A Year of Cool Comics – Day 334
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we take a look at the first Secret Six mini-series, by Gail Simone, Brad Walker and Jimmy Palmiotti…
First off, let’s give some major props to Jimmy Palmiotti. Not only did he more or less “find” Brad Walker to draw this series after Dale Eaglesham could not do it (Eaglesham drew Villains United, the Infinite Crisis tie-in mini-series that introduced the Secret Six) but his inks seemed to bring a great sense of continuity to this series, as Walker’s pencils are slightly rougher in different issues of the series. Still, Walker is a great penciler – very dynamic. He’s gone on to do a lot of work for Marvel Comics, including this week’s Heroes for Hire #1!
Writing this series surely provided a unique “dilemma” for Simone – on the one hand, this mini-series should work as a sequel to the popular Villains United mini-series introducing this team of villains (Scandal Savage, Deadshot, Catman, Ragdoll and Knockout) but on the other hand, it should also work as an argument to see more of these characters on a more permanent basis. So you have a difficult balance between referencing the past and setting up the future.
I think Simone achieved that balance nicely. The book certainly addresses plots brought up in the first mini-series (most notably, the vendetta Dr. Pyscho has against the group) but works those plot points into a plot that stands on its own.
Like almost all really good comic/movie about a team of specialists, Secret Six opens with the team on one of their missions, so we can see how cool they normally are (before the film/comic’s story puts them into outside-of-normal situations). Here they are on a mission in an Asian country…
Pretty bad-ass, huh?
In any event, you might have noticed I only mentioned FIVE characters. The team was short a member after Cheshire betrayed them in Villains United. So in this series, they pick up the Mad Hatter as their new sixth member. But just as soon as they add their new member, they are each attacked by a series of assassins.
They capture one of the would-be assassins, Pistolera, and, well, this happens…
The rest of the series finds the group constantly on the move, attacked by Dr. Psycho (through an unusual source), the Doom Patrol and, perhaps most importantly, perhaps torn apart due to the relationship between Scandal Savage and her father, Vandal Savage.
Simone does a strong job of keeping everything moving at a hectic pace while never skimping on the character development of our leads. She also seems to have great fun using the new sixth member, the Mad Hatter, as he gets lots and lots of great lines.
This was a very fun (if often quite dark) mini-series, and I’m quite glad that it led to the ongoing Secret Six series.