This month is the last month of the DCU as we know it, and one of my favorite ongoings over there has come to its sad conclusion. Secret Six, by Gail Simone ended this week with issue 36, but now I’m here to let readers know WHY the should go forth and pick it up.
As usual I’ll break it down like this:
- WHO writes and draws it
- WHAT is it about
- WHEN was it published
- WHERE can I find it
- WHY should I read it
- HOW much will it cost
Read on to see my review and breakdown of Secret Six by Gail Simone!
Gail Simone writes and is joined by various artists throughout, including Dale Eaglesham, Nicola Scott and J. Calafiore.
Back during the Infinite Crisis we saw many of the DCU’s greatest villains form the “Society”, which was pretty a collective group of every DC villain lead by Lex Luthor. The Secret Six were the six villains that refused to join with the Society, and they’re the Six that, despite all odds, took the society down.
After this initial battle the Secret Six stuck together with a roster that would rotate a bit in the next few years until they reached the group that lasted through most of their ongoing book: Catman, Bane, Lady Victoria, Ragdoll, Deadshot, and Scandal Savage. The group of D-List villains (and Bane) would go on to have plenty of crazy missions and adventures under the deranged hand of Gail Simone, who might make you worry about her sanity in her writing.
The series simply follows the team as they take missions, or as they spend time between missions doing everyday things, but it’s Simone’s character work that makes the series shine, as it’s a hilariously brutal book.
The initial mini-series that started the team, “Villains United”, ran from July to December of 2005. After this started the initial six issue Secret Six mini-series, which ran in 2006. Later, in 2008, the ongoing series began and ran for 36 issues until August of 2011.
The volumes are not always available at all bookstores, but you can find them at comic shops and online at Amazon for a discounted price. The only volume which is hard to find is “Six Degrees of Devastation”, which collects the six issue miniseries from 2006. You might still be able to find that one at comic shops, but it’s almost three times the normal price on Amazon right now.
Most of the books you’ll pick up from DC or Marvel fit under the standard blanket of superhero books, especially over at DC. Secret Six, though, was one that would detatch itself from all of that and be something in it’s own right. It’s a super villain book about a group of D-List villains who SOMEHOW are able to accomplish quite a bit together.
But what really makes it great is that it’s written with such care from Gail Simone that you’ll find it hard making your mind up as who your favorite character is. Gail really reveals a sick side of her mind by releasing this group of extremely violent characters onto the DCU in various missions that will show you just how brutal Gail can be.
It’s a violent and hilarious series that covers all sorts of grounds from a mission in the jungle, a fight against zombies, a tale from the wild west, a story of bloody revenge, and just about everything in between. And that’s just when the Six are out and busy, because there’s plenty of time where we get to see the cast as PEOPLE, such as Bane going out on a date, or Deadshot and Catman going for a night out.
Gail admits that this was not a book that should have been big. It wasn’t by an A-List writer with an A-List artist and A-List characters, but it got extremely positive critical and commercial success and the fans loved it. Personally, it made me love Catman, and I love it even more because it gives plenty of Bane.
If you like what you hear about it here, then pick it up. Fans of violent and hilarious books need look no further than here, and the only bad thing about it is that it had to end. Honestly, you’d be doing yourself badly to never read this book, so go out and pick it up and learn why it is that fans have raved over this series for the past several years.
GO Rating: 4.5/5
The book is collected into several volumes, the first two being the mini series which preceded the main ongoing series, and then there are five collected volumes of the ongoing with a sixth, unannounced, book coming in the future.
- Villains United - $12.99
- Secret Six: Six Degrees of Devestation - Out of Print
- Secret Six: Unhinged - $14.99
- Secret Six: Depths - $14.99
- Secret Six: Danse Macabre - $14.99
- Secret Six: Cats in the Cradle - $14.99
- Secret Six: The Reptile Brain - $14.99
The last volume listed collects up to issue #29, and I’m guessing the final seven issues (plus a crossover issue with Doom Patrol) will compose a final volume of the series.