Sunday, December 28, 2014

Secret Origins #8 Review

Written by: Tom King, Tim Seeley, Jeff Lemire, Duffy Boudreau and Ann Nocenti
Art by: Stephen Mooney, Travel Foreman and Roger Robinson
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 24, 2014

Prelude to a Recap

In the spirit of Secret Origins, I have a few secrets I want to get off my chest.  George Washington was the first President of the United States, the capital of Rhode Island is Providence and log xy = log x + log y.  What, those aren't secrets?  As Rainier Wolfcastle said, "That's the Joke".  This issue of Secret Origins is a bit different.  We get a prelude to Grayson, a synopsis of the entire New 52 Animal Man run and...Katana.

First up, Tom King, Tim Seeley and Stephen Mooney give us a sweet little peek at how Dick Grayson gained entrance into Spyral. It's no surprise that Helena Bertinelli nominated him, but the entrance exam was a bit of a shock.  King and Seeley use the story to get readers up to speed on just who Dick Grayson is and while it's old hat to fans of the character, I enjoyed reading it in this context.  Stephen Mooney gets to flex his muscles on no less than three full page spreads that show the highlights (and lowlights) of Dick's life from the murder of his parents, his time as Robin and a Teen Titan, his run as Batman and Nightwing, Forever Evil and even a bit afterwards.  Fans of Grayson have certainly seen that Helena cares a little more for Dick than she wants to let on and this story shows that Mr. Minos, the Head of Spyral, was worried about just that.  He sets up a little test for Helena that is a bit insane in it's conception and it's result.  The issue ends with Dick being Dick and Helena falling for him a little more.

As a fan of Grayson, I really enjoyed this story.  The art was great and I liked getting a peek at how Dick was recruited into Spyral.  It's obvious to readers of the regular book that Helena and Dick's relationship will heat up and it will certainly cause problems.  While I used to think the problems would mainly be Dick's, this story shows otherwise.

The next origin was an Animal Man New 52 recap.  If you read the entire Jeff Lemire run, you'll get nothing new here.  That doesn't make it any less awesome.  Jeff Lemire's Animal Man is still one of my favorite New 52 books and reading the entire run in one story just made me wish it hadn't ended.  Lemire takes the reader through Buddy Baker's heroic and tragic trip through the Red with all the highlights you'd expect.  Travel Foreman reminds the reader how great the book looked with iconic images (including covers) that made me fall in love all over again.  Seriously, if you like this story and haven't done so, go back and read it from the beginning.

The final origin is Ann Nocenti's Katana.  If you read Katana (there has to be a couple people other than myself), you'll get just what you'd expect here.  A crazy story with a bunch of nonsense dialogue and situations that will make you laugh out loud with it's ridiculousness.  It's all here in spades and actually made me miss Katana just a little bit.  Anyone coming in with no knowledge of Katana's New 52 run will be entirely lost, but my guess is nobody will buy this issue for her story.  I did like Roger Robinson's clean art, so at least it's nice to look at.

By now, Secret Origins has been a book that, when collected, will be a nice primer for those wanting to get into DC Comics.  This issue, however, seems to be more for current fans.  The Grayson story in particular was a nice one that sets the background to the series.  The Animal Man story was the entire New 52 book in a nutshell and almost seems to set Buddy up for an Animal Man return . I wish.  Even the Katana story is geared more towards readers of her run, than new ones.  Because of all that, this was one of my favorite issues of Secret Origins.

Bits and Pieces:

If you are reading Grayson, miss Animal Man or somehow want more Katana, this issue is for you.  The Grayson story is a prelude to the current series, Animal Man is a recap of Jeff Lemire's entire New 52 run and Katana is an Ann Nocenti story through and through.  For what it's worth, this is one of my favorite Secret Origins issues yet.



  1. I loved that wacky Katana run, too! Especially The Creeper!

    1. i feel dirty saying I liked it, but it was so ridiculous and made me laugh each month. The creeper was great.

      What other book would use "Your husband said you burnt toast" as a taunt during battle?!?!