Friday, August 6, 2010

Comic Book Review: Secret Six #24

Book Information
Written by Gail Simone
Penciled by J. Calafiore
Colors by Jason Wright
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover by Daniel Luvisi

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
Boy was I thrown for a loop! Secret Six #24 went to an entirely different place than what I’ve typically seen in the title ever since issue #1. I couldn’t decide if this was some type of alternate reality, a dream state, or if Simone decided to simple change things up a bit just because she can. Whatever the case, the ending led me to believe that this isn’t the end for the new reality of the Six.

This issue takes us back to time in an old western town where Scandal is a bitch of a sheriff, Deadshot is a no good bounty hunter, Bane a deputy, Ragdoll a simple minded puppeteer, Catman a beaten and wandering stranger, and Jeanette a prostitute. All seem to know each other but have completely separate lives apart from bane working as Scandal’s deputy. But with the news of Ragdoll’s evil sister coming to town, the Six must work together as a team and bring down Alexandra and her band of gun slinging hoodlums.

This entire issue, all the way up to the very end, kept me wondering when and if all of this is going to make sense. There’s no way that THIS is where the series is going to pick up after last month right? Page turn after page turn I continually became baffled at the strangeness of it all, always thinking that something was going to make sense real soon; could it be an alternate universe, a dream, I don’t know! But as I hit that last page, I realized there could be a bigger picture to this whole deviation from the team’s normal state of life.

Simone, as always, writes an incredible story that keep your attention at the edge and your mind swimming with questions. There is so much mystery and unanswered questions in this book, yet she leaves enough hints in the story that allude to the fact that this strange new world and adventure won’t end here. The conversation that Catman and Alexandra have right before he died makes me think Catman did something to alter history, or Alexandra has forcefully brought the team back in time. My only question is, why does the team not remember who they were with exception to Catman who was hoping for a more “heroic” period in his life. Simone’s way of giving a traditional story a new twist goes unmatched. And with no explanation of what is going on and why the Six is set in the old west, she proves that she is THE BEST comic writer in the business.

Califore’s brutally bloody artwork is equally great, giving us moments where each character seems strangely unfamiliar and excitingly recognizable. Jeanette’s opening scene where she greets Deadshot was strange to me with her innocent and “girlish” smile radiating all over her face. It wasn’t until the trouble began when she looked like her old self; confident, mature, and sexy as hell. This visual trend stayed fairly consistent with each character except for Scandal and bane, whose relationship and personal demeanor was as it always had been.

I was a little confused at the beginning with Ragdoll’s puppet show; it seems some confusion occurred in the finalization process where dialogue between the two puppets (otherwise known as Ragdoll talking to himself) became switched up between characters. It was only a problem in the first three panels of the first page, but it was rather vexing for a few minutes. Likewise, I felt the transition between a few of the panels were too abrupt and out of place. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t figure out what was going on, but I had to do a double take in making sure I understood what had transpired.

My Awesomely Climactic Conclusion
With only a few minor distractions, this issue left me in a state of inquisitive satisfaction. Simone gave us a new twist while making us wonder if there is more to this story than meets the eye. My excitement for next month’s installment is beyond description!

Writing: 10
Themes: 10
Art: 9.8
Overall: 9.93 out of 10

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