As is often the case, the Six are in over their heads. Black Alice, one of their own, is losing control of her powers, endangering the magic community. Her teammates have been dragooned into accepting a quest to find a series of mystic pillars. If they destroy them, Black Alice is supposedly saved. Of course, if they do, monsters that look like they escaped from one of HP Lovecraft’s nightmares get loose to kill possibly everyone on Earth.
What makes a lot of Gail’s books, especially this one, are the characters. They are so incredibly bizarre, with such odd relationships. That you read them partially out of enjoyment and partially with that “can’t look away from a train wreck” fascination. Gail is slowly bringing back the characters that made the first Secret Six series such a fan favorite. There are also some amusing reactions from characters- most of the female cast spent last issue drooling over the fight between Aquaman and Catman. There’s also a hysterical running joke with guest star Etrigan’s appearance.
Plot: The twists and turns of the story are nicely done. There are several levels in play here, and seeing them resolved is going to be really fun to watch. I’m giving the plot a 3.5 out of 5.
Art: The art is good, and the costume changes for Etrigan are a lot of fun. I’ll give the art a high 3.5 out of 5.
Positives: The characters are the high point, as they are in most Gail Simone projects. I love the way these outcasts and misfits bond, even if they can’t quite express themselves in anything approaching a normal fashion. I’m really curious to see how they resolve this dilemma about the pillars. I’m really happy that some of the characters from before, like Jeanette and Rag Doll, are coming back.
Negatives: Catman’s distaste for water is a little bit cliche. Rag Doll’s commentary on his being essentially a sociopath are a little obvious. And those are two minor picks at a great book.
Secret Six is a lot of fun and I hugely recommend it to anyone with a warped enough sense of humor.
Secret Six 9
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Tom Derenick
Colorist: Jason Wright
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover: Dale Eaglesham with Wright