Secret Weapons ends its first story arc this week and it’s more than proven a bunch of reject heroes can amount to something if they believe in each other. Okay, maybe it’s not so sappy, but it’s true.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
After weeks of training and preparation, the time has come for Livewire and her specially gifted recruits to lure the robotic killer called Rex-O out of hiding! But will this extraordinary new team of heroes rise to the occasion and unlock the power they’ve always harbored inside…or will they find out that they deserved to be left behind? Their lives have led to this moment…and before the battle ends, Livewire and her team’s place in THE ROAD TO HARBINGER WARS 2 will be made clear!
Why does this matter?
Eric Heisserer has proven he can write strong characters, which at its core is what makes this series so great. Artist Raul Allen has masterfully drawn some incredible layouts — some pages are jam packed with 20 or more panels! The heroes are joining forces to take out the villain that’s been hunting them from the get go. Time to kick some ass.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Not looking good for Livewire.
Heisserer has rigged the deck so to speak so that our heroes can finally take on a mission alone now that Livewire is captured. They’ve proven they can survive when fighting together before and that’s given them the courage to take on the villain head-on. This is essentially a strong team book, which follows the heroes into the villain’s den and forces them to think on their feet. The villain gets the opportunity to reveal his big plans and Livewire gets to show off how flipping powerful she is too. By the end of the issue, Heisserer has made a strong case for these characters for future stories with a promise that they’ll get even better with their powers moving forward. The concept of reject heroes is a sound one and it’ll be interesting to see if Valiant beefs up this team further moving forward.
Allen draws yet another great issue, especially if you dig layouts with a ton of panels. The pace of the series is excellent and this issue is no different. Occasionally Allen slows things down, but for the most part, every page is jam-packed with panels and multiple angles. It’s a visual style that’s very cinematic in part because it never skimps on detail. There are some neat tricks used too, like a close-up of the villain looking at Livewire reflected in his glasses and on the very next page a close-up in the same spot on the page of one of our heroes with a reflection of a pigeon in her glasses. It’s a nice way to show juxtaposition. No matter the size of a panel on the page you’re going to get high-quality stuff.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Surprisingly the villain is a rather flat, stereotypical baddie who waxes off on his plans and makes the same mistakes we’ve seen a thousand times before. Given all the buildup of this villain–and his robot assassin–it’s a shame the heroes prevail so easily. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a brief moment where it could have all gone downhill, but Livewire is shown to be so powerful that you realize there really was no danger at all. I was hoping for more when it comes to the villain side, but we’ll have to rest knowing the heroes were built up incredibly well.
Is It Good?
This series ends with a promise for more to come. Given the quality of this issue that’s very good news.