SECRET SIX #5 [Review]

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SECRET SIX #5/ Written by GAIL SIMONE / Art by DALE EAGLESHAM & TOM DERENICK / Colors by JASON WRIGHT / Letters by TRAVIS LANHAM/ Variant cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO/ Published by DC COMICS

Thomas Blake. AKA Catman. A soldier of fortune who prefers cats to other animals and other animals to most people.

Lori Zechlin. AKA Black Alice. An innocent goth grrrrl possessed by dark magics she can’t understand or control.

Damon Wells. AKA Big Shot. A private eye of the old-school, with a broken heart of gold and a secret he’ll do anything to protect.

Mary Turner. AKA Strix. Former assassin. Former Bird of Prey. Loves lawn gnomes.

Kani. AKA Porcelain. A gender-fluid thief whose unique powers can break a lot more than hearts.

Shauna Belzer. AKA The Ventriloquist. Would be starlet. Would be socialite. Talks to her doll and he talks back. And walks around on his own.

Six lost souls without pasts or futures. Six prisoners escaped from the deadly dungeon of the figure known only as Mockingbird. Six fugitives hiding in suburbia, with only themselves to rely on… at least until Catman spies a certain picture in Big Shot’s bedroom. And Catman recognizes the woman Black Alice identifies as Big Shot’s dearly departed wife as the woman who lured him into Mockingbird’s clutches!

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Who is Mockingbird? What connection does Big Shot’s wife have to them? Is she truly dead? And how were The Secret Six connected long before they awoke in Mockingbird’s deathtrap?

Questions will be answered. Secrets will be revealed. And trusts will be betrayed before the next day dawns.

Every big mystery that Secret Six has contained thus far is solved within this issue.  Yet I will not spoil a single secret in this review, though the vast majority of this issue is devoted toward a lengthy flashback that explains it all.

No doubt some of you feel cheated by this. But this critic thinks it would be cheating you far more to deny you the pleasure of reading this issue – and the issues that preceded it – for yourself. Many hints were laid as to the secrets of Mockingbird’s identity as well as Big Shot’s past and it doesn’t stretch the imagination to think that some of you enjoy playing detective as much as this critic does.

You will find no better comic series to invest your time and money in than Secret Six. That is not an opinion but solid fact.

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Gail Simone’s script for this issue is the perfect balance of action, drama and comedy. Though much of the book is concerned with exposition, one does not feel as if they are being lectured. Rather it is like the reveal of a grand magician, flourishing the cape as they conjure their disappeared assistant back into existence!

Many fine artists have worked on Secret Six since its revival last year. But for my money none of them are quite so fine as Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick. Eaglesham was the cover-artist for many of Simone’s previous works and it is gratifying – given his similarly twisted humor – to see him finally getting a chance to work on the interiors as well. Derenick’s recent work on Injustice: Gods Among Us has been equally noteworthy and his style blends seamlessly with Eaglesham’s, so there is no loss of visual continuity as the issue progresses.  The coloring and lettering by Jason Wright and Travis Lanham respectively are equally worthy of praise.

Actually, I do have a confession to make in this last paragraph, dear readers. I may have given a few secrets away with this review. A man of letters such as myself can be very cunning in hiding things between the lines. But while I may have my sport with you readers, you can be assured of one thing – you will all enjoy Secret Six as much as I do.

Rating 5

About Matt Morrison

Matt has been writing about comics on-line since before the word "blogging" was coined. When he's not busy being the World's Finest Teen Librarian, he enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. He also writes for NoFlyingNoTights.com and MyGeekyGeekyWays.com. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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