SECRET SIX Vol 1 FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES

SECRET SIX Vol 1 FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES
DC Comics

This most recent incarnation of the Secret Six once gain has Gail Simone at the helm which is wonderful news for readers because I really don’t think anyone writing comics today does a better job with characters which can best be called misfits.

Original Secret Six

Original Secret Six

The original Secret Six from back in the 60s was a thriller with people being black mailed into doing dangerous missions for someone named Mockingbird.  I first read the stories as reprints in some of the 100 page comics they put out in the 70s, I’m pretty sure it was Brave and the Bold.  It had a very reluctant James Bond vibe to it and it was great stuff.

The title was later revamped and 2008 had Gail Simone writing about supervillians who have banded together to take on jobs no one else wants pitting them against heroes and villains alike. When this one started off we had Catman, Deadshot, Scandal Savage, Ragdoll and Bane. Other members came and went from there. This was so much fun because Simone took some characters that were underappreciated and made them real players. It ran for 36 issues and was pure fun.

 

Secret Six 2008

Secret Six 2008

Now 2015 saw a new version once again written by the amazing Gail Simone. Art varied between 4 artists, all of whom seemed to really get what the story is about, Ken Lashey, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenick and Drew Geraci.

 

Friends in Low Places combines a bit of the original concept and the 2008 version. Six outcasts are kidnapped by a stranger going by the name Mockingbird and forced to work together to escape a strange death tap. Catman, Black Alice, one of the Talons named Strix, Porcelain, the latest version of The Ventriloquist Shauna Belzer, and Damon Wells aka Big Shot, an interesting mix of characters some better known than others and some not really known at

Secret Six 2015

Secret Six 2015

all. They all have secrets and nobody really trusts anyone else but being forced together they operate together strangely well. This first story arc we see an escape from the death trap and the gang goes to hide out in a house owned by Big Shot in suburbia. They get attacked by members of the previous Secret Six group who as it happens are also being manipulated by Mockingbird. Eventually there is a confrontation with the mysterious manipulator and a reveal that really surprised the hell out of me, wonderfully played out by Simone.
What really makes this title work for me is of course the characters, characters who in other hands may have been a punch line to a joke or a cameo become a family of sorts who each bring something to the dynamic of the group. Even Ventriloquist, who is a bit disturbing, becomes someone who elicits some empathy. I want these crazy folks who are neither good nor truly bad to succeed. Humor, great characters, perfect pacing and suspense that keeps the reader wondering what will happen next make this a must read.
I will be reading this title as long as Gail Simone writes it.
Jon

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