Review: Secret Weapons #3

SW_003_COVER-A_ALLEN“Class is in session, and Amanda McKee – the machine-wielding hero codenamed Livewire – is here to show her unconventional class of recruits what it really takes to master power. And lesson number-one is…teamwork! But as these once-abandoned psiot castaways put their pain behind them to become a fully functioning unit, an even deadlier set of challenges will soon rise to meet them…”

If you haven’t read the first two issues in this four issue miniseries, and you’re thinking of starting here, don’t. I mean, you could, but why bother? Eric Heisserer has written such a compelling story that it would be a shame to start here.

Secret Weapons feels like an updated version of the X-Men, a comic that truly focuses on the trials and tribulations of a group of young misfits with some almost useless powers, only they’re not called mutants here, but psiots; one can talk to birds, one can conjure things (with no control over what he conjures) and one can turn into pure marble. Only he can’t move when he does so. The series thus far has gone from strength to strength as we’ve been introduced to the misfit central characters, had a cameo or two from the wider Valiant universe (which you don’t need to  be familiar with to enjoy the series), as well as slowly introducing the villain proper last issue.
SW_003_005This issue sees Avichal Malakar, the statue powered psiot, trying to live his life way from the others only to face hostility from the public – not because as a Sikh he wears a turban, but because he’s a psiot. Without giving too much regarding the content of the comic away, things turn from bad to worse for Avi in a reflection of some of the recent real world issues without ever slapping you in the face with the comparison. Heisserer is a newcomer to comics, but you wouldn’t think it reading this issue – it is quite simply one of the best issues I’ve read all year, and incredibly relevant.

The art, by Raul Allen with Patricia Martin (who also letters the comic), is visually arresting. Allen’s use of the grid shows a level of visual story telling that perfectly complements the writing. I am a huge fan of Allen and Martin’s work, even though I was only introduced to their art with Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior (I say “they” because I’m not quite sure where one’s contribution ends and the other begins with the art. Ultimately, when it looks this good, I’m not as worried as I should be), and to get to see them firing on all cylinders with this issue is a complete treat.

I honestly thought that the best comic I’d read all week would be Divinity #0. I am happy to say that I was wrong in thinking that. Heisserer, Allen and Martin are one issue away from giving us a multi layered story that will stand among the best of the year.

This is where I add a cliched “if you’re not reading this…” statement where I try and push you into reading Valiant comics. But honestly? You don’t need to be familiar with Valiant to appreciate just how good this is. Don’t ignore this series – it’s absolutely fantastic.

Story: Eric Heissera Art: Raul Allen with Patricia Martin
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommedation: Buy

Although Valiant provided a FREE copy to review, I read the issue I picked up from my LCS.