Monday, September 8, 2008

Super-Powered Comics: Secret Six #1

Yesterday, I covered El Diablo #1 in this pretty little blog of mine. Today I focus on DC’s other big release of last week: Secret Six #1. For someone unfamiliar with this group, I highly recommend you quickly click on the links provided on this page. The new Secret Six are probably the best creation DC has given us in the past five years. I bolded that last statement on purpose. That is just how strongly I feel about this property. Trust me when I say I do not buy many DC/Marvel books, and trust me again when I say that I never by monthlies by the big two. But I am making an exception for this title, because in the able hands of Gail Simone, these five characters are easily the strongest characters in the entire DCU.

I have already been a sucker for Deadshot, as he was developed by John Ostrander, Kim Yale, and Luke McDonnell in to an incredibly deep character in the pages of his first miniseries and the late 80’s Suicide Squad (which really should have a collection by now). Christos Gage wrote another Deadshot miniseries a few years back which further fleshed him out. All seemed designed to prepare him for this book.

Gail Simone has taken Catman and given him all the depth Deadshot possessed before hand. He has made the two characters in to a strange sort of buddy team, kind of an evil Blue Beetle/Booster Gold team.

The two characters created for the team, Scandal Savage and Ragdoll are equally as deep. Scandal is a lesbian living in the shadow of an ancient evil father (sort of a twisted Talia) who is working on overcoming the death of her lover (and ex-Kesel era Superboy villain) Knockout. Ragdoll is the son of the classic JSA villain and is pretty much just bat$#!& insane.

In to all of this we throw in new member Bane, the man who broke Batman, and you have a fascinating dynamic of villains-as-heroes.

Plus you have a truly insane villain who lives in a box. Seriously.

My only real complaint with this one is the same complaint I have for pretty much every DC book right now. The language and the violence both skew to a decidedly teenage and over crowd. It bothers me that a lot of their books go on newstands, unlabeled, with this kind of content in it. I really fear a repeat of the pre-Comic Code burnings if DC does not do something to label these titles.

It sounds messy, but in the hands of Gail Simone and her amazing artistic compatriot Nicola Scott, Secret Six lives up to the hype of its previous two forms. I highly recommend everyone go out and pick up a copy today!

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