The forcefully formed Secret Six must figure out what the secret is while sitting in a metal box, underwater. Two issues in, and it feels like the team is at a stalemate, up until the end of this issue, which normally, would be a bit of a turn-off for a new series, but what I found to really like about this issue was the focus on these characters and getting to know who they are throughout their dialogue and actions. Sure, we do get to jump back and see a long-bearded Catman in captivity elsewhere as well, but the real focus is on developing characters and introducing them to the reader.
I've always been a fan of Ventriloquist, even the one from DETECTIVE COMICS before the New 52. However, I am simply loving Shuana and Ferdie. Finally, the dummy has a life of its own and there's no doubt about it and Shuana is incredibly disturbed/delusional. We are two issues in, but I feel like Simone really made both the characters a stand-out part of the series, next to the awesomeness that is Catman.
I love what Gail Simone is doing with Catman. Does he get a kitty in this issue? Yeah and it's adorable. Does he get a sweet, long beard here as well? Yeah, he does. Is he still that awesome character I grew to love during the pre-52 SECRET SIX? Almost. This time he has a kitty. Why is Catman freaking out about being trapped in this wet box? Well, that's all dropped on the reader as well, as he spends a whole year in captivity. Simone is really giving the reader a fantastic intro to Catman. You'll feel for him and start to understand him better here.
Ken Lashley's art goes from looking pretty cool at some places to completely unreadable at other places. There's times where the inking makes a lot of the art hard to understand because nothing really stands out. In addition, there are some times where Jason Wright's colors hurt the scene as well. When the art is rough, the colors should help characters pop and while Wright has some great work in this issue, and a lot better work in the first issue, here, it's just alright. Mainly, the art and inking are the weak parts though.
Towards the end of the issue, the inking changes drastically, for the worse. At the same time, this is obviously where Lashley rushes his work. Characters look really rough and the backgrounds completely disappear.
Delays in a highly anticipated series are tough to deal with. Fans of the Secret Six, like myself, were really excited to see this book come back to life and delays just hurt readership, among other things.
The book was delayed and the art is sub-par, but there's something about SECRET SIX that is extremely appealing. That something is the writing of Gail Simone. There's a lot of love for these characters (mainly Catman, obviously) and this book takes a slower approach to the story in order to really work on developing the characters and how they interact with each other. Slow stars aside, these characters are great and the story is pretty interesting, especially all the Catman captivity stuff. We have one issue left with the current artist until Convergence, then Dale Eaglesham takes over. Understandably, art is not an easy thing to accomplish, but Lashley's just isn't right for this book. Keep reading SECRET SIX or Catman will apparently pee on your ashes.