Monday, September 14, 2009

Secret Six #13

Gail Simone's prison story is a lot of fun, but I'm not sure I totally understand where it's going. Slowly but surely, the entire Six is betraying their contract and switching over to the good guys' side. Last issue Bane, Scandal, and Jeannette had already decided to help Artemis and her fellow Amazons, with Catman, Deadshot, and Ragdoll trying to honor their contract and work for the bad guys. Catman's resolve lasts until he is personally asked by Wonder Woman to rescue her Amazon sisters. Catman can't resist and switches, leaving Deadshot and Ragdoll uncertain what they'll do next. There is plenty of violence here, including a great confrontation where Scandal offers some prison guards time to pray or contact their loved ones, but not do both. In a neat twist of that smack-talk, some of the guards actually take her up on it. Having a guard call his wife before he's gutted by Scandal was a great reminder that all these flunkies are people with families. Simone gives some resonance to a flunky's death that I never would have imagined.

The Grendel/Devil we saw last issue gets released at the end of the issue, but I'm not sure how scared I should be of this guy. Is he an existing DC character? Is he new? Is he supposed to be the actual Devil? I'm sure the upcoming fight with this guy and Wonder Woman will be good. With Simone being so skilled at balancing her cast, I'm sure the fight with the prison bosses versus the Six will be satisfying too.

Nicola Scott does a nice job with the current action, as always, but she gets some neat flashbacks in this one too. Jeannette has an injury-inspired vision of the Six in silly Victorian costumes that is appropriately jarring. The glimpse into Scandal's childhood is upsetting too, where we see her 9-year old self beaten by thugs before Vandal Savage gives her the wrist-blades she uses so well. That's the moment when she became the hard woman we know.


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