Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Secret Six #14 Review and **FEW SPOILERS**
It’s a Family Affair
Art By: Tom Derenick, Jason Wright and Rex Lokus
Letters By: Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: May 25, 2016
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
This will be our last song together, words will only make us cryyy. This will be our last song together, there’s no other wayyyy we can say goodbyyyyye! This is it, folks, end of the line for Secret Six, at least this volume. Personally speaking, I hope Gail Simone does get another crack at this team, but without the external meddling. I’ve said it before: I don’t think Secret Six was ever given a real chance, what with it being strangely restarted after Convergence, then it seemed like the last arc lost an issue along the way…I feel this title never had its “moment,” always being eclipsed by robot Batman or asshole Superman or whatever. In my perfect world, most of the books would be like Secret Six: funny, weird, and containing fully-realized, sympathetic characters that I actually want to care about. The bloodshed and murder in Secret Six might not be necessary across the board, but I definitely dig it coming from this band of irascible knuckleheads. Well, there’s no sense in stalling any longer, this ride has reached its conclusion and I’ve got to go back and pick up all of the arms that got ripped off people that DIDN’T KEEP THEM IN THE CAR AT ALL TIMES LIKE THEY WERE TOLD. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Shoulders. Read my review of the Secret Six finale while I hose down the track.
Why We Should Create and Support Weird Comics
An Essay by Reggie
Superman embodies our need for hope. Wonder Woman embodies our wish for empathy. Batman embodies our lust for
justice and being spooky. And you know what? Any idiot wants those things. In
fact, we all think we want those
things, because very few people recognize what unwitting dickbags they are. I’m
sure even the presumptive Republican nominee “Ferret Hair” McGee thinks he’s
empathetic, despite having the personality of a wet fart. I believe we do need
heroes, to help direct our moral compasses. But I also believe that we need
weird stuff, we need silly and stupid things in our lives just to remind
ourselves that humankind is just wacked out, man. I mean, we place four-color magazines
containing fictional stories in plastic bags so that we might preserve them
indefinitely. Isn’t that kind of crazy?
Imagine you saw a buffalo doing that, just sitting on like a dozen longboxes of
mint-condition comics. And you’d check them out thinking they’re Western
comics, right? But no, they’re all Little
When I was a kid first getting into comics, I thrilled to the adventures of Spider-Man and Batman like any other dumb little kid. But I was more drawn to comics like Ambush Bug, I found more joy in comics like ‘Mazing Man than Superman. That’s me; I’m strange, and I’ve always been strange. And it was so important for me to find outlets like these that not only catered to my sensibilities, but reinforced the idea that there are more like me out there. Traditionally, comic book fandom has been a cloistered society of bookish outcasts that have an appreciation for tchotchkes and ephemera, but within that society have always been subsets, groups of people who like Cherry Poptart, or especially enjoy romance comics, or get really into Jack Chick Tracts. The American manga fanbase used to be like this, now there are entire stores dedicated to the stuff. Books like Secret Six scratch my itch for weird comics, and I suspect it speaks to others of a similar bent as well. Secret Six is for the strange, the curious, the resolute and the romantic, who can all appreciate a good insult like “Your breath smells like poop.”
I could recap this final issue of Secret Six. I could tell you about the cool character moments and funny dialogue and awesome action scenes expertly rendered by series regular Tom Derenick. I could reveal the surprise twist that explains the dynamic between two specific members of the team, one which has been bugging me for the duration of this series. But you’re not going to just jump on this book at the end, and if you’ve read the issue then you don’t need my say so. I would rather use this space to make a plea to any comics fans or creators that might come across it: make and support weird comics. There’s a place for Bruce Wayne’s brooding, and there’s a place for Strix to shed her murderous training and become part of a dysfunctional family. There’s a place for Catman’s butt, and it’s in all of our hearts. Catman’s butt is in our hearts.
As for the issue proper, it appears to me that this was not intended to be the final issue at first, because the finale is three pages that seem shoved on at the end. A skewered Catman comes back to life for no particular reason and Lady Shiva lets everyone go because the League of Assassins has had staffing problems recently, I guess. And it doesn’t look like we’re going to see the results of Catman donating baby batter for Scandal Savage and Jeannette’s baby right away. But I was okay with it, the final pages were touching enough. I’m sad to see this book walk that dusty trail, because I need more comics like this in my life. Preferrably with less executive meddling next time around.
Bits and Pieces:
This will suffice as a good ending to a series that I think has been somewhat hindered by external circumstances from the beginning. A year ago, I could have cared less about Strix and her "cute mute" shtick. Now, I can truly say I am going to miss her. And I am going to miss this comic and Gail Simone's perverted mind sputtering its brain juice on the DCU. I hope the company has something planned for her in the pipeline.