Secret Six #16

Story by
Art by
Mark McKenna, Peter Nguyen, Doug Hazlewood
Colors by
Jason Wright
Letters by
Travis Lanham
Cover by
DC Comics

Gail Simone wastes no time setting up an edge in this issue. Following a pedophile's lead to the bodies of his victims, the authorities find themselves quickly outmatched by Deadshot and Catman -- both out of costume, but not out of character. Of course, being in character for these morally gray characters leads to some situations that aren't for the faint of heart. In other words, Simone delivers a standard issue of "Secret Six." Except this isn't a standard issue at all.

In this issue, Simone brings Black Alice to a crossroads with Catman and his pride. A wonderfully fun character that hasn't fit anywhere else since Simone first introduced her back in "Birds of Prey," Alice seems custom-made for this title. Her power to "borrow" from supernatural beings provides some interesting moments in this issue. Simone uses this to bring readers quickly up to speed on Alice and her doings.

This issue would have been better served through the pencils of Nicola Scott, but Ms. Scott is off penciling the "Blackest Night: Wonder Woman." I'm not bashing Nguyen here. His storytelling is technically sound, but the art is inconsistent, at best, with regards to detail. I'm not sure if this is a direct result of this issue being split between two inkers, but the inconsistency hurts the issue a little bit. Nguyen's best work in this issue seems to be centered on the appearances of female characters, whether it's Alice, Knockout, or Scandal.

The series gets a boost with this issue, by bringing together the comic book equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter in the form of "Secret Six" and Black Alice. The character promises another level of firepower, while Alice finally gets somewhere to appear on a regular basis. I haven't been the most avid follower of "Secret Six," but with Black Alice on board, I'll definitely be checking in a little more often.

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