Saturday, June 12, 2010

Comic Book Review: Secret Six #22

Literary and Artistic Credits

Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore
Colored by Jason Wright
Lettered by Travis Lanham
Cover by Daniel Luvisi
Editor: Sean Ryan

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
What a mind fuck!  Seriously, the “Cats in the Cradle” arc has been nothing but perfect.  I can see why Simone’s work on Wonder Women (as of the last three issues) hasn’t particularly been her best work seeing as how much of her effort has been with this story.  This wasn’t a story about the antagonist beating the bad guys or overcoming the odds, this was about a group of people dealing with their inner most conflicts and how they come to terms with them.

The story gives us the finalization of Catman’s past as a young boy growing up with a physically and verbally abusive father whose mind-twisting jargon caused the young Catman to embrace a new way of life, one filled with murder and a stoic, uncaring demeanor.  However, this life changing event doesn’t keep our feline hero from loving those closest to him.  The question raised here is what are you willing to do for loved ones?  What is the best for them?  MacQuarrie brings to light that Catman’s son is very much alive, and adopted by a new family.  Like MacQuarrie said, no one can hurt Catman through his son ever again.  Catman had to make a choice, let his son live a happy life and cause his mother the utmost pain, or go get his son back and wait for the next dubious villain to snatch him away for ransom yet again.  Just like Watchmen, Gail Simone makes you ponder on what you must do when faced with two options, both of which will cause someone a great deal of suffering.  Catman letting go of his son and lying to Cheshire about it could very well be one of the most tragic endings in a comic book I’ve ever read.

The stories stems even further with the Catman’s teammates, mostly dealing with the issue of family.  Black Alice comes to center stage with her amazing bit of oratory, expressing her guilt of theoretically giving her father cancer.  This sense of loss brings Scandal savage closer to the young villain, and even more so with Ragdoll whose defense of Black Alice was an amazing addition to an already depressing story.  (Deadshot really can be an ass huh?  That’s why we like him!) 

I was a bit thrown off by Wallace’s sudden electrifying personality.  It makes sense though in the overall scheme; why were MacQuarrie’s gang of thugs so hard to catch and defeat?  Because they had super powers!  I don’t remember any clues to this fact, but who’s paying attention right?

Calafiore, unsurprisingly, achieves another outstanding artistic finale in #22.  I do miss Nicola Scott, but I’ll take Calafiore any day!  The energy that goes into every panel and character is uniquely his and should be considered as one of THE BEST artists in the industry today.  However, I did find the Stained Glass scene at the end, right before Catman pushes MacQuarrie out of the window, a little hard to look at.  It was very difficult to differentiate the characters bodies from the shadows and colors beaming down on them.  But this could very well have been a purposeful aspect to cause the reader a sense of uneasiness in the moment.  So, no complaints there.

My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
Secret Six is an amazing title and I would recommend it to anyone.  If you are conflicted with paying more money to you’re already long list of monthly titles you pick up, please consider dropping a title or two, this is well worth your money.  There isn’t one issue since this title began that hasn’t been worth the $2.99 price mark and I fully expect anyone whose reads this will come away happy.  Simone doesn’t approach the Six like every other comic book in the industry; it’s new, innovative, and fun.

Writing: 10
Themes: 10
Art: 10
Overall: 10 out of 10
          + 5 incentive points

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