Best Shots Extra: Secret Six #1

EXCLUSIVE DC Preview: Secret Six #1

Secret Six #1

From: DC Comics

Writer: Gail Simone

Art: Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood

Preview here

The Secret Six deserved to be back, and this book deserves to be a hit. Gail Simone has done a brilliant job of building up this team of malcontents, nutjobs and outright psychos since their introduction during the run-up to Infinite Crisis a few years back. Keeping her core (Catman, Deadshot, Ragdoll, and Scandal), adding Bane (to deadpan humorous effect), and leaving one slot open, Simone’s plot plunges us effectively into their world after an extremely unsettling character introduction. Let’s just say that even The Gimp from Pulp Fiction would be unnerved by the new villain.

I’ll get to the great art in a minute, but for me, the highlight of this one is Simone’s humorous and effective character work. The central pair of Deadshot and Catman work in any number of ways; primarily, they’re an anti-buddy buddy-movie pair, pals who can’t stand that they’re pals and won’t admit it. Some have read an underlying sexual current to it (the already overused buzzword “bromance” applied frequently in online discussions), but my impression is that mainly enjoy one another’s balls on the busting level. This is realized with particular hilarity when Deadshot begins needling Catman about his more noble intentions, railing on him via jokes about Batman and the JLA.

Ragdoll and Bane already seem to be forming another archetypal duo. They’re the Mutt and Jeff of the team, two characters who are so, so different that they play well together. Ragdoll is bats#!+ insane, and Bane is fairly dry and literal. I look forward to seeing this one roll forward. As to Scandal, she’s still mourning the loss of her lover Knockout, who was killed off in Birds of Prey in a tie-in to Death of the New Gods. This leads to a sequence that is so jaw-droppingly wrong as her teammates try to cheer her up. The bit manages to be uncomfortable and funny at the same time, a nice feat upon which to build the interrelationships of the group.

And speaking of teammates, Nicola Scott couldn’t be a better choice to take lead on art here. She’s already proven herself on Birds, but she’s already extremely comfortable with the cast. Her Catman in action is just great, and her Ragdoll is fluid picture of constant motion. Scott and Hazlewood juggle moments of action, humor, horror, and bawdiness with equal skill.

The mission that the team acquires to drive the plot forward is almost incidental. What we really want to see are these crazy people playing off one another while trying to figure out why they stay together. It’s a fine first issue, and I hope that it’s merely the first of many.

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