Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Secret Six #9 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Gail Simone
Art By: Tom Derenick, Jason Wright, Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 16, 2015

Mind Your Elder Gods

*Non-Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

How loyal are you? Are you “help a friend move” kind of loyal? Or are you just “warn a friend before they step in dog shit” kind of loyal? I guess what I’m asking is, would you free an Elder God and put the fate of our planet in jeopardy for me, baby? Would your loyalty put me above what we know as reality in the third dimension, sweetheart? Because you know I would free all the racist Old Gods of Lovecraftian myth for you, I would invoke Ba’al and sacrifice a lamb to Baphomet and desecrate several holy sites of many major faiths for your love. That’s what you mean to me, can you dig it? Why don’t we snuggle up together and read the latest issue of Secret Six, see if it doesn’t put us in the mood…for blasphemy.

Explain It!:

If you will recall, the Sexy Six was hanging out at the bottom of the ocean watching Catman fight Aquaman, when the magic bubble holding back the crushing waters began to crack. If you don’t recall, there is a page of recap done by the Ventriloquist’s doll, Ferdie, who breaks the fourth wall to do so. I love to see this in comic books and I will always praise it when I see it. I don’t know that this kind of recap would work for every comic, but taking a page to address the reader and bring them up to speed is always a good idea. If it can be creatively woven into the narrative, all the better. Anyway, things are looking bleak for our team, when Porcelain realizes they can shatter the alabaster pillar that both saps Black Alice’s life force and keeps the slumbering Elder Gods from taking over reality. Upon blasting the pillar, the crew is called back to breathable airspace by the creepy “real” Atlanteans, the Children of Arion. Yeah, you guys are the “real” Atlanteans, that’s why you do magic on top of a building instead of in the water. Before he gets zapped away, Aquaman warns Thomas “Catman” Blake not to screw with any more of these alabaster pillars, and Blake essentially tells him to get bent.

Back at Scandal Savage’s apartment, Black Alice is still sleeping off the wicked hangover she got from sapping the powers of all the magic users in the DC Universe, being tended to by Rag Doll because Scandal Savage is a bad parent or guardian. Black Alice begins waking up and mumbles something about not trusting the obviously not-trustworthy fake Atlanteans, and then using Zatanna’s backwards magic she accidentally summons some Griffins, which is like using someone’s coffee maker without permission and accidentally causing a hazardous nuclear spill. Later, we find ourselves in the mining town of Perdition in rural New England, where the Children of Arion have sent the Secret Slicks to blow up the next pillar. For some reason, they have to dress up in Victorian era clothing, which is awesome because it means Ferdie wears a bowler hat. Strix demands to wear a prom dress, which no one in their right minds would deny her.

Approaching Perdition, a really creepy girl runs up to the gang and asks if they have any food. We then see the other members of the town, all creepy and emaciated and looking like Fagan’s urchins from Oliver Twist. They’ve apparently been held in the thrall of an Elder God that sleeps at the bottom of the town’s mine, who doesn’t let them die and also seemingly doesn’t let them eat. I mean, that is just rude as hell. If you’re going to live forever, you should at least be able to shovel Twinkies in your face hole. What’s the difference? It won’t kill you. The Sick Six go down into the mine to destroy the alabaster pillar, where they meet an emaciated Swamp Thing and…you know what? I’m going to leave it right there, because if you’ve read the review this far and haven’t been enticed to check this book out, then you’ve got no soul and would probably rather read All-New, All-Delicious Fightin’ Frappe Force. So go. Go ahead and read All-New, All-Delicious Fightin’ Frappe Force, we’ll stay over here with our cool comics about emotionally-damaged people whose only redeeming traits are loyalty to one another and somehow, against all odds, appearing cute sometimes.

This is the kind of comic you want to hug to your breast and swoon around the room in puppy love over. I know I often glow over Dale Eaglesham, but I am here to say that Tom Derenick is no slouch, folks, indeed if the two of them leapfrog issues of drawing this book, I’ll be perfectly happy with that. What you need to do is stop being a jerk and read this book, because it’s weird, it’s funny, and all of the characters are so expertly-written by Gail Simone that you’ll want to invite them into your home. Which you shouldn’t, incidentally. I mean, maybe you could have a chat with Porcelain or Big Shot, but if you invited Catman or the Ventriloquist into your house, it would be over. I’ll assume you wouldn’t invite Strix in if you had your druthers, being that she’s covered head-to-toe in a Talon costume. And I suppose if Black Alice wanted to come over, you couldn’t rightly do much about it.

Bits and Pieces:

Our heroes get out of the frying pan and into the fire. The “frying pan” in this instance is the threat of being crushed by an entire ocean, and the “fire” would be a rural New England mining town from the nineteenth century held captive by a giant wad of phlegm with an eyeball. I suppose it’s a pretty weak metaphor. You’ll love the art, you’ll love the writing, you’ll love this book, and if you don’t then you need to go down to the arcade and take a spin on the Love Tester. You’ll probably come up as “Cold Fish.”


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