Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Ken Lashley
The cancellation of Secret Six at the start of The New 52 was a tragic blow to fans of the series, with many still mourning the loss. However, to the joy of many fans the series has returned helmed by original writer Gail Simone with a new team of villains in tow. Having never actually read the original series I was very excited to see what the book had to offer and was looking forward to jumping on this train. Thankfully, this first issue showcases a lot of potential and has an intriguing set-up that ensures I’ll be sticking around for future issues.
Not knowing the majority of the cast going into the book, I was impressed how well Simone managed to explain their characters and make me interested in knowing more. With the relatively short panel time each character receives Simone is able to effectively communicate their personality just enough for you to care and understand them, but still keep an air of mystery about them that should keep readers intrigued and invested in the story. The cast are certainly a strange bunch and all play off each other well, seeing how these characters interact with each other under their stressful conditions is sure to be a highlight as the series continues. Catman gets the most exposure here, as from what I’m aware he a focus point in the original series; while I’m not too sure how he compares to the previous volume, here he comes across as a likeable enough protagonist who shows off pretty well in the action scenes and should be a fun character to follow.
I felt the plot was very intriguing and was an interesting concept featuring some great set-up. The idea reminded me a lot of Saw actually, except without all of the ultra-violence. The idea of experiments, secrets and tests just clicks with me so I was highly entertained by the story and look forward to seeing how it develops. It seems like the perfect story to drop the eccentric cast of characters in so sparks should really start flying next issue. The length of the story did irk me a little however, it felt the story ended just as I had gotten a handle on the character and the overall story. It’s something that can’t be helped in many modern comics, and I’m at least intrigued enough to keep reading, which can only be a good thing.
What did vary in quality a lot for me however was the art; I didn’t feel the art was bad, on the contrary, I really liked it in places and I felt the style fitted the book. The actions scenes featuring Catman at the start in particular featured great kinetic energy and really captured the motion in the fight well, however at times the art seemed to great a little undetailed or jagged. It was strange to see the art style vary so wildly over the course of the book, though when it hit, it hit really well. I hope that as the series continues Lashley can find his groove a bit better and consistently reach the heights he achieves at points in the book.
Overall, this was a fun debut that has enough potential and intrigue to ensure I’ll be sticking around to see where the series goes from here. DC have really been taking some chances on more out there books recently and I applaud them for doing it. If you’re someone who, like me, likes looking for something new from DC then I encourage you to check out this book to show DC there’s interest in this sort of thing. If you’re new to the Secret Six concept then I also recommend you check out the book as it’s completely new reader friendly and is a lot of fun. If you’re a fan of the book though, well then you’ve probably already bought the book as you guys are a very dedicated bunch.