Despite bearing a Deadshot-centered cover and a “Face of Evil” logo, this issue of “Secret Six” isn’t really affected by DC’s month-long event — mostly because this book already stars a group of villains. In some ways, adding a “Faces of Evil” tag to a book about a group of villains seems kind of silly, if not redundant.
Although, I kind of wish the cover sported the antagonist of this issue, Junior, a hooded psycho who throws bricks and leans on a crutch while repeatedly yelling about how many bricks remain in his pile of bricks. Now, there’s a villain that the kids will love! He actually spends most of the issue throwing his bricks at a chained-up Bane, demanding that Bane sell out his teammates in the Secret Six. When Bane refuses, Junior hurls brick after brick, while his henchmen, Tig and Aaron, show up the scar from when they were separated as conjoined twins and openly root for Bane.
While Bane is loyal to his teammates, they don’t hesitate in giving up on him as they deal with the effects of poison in Las Vegas. Deadshot narrates these scenes and, while we get some insight into him, it’s all very generic. He’s a bad guy, he’s been injured in every way possible, and he’s a bit crude. I wish I could remember something that sets him apart, but those qualities are all that spring to mind.
However, Gail Simone relies more on snappy dialogue to breeze through these scenes with Deadshot’s narration only popping up sporadically after the first page or two. This works much better as the Secret Six decide how to proceed and deal with a few problems that come up. While the best scenes involve the oddball Junior and his twin goons, the Vegas events work quite well, too.
Nicola Scott’s art is very polished in some spots, but doesn’t look quite as good in others. The Bane scenes, in particular, fail to impress with Bane supposedly seriously injured by Junior’s bricks, but doesn’t look that different from the beginning of the issue. Her art looks best in close-up panels where she can really focus on a specific character and accentuate small details. Her facial expressions are spot-on in many places, especially a few of Deadshot’s looks of odd bemusement.
The last-page revelation of Junior’s true identity is a bit of a surprise and sure to make issue six a lot more strange. Junior seemed quite the oddball before, but Simone manages to up the weird factor in a both chilling and funny way.
This villain-centric team book is a unique one and Simone more than rises to the challenge to set it apart from regular team books. I mean, how often do the members of a team decide to abandon a teammate to a villain with the justification that he’s only been a member “For what, an hour and a half?” Good stuff.
(A hooded villain obsessed with bricks who uses a crutch? Check out that oddball in CBR’s preview!)