Secret Six #1 (DC Comics)



Rating: 3/5 – A Lack of Consistent Inking Diminishes the Total Package.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

Gail Simone comes back to the Secret Six in an all new ongoing series, this time within the New 52 and with a different cast that includes a Talon from the Batman series as well as a few surprises. And even though Catman is back in this first issue, this is a different Catman from the one we saw in the 2011 series. There are a lot of “secrets” that Simone is introducing to the reader in this first issue and although there’s plenty of mystery waiting to be revealed in future issues, there are also a lot of inconsistencies in the art that gave me some difficulty.

Much like the Simone’s writing of Secret Six in the past, it looks as though Catman will be the major player in this series. As the story opens, Catman is being attacked and is eventually captured and thrown into a cell with the rest of the cast that look to make up this team. It’s within this cell that the secrets start to pile on top of one another. Why was he captured? Who was he captured by? Why is he surrounded by the cast of characters he is? Simone doesn’t reveal much, holding the cards close for now in order to build up the suspense. For the most part it works, but without the added benefit of knowing the characters, I didn’t feel very invested, especially for a new character like Big Shot, who I’m not sure has a pre-New 52 history. These characters lacked chemistry in this first issue, and I think they’ll need time to become more developed.

Unfortunately the art suffers in this issue and really feels inconsistent depending on the inking. Artist Ken Lashley’s pencils are dynamic and for the most part give the book an exciting feel. His pencils are heavy on the amount of lines used giving it a rougher feel which works OK for the tone of the story, but at times that same style can come off looking messy and rushed. Towards the end of the issue inker Drew Geraci takes over the inking giving the artwork a completely different feel, and in my opinion not for the better. The art comes off looking even more rushed, with backgrounds that lack much detail. This lack of cohesion in inking gives the book two completely different feels despite having only one penciller.

Gail Simone has a proven track record, especially for a book like this. Hopefully DC will get a consistent art team on future issues, splitting inkers with different styles in this issue really didn’t work for me.  With Simone’s introduction of an all new cast that will hopefully pay off given time.  I’ll still be back for the remainder of this first arc, despite the lack of cohesion in art in this first issue. I’m hoping to see this new team gel and bring Simone’s skills writing a team book back to the fore.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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