Gail Simone continues to raise the plateau ever higher if for no other reason than to have a new top to take her stories over. A battle between warring squads of malcontents wasn't over the top enough. It had to be fueled by back-stabbing and double-crossing and then seasoned with dinosaurs. Hell, Simone even puts Bane and his team on dinosaurs!
The crazy thing is that whatever Simone drops into this book works. The main story has Catman and his crew pitted against Bane and his new Six, but right behind that is the story of Amanda Waller playing a political chess match against Katarina Armstrong (Spy-Smasher). This issue is an enticing cross-section of worlds Simone has built, modified, and streamlined, including Giganta, Dwarfstar, and Spy-Smasher.
Calafiore delivers detail, action, and emotion. Some of his figures are a little too similar, but Simone's story is filled with enough oddities that they help distinguish themselves when Calafoire's art doesn't quite deliver. Calafiore's skill as an artist is put to the test in this issue as he is asked to draw everything from Catman biting Dwarfstar's ear - through his mask! - to Ragdoll plucking out King Shark's eye, to armor plated dinosaurs riding into battle.
It all sounds absurd, mostly because it is, but Simone blends it all together into an exciting, unpredictable, and at times, confusing story. Quite confidently, I can say that there is no other comic like this on the stands today. For the most part, I'm not certain what a comic "like this" would be as this comic defies all genre-labeling.
I'm sure a comic reader or two picked this book up based solely on the cover image: Bane, reining in a Tyrannosaurus Rex as though it were a common steed. It is an impressive image to say the least, and an image that speaks to the creative, impossible greatness that comic books are able to offer. The image is true to the tale beneath, but it doesn't telegraph the entirety of the story within. This is a book that can only be experienced, as it defies description. Trust me on this one; give "Secret Six" a shot. You'll see for yourself this book is unlike anything else you've read in a long time.