Villains United was one of the Infinite Crisis lead ins that rocked my world, and Secret Six, barring a few intentionally creepy pages, is still rocking my world.
Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils: Brad Walker
Inks: Jimmy Palmiotti
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
When last we left our intrepid villains, they were facing down the Doom Patrol, and much worse for the wear. We don’t pick up there however, but a meeting between Vandal Savage, Cheshire and Dr. Psycho. Savage has hired the other two to harass, but not kill the Secret Six. Savage wants an heir, and her daughter, Scandal to provide, with Catman as the biological donor.
Savage is displeased with the performance of his hirelings, but does not dispose of them. Rather, he serves them a rather unpleasant dish (“chastisement” aka cooked Grundy). Cheshire vomits, Psycho asks for Worcestershire sauce.
Back to our protagonists, in a tight spot. Catman appears to try to talk his way out, but is really jockeying for surprise. An entertaining combat occurs between the two teams “Treachery, how I adore it”, “Parademon would have loved this view”, “I hate these Freak superteams”, “No one said there would be robot decapitation!” and “Oh, that’s it. Now it’s on.” Hatter gives them a temporary upper hand, and they escape.
Ragdoll has his arm successfully re-attached (he cut it off under Psycho’s mind control last issue) and Floyd, aka Deadshot, effectively abandons his family in all but financial ways. Knockout and Deadshot share a drink to “doing the right thing for those you love”. Hatter does some very creepy things to console himself, alone.
Scandal dreams, and Savage, her father, psychically in her dream, tells her that since she refuses him an heir, that he will kill her friends. He commands her to come to him, knives drawn, and kill him if she wont’ do what she is told. She wakes up and gets loaded for bear when she stumbles on Deadshot and Knockout, naked and horizontal.
The Good: Fast moving story, funny situational comedy, unique characters, evocative art, and a story in pictures and words that evokes emotion in the reader.
The Bad: Umm.. Ummm.. Just to nitpick so I have something to put in here, The Hatter sections of this series have creeped me out a little more than I’d personally prefer, and if comics had letter columns still, a text feature giving a little background on the Doom Patrol would have been a welcome sight. Not in any way necessary though.
Overall: The longer this series goes on, the more I like it. I’m hoping the Mad Hatter isn’t a permanent addition to the group (I’m rooting for the title to go monthly) but this title is working on all cylinders. Excellent storytelling in both the art and the writing. I’m completely invested in the title. I was so curious to find out what came next that I read this issue before Justice League of America this week. Only 52 came before it. Lots of questions to answer in the next two issues, and I’m looking forward to them both.