Written by: Gail Simone
Arted by: J. Calafiore
The confrontation you never thought would happen is here! It’s Bane vs. Scandal in a time-lost world, as the two Secret Six teams find themselves on opposite sides of a vicious war that could destroy Skartaris!
A month or two ago, I’d never read an issue of Secret Six. Then I saw the solicit for this issue and decided that any comic that featured Bane riding a dinosaur was 100% worth buying. Check behind the cut to see if the issue lived up to my hopes.
The first time I ever reviewed Secret Six for the site, I was a bit of a grump. I found the first issue I bought in stores (after doing some hunting for back issues) to be somewhat confusing and a bit lacking in a cohesive time frame, but quickly got more into the story with the next issue. Now that I’m on my third issue, I’m more comfortable to say that I am glad that I did in fact start grabbing this book in single issues, because this was definitely the most fun comic book I’ve read in this series so far.
Now, I will point out one itsy bitsy little thing: the solicit info? Not quite 100%. Bane and Scandal went up against each other last issue, with Bane obviously being the loser of that fight. This issue focuses a bit more on the two teams fighting before turning into a slower and more politically oriented thriller – both of which work well. While the opening narrative feels a bit off putting (this is our 27th issue.. did we really need introductions to every character again?), the issue quickly gives us two plots woven together to form one rather entertaining time-lost tale.
Without going further into the plot details (since there are rather a lot of large spoilers I could give, and I will refrain), I would like to point out that this is the most “on” Gail Simone has been with this entire arc. I feel like the book hadn’t had the appropriate level of sass and snark she usually manages to sneak in. The story is rather involved, so there is certainly a lot of dark wit involved, but we (I) were missing the craziness that is Ragdoll, Well, suffice it to say, Ragdoll and his new “friend” King Shark make the weirdest “team” in comics, and they steal the show in their scenes in this particular issue. To say the least, I saw what you did there, Simone.
Simone is without a doubt one of the nicest people I’ve ever met who writes one of the most evil books I’ve ever read. The book thrives on it’s vllainy, and in a lot of ways, reading this issue feels like partially a tribute towards it’s fans that have stayed with the team since Infinite Crisis. While there aren’t any specific character or moment payoffs or callbacks, it’s really interesting to look back on where the characters came from and how they evolved to even get to this point, and now with two teams of six on the board, it’s getting really fun to watch how Simone balances the two with the additional evils she throws into the arena. It’s certainly some of the most fun we get out of DC villains at the moment (and speaking of, the upcoming crossover with Action Comics is looking better every second).
It also certainly helps that the book is wrapped up in the pretty package that Calafiore provides. The cover on the solicit is what dew me to the book, and it’s a really wonderfully made cover that really grabs your attention. I was glad to see that inside the book, the sequence of Bane riding the dinosaur is just as good, even in it’s elongated war form. While others on the site may still be pining for the days of Scott’s art on the book, I am more than satisfied with Calafiore here, and this is still one of the nicer looking books you can get from DC.Continued below
So if you like villains fighting villains fighting villains, Secret Six is for you – to say the least. This arc started off a bit odd, but it’s grown on me, especially with this issue. I really don’t think I need to say much more than “bad ass Bane riding a dinosaur” to sell this issue in particular.
Final Verdict: 8.1 – Buy