Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Tie-In Comics

Secret Six #29

Secret Six #29

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 12, 2011

Cover date: March 2011

"What Luthor Has Wrought"

Writer: Gail Simone
Penciller: Marcos Marz
Inker: Luciana Del Negro

Reviewed by: Noah Runzo

Click to enlarge

"What Luthor Has Wrought" picks up from the conclusion of Action Comics #896, which is part seven of "The Black Ring" storyline.

The first page is a full spread of Ragdoll wearing angel-gear. Ragdoll is thoroughly convinced he and the rest of the Secret Six team are dead. So we start with Ragdoll's account of the button conundrum. Lex offers Scandal a bonus only if she sacrifices herself to save the rest. Come on! We all know though that Lex is only interested in saving his own hide. Vandal Savage concludes that Lex's future manipulation of Black Ring energy will fulfill his prophecy. Lex, being two steps ahead of everyone, has a stick of bubble-gum which turns out to be a protective force field bubble (ha! A bubble) in case of the detonator going off. Vandal's interest is only in Luthor's death, which by way of prophecy would bring great joy to him.

After some more tension escalates, Luthor traps himself in gum-bubble and has cannon turrets aimed at Scandal Savage. Luthor now has all the cards and scoffs that Vandal was beaten long before he arrived. Luthor also admits that The Secret Six were hired to be his pawns and are meaningless to him. After some more negotiating, Vandal makes a deal to turn off the detonator, which is stuck, in exchange for Lex sparing Scandal's life. Lex orders Black Alice to find the other explosives so she quickly turns into Dr. Fate and departs with 25 seconds to go. Lex then denies an associate, Sebastien, a chance to live and the bomb goes off. Ragdoll is still contemplating how it all went down. We then back track twelve seconds before said explosion. Vandal submits to Lex's will , admitting that Lex beat him, thus saving everyone in the process.

Everyone jumps into the gum-bubble and the explosion sends the force field through the roof. Black Alice makes one final save using a Green Lantern (Alan Scott) ring to create a catcher's mitt, scooping up the force field. After they all land on solid ground, Luthor threatens Scandal once again in order to get Vandal's servitude. Cat-Man takes out Robot Lois who attempts to kill everyone again (seriously Lo, what is up with the guns?) and Vandal then tries to kill Lex. Surprisingly, Scandal then saves Lex's life, because killing him would ruin the group's reputation. The Secret Six quit and Bane tries to intimidate Vandal by defending his daughter.

Before the issue ends, we get a backstory of Scandal's blades. Basically, a woman named "She Who Stands Unaided" could not beat Vandal, so she tricks him into falling in love with her. Then she kills herself with Vandal's blades, the one's Scandal wears now so that he will always remember her. Then we skip ahead to Ragdoll who still thinks everyone has died. He is a little bit nuts if you ask me.

4Story - 4: Okay so Lex is all about getting a hold of the Black Ring energy but he doesn't want to get his paws dirty fighting Vandal, so he hires the Secret Six to take out the Immortal Savage. I thoroughly have enjoyed "Lex Luthor's Action Comics" ever since Supes decided to take a stroll across America. Being a huge fan of Lex, it amazes me how in depth his character is being depicted. That being said, I was pretty stoked reading Action Comics #896 and while Paul Cornell did a good job kick-starting the dangerous encounter between the Six, Savage, and Luthor, Gail Simone did a fine job finishing it.

The story was intriguing because although no hardcore violence occurred, the imminent threat was always there. Throw in Ragdoll's goofy personality and Lex's manipulation of the Six and you have one entertaining story. Although the Secret Six seemed to be guests in their own issue, the focus of Luthor versus Savage continues forward without wasting any time. In the end, loose ends are tied up and the tension is still there, but not nearly as bad when the detonator was stuck.

I also dug the background story on Scandal's blades and how they pertains to her relationship with her father. Simone did a fine job with the continuity, although she had some help from Paul Cornell (a big secret thank you to him was found on the first page). All in all, a pretty good story and I can't wait to find out what Luthor does with the Black Ring energy! Speaking of which, I thought about had Black Alice turning into Dr. Fate earlier and using Alan Scott's ring to save everyone could have avoided the whole situation, but that would have made for a pretty dull issue.

4Art - 4: Marcos Marz was this month's penciller and I see that he prefers using lots of panels, at least 5 or 6 per page throughout the issue. The only full spread being the first page of Ragdoll in angel-gear. I couldn't help but notice the similar artistic styles between Marz and Pete Wood's. I do like continuity in my artwork as well, especially in crossovers. Luciana Del Negro made the tension real by using darker colors to showcase the villains and it worked.

2Cover Art - 2: The Secret Six are standing in less than menacing positions and their logo is in the background. Not a very good cover. Very similar to Superman #707 which was pretty lame. I prefer the variant covers but I could not find one for this issue.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2011

February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2011.