Tag Archives: secret six

Graphic Re-Reading Secret Six: 1st Rate Comics about Last Rate Supervillains

“The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead of the DCU”– John Arminio.

Secret_Six_Vol_3_36

Secret Six is easily one of the 5 best cape comics of the 21st century. Staring a diverse team of D-List supervillians, the series was created by Gail Simone working with artists including Nicola Scott, Jim Calafiore, and Brad Walker.

The true heir to the legendary 1980s’ Suicide Squad, this comic lovingly depicts mercenaries fucking up their contracts, backstabbing each other, then coming back together to tell the world to go to hell.

I’m joined by comics retailer and critic John Arminio for a deep dive into this brilliantly dark, funny and groundbreaking early 00s series.

Discussed:

  • Why D-List characters are so much fun
  • Scandal Savage Is Living the Lesbian Dream
  • Cigarettes, pools of blood and butts of all genders
  • Godbless you Nicola Scott for making Catman a sex symbol
  • Is this Bane?
  • Yes, you should watch Doom Patrol (we covered the 1st two Doom Patrol episodes here )

Also we are now on Spotify! So check us out http://bit.ly/GraphicPolicySpotify

Graphic Re-Reading Secret Six: 1st Rate Comics about Last Rate Supervillains

“The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead of the DCU”– John Arminio.

Secret_Six_Vol_3_36Secret Six is easily one of the 5 best cape comics of the 21st century. Staring a diverse team of D-List supervillians, the series was created by Gail Simone working with artists including Nicola Scott, Jim Calafiore and Brad Walker. The true heir to the legendary 1980s’ Suicide Squad, this comic lovingly depicts mercenaries fucking up their contracts, backstabbing each other, then coming back together to tell the world to go to hell.

I’m joined by comics retailer and critic John Arminio for a deep dive into this brilliantly dark, funny and groundbreaking early 00s series.

Discussed:

  • Why D-List characters are so much fun
  • Scandal Savage Is Living the Lesbian Dream
  • Cigarettes, pools of blood and butts of all genders
  • Godbless you Nicola Scott for making Catman a sex symbol
  • Is this Bane?
  • Yes, you should watch Doom Patrol (we covered the 1st two Doom Patrol episodes here )

Also we are now on Spotify! So check us out http://bit.ly/GraphicPolicySpotify

Batman and Superman are Together Again in Batman/Superman Leading to a New “Secret Six”

David Marquez and Joshua Williamson are teaming up to bring Batman and Superman together in the newest volume of Batman/Superman from DC Comics. This is Marquez’s DC debut where he is now exclusive.

The Batman Who Laughs is still terrorizing the DC Universe (his own miniseries is being extended to seven issues from six to lead into this new series) and will be the threat at the center of it all.

Since his debut in Dark Nights: Metal, The Batman Who Laughs has been working on a massive plan that involves sleeper agent heroes he’s infected and slowly turned into evil versions of themselves. Six is key, as in “Secret Six,” the classic team and comic series. Who are they? We’ll find out in the series!

This new series is important as it’ll impact the DC superhero continuity and community over the next year of storytelling.

Find out more about the new Batman/Superman series by Williamson and Marquez in DC’s Year of the Villain #1, on shelves this Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Batman/Superman debuts August 14, 2019.

Batman/Superman

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d you get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Kotaku – Jesse Jackson’s 1988 Presidential Campaign Lives On In South Korea – Well ok then.

CBR – DC’s Secret Six in the Works as TV Series at CBS – That’s an interesting station for the series…

Newsarama – Top Cow and Skybound’s The Darkness, Nailbiter, Think Tank, Thief of Thieves in Development for TV – Is anything not being developed at this point?

Publisher’s Weekly – A Record 250,000 Fans Mob New York Comic Con 2018 – That’s a lot of people.

The Beat – The Winners and Losers of New York Comic Con 2018 – Agree? Disagree?

The Comichron – Heroes in Crisis leads first reorder chart for October – Remember, no one wants to read events. That’s why they top the charts.

 

Reviews

The Beat – Bastard

Newsarama – Murder Falcon #1

Comics Bulletin – Sparrowhawk #1

Batman Miniature Game “The Flash & Arrow” Gets Teams like Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and Teen Titans

Knight Models has been teasing out more information about the next expansion to their Batman Miniature GameThe Flash and Arrow.”

While we don’t know what the new rules will be, Knight Models has said the game will feature new rules for configuring your band “The Teams.”

There’ll be special rules that’ll allow you to play as the Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and Teen Titans.

In the photo below, it looks like we’re getting a new Deadshot miniature too.

So what would you like to see as far as rules for teams? What team members would you like to see?

Batman Miniature Game The Flash vs Arrow Suicide Squad Birds of Prey

Comics Herstory: Gail Simone

wonder_woman_circleGail Simone got her controversial start in comics by publishing a list of fictional women in comics who had been “fridged”–killed, depowered, or raped with no real consequence to the story but furthering the plot of their male counterparts. The site, Women in Refrigerators, is still live, though it isn’t regularly updated. From Women in Refrigerators, Simone went on to write You’ll All Be Sorry!, a weekly column for Comic Book Resources.

After writing a series of Simpsons comics, Simone entered the mainstream with a revamp of Deadpool. From Deadpool, she moved on to Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, and Secret Six, among others. After Batgirl relaunched as part of the New 52, Simone took over writing duties. She also began writing Red Sonja in 2013 for Dynamite Entertainment.

With Birds of Prey, Simone wrote a dynamic team, establishing a trust-based friendship between Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance. Though female characters are slowly becoming more prominent, the inclusion of such a healthy relationship between these two characters was a positive addition to DC canon. After leaving Birds of Prey, Simone began an iconic run on Wonder Woman.

Her writing on Wonder Woman was some of the best the character had seen in years, and gave Diana a retconned history that made more sense for the character. Simone struck an ideal balance between Diana as a warrior and a sympathetic character. She wasn’t the first woman to write Wonder Woman, but Simone still holds the title of woman with the longest run on Wonder Woman.

She writes women as the complex characters that they are, treating them with respect and breaking ground in terms of representation

Simone’s run on Batgirl was also an important one, giving comics its first contemporary transgender character with Alysia Yeoh. She was the most recent writer before the current team of Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr. Simone currently writes Clean Room for Vertigo. Her massive body of work is largely connected by one thing: her handling of female characters. She writes women as the complex characters that they are, treating them with respect and breaking ground in terms of representation. A polarizing figure, she has been an important contributor to the conversation about women in comics.

Review: Secret Six #8

Secret Six #8The Secret Six continue to try to save Black Alice from being possessed. Will they be able to save the world in the process? Do they even care about saving the world? No, they don’t care. They don’t care at all.

The first thing to note is, this is not a good jumping on point for anyone looking to start the series (that would be last month’s issue #7 which, you can see a beautifully written review of here). This issue wastes no time on backstory. Instead, it focuses on ramping up the action and the stakes of saving Black Alice from the elder gods using her powers. The issue has a lot of great moments throughout. The battle between Catman and Aquaman is just funny. Aquaman tries to use logic against Catman but, as with anything involving the Secret Six, logic only makes things more complicated. There is also a nice scene of Etrigan playing mini golf. The world of Secret Six is so absurd that this in no way seems out-of-place. Sometimes heroes and demons just need to relax and have some fun like the rest of us. Him in a one piece swimsuit is also an absurd delight. Moments like these are really the strength of the issue. Sure, the world is about to end but, the story always finds time to poke fun at not only the superhero genre but, the world itself.

It is not all perfect though. The story of who the elder gods are, and how the white gates have held them back, aren’t explained very clearly. It’s a kind of confusing premise. Especially, when two separate characters are describing the white gates in two different ways.

The artwork in this book is very impressive. Where the story is taking place, changes the way panels are laid out and the border surrounding them. Underwater, panels are waved and more fluid in their layout. Above ground, they are cleaner and more classic in design. These layout choices help add a more immersive feel to environments. There is really no point where the art falters. Characters look good throughout, especially Black Alice’s powers when they are in use and her appearance is constantly shifting. Artists Dale Eaglesham and Tom Denerick have a strong handle on physical humor as well, adding to the hilarity of each scene.

Overall, Secret Six #8 is a fun, action packed story which, is building steadily to an outrageous ending. In a tale involving this group of people, it is hard to predict how anything of this is going to end. And, that makes each story an exiting prospect worth reading.

Story: Gail Simone Artist: Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenik
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Secret Six #7

SecretSix7All of the magic in the DC universe is being drained. The white gates are on the edge of falling and releasing monsters who have lived before the concept of good and evil. All signs point to Black Alice as the reason why and every magical hero and villain, is now out to steal her from the Secret Six.

The premise of the story is fairly simple. Black Alice is taking all of the world’s magic in what’s deemed her “magical puberty” and, now, she needs to be stopped before the Earth is taken over. This simple premise though, allows for a multitude of different character from all parts of the DC universe to interact and, the results are at most hilarious and, at worst very entertaining. Etigan’s poems are a particular highlight, considering the Secret Six react to his arrival in the most inappropriate way possible. The same inappropriate way they react to everything. Their ability to never react to a situation properly, leads to great character moments early on in the narrative when Catman, Thomas Blake, attempts to teach Strix from the Court of Owls, the game of basketball. Needless to say, it does not go well. Later, he takes the entire team out to play putt-putt and, it again, becomes a horrible mess. Both of these scenes, are extremely funny and contribute a lot to the character development of the team. The other important events of the tale are Ralph Dibny and his interactions around, a still bed ridden, Black Alice after the events of issue #6. These scenes are more heartfelt and genuine, and show that below the rough and insane exterior of the Secret Six, there is a deeper emotional layer that Gail Simone is slowly peeling away.

The artwork in this comic is very solid throughout. There is an issue of many panels being laid out poorly and angled without the purpose of adding to the story. This leaves a lot of unnecessary white space on some pages. Although, not all of the lay outs are poor. The five vertical panel Etrigan page is particularly well done and a real highlight of artwork enhancing a story. Inside the panels, the character are well designed and the actions scenes, particularly Ralph Dibny’s, are fast paced and chaotic.

Overall, Secret Six builds on the momentum of issues #5 and #6. The characters are truly coming into their own and each is beginning to feel completely natural and fluid in the wild world that the Secret Six inhabits. The story may not be groundbreaking but, anyone looking for a fun comic, does not need to look any further than Secret Six #7.

Story: Gail Simone Art: Tom Derenick, Dale Eaglesham
Story 8: Art: 7 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Captain_America_White_1_CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

The Paypacks #1 (Dark Horse) – A hilarious new entry into the superhero genre. How do heroes get all of those wonderful tools? They need to get them from somewhere right? What happens when they fall behind in payments for them? This is the group tasked with getting those items back. And holy shit is it amazing.

D4ve2 #1 (IDW Publishing) – The second volume to the amazing digital series. It’s a year after the events of the first volume, and another ship shows up. The first volume was fantastic, I’d expect the second to be the same.

Jem and the Holograms #7 (IDW Publishing) – Jerrica and her sisters face their biggest threat yet—success! This sounds really interesting, and helps I love the series in general, which helps.

Prez #4 (DC Comics) – DC Comics’ series about a teenage girl elected President is winding up to be rather prophetic. I now want to read about this future election/political series, to see what’s going to happen in the real world.

Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #3 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Raven has part of their crew, now she just needs the rest. This series has more to say in just a few of its panels than most do their entire run. An entertaining comic series that has something to say too.

 

Elana

Constantine the Hellblazer #4 (DC Comics) – Johncon is about to go on a “magical bender” through London. This is going to hurt so good. His particular brand of self obsession mixed with self loathing may not make for a good friend in real life but he is a lot of fun to spend time with on the page. Easily one of DC comic’s best books.

The Fade Out #9 (Image Comics) – Something huge is about to happen in my favorite LA noir series. Gil, the blacklisted screenwriter is about to blow up a Hollywood cover-up centered around a powerful man who sexually assaults women. At least, that’s what I THINK is about to happen. This story is a mystery after all and so far nothing has been as simple as all that.

Island #3 (Image Comics) – The art is out of this world— the first story in this issue is absolutely museum worthy art. I think if you skim this issue you’ll know if it’s right for you. A range of kinds of stories and different kinds of art and nothing in here feels cliched. Some of it can be challenging to process and that’s the point. This new comics magazine pushes at all the boundaries in the medium.

Lumberjanes #18 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – New creative team and a new story arc start for our favorite girls at the badass feminist summer camp of your dreams. The original team won an Eisner. Let’s see what this new crew can do.

No Mercy TP Vol. 1 (Image Comics) – Take a bus load of college bound kids getting ready to go on one of those “building schools and posing for photos with brown people” trips to Central America. And then push the bus off a cliff. There is nothing else like No Mercy. It is brutal and human and completely unpredictable. It’s totally outside the conventions of standard comics between its unique, sensitive art, diverse cast and unclear genre alignment. A good choice for comics unbelievers too.

Rat Queens #12 (Image Comics) – The D&D adventuring party you wished you rolled with. Great art. Feminist fun.

 

Kenny

Top Pick: Usagi Yojimbo #148 (Dark Horse)I have been a longtime fan of the wandering ronin Myamoto Usagi and, whether he is in the midst of a multi-arc epic or a single issue, Stan Sakai always delivers a masterpiece.

Bizarro #4 (DC Comics) There are a lot of serious comics out in the world right now and sometimes you have to break that up with a little fun. And that is exactly what Bizarro is. Simply put, this comic puts a smile on my face and that is more than enough reason to check it out.

Captain America: White #1 (Marvel Comics)My picks are very heavily creator influenced this week and this selection is no different. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have been a favorite tandem of mine for a while and seeing the two back at it is all the motivation I need to be excited for this comic.

Secret Six #6 (DC Comics)The first iteration of the Secret Six is probably my favorite comic series ever. Yes, I said it. And, while the initially relaunch started slowly, it seems Gail Simone and our favorite gang of psychos is finally getting back to the beautiful brand of lunacy that I love them for.

 

Mr. H

Captain America: White #1 (Marvel Comics) – The amazing team of Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb back again! I have not been disappointed by them in any previous endeavor thus far and no reason to believe it to happen here. Things are sure to be excelsior True Readers!

Review: Secret Six #5

Secret Six #5 CoverAfter the initial attack on Big Shot’s home (and the shocking revelation of one member’s true identity), the team’s suburban retreat has been exposed. As the team starts to fracture, this highly dysfunctional band of outcasts prepares for the next strike from Mockingbird!

Wives!? It seems this issue revolves around wives, as they seem to be the driving motivation by a couple of characters. Writer Gail Simone lays a lot on the table with this issue, but also keeps the humor going with subtle (and some not so subtle) jokes.

There are lots of revelations, like the identity of Big Shot (we don’t spoil things here!), what brought these folks together, and why the Riddler is so pissed. Then there’s some interesting questions raised too, like why is Black Alice referencing Swamp Thing and dressed like Hawk? Maybe I missed something?

Dale Eaglesham‘s art style fits the more lighthearted vibe I get from this volume. There’s a lot more jokes and just a positive feel about it all, and that might be due to the brighter colors and setting in the suburbs. It’ll be interesting to see how Eaglesham’s style fits when things get a bit darker, and if it still holds strong.

The issue felt like an Agatha Christie revelation mixed with The Usual Suspects. While it doesn’t quite stand on its own, as part of the story arc, it’s fantastic. A much needed issue that seamlessly fits into the overall story not breaking its stride. Its taken a few issues to get there, but Simone’s latest Secret Six run is starting to remind me a lot of her modern classic run, and that’s a very good thing.

Story: Gail Simone Art: Dale Eaglesham
Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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