Gail Simone warns readers that Secret Six is a comic for pervs and weirdos.
We’re about to find out why! Your Major Spoilers review of Secret Six #3 awaits!
Previously in Secret Six: Captured by the mysterious Mockingbird and left to die, six superhuman characters (Catman, Strix of the Court Of Owls, the mysterious Porcelain, The Ventriloquist, Black Alice and hard-boiled detective type Big Shot) were forced to work together to secure their freedom. Now, they’ve holed up in Big Shot’s suburban home, where things are about to get… weird.
THAT POOR COUCH
The first two issues of Secret Six were a little bit flummoxing for me. I enjoyed them both, but found it difficult to relate with so much missing information about the characters. This issue continues after a clear time-skip from #2, beginning with Thomas “Catman” Blake going for a run in the Six’ new suburban neighborhood, which quickly escalates into a tense confrontation with one of the neighbors, caught in the act of abusing his dog. It’s a nice moment for Catman, who admits that he hates dogs, but “hates walking turds like you more.” Unfortunately for him, the abuser is part of the local (seemingly corrupt) police force, which bodes ill for the Six keeping a low profile in suburbia. Of course, as we quickly discover, that’s already a lost cause, as Big Shot gathers the adult members of the team to find out who “had weird sex on the couch” only to get six raised hands, one of which belongs to Ventriloquist’s terrible dummy, Ferdie. In fact, the only people who didn’t enjoy a little super-happy grown-up fun time are the teenage Black Alice and Big Shot himself, whose home is decorated with multiple photos of his beloved, deceased wife.
EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN AGENDA
With that bit of pervitude as an opening salvo, we get into the story proper and discover that this issue is gorgeously drawn by Eaglesham, who manages to infuse every character with life and wonderful body language, aided and abetted by Gail Simone’s excellent scripting. Big Shot and Black Alice (who allows him to be the only person who calls her by her real name, Lori) bond over shared loss, while Strix dissolves into tears when Catman asks her to set the table for dinner, sharing that she has no idea “how to home.” The issue is filled with lovely moments like that, and also swift and blinding violence from our protagonists (I can’t really call them heroes yet.) Porcelain deals with street harassment by dealing multiple fractures, while Catman suits up (and by the way, his new costume is really impressive) to deliver on his promise to beat his canine-abusing neighbor if he lays a hand on the dog again. The police arrive, then the rest of the Six, and things end with a tense standoff and a final page reveal. We *may* now know who Mockingbird is, as well as a wonderful secret that turns Big Shot’s story on its head. I sure hope that I’m reading that panel right, because if so, this book just got a whole lot more wonderful.
THE BOTTOM LINE: IS THAT WHO I THINK IT IS?
In every run of comics, there is an issue which clearly states what the book or arc is about, and for Secret Six, this is the one. It’s a comic about family, about humanity, about damaged goods and making due, and how we end up living our lives in terrible circumstances and yet we still survive. In short, it’s about life, and once again Simone has assembled a varied cast of unrelated types and turned them into the most natural team/family possible. Secret Six #3 is good stuff, with beautiful art and a little development for all seven members of the Six (Ferdie’s moment in the sun is utterly chilling), putting this book firmly in my good graces and earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. Indeed, by combining weird sex, sweet moments, violence, terror, familial-type bonding and shirtless Catman, we may have the most Gail Simone-y single issue of all time!