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Review: Secret Six #36

Before I started writing this review, I did something I normally don’t do, I looked up some other reviews for this final issue of Secret Six, and to my surprise, the reviews I found all praised the book and said they’d be sad to see it go, and it truly was a heart-wrenching final issue.


Well, now for my thoughts:


I never want to read a comic written by Gail Simone ever again.


We start the issue with Bane and his girlfriend in bed, and Bane’s lady friend saying he was such a tender lover, and Bane agreeing and it’s showing that he cares. We then cut to Gotham Harbor and Bane telling the team about the targets for their mission, but in the middle of his speech, Bane notices that a family are living in the harbor. Bane being the gentlemen he is, decides to take the family hostage, just in case any heroes show up.


We cut around this to see the team of Deadshot, King Shark, Catman and Ragdoll tearing apart a random mob boss who they were hired to kill/maim for some reason.


Cutting back to Bane, he is told by the Penguin, who is tied up in the harbor, but not actually mentioned until now, eight pages into the book, when he reveals that he has been wearing a wire and the biggest names in the DC Universe to take down the Six.


We move away from this scene to see Scandal Savage and Jeannette the banshee going to see Scandal’s girlfriend who is still in the hospital. Scandal goes to the love of her life, Liana, and tells her that the other love of her life, Knockout is back to life. Liana takes this as Scandal breaking up with her, but instead Scandal has great news, she wants to marry Liana, and Knockout.


Yes, Gail Simone’s fantastic way to deal with the LGBT love triangle is to say “We’re having a three way!” I’ve said this before, when Liana and Scandal's relationship is mentioned in this comic and I’ll say it again:


F*** you Gail Simone, you horrible writer.


In the world we live in, LGBT people are treating for the most part like second class citizens, and you as you claim, are a bi-sexual woman, in no sense of the word, does bi-sexual meant to mean “Have your cake and eat it!!” I’ve always felt that the phrase was meant to mean, you look past the gender of people, and find the one person you love beneath it all. LGBT people are treated like they are out to have all the casual relationships they can, and unlike straight people, who sometimes settle for life, LGBT will only be happy if they can have as much of as many different people as they can. Now why do I bring this up? Well because I’m slightly disgusted by Gail Simone’s conclusion of this love triangle. In this comic, Gail Simone could have had Scandal end up with neither as she was unable to choose who she wanted, or she could have actually been an adult and dealt with the situation like an adult, and even though I would have hated the rest of this comic, I would have applauded it for dealing with the situation in a genuine and realistic way, but as it stands, it feels like Gail Simone couldn’t be bothered writing a proper conclusion in an extra page and instead devoting any extra time to writing the gibberish that Ragdoll says in the book, which stopped being funny 30 issues ago.


Rant over.


We come back and see the team coming to the slow realization that this is the end for the Six. They have nothing left, this will likely be there final stand, and they can either win, or go out fighting. Huntress comes in to say to the team “Or you could just give up?” Bane decides that giving up is not an option; it is either win the battle, or die trying.


Bane reveals to his comrades that he does have one final ace up his sleeve; he has been holding back venom capsules. The six without question take the capsules and run off to take on thirty strong superheroes at once and go down in a blaze of horrible, bloody glory.


The Six are easily defeated by the heroes, but they do get one or two good shots in, such as Deadshot who shoots Dr. Light in the shoulder, but in the end they are taken down.


The book ends with Bane being taken away and one guard talking about Bane not being properly sedated and another saying it’s fine, as Bane wakes up, to break his way out and run off.


And so ends the Secret Six, as the DC Universe is going to be rebooted, and most of this will likely never have happened.


The art by Jim Calafiore is for the most part acceptable; however his main issue is that he seems not to be able to draw a woman’s face. Not as much not be able to draw one, as much as he seems to just draw the same female face over and over and over again. His male faces have improved from last issue, so he has not been all bad.


The writing in this book feels like Gail Simone put this book together during a weekend where she was pushed for time and told “Final issue, wrap it up” and spent ten minutes writing the book, and a further four hours writing “Witty” dialogue for Ragdoll to say.


Nothing in this book comes across like it really matters, even the scenes where characters admit they may actually be friends, such as a scene between Catman and Deadshot is so chock full of gibberish dialogue between Ragdoll and King Shark that you can’t really find the time to care about what is being said by anyone.


As I’ve said, my main issue is with the Scandal Savage, Knockout and Liana scene. With what could have been a conclusion to a near series long storyline of Scandal trying to find happiness again just comes across as lazy, unmotivated and incredibly dull, a bit like the series itself, this comic stars out with some promise, before being so involved with itself it gives the reader no time to care.


If you want to look for this book in cheap bins, I cannot stop you, but for a full priced $2.99 comic book, you could do so much better.


I wish I could say that to Gail Simone. “You could do so much better”


But then I’d be lying.


Secret Six #36:


0 out of 5 Batarangs


Reviewed by Austen Beattie

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