Secret Six #36

Ladies and gentlemen, hats off. “Secret Six” is no more.

Bane knows he and the rest of the Six are going to Hell, and he’s proposed that it’s time for them to re-embrace their villainous natures and either establish themselves as the new rulers of Gotham City or go out in a final blaze of glory. The plan he proposes to Catman, Deadshot, Jeannette, Scandal, Knockout, Ragdoll, King Shark, and their very reluctant ally Penguin, is to break Batman’s will be killing Red Robin, Batgirl, Catwoman, and either Huntress or Azrael. The plan goes awry almost immediately, as they discover that their Gotham hideout comes complete with unexpected hostages — a poverty-stricken family who lives on the island in secret. And worse than that — the Penguin has already secretly summoned help.

So they look out the window and find members of the Birds of Prey, the Justice Society, the Titans, the Justice League, and more outside. Hey, that’s quite a lot of superheroes, but the Six have faced worse odds than that before and come out alright, so — oh, wait, now there are a couple Batmen on the scene, plus Robin, John Stewart, and Captain Atom. Worse odds, but Huntress sneaks into the Six’s hideout and offers to be their new hostage if they’ll let the family go. So the odds are actually improving a bit, with a higher-profile hostage and — oh, wait. Superman’s here now.

Well, that’s it, right? They can’t beat odds like that. They’ve got no tricks or powers that will let them get through firepower like that. Jeannette would rather die than go back to prison and is willing to start tearing Huntress into little pieces if they can’t go free. Catman isn’t willing to let Huntress come to harm, Deadshot isn’t willing to let Catman kill Jeannette, Scandal is willing to kill Deadshot to keep people from shooting. Things are coming to a head fast, but Bane has one final gambit — if they can’t survive, they can at least make sure they give the heroes a fight they’ll never forget.

He has Venom for everyone. And the last four pages are glorious and savage and heartbreaking.

Verdict: Thumbs up. We’re losing something amazing and rare with the end of “Secret Six.” It’s one of the comics that’s getting cancelled and isn’t going to be getting a new #1 issue with the new Reboot. So this is the end of it right here. I hope you got to enjoy it the way I did. If you didn’t, I’m sorry you missed out on this slice of comic book glory that Gail Simone left for us. Go out and get the trade paperbacks. Yeah, get all of them. You won’t regret it.

Hats off for “Secret Six,” everyone.

Jonah Hex #70

And speaking of cancelled comics, here’s the last issue of “Jonah Hex,” though it will at least get a continuation in the Reboot with “All-Star Western.”

This is a weird, hallucinatory comic. We start out in 1904, with scarred bounty hunter Jonah Hex an old man at 66 years of age. He’s finally gunned down by an old foe, and he finds himself walking an old battlefield with his old (and dead) friend Jeb Turnbull, who tells him he died during that old battle during the Civil War. Then Jonah’s back in another saloon, with other Wild West heroes and the mothers of his children, getting gunned down by his own father. And he wakes up somewhere else with a little girl who has facial scars like his, and a basket full of human hearts. And then he’s alive again. Then dead again. Then alive. Is Jonah Hex dying? Is he already dead? Or can he ever die at all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Well, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti will continue to write about Jonah in the new Reboot — one of the few creators to be allowed to keep working on the same character — but they nevertheless have given this latest version of Jonah Hex a weird, wonderful sendoff. It was also nice to get to see characters like Bat Lash and Tallulah Black one more time…

Hats off for “Jonah Hex,” too.

Comments are closed.