Gail Simone has been all over comics lately, from Swords of Sorrow and Red Sonja at Dynamite, to her Nightwing/Oracle story for Convergence, to her newly announced Clean Room at Vertigo and Crosswind from Image, Gail has been a busy lady indeed. So it should surprise no one that Gail’s Secret Six title would be at the mercy of the DC event machine, and have some pretty major delays. Which is why this is the fourth issue of a monthly series to come out in nearly seven months. I don’t think anyone at this point holds the blame over Gail, because it doesn’t seem like this book is being delayed because she is “too busy” (which she is SUPER BUSY, don’t get me wrong there…) but because of behind-the-scenes publishing stuff. So I was glad to see that issues 3 & 4 would be released rather quickly after Convergence ended, so we could get back to regular monthly books, and we could get back into the action with the members of the Secret Six.
The first two issues, having been read so long ago (for myself, anyway- I need to go back and re-read this series from the beginning in one sitting) really feels almost like it is removed from this story- I am more than a little bit fuzzy on the details of what happened, but thankfully this issue stands on it’s own, but still finds time to give us a bit of a flashback to those early issues. I am not sure what to make of this book, because of it’s “rogues gallery” if you will, of artists. I never like to see multiple artists on a single issue, because it means there is probably going to be a bit of a jump from one page to the next when artists tag out. This issue, however, seemed to take that idea as a negative and spin it quite elegantly.
I liked how the book transitioned from the darker, seedy big city and moved into bright and shiny suburbia- and used that moment to transition artists as well. It really helped to play up the division between the two areas, and to really showcase just how out of place that these characters in the land of Beaver Cleaver and Andy Griffith. The book really works well, and I really enjoyed the story. I don’t want to point any names, because I am certain the entire internet has already formed their opinion on the subject- but I do appreciate how well Gail handles LGBQT characters in this series, and gives them an opportunity to be “just one of the gang” and not something to be pointed out as odd, or weird, or different. I thought that the idea of a suburban LGBQT mixer was quite a funny and cute moment to be tied into such a raunchy and violent issue (that takes place prior to a very raunchy night of couch-ruining that took place after this issue but somehow, before issue three???).
This book, while having it’s faults, has been a lot of fun to read. I really enjoy Gail’s writing style, and she obviously knows her way around a team book- especially if that team is a dysfunctional grab bag of loonies, outcasts, perverts and scoundrels. I really hope that we can finally put all that unfortunate business of disrupted release dates behind us; and we can all just start enjoying more fun, weird, sexy, bloody action-packed goodness from the Secret Six crew. I am sure that Mockingbird wont be letting go of things anytime soon, and the meat headded local cop from issue three is probably going to be thorn in EVERYONE’S side again real soon.
I would really like to see Dale Eaglesham come back to this book as its main artist, but I understand that I know nothing about the comic book industry, so all I will do is hope for the best, and enjoy what I am given; which is exactly what everyone should do with this book- enjoy it! It has been a fun, unique experience with characters that not everyone is familiar with, but who deserve their place in the DCU just as much as the next guy. Especially Strix. I love Strix; she just has such a warm innocence about her that just gets me every time. That moment with her and the lawn gnome just made my smile so much…
Go hug a lawn gnome, then read this book. Youll be better for it.