The old saying is, don’t judge a book by its cover. I don’t think that is more apropos than it is with Secret Six #34. When you see the book on the shelf, it has the image of Bane, breaking a Bat-Demon’s back. For me, when I saw this cover, I said “Wow” after reading the comic, my response is “Wow…..people pay good money to read this garbage?”
If you’ve been following my reviews of Secret Six for the past several months, you’ll notice I haven’t been very kind to Secret Six, and with good reason, it’s terrible. The art doesn’t get the book by, and at best Jim Calafiore is an average artist, and Gail Simone, a writer I once thought was something special and different in the comic industry, seems to just get enjoyment out of seeing people waste $2.99 on whatever gibberish comes to her mind.
The issue itself opens with the plot thread of Scandal Savage's current girlfriend being kidnapped by a born again psycho, whose advances she once scorned. Feeling a bit let down by praying out the gay in her, he’s decided to just straight up torture the gay out of her, by taking her to the woods, and cleansing this woman’s soul, to the right way of thinking.
You know, I loved this idea, there are not too many clear cut LGBT characters in DC Comics, so seeing a LGBT character having to deal with the very serious prejudices in the world today, and having people not actually be fixed, and showing how, really they are no different from anyone else, except maybe have to deal with prejudices from people “Who only care” is a realistic thing, that I could not wait to see develop.
Then Gail Simone f**ked it all up in favor of more unfunny Ragdoll jokes.
The actual issue between Liana, and her ex is given three pages, before the Secret Six show up, somehow finding the two and decide “Let’s just kill the guy! No mercy!” It was at this point, I’d lost all interest in the book, Gail Simone, and anything she was ever going to write again.
On to the rest of the book: The Six save the day, and send Liana to a hospital and head back to their castle where Scandal talks about how the Six are a family and have to stick together, because you never know when a universe wrecking event can come around and wipe out years of storylines involving a team of mercenaries character development.
What comes next is a scene between Bane and the girl he liked at the strip club from several issues ago going on a date to a carnival, as Bane reveals his past to the girl and wins her a stuffed animal from a knock the bottle game. As the game was fixed, the carnie sends his friends to take care of Bane and the little lady. Bane, not taking too kindly to this responds by bashing their brains in and walking off with his girl into the sunset as the issue ends with the tagline “The end is near!”
In summary, if you want to read a good story about the Secret Six, read either Villains United, or Secret Six: Six Degrees of Devastation. If you want to read a poorly written, poorly drawn piece of garbage, then this book is waiting for you, at comic shops around the world priced at $2.99.
Secret Six #34:
Reviewed by Austen Beattie