Friday, December 11, 2009

Comic Book Review: Secret Six #16

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Peter Nguyen and Doug Hazlewood
Cover by Daniel LuVisi

Black Alice finds herself back to the pages of the DC Universe, this time with an interest in joining the Secret Six.  And seeing as how there is a spot to fill, it just might work out!  However, some of the Six have some severe misgivings in allowing this teenaged, power stealing girl into their ranks.  Black Alice, on the other hand will do all she can to get in on the murderous action if it means earning good money, and she’s prepared to do all that is necessary to get what she wants.

My Thoughts
People call me crazy, weird and downright twisted when it comes to the literature I read.  Like always, my favorite stories are the ones where people do not get a happy ending.  And this issue certainly falls in that category.  Pedophilia has never been displayed in such a disgusting form.  But what makes this 16th installment of the Six so terribly good is how maliciously evil it shows Catman to be.  I’m not sure I will ever need another lesson on how to effectively torture and kill someone in my life…and I’m not sure I want too. 

The first half of the book is one of the darkest and twisted scenes I’ve ever read in a single comic book.  The uncaring nature portrayed by the pedophile as he described his lust for underage girls was revolting, which (in turn) made me feel almost relieved that the father of one of the criminals victims was about to take his (the father’s) knife and do unspeakable, murderous things to his dead daughters rapist.  But again, I go back to how Catman brutally described to the father effective torture methods to kill this man in order to satisfy the father’s lust for revenge.

Black Alice was an interesting addition to the story.  I’m not entirely sure I approve of Scandal Savage being replaced with such an unestablished character in the DCU.  But I’m sure we all know that Scandal is not permanently out of the Six, it’s just a great story telling tool.  So with that in mind, Black Alice could be an outstanding temporary character, which I’m perfectly sure Simone will use effectively and creatively.

As much as I love Nicola Scott, Peter Nguyen completely rocked the house with his stunningly dark and sadistic art style.  The use of color by Mr. Jason Wright was genius; he gave a full range of emotion to every character in every panel.  This is one of the few issues out there in comic book history that I completely understand people purchasing strictly for the art.  However, as good as it was, I will continue to keep my fingers crossed in hope that Nicola Scott will return to this title after Blackest Night: Wonder Woman is done.

Lust can be an interesting topic of discussion.  This issue shows lust over women, revenge, money, and power.    It was twisted and evil…just how I like them.  But it was one of the stronger stories I’ve read this year as well.  I’m very conflicted if this should be a top ten issue for 2009.  What do you think?

8.5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming January 13, 2010
John Ostrander and Gail Simone continue their epic team-up that begins in SUICIDE SQUAD #67! Suicide Squad has taken capture of Deadshot, forcing him to rejoin their ranks. But the Secret Six doesn't see that happening any time soon!

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