Friday, August 5, 2011

Secret Six... and so we say good bye.

And so we say good bye.
Since the days of me writing reviews on the Capes Comics Newsletter, I have championed the Secret Six and Gail Simone. I spoke of how it is DC's most unique Super-hero title. Its not just another Suicide Squad, its not a Villains team up book. It’s a family of misfits. And I really mean family. They are bothers and sisters in arms. They hate and love each other like siblings. They can be despicable and heroic in the same book. Gail made something special out of "C" & "D" listers and its was the most consistently well written book DC put out for the last 3 years. (5-6 if you include Villains United, and the Secret Six mini-series… which I do). So today I read the Finale to Secret Six and as a farewell, I wanted to do a quick review. You don't have to read anything before this issue to understand what is going on. But, there will be spoilers for #36, the final issue... You have been warned.

Honestly, this issue could stand alone as a one and done. But the lead up to this in the last few issues has been so great. During this time, Bane grew more as a character under Gail Simone's watchful eye than he had since his creation. The team fell apart and was just beginning to come back together. I'll give a little back-story to set the stage:

Recently our "heroes" have literally been to Hell and back and realized someday, they were destined to return. This feeling was especially predominate in Bane's life. Since joining the team, he gave up the drug "Venom" and began to understand social interaction and emotion. Having an unusual relationship with Scandal, the team's leader, for a time. The connection seemed very innocent and endearing. Things were mostly unsaid. Odd, but sweet. Never crossing certain lines… like sex but still a sort of intimacy. Bane never fully understanding even what was going on and learning about himself and that he was an outcast among outcasts. He was torn… his mission in life was to end the Batman. He got closer than anyone ever did. Now he has found his self stuck with this band of misfit criminals who he shared a kinship with. As issues went on, Bane found himself around women who were attracted to him. Reading about him attempting to date was incredibly comical. Bane finds that even he has redeemable qualities, but felt like something wasn't right in his life. When someone he cares for was put in danger, he's quick to protect. But instead of seeing this as a positive, Bane sees that even he can be taken down by love. This gives him the ultimate idea. Knowing that someday he'll end up in Hell and that he still has unfinished business with Batman. Bane takes a proposal to the team. "Help me take down Batman". How? How, are you going to accomplish what you've already failed to do? "By hurting the one's Batman loves". By killing Batman's family, the blow would be unbearable and the Dark Knight would never recover. During the proposal, Its pointed out if you take one down, the rest swarm. Robin, Red Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Azreal, Huntress, Batwoman, etc… how do you defeat them all? Bane comes up with a coordinated attack, take each member down simultaneously. One crushing blow to Batman. Catman makes it a point that his relationship with Huntress makes her off limits. Bane begrudgedly agrees and the Secret Six begin to get Intel to implement their plan. They capture the Penguin, who seems to know much about the Bat family… beating and tying him up. They force him to join their plan. That’s where issue 36 starts.

In a warehouse, the Secret Six discuss the plan of attack. When a noise is heard from a large shipping crate. A homeless family is hiding… and the debate begins on whether or not they are witnesses and need to die? Scandal voices… "No more innocents!" As Killer Shark licks his lips and asks if he can eat "just the little one"? Then the tied up Penguin laughs and you realize he's sold out the team. The place is surrounded by DC's finest heroes. The current de-powered JLA , the JLI, and a hand full of Bat-teams and Birds of Prey. Huntress makes her way inside to negotiate and the Secret Six begin to panic. My favorite part is when someone looks out the window and says, "They have 2 Batmans, now? What does everyone just take turns?" Once the Superman family show up… the Six knows the end is near. None want to go back to jail, but they all know this is a battle they can't possibly win.

I won't ruin any more… you really, really should read it. There is a sort of feel, about this ending of a team that knows there is no way out. Gail has done so much with so little. I honestly love this series as a whole. I'm going to miss Catman and Deadshot love/hate brotherly relationship. Scandal's soul searching. Ragdoll's weirdness. King Shark's comedy and blood thirst. Secret Six is so good. More than the Green Lantern titles, more than the Batman Titles, more than even the Superman titles. What a great way to end the book. Leaving you wanting more… leaving a crack for future stories… leaving you hating and loving a team of "bad guys". I feel there is a chance we may see the Six come back again someday. If it does, Gail Simone HAS to write it. But until that day… The Secret Six will be sorely, sorely missed. Thank You, Gail, and your artistic team of incredible creators! Thanks Dale Eaglesham, Nicola Scott, Jim Calafiore and anyone else I left out.

Great Series! Great run!

No comments:

Post a Comment