. For example, the aspect of the deaths of his son and brother are barely touched on and yet they seem like they would have been important to final analysis of the character.
The artwork is outstanding. Deadshot isn’t in the comic book too much, but Floyd and his devilish grin certainly are. What the comic provides is great emotions and counter-emotions with the characters when they converse with each other. It has a timeless feel to it as well, where it seemed this comic could have easily been from the 1950s, 1970s or the present day.
Deadshot is an interesting character with a decently interesting origin story. However, when the story has a solid dovetail to it and uses some symbolism and subconscious actions to define the characters it’s that much better. I enjoyed the story and felt this was a terrific one shot to pick up. I definitely recommend this comic.
4 out of 5 geek goggles