Thursday, October 15, 2009

Secret Six #14

Yowch. When a comic opens with a disgusting villain running his hands along an unconscious, spread-eagled Wonder Woman, you know you are in for a rough comic. As expected, the Secret Six end up breaking another contract and working together to do the right thing. There are some wonderful moments as Ragdoll and finally Deadshot give in to their "better" natures by killing bad people instead of those they've been paid to kill. There is some nice comeuppance for the Amazon enforcer of the prison, and the cruel jailer gets two uncomfortable scenes too. The Grendel/devil-beast ends up having a fight on his hands when Scandal Savage uses some of Bane's Venom. Things still would have gone badly had Wonder Woman not roused herself and "made an exception for demons." I never like seeing heroes kill. I suppose he was a demon, but man, it still rubs me the wrong way. That's what makes the Secret Six so fun to read about, they do the stuff the real heroes can't. Having Wonder Woman kill and then allow a group of "villains" to go free sort of weakens her moral standing.

Simone does a neat job with the Amazons. I haven't read any of Simone's trades, but I'm very much looking forward to getting the first one this month. Her take on Artemis is empowering and limiting at the same time. Artemis is honorable to the point that she's pitiable. I'm particularly fascinated with the contrast between her and Jeannette, who has become a great character in her own right. Jeannette and Bane's little power play at the close of the issue is classic Secret Six. I've never seen such an unstable, back-stabbing crew. It's great fun to read.

The art in this issue made me laugh. The important and dramatic scenes were all handled by Nicola Scott, with a fill-in artist taking care of some of the other pages. The big revenge bits, the important emotional scenes? They're all masterfully handled by Scott. What I love about her art is how she draws eyes. Scott draws such expressive eyes that it really seems like you can tell what her characters are thinking just by seeing their faces. She's a fantastic artist.


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