Review by: JudgmentalSteve

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Avg Rating: 4.5
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Written by GAIL SIMONE

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

This week’s pick was a tough one for me. Knight of Vengeance was a really, really strong book, Red Skull was a very interesting start to what I hope is a good story, and Chew was…well, Chew. And it was good. In the end, however, I had to give it to Secret Six, because I’m biased.

Let me take you back a bit to a young Judgmental Steve (not my real name, btw). The year is 2006 and little Steve is just starting to read comics on a regular basis. He’s at the Emerald City Comic Con for the second (maybe third) year, and while there he attends a panel featuring DC comics writer Gail Simone. She discusses a book she’s written called “Villains United”, and an intrigued Steve decides to buy the trade and see what it’s about. And thus began his…er, my longtime love of the Secret Six.

Villains have always been more fascinating to me than heroes, and Secret Six is nothing if not a place for interesting villains, most of whom are washed up has-beens that we come to love, despite their rather obvious faults. In this issue, we put the spotlight on Bane, a man who is a brilliant strategist, an honorable fighter, and a complete idiot when it comes to anything that falls outside of those two fields. Bane struggles with a crisis of conscience in this issue, one that’s resolved after a fist fight (naturally), and decides to give his life true purpose: to truly break the Batman, as opposed to just beat him once and then watch him come back and keep on keeping on. Bane has become one of the more fascinating characters in S6 and it shows here, having him be simultaneously a master villain and a moron when it comes to social interaction.

The rest of the cast gets to shine too, with Knockout coming to terms with being dragged out of Hell, Jeanette showing genuine concern and moral confusion (something new from her character), and King Shark nearly stealing the show in two pages and one hilarious song. I thank heaven he’s still got a place in the reboot.

I haven’t always liked J. Califiore on this series, but he’s strong in this issue, with dynamic storytelling and artwork that really helps capture how twistedly fun this series is. I hope that he, not unlike King Shark, has a place in the upcoming reboot.

If, like me, you’ve followed the Secret Six up to this point, then you’ll love this issue and all the twisted humor and strong character writing that has defined the series up to now. And if you haven’t read Secret Six, you’re missing out on what will be (for me, at least) the most missed book of the reboot.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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