Secret Six is back on track with this issue, and from what I have gleaned from Gail’s social media that there will be several more issues right on schedule going forward. I know this was something of a sore spot for myself personally, so I am sure that I’m not the only one who was unhappy when Secret Six was a monthly book that wasn’t coming out monthly. But that time is behind us now- so let’s not go dragging up the past. Which is EXACTLY what some members of the Secret Six DO SPECIFICALLY in this issue, and things don’t go very well (though, did we really thing the suburban, couch-sexy-times would last forever??)…
The issue opens with some particularly bawdy dialogue from Ralph Dibney (aka “The Elongated Man” and I don’t know WHY that name hadn’t been used to comedic effect more often, cmon Gail- get on it (see what I did there???) already…) in particular, he mentions offering up “red hot wieners for everybody!”. This may seem like a rather innocuous phrase to you- and if it does, you are a small child and should NOT (I repeat- NOT) be reading this book. If you do get the joke, then you are someone who understands sophomoric humor, so this book will tickle you quite a bit (there I go again…). I love that this opening sequence is a cookout, such a banal activity for these characters to be participating in (though, thankfully, it isn’t naked, sexy couch-ruining, so that is a change of pace in itself…) but to see that Strix is up a tree with a lawn gnome, and that Black Alice is napping- which means she’s asleep in her room, while surrounded by a black forcefield of some sort, and things in her room are levitating. So, I guess- things aren’t entirely normal for these guys…
Catman then goes up to wake Alice up, and offer her some of The Elongated Man’s “hot wieners” (sheesh! So much dirty stuff all at once…) when he discovers the photo of the woman who gave Catman his pet while in his prison cell four issues ago (and like 16 months ago… but who’c counting???). I really liked how protective and motherly Alice was being towards Ralph (that ELONGATED fella from before) because it just drove home the idea that these people really did grow to know each other and to care about the others in the group. Though, as usual, Catman is there to stir the pot- and this time, it’s not the beans for the cookout.
I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in this issue, I just assumed that it would be messy, and bawdy and fun- which it absolutely WAS! I cant remember if the character who was “Mockingbird” had been revealed before- I think that it was a last page reveal in issue three or four, but I cant remember. So that revelation is driven home with some good old fashioned “flashback scene” work. I really liked the way this issue sort of changed right at the end, and that the Secret Six is left helpless in the clutches of “Mockingbird” yet again… I thought this book was packed with good, fun action- from the fight between Catman and Elongated Man, to the flashback scene fights, to the end scene; this book came packed with action (and red hot wieners…). I even made the TERRIBLE joke earlier (and I would love for someone to pick up on this) that this book had SO MUCH action, that they should call it “SECRET SEVEN”! (Sorry, I’m not sorry…)
This book has been great- Dale Eaglesham’s artwork is ABSOLUTELY fantastic- he is a master of his craft, and I cant wait to see more. If you haven’t seen yet- Gail posted a photo of a full splash page (or assumedly, a cover) to a future Secret Six (OR Seven… if it grew on you…) issue. I love how funny but emotional, high-octane but character driven, and just so well balanced Gail’s writing is. I think that she could literally write books about this team forever, and I for one, would buy them as long as she and Dale are on them together, without much of a second thought.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, who likes fun, silly, bawdy action superhero comics that are anything BUT typical should be reading this book- and you can probably pretty easily pick up this issue and the other four that came before, and you should!
Little note at the end here- I am not entirely sure what the idea was for the “Bombshells” variant for this book, but I do know that it missed it’s mark ENTIRELY… I would have LOVED to see a sassy Catman painted on the nose of a bomber plane with the words “Mee-yowza!” slapped alongside it; or a picture of Shauna Belzer with Ferdie and the phrase “She Likes Her Fella Stiff as a Board!” or even just Strix with great big swords and the phrase “Silent But Deadly!”. Anything but a random picture of Harley Quinn, because I don’t think she has ANY PLACE in this book. I know that Harley is everywhere, and everyone LOVES her- but she doesn’t belong associated with this book.
I think it is just yet another case of “too much of a good thing” because there are just TOO many variant covers, and they happen WAY too often. I like the idea of a variant being incentivized for a new number one book (in order to increase sales), or for there to be a variant cover like for the new Deadpool number one this fall, where the order number is ungodly high, and it is meant as a tongue in cheek (or more accurately, a middle finger) to the other companies who use variants to sell and otherwise unsellable book. I like Bombshell variants, I even own a couple of them myself, but I would never, NEVER own a copy of Secret Six with Harley Quinn on the cover- it’s bad enough when a cover features a character who never appears on a single panel of a book, but they are on the cover alongside the rest of the people in the book- but when they are the ONLY person on the cover, it just feels silly and wrong.
Would you put Swamp Thing on the cover of a Teen Titans book if he weren’t actually in the book at all??? My apologies, I should just end this rant here- good day.