Literary & Artistic Credits
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Jim Calafiore
Colorist: Jason Wright
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Art: Daniel Luvisi
Editor: Sean Ryan
My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
“How was I supposed to know Skartaris was an imaginary world back in DC’s heyday?” a friend asked me when commenting how much he disliked this crazy land Simone decided to use in her incredibly well written arc. He was worried that, after writing HIS review for #28, the lack of respect for Mike Grell (his words, not mine) would burrow a hole through his brain and never allow him to write again. No hole was made, but the world of Grell and the amazing integration of the Secret Six by Simone has definitely left a lasting impression.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know Skartaris was a pre-created world until I saw Simone’s grateful shout-out to Mike Grell on the second page. Now, after having done some research into the world of Skartaris, I have an even greater appreciation for this arc, Simone’s writing, and the classic age of the DC Universe.
Unlike the very negative and elitist review by Mr. Chris Delloiacono, I felt this arc, and this issue specifically, was a fantastic tribute to a forgotten part of DC’s history. I for one would love to see an on-going series where Skartaris is brought back, and it’s Warlord is given a chance to shine once again. (Please Gail, be the writer for this series…should it ever happen.) Simone’s sense of revisionist history is very respectful towards the creator and creative in how she takes Mike Grell’s creation and makes it her own.
I was equally impressed with the Simone’s choice of wrap-up, centering around Black Alice and her childhood. Initially this seemed a little out of place, but as the story progressed, the purpose behind it made much more sense; Calling on the fact that Black Alice is still very much a young lady still discovering who she is and dealing with life as she grows up. The idea that she was unable to use her powers, not because of where she was, but because of her own uncertainty within herself was a fantastic way to bring Alice back to her old self while giving her a characteristic of humanity. This was a much needed character development for
so she doesn’t feel like some punk kid with super powers. Although, I’m not entirely sure I agree with Simone making the claim that the last time Black Alice was happy was back when her dad was alive, being very gitty when around Ragdoll. Alice
Simone certainly loves her monsters and the big super-natural brawls; it seems like she has to get a monster story put into one of her titles at least once every year. And every time she does, the art sores above expectations. Just like with Wonder Woman #33, the monsters fighting humans was a battle drawn to perfection; giving the dragon-lizard a terrifying look while never parting from the established confidence within the six.
Just like with last months issue, Simone seeps into the story the idea that violence and sex go hand in hand. Aside from the fact that everyone was half naked during the battle sequences, each character gives off a sexual aura that both utilizes testosterone and their perfect bodies as well. Even Ragdoll surprises us with his rippling pectorals. But the after math within the epilogue shows that sex is one of the most effective methods of persuasion in the history of rhetoric. The Reptile Brain arc was an adventure within the appeal of sex and violence that all other like stories could take lessons from.
My Majestically Climactic Conclusion
I know I’m an all-things-Gail-Simone one man praise team, but I honestly can’t see how anyone is unable to favor Simone’s story telling over the other writers. She is such an intelligent and clever writer who hasn’t written a bad issue of the Secret Six since she started this series. Out of all the comics I read, Simone’s material always gets me in the sweet spot, leaving me wanting more.
Rating: 10 out of 10
+ 2 Incentive Points