Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comic Book Review: Secret Six #18

Book Information
Written by Gail Simone & John Ostrander
Art by Jim Calafiore

The Simone/Ostrander writing duo finishes their Blackest Night excursion with this issue.  The Six and the Squad have teamed up, much to their dismay, to escape to deadly clutches of the Black Lantern onslaught.  With little hope of success, Amanda Waller brings in a special surprise with explosive results.

My Thoughts
Writing team-ups are always my least favorite for any title.  I prefer having one writer take on a story as it allows for more focus and concentration on the plot.  Having more than one writer on a story can often cause conflict and confusion in my opinion.  This is the reason why I prefer Neil Gaiman’s solo novels to his collaborative books, there’s more focus on the plot and better writing.  However, Simone and Ostrander seem to have a handle on team writing as this issue is in control of the story and doesn’t go off to far over the deep end.

Amanda Waller takes over as the star of this issue with a few great surprises.  But as Simon and Ostrander have shown multiple times, they are more than capable writers and give some shining moments to our other stars.  The issue starts of as one big fight and progresses with no victory for either villainous team in sight.  Then, as one would expect, the twist in the story reveals itself as the hero dissecting laboratory is shown with Waller at the helm.  I really enjoyed this revelation as it shows the core of this comic and why it is one of the better titles being sold in comic book stores everywhere; The team is filled with bad guy with questionable moral codes, the government teams contain those same aspects, and it’s leaders (such as Amanda Waller) also have questionable motives as well.  No one in this title is completely trustworthy, all are conflicted and have misguided ways, and all have troubled pasts which have led them to be this way.  This title is so dark and twisted that is makes for the best stories, and this issue specifically makes you question the loyalties of each individual.

Calafiore, while still a very talented artist, doesn’t seem to fit well with Simone’s writing on Secret Six.  I have nothing to complain about with his art in and of itself, I think Nicola Scott just set a high benchmark in the way the title has been progressing.  There was something classy about Scott’s artistry that meshed so well with this title.  Calafiore isn’t doing it for me though.  Maybe I’m biased and just want Scott to return, but I honestly feel something is lacking in the Secret Six now with Nicola Scott gone.

I was very happy to see Deadshot put a hole through Amanda Waller’s chest.  She is such a good character and has made so many comic book story arcs what they are, but I still hate her!  I don’t want her to die though, I want her to stick around and create more angst driven stories.  But man!  She needed someone putting her in her place, and Deadshot is the perfect man for the job!

A lot of fun and filled with insults and profanities that makes this book great.  The art brings it down for me, but does detract from the story as much as I imply. 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Comic March 10, 2010
Catman's past crawls back to haunt him as Cheshire returns! Could the secret she's carrying spell the end of the Secret Six?

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