Saturday, August 30, 2008

FanBoyWonder Comic Book Spotlight: Secret Six

FanBoyWonder wishes to spotlight what we see as a promising new ongoing series from DC Comics that’s scheduled to hit stores on Wednesday—Secret Six.

Here’s the Upshot From DC Comics: Because you demanded it! The Secret Six are back in an all-new ongoing series that promises to deliver some of the darkest, most twisted action-adventure the DC Universe has seen since...well, the last time the Secret Six got together! Writer extraordinaire Gail Simone (BIRDS OF PREY) is reunited with BIRDS penciller Nicola Scott to chronicle the adventures of the Six, and you will not believe what they have in store.

Join Catman, Scandal, Deadshot, Ragdoll, and ?? as they prepare for an adventure that will take them through a gauntlet across the seediest parts of the DC Universe, and will ultimately pit them against a foe more monstrous and murderous than any they've had to face! Don't miss the beginning of the most ferocious and scandalous Six story yet!

FanBoyWonder is absolutely looking forward to this new series even if we are a tad wary as to Simone’s hit-or-miss history with this group of reprobates and scoundrels.

We’ve been fans of Gail Simone’s work on Birds of Prey for sometime now and she blew us away with her six-issue Villains United mini-series as part of the run up to Infinite Crisis in 2005.

Yet, the following year we were disappointed by Simone’s follow up mini-series Secret Six. The magic of Simone’s bad-guy protagonists had faded some what in the year between Villains United and Secret Six.

The Secret Six mini wasn’t terrible—despite a couple of really weak middle issues—but it was clearly inferior to “Villains.” Simone was clearly off her game, helped not at all by the junior varsity art team of Brad Walker and Jimmy Palmiotti—they simply couldn’t pick up the storytelling slack and their visuals paled when compared to the Villains United art team of Dale Eaglesham and Wade VonGrawbadger.

About a year later, Simone redeemed herself in Birds of Prey featuring the Secret Six as the special guest villains. With the help of BOP art team of Nicola Scott and Doug Hazelwood, Simone got her mojo back—Six times over.

Now Simone and Scott are teaming up again for the aforementioned Secret Six ongoing series. Given her stumble with the mini-series, we’re a little wary of what Simone has in store but she’s not one of the best writers in the DC bullpen for nothing.

Plus, she has Scott and Hazelwood to carry the ball with their top shelf visuals.

Our favorite of the Six hands down is Catman. We’re a sucker for hard luck stories and we like how Simone has made the one-time Batman knock off into a formidable presence again after he was previously portrayed as a fat f**k loser.

We’ve also always liked Deadshot even if we would rather see him back on the Suicide Squad—a Squad written by master scribe John Ostrander but since DC Management still has its collective head up you know where, we’ll just have settle for just ONE sophisticated, top shelf comic book series where you root for the bad guy.

For our money, Simone went off the tracks in the Secret Six mini-series when she went away from what made Villains United so compelling—the bad guy vs. bad guy civil war in which The Six rebelled against “The Society.”

Think of it as collective bargaining for villains where you either joined up or were marked for death. This put The Six as hunted by both the good guys—JLA and such—and the other bad guys.

It didn’t get any better than that so we hope Simone revisits that theme in some form in the new series.

Speaking of Simone, in an interview with Newsarama in April, she gave her lowdown on these despicable characters that we are asked to root for…and do.

They care primarily for themselves. They aren't heroes. At times, they aren't even likable. I kind of like that it's a superhero comic about desperate people. They all know their lives aren't going to end well,” says Simone.
"I also find the chemistry between them fascinating. The core members, to a man, including Catman, are selfish, spoiled brats to some degree, and they are always thinking about themselves, primarily. But in that mode, they still somehow have come to like and trust each other. Which they all hate to varying degrees. It's not their nature. They're the anti-JLA in that regard. You can't really call them friends, but they're the closest thing to friends any of them have ever known,” added Simone.

Secret Six #1 on sale Wednesday, $2.99, 32 pages.


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