Secret Six #36
Oh. My. God! The final issue of Secret Six, before the big DC reboot, single handily makes the case why Secret Six not making the cut is a serious mistake. For current DC comics, it’s the end of the world, and the Secret Six decide to go out like Butch and Sundance.
First, a little history. Back in 2005, the DC comic world was ablaze with a massive crossover event called: “Countdown to Infinite Crisis”. In this event, there were four limit series comics that would touch on various plot points right before they would all tear the world asunder. One of these comics was called “Villains United”, and was written by the ever awesome Gail Simone. It discussed how the many supervillains around the world would unite under a common banner to take down the Justice League. However, rather than take a fly-on-the-wall perspective, it told the tale from the eyes of six B-list villains. Being so far down the unknown list, they weren’t included in the supervillain’s new club, but were instead recruited by a mysterious figure calling himself Mockingbird (turns out to be Lex Luthor) to sabotage the supervillains.
At the time, I didn’t understand this team would develop to one of the greatest comic books of the modern era. I just thought it was a really good book, and would hopefully see these characters together again. Thankfully, in 2006, the Secret Six got their own six issue limit series. Then they would get a guest shot in five issues of Gail Simone’s equally awesome comic, “Birds of Prey.” The world would have to wait until 2008 before they got an ongoing series, but it was well worth it. From Catman’s rampage after someone kidnapped his infant son, to freeing Amazonian slaves, and to even acquiring a “Get out of Hell Free Card”; this comic has been the number one reason why Gail Simone is one of my favorite writers.
The members of this group have changed over time, but the brutal tone and great characterization is what made a comic about B-listers such a great read. Sadly though, DC, for reasons only Raymond Babbitt can understand, decided not to include Secret Six in their new line-up that begins at the end of August. Issue 36 was the last issue before the big reboot, and thus, is the last issue period. Though, not only do our favorite villains go out with a bang, this issue also defines who they are in the world. Bane (Batman villain you need to read up on since he’ll be in the next movie) has once again decided to try and break Batman, but instead of attacking him directly, he plans to go after those Batman loves. The plan goes sideways and their Gotham hideout is surrounded by just about every superhero you’ve ever heard of. During all of the hostage taking, guns pointing at each other, and calling for help from equally shadowy figures, they realize that, despite trying to do a few good things in this world, they are NOT the good guys. They can’t even be called nice people. The only semi-redeeming quality about them is that they don’t know how to give up. Since they are the bad guys, they have to lose in the end; even though you keep secretly cheering for them. The team is broken up, for now, but I hope to see them again in the future. Our six year story ends with all of them being carried off to jail, except for the escape for one of them who is glad to be on his own again so he can be what he has always been. Bane, the man who broke the bat.
Read more about comics, including the new Superman and some previews into upcoming comics!