Secret Six #1
By Gail Simone, Ken Lashley and Jason Wright
The Villains United mini-series written by Gail Simone was, hands down, the breakout countdown tie-in to Infinite Crisis. It had a great story that was well written, well drawn and made Catman a great character. Simone has been away from these characters for a while and has decided to revisit some of them again in this weeks Secret Six #1.
This issue starts very fast and Simone throws us into action within the first few pages. If you get a vibe similar to the Suicide Squad, you’re not the only one. This issue has that kind of feel to it, but of course we have different characters. If there is one person Simone loves to write, it is Catman. She has him come off as tough, but he also seems a little less sure of himself as he used to be. Simone introduces us to several new characters that the audience may not be familiar with, but Simone will surely beef them up with character development in the future. For the most part this issue is a bit of a mystery. The reader knows essentially nothing and it was a very quick read. There didn’t seem to be anything spectacular about it, aside from Gail Simone, and we are in the dark on where the story is going. This will probably be an instance where we will have to trust Gail Simone and give her another shot next month.
The art duties are handled by Ken Lashley and Jason Wright adds the colors. Lashley has worked on some good books for the DC Universe, but his style seems to have changed in recent years. Here his work comes off as scratchy and looks like a series of quick sketches. There is a bunch of hatching and cross-hatching that adds some detail to some panels. The main thing this issue suffers from on the art side is consistency. Some Panels Lashley draws look great, like Catman telling a cop he doesn’t like handcuffs. Other panels seem jumbled and are difficult to make out because of odd drawing. On one panel Catman’s face gained ten pounds of fat, no lie. Ken Lashley is a good artist, but this is not his finest issue.
In comics these days it’s hard to get second chances. Secret Six didn’t come off as anything new or special, but Gail Simone alone is a good enough reason to give it a second chance. She’s very talented and turns everything she writes into an entertaining tale. The art struggled this issue but Ken Lashley is a very capable artist. He may be trying out a different style, but he has all the skills to get the art on par with Simone’s writing. Secret Six may not wow you with the first issue, but it is worth a read.