By Koppy McFad
December 20, 2008 - 00:12
This book is amusing and exciting. It just isn't as amusing and exciting as it wants to be. The characters all use clever, colourful quips and expressions while waging some emotional struggle, both within themselves and within the group. A mysterious new character is introduced and the evil Junior further demonstrates how vicious and desperate he really is.
Dozens of supervillains make abrupt appearances for a good, messy punch-up near the end and then there is a cliffhanger that comes out of nowhere and leaves our protagonists in a truly precarious situation. In short, there is everything required for a rousing good adventure yarn.
But there are so many asides, so many interludes with the characters spouting cutting dialogue, that it slows down the story, diluting the impact of the big scenes. Some of the characters, who used to be fascinating, are starting to become irritating with their unnecessary chatter. Ragdoll is a clear example of this. Not surprisingly, Bane comes off very well in this story precisely because he says so little-- even while getting stabbed in the arm. The rare moments when he speaks carries more weight than a thousand words from other characters.
One example of an unnecessary scene is the one where Junior menaces a priest in a church. It does reveal the depravity of the character and even has a rather sympathetic portrayal of a clergyman (something rare in today's comics) but it still derails the story and gives the impression that this tale is being padded out to fill the all-important trade paperback.
Even the cover is clearly intended to be humourous rather than highlighting the danger that the team is facing. That is like two comedy covers in a row!
The art has a clean freshness to it that is rather odd, considering that this is a book about dirty deeds by dangerous men. It is a good show but not exactly a fitting one. Perhaps this art team would be more suitable for a conventional superhero book so that a 'darker' art team could really bring out the menace of the Secret Six.
On a side note, why is King Shark being taken out so easily? Isn't he suppose to be a big-deal character who even Superboy couldn't beat?
Rating: 7 /10