Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a very special review. When I first heard the news that DC was bringing back Secret Six, and with its creator Gail Simone as writer, few were more excited than myself. Those of you who have been following my reviews since my Comic Vine days will recall that I reviewed several issues of Secret Six on that site. Not only were those comics brilliantly written, but they were also among the most fun reviews I’ve ever written.
For those who are sadly not in the know, Secret Six focuses on a team of six super-villains who have gone semi-legit and now work as hired mercenaries. The series was every bit as hilarious as it was badass and the characters were excellently fleshed out and developed.
When I first heard about this title, I joked that if DC managed not to screw this up, I would publically retract every negative comment I have ever made regarding DC Comics and the New 52. That’s probably not going to happen, regardless of how good this comic is, but it is indicative of how important it is to me that this comic, which represents the revival of one of my favorite comic series of all time, doesn’t become the latest in the New 52’s list of failures. So, enough of me yammering on, let’s actually get to the comic itself.
We open at a sleazy bar somewhere in New Mexico where some shady looking fellows claiming to be cops have arrived to arrest Thomas Blake, better known as Catman, allegedly lame Batman villain, psychopathic badass, and one of the original members of the Secret Six. Blake agrees to come quietly, but on the condition that they don’t put him in handcuffs. One of them makes the foolish mistake of asking what happens if he insists. To answer that question, Blake leaps up on to the table and threatens to beat the officer so bad, he’ll never walk right again and then I’m pretty sure he threatens to piss in his face to make sure everyone knows that he belongs to Catman.
During this threat, Catman also appears to have deduced that all of the “officers” all have the same badge number, meaning that they’re not really cops. Catman proceeds to repeatedly beat his captors heads against the table while the bar patrons look on, apparently becoming aroused by this display of extreme violence by a mentally unstable man who like to dress up like a cat. *shrug* Whatever floats your boat I guess. However, it’s not long before a mysterious woman tazes Catman and demands he be put in cuffs, so everyone knows who he belongs to.
Blake wakes up in a large box-like structure face to face with the uncovered vagina of an elderly woman, much to his own personal disgust and horror. Oh come on, Catman used share a house with Ragdoll back in the old continuity, I can guarantee you that this is not the most disturbing thing he’s seen upon awakening. A guy named Wells helps him regain his composure and Blake inquires about the situation of him and his companions, five in total.
Evidently, they’ve been hours without food or water, have no idea where they are, and every time they even think about escaping the entire cell gets electrified. After that two boxes rise out of the floor, one containing a set of six odd masks and the other containing the mutilated corpse of one of the rent-a-cops who brought in Catman, a warning for the captives if they don’t do as they’re told.
The group takes this opportunity to introduce themselves to one another. First up is a girl who calls herself Porcelain, possessing the power to make any material she wants brittle and easily breakable. Next up is the lady with the exposed naughty bits. Apparently, she’s the new ventriloquist, and completely out of her mind. Next up is Wells, who isn’t really in the sharing mood, all we get is that he’s a private investigator of some sort. Following that, a strange woman with bandages covering her face gets all up in Blake’s personal space and holds up a piece of paper that reads “I am Strix, I Kil Peepel.” I like her already.
Finally, there’s Black Alice, the only other former member of the Secret Six in the group, and she quickly demonstrates her powers by using magic to toss Blake across the room. However, the impact cracks the wall and Blake catches the scent of saltwater. Their cell is on the bottom of the ocean. Worse yet, a voice over the loudspeaker says that the group must vote to see which one of them will die first, bleak news indeed. However, Ventriloquist has other plans. And so our comic ends with the reveal of her puppet, Ferdie.
Well, there’s definitely a similar feel to that of the Secret Six of old, which is a good thing. The characters all appear to be completely out of their minds and already seem to work off each other great. The humorous moments are great, Catman’s reaction to his *ahem* rude awakening was especially priceless.
I’m disappointed that a few of the core members or the old team are absent from this book. I expected them to shake up the roster a bit, but I still was really hoping we’d see Scandal Savage or Ragdoll pop up. Oh well, maybe there’s still time. Also, the artwork wasn’t that great with lots of unnecessary lines on people’s faces and some less than stellar color choices. Half the time, it was hard to tell whether or not Blake was wearing a shirt.
This is not the same Secret Six I love, and I wasn’t expecting it to be. That having been said though, I still see a great deal of potential in this story and am extremely excited for the next issue. Will it return to its former glory? It’s far too early to tell, but for now, Secret Six is back and I couldn’t be happier.