Thursday, December 2, 2010

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Secret Six #28

GOOD THING: As I predicted three issues ago, Giganta wound up avenging the death of her boyfriend The Atom a.k.a. Ryan Choi, who was killed by Deathstroke, who was hired by Dwarfstar.

Choi's death was a phenomenally stupid one and a text-book example of "fridging", serving no purpose other than to make Deathstroke's new team of evil Titans look bad ass. Not only did it fail to do that but it did nothing only to give more ammunition to those fans who accuse DC Editorial of "white-washing" their character line-up by eliminating minority successors to retired/inactive/dead white superheroes.

Whatever your feelings about these accusations, it cannot be denied that the relationship between a shrinking hero and an enlarging villain was a unique concept that was played with beautifully. That drama is forever lost to us now. So it seems only fitting that Giganta should be the one to see Choi avenged and that it should happen under the pen of the writer who did so much to make Ryan a unique and beloved character.

BAD THING: There are a lot of great moments in this book. But in the end, that is all they are. Moments. There's very little plot holding things together and in the end it seems like there was little reason for this story-line other than to put everyone in their skivies (I think all Scandal did to dress for Skartaris was take her pants off) or sexy Conan gear and fight with dinosaurs with an issue or two.

What's wrong with that? Well, nothing really... except that the setting and the set-up here deserves so much more than we get and the whole thing feels rushed. Like what was meant to be a six issue-story was crammed into four issues worth of space or a cross-over with the Warlord comic was plotted out but aborted after that series was recently canceled.

The cast on loan from Warlord suffers the most, with what should be a really big deal (Machiste freeing the evil wizard Deimos to fight the super-villains invading his kingdom) being but one more annoyance for our protagonists to cope with and snark about on top of the dinosaur attacks, wild magic and rampaging barbarian hordes.

And that's just in the first HALF of the book. After that, there's still Amanda Waller to deal with and the revelation that she's only going to keep half the group of villains on retainer. Plus the subplot regarding Black Alice and her sick father. And Deadshot's vendetta against Lady Vic. And Bane's relationship with Scandal and her father issues. And Catman's grudge with... well, everything. And Deadshot's romance with Jeanette The Banshee. And Ragdoll maybe developing feelings for Black Alice. And... well, there's no resolution at all regarding Skartaris except "screw you all, we're going home."

The Final Verdict: A lot of random character moments and funny bits, which are far less than the sum of their parts. There's a lot of good here and a great ending (especially for fans of the Ryan Choi Atom) - don't get me wrong. But the whole thing feels rushed and incomplete somehow, like we were meant to get more issues of this story.


  1. My thought was that this arc was originally conceived as a Warlord/Secret Six crossover, as there's a fair number of things that feels like it picked up from where Warlord was headed at the time it was cancelled.
    Without the Warlord crossover issues, though, we're missing things like how the heck Bane healed so fast. It feels like there were certain things that would have been covered in the missing Warlord issues that got rushed through Secret Six.

  2. There was that man with the magic healing touch in Issue #27 - same one Black Alice takes to her dad in this issue. THAT is how Bane healed so fast.