Gail Simone continues to impress and tell great, if twisted, stories in Secret Six 34, “The Jagged End of the Chainsaw.”
Secret Six #34 Review
The team rescues kidnapped Liana from the crazed, self-appointed man of God, and let’s just say he meets an unpleasant end, despite Scandal’s promise to Liana. Liana actually showed both what a good person she is and why she doesn’t belong with these folk by asking for mercy for her abductor/torturer.
Back at the House of Secrets, we learn Liana will recover, Knockout did indeed return with the team from Hell, and Scandal forgives Ragdoll for the mess in the last arc. Much of this issue is Bane on a date with Spencer (which Scandal rather amusingly orders him to do). Spencer asks why Bane is the way he is, and he tells her the story of his life, no shading to make himself look better. It really is a tragic story; the prison upbringing, his mother’s death, killing his first man when he was just nine years old. He also doesn’t gloss over his later exploits, calmly retelling his attack on, and defeat of, Batman. The date takes place at a carnival, which proves an odd contrast to the story. Later, some carnival workers try to jump Bane for the money he showed when winning Spencer a prize panda bear. This goes about as well as you’d expect for them, and Spencer promises Bane a reward indeed, involving “lots and lots and lots of mating.”
At the very end, Scandal and Jeanette chat, and there’s a line that bothers me a bit. Not that it’s badly written, it’s actually great. But with the news of the DCU reboot silliness heavy in the air, and no word on this book, a very great favorite of mine, these words from Jeanette make me think Gail, at least, maybe knows already the Six aren’t coming back. “If we know our destination is Hell, then our job is not to think of sin and salvation. It’s to shine as bright as we may, with skin like salmon. So people will look up each moonlit night and remember we were here.” That sound like a bit of an epitaph to anyone else, especially with the caption just under it of “The end is near!”?
What I liked and what I didn’t:
As always, Gail delivers great characterizations and a good story. Scandal’s talk with Ragdoll, and her ordering Bane to go on the date were both well done and nice touches. Bane’s date was great throughout, and the fight showed his brutal competence well. The team coming together to take down Liana’s psycho stalker was perfectly fitting.
The only things I didn’t like were minor quibbles. Catman rejoicing his father is in Hell might be a bit too much, even for him. Scandal is usually shown sleeping in boxers and a t-shirt, but here is lounging around in some nightgown and wrap thing that just seems out of character for her. And while I’m glad Knockout made it back to the land of the living, she never shows up.
As an aside, one thing bothers me a bit about this whole “We’re all bound for Hell” bit. They were told this, in Hell, by a demon. Really, are they known for telling the truth? I grant you none of the team are angels, but why are they just taking the words of a demon at face value? Seems a bit naive to me, which none of them are.
I truly hope DC doesn’t get rid of this book in the midst of what seems, to this long time reader and fan, to be a fit of collective insanity, but I worry that’s just what they are going to do.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|They come together to help Liana, Jeanette’s line, the date||no actual Knockout|