Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Brad Walker
Publisher: DC Comics
Villains United, the mini-series (written by Simone, art by Dale Eaglesham) DC published last year, was one of my favorite books of the entire year. I was blown away by the in-depth characterization of these villains that, prior to the comic, I had cared nothing about (and in fact, several of whom I had never even heard of). In short, it was how a story from the ďbad guysíĒ perspective should be told.
So I was excited when the news came out about the new mini-series Secret Six. And I wasnít disappointed with issue #1. Simoneís characterization of these villains is great, and done the way writing a villain should be done. As a reader, I found myself often sympathizing with the main characters, despite the fact that they were doing questionable, if not outright wrong, acts. (In my opinion, the ultimate villain in terms of characterization and eliciting sympathy must be Darth Vader, the ultimate example of a writer making you feel that maybe this character isnít really a bad guy under the circumstances. Or, even if you can admit that he is a bad guy, you still like him just as much. If a writer is able to evoke similar sentiments in me about other villains, that is some good writing, and Gail Simone has done it.)
I do, though, miss Parademon from Villains United. His odd and hilarious observations and personality were fantastic, especially the way he and Ragdoll interacted. But I was moved by Ragdollís odd way of mourning his friend, so itís almost like heís here.
Then, of course, thereís Catman and Deadshot. I absolutely loved their portrayals and friendship from Villains. I knew who Deadshot was before the first series, but didnít care about him at all. I considered him, probably like most people, kind of a loser of a villain. Catman I had never heard of at all. Imagine my surprise when, after the six issues of Villains, they were my two favorites, and I couldnít wait to see what happened to them. The first issue of Secret Six didnít showcase them quite enough for me, but Iím believing that there will be more of them in the second issue.
The art was good, but I fondly remembered Dale Eagleshamís art from the first series pretty often. I do prefer his art overall, but a good part of my preference is simply the fondness of relating Eagleshamís art to Villains. I felt almost like he owned those characters.
Secret Six #1 was a great initial lead-in to the series, giving us enough of the characters we loved to be partially satiated, but still wanting more at the end. Iím excited to see who will round out their numbers to make them six.
It wasnít a perfect issue, and it wasnít quite as good as just about any of the Villains United issues, but I have a feeling thatís all about to change.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!