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Review: Secret Weapons #4

SW_004_VARIANT_ANWAR“After weeks of training and preparation, the time has come for Livewire and her specially gifted recruits to lure the robotic killer called Rex-O out of hiding! But will this extraordinary new team of heroes rise to the occasion and unlock the power they’ve always harbored inside…or will they find out that they deserved to be left behind? Their lives have led to this moment…”

In what has become arguably the most surprising series I’ve bee reading all summer, the final installment of Secret Weapons has arrived (we will be getting a prequel zero issue later, but as it stands the first story wraps up this issue), and despite the nagging feeling I had after the utter brilliance of Secret Weapons #3 the miniseries ends on a high note.

Eric Heisserer brings a very satisfying close to the story while still leaving just enough open for the story to continue beyond this issue. There isn’t any obnoxious cliffhanger or a nail biting slab of tension left at the end of this issue; there’s just a lovely sense of warmth and excitement for what’s next for these characters.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Secret Weapons #4 sees the Harbinger Foundation rejects, Nikki Finch, Avichal Malakar and Owen Cho, act together in what is their first deliberate outing as a team (last issue’s fight, while awesome, was more about the trio coming together as a team rather than intentionally working together), and there’s a level of intelligence from both the characters and the writer on display here as nothing that occurs seems out of left field.  Everything has been slowly building to the events in this issue, and the pay off is incredibly rewarding.

Equally as rewarding is the art.

I’ve said before that the team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin may not be to everybody’s tastes (it took me awhile to warm up to them the first time I saw their work in Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior last year), but once again they are flawless in Secret Weapons #4There are some utterly wonderful sequences throughout the book that suit their use of an updated yet traditional feeling grid style on the page. One of the many artistic highlights comes during the epilogue portion of the book; it’s a single page, yet the layout and use of the grid and blank spaces is as much of a display of artistic finesse and expert visual story telling as any of the actual artwork within the comic.

Try as I might, I can’t find any fault within these pages; HeissererAllen and Martin have produced one of the best stories to come from Valiant this year – and considering how good Valiant’s output has been this year, that’s high praise indeed.

Story: Eric Heisserer Art: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review, but I will be purchasing this anyway.

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