Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Secret Six #1 Review (Gail Simone, Ken Lashley)

What is the Secret Six? 

That’s not just the (almost word for word) tagline to this series, it’s an honest question because I’ve never read a Secret Six comic before this. But I have read Gail Simone before and have liked and disliked some of her work, and I heard Secret Six was getting a New 52 reboot, and, even though I’ve been burned more times by the New 52 than not, I’m an ever-optimistic (sap) guy, so I gave this a shot today. 

Oh… dear.

Here’s my follow-up question to that first one: is Secret Six DC’s Saw? Remember those terrible torture porn movies that were popular a few years ago? They had a bunch of strangers in a locked room forced to do terrible things by a creepy puppet? Jinx, jinx, JINX - that’s this comic to a T! And here I was thinking the Secret Six were an even less known version of Suicide Squad. 

Thomas Blake aka Catman (a name I had to look up because he doesn’t look anything like a cat or wear the mask!) is chilling in a bar getting hit on by men and women because he’s too sexy for his… shirt (it kind of looks like a skin-tight hoodie)? A group of heavily armed men arrive, they fight, he gets knocked out and wakes up in a locked room with five other people, some of whom are a bit peculiar. 

They are Porcelain (who makes stuff brittle), Ventriloquist (who likes flashing people her bits), Big Shot (who “swells up a little. Sometimes”), Strix (who kills people), and Black Alice (who can “do pretty much anything”, and demonstrates this by casting a Zatanna spell). How do I know all of this? Because they literally go round the room introducing everyone! It’s a pretty unimaginative approach. 

And because this is a New 52 team book, they all fight each other pointlessly, even though there’s a timer ticking down in the room and death is on the way. Not a smart bunch then - like the rest of the New 52 teams! 

Also, I didn’t care for Ken Lashley’s art which is very sketchy in style. It’s the kind of art where you have to look carefully to discern things that should be immediately obvious. Is… is that an arm or a piece of glass? Etc. 

I was hoping Secret Six #1 was going to be the first New 52 comic in a long time to not suck but unfortunately it’s more of the same nonsense that DC keep serving up. Gail Simone is very hit and miss with me but her stale script full of unexciting scenes, characters and dialogue, definitely makes this a miss for me. Who are the Secret Six or what’s the Secret? I’m not too fussed about finding out the answer to either question.

But I picked up this issue at the end of today and visited the two comic book shops in my city to get a physical copy. The first one, the megastore? Sold out - and they ordered a LOT of these issues. I picked up the literal last copy in the second, smaller comics shop. So: Gail, Ken, Six? You’re a hit! And I leave you to your torture porn audience - you’re not for me.

Secret Six #1

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