After Zatanna recaps the events of the arc so far, “House of Strangers” concludes with the Secret Six taking on Superman to fight for the right to destroy the world in order to save the life of Black Alice. But if the world ends how will Black Alice be safe? Hey, we never said these guys were smart. Loyal, sure. But not smart.
Gail Simone has to think outside of the box to find a way for the half-dozen rogues to stand toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel and come out on top. Not bad for a band of misfits thrown together by chance. That said, the comic ends on an anti-climactic note as the decision of friend vs. world is taken out of their hands and the story simply peters out.
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With a wide range of magical folks across the DCU targeting Black Alice, Catman and his teammates have a decision to make. Do they step in and try to help their new friend? And if so what is the proper action to take? Should the pillars that make up the White Gate be protected? Or should they be destroyed.
Memorable for Black Alice making several characters her bitch in the middle of her hospital stay and an unexpected undersea battle between Catman and Aquaman (much to the delight of Thomas Blake’s teammates), Secret Six #8 also offers the return of Scandal Savage, Ragdoll, and Jeannette as Gail Simone continues to toy with fans of the original group and tease the idea of the real band getting back together.
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Secret Six #7 is a bit of a Who’s Who of the mystical and magical side of the DCU as we’re introduced to a meeting of several of the most powerful members of this group including the Phantom Stranger, Deadman, Zatanna, Klarion, and others gathered together to discuss a mutual problem: Black Alice. The young woman’s ability to tap into and temporarily steal their powers has not gone unnoticed, but the real trouble with how Alice operates is that it leaves each member of the collective weakened and in turn is causing a weakening in the mystical defenses that are keeping out a looming threat too powerful to fight. Their solution, however, won’t sit well with the other members of the Secret Six.
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Secret Six #4 is a tease of the comic we should be, but aren’t, getting. Thanks New 52. After the new team makes its way to the suburbs they are almost immediately attacked by three of Mockingbird‘s assassins who will be familiar to longtime fans of the team well-before they are unmasked: Scandal Savage, Ragdoll, and Jeannette (who seems oddly toned-down here). Despite still missing Deadshot, and insisting on dressing Catman in that awful fetish costume (#BringBackTheCowl), Secret Six #4 has a bit of the old magic (even if it is unnecessarily stomped on by quite a few superfluous characters).
Ragdoll’s unique voice has certainly been missing in the comic. His addition works well here while Scandal, as enemy rather than one of the major driving forces behind the group, is a bit off-key. The latest issue opens with a buddy-buddy moment between Catman and the nondescript detective-ish guy (a character so forgettable neither I nor the Internet seem to remember who the hell he is) which only makes me miss Catman’s best bud even more. Oh well, at least there’s some fun to be had. For fans.
Four months after the release of the last issue the adventures of the new Secret Six continue with the recently thrown together team moving into the suburbs together. Needless to say they make quite an impression on their neighbors.
Although I’m still not completely sold on the make-up of the new team, writer Gail Simone has fun bouncing the various group members off each other under the same roof for the first time. While the comic doesn’t have much in the way of action it does reveal a traitor among the group as well as the true identity of Mockingbird this time around.
Sadly the issue does have its problems starting with the incredibly disappointing look at Catman in his new costume. The early scenes involving the bare-chested warrior (whose run in with the cop could have been toned down a bit) bring back the character Simone masterfully brought to the forefront of the DCU, but his new duds (making him look like a failed back-up dancer for a Michael Jackson tribute band) are the worst thing to happen to the character since Kevin Smith. For fans.