Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Resident Troll: Secret Six Review

The internet has told me time and time again that Gail Simone is THE BEST. Whether it came to her representation of women, of LGBT characters, and the pure tender of her writing, she was very great. Naturally, I thought that... maybe I should investigate. So I picked up the new Batgirl, which ended up being very meh. I have an arc of Birds of Prey laying around, which was good and interesting. Less meh than Batgirl.

Then I read Secret Six.

Holy shit, guys.

Basic summary is basic: the Secret Six is a group of mercenaries, the most consistent members being Bane, Catman, Deadshot, Jeanette, Ragdoll and Scandal Savage. The roster changes often, because there's nothing that explicitly binds the group. Over time, relationships grow, and they're all pretty likable. They go on missions that almost always end up in a.) a disaster and b.) some sort of moral peril.

I don't think I've ever met such a perfect mix of comedy and destruction. One of the greater things about this series is that yes, the Secret Six are--for lack of a better term--villains. They kill people for money, maybe try to avoid innocents. They go on different sides of the world and work for all kinds of evil, but they have lives. They have relationships with each other, ones that are less than textbook. Bane automatically assumes this laughable fathership of Scandal, claiming that she needs paternal support, which makes sense considering hers was less than nurturing. Catman and Deadshot are very uncomfortable about the fact that they care about each other, something that's addressed every now and then. Jeanette is also great amounts of fun, her little quips one of the bright things in the series. Then there's Ragdoll, a mixture of insanity and comic relief--enough so that when he becomes a threat, it's surprising.

Some parts of the series just make you smile. Any time a member of the Six goes on a date, you know you're in for a laugh. Either someone is out to pick a fight, or awkwardness prevails. I just have to point out... seeing Bane go on a date with a stripper? That night is a series of WTF, where Bane knocks the face off of a guy for disrespecting his date. (Afterwards, he says, "Shall I snap his spine? I am unsure of the ettiquitte," which left me dead on the floor laughing.)

It's just a really good series. When it comes to the superficials, though, there is a bit to be desired. The covers are gorgeous (some made by the likes of Daniel Luvisi and one of my favorites, Cliff Chiang), but the interiors tend to be less than stellar. There are exceptions, but the latter is the norm. There are also a few replacement writers that don't do the characters justice, so I'd wager to say if it's not written by Gail Simone, just skip the issue.

In the end, Secret Six gets a 9/10. It's only missing a point because of the art. There's also this really fucking weird Western one-shot that isn't worth anyone's time. I'm so freaking sad that you can't find many of the Secret Six types in the New 52, but fingers can be crossed.

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