The forces of magic have been put back in place.  Mostly…  Kinda…  But now, a new threat comes for the Secret Six, one that wants only one thing: Strix.  Your Major Spoilers review of Secret Six #12 awaits!

SecretSix12CoverSECRET SIX #12
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick
Colorist: Jason Wright
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Editor: Jim Chadwick
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Secret Six: At the end of last issue, the Secret Six were scattered, as Catman dealt with Batgirl and Big Shot, The Ventriloquist and Black Alice fell before the precision strikes of a new foe.  But only one member of the team has even the slightest shred of a chance in one-on-one combat, because the name of this enemy is…  Lady Shiva.


The issue opens with a truly lovely moment, a one-page vignette featuring Scandal, Knockout and Liana discussing something very important which may or may not involve Catman’s DNA.  Cut to the Dibny home in suburbia, where Lady Shiva effortlessly takes out the entire police force in seconds.  Of serious note is the redesign of Shiva’s fighting togs, which look flat-out awesome, especially when she starts fighting.  Batgirl and Catman arrive to defend Strix from Shiva, only to find that they are both far out of their league (no pun intended.)  Speaking of League, Shiva brings greetings from one comprised of Assassins, who want Strix for her knowledge of the Court Of Owls, and she has a simple offer: If Strix wants her friends to live, she will join Shiva in the shadows of Murderville.  It’s a truly terrible choice, and one that Strix quickly makes to save her makeshift family…


As with many Gail Simone-written books, the true joy is in the character interactions: Catman’s quiet acceptance that both Batgirl and Strix are more capable than he, Big Shot’s big reunion, and most of all, Batgirl giving Strix/Mary her boots as a going-away gift, after Mary expressed her love of them earlier.  The last few pages of the issue feature the remaining members of the Six weighing whether to face Death to get their friend back.  It’s all wonderful stuff, but it has a tinge of sadness and finality to it, especially when Sue Dibny arrives, having regained her memory after the Riddler’s brainwashing.  Maybe it’s the Rebirth announcement talking, but this all feels like buildup to a last issue, and when Ferdie, of all people, expresses that it’s time to save their sister, even his partners are taken aback.  The last page of the issue features a moment that I’ve been looking forward to since the first hints about Big Shot’s identity, but it’s another moment that feels like we’re building up to the end…


In short, there’s lots to love here for the fan of complex and touching character interaction, and the art by both Derenick and Eaglesham is excellent, to the point where I didn’t even notice the transition between pencillers on my first read-through.  Even with the shadows of maybe-the-last-issue in the corners of the story, this is a good read, and Secret Six #12 is pretty excellent, earning a well-deserve 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  When a random group of characters can be forged into something this wonderful, you have to hope that the book will keep going forever (even if you’re pretty sure that it won’t.)



Some wonderful character work and breathtaking art combine, but there's a hint of swan song in these pages that makes me sad...

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

1 Comment

  1. I really hope this series doesn’t get cancelled soon, especially since it got off to such a rough start.

    I like what we see of Elongated Man’s new costume, and if they make it in purple & white, best costume for him ever.

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