Don’t let the cover of Seven Secrets #4 fool you: this is an intense issue for the series’ characters. The bad guys are knocking at the door of our heroes, and Caspar only has a few minutes of experience as a holder of a secret. Directly following the events of Seven Secrets #3, this issue brings the heat and believe it or not, a key answer too.
As Tom Taylor revealed on the AIPT Comics podcast, this series is layered with secrets on top of secrets and it shows with this fourth issue. Before we get to the big reveal, however, there is a lot of big action. Daniele di Nicuolo literally opens this issue with a bang followed by intense close-quarter fighting and some revealing scenes that show us the elder members of the organization can hold their own in a fight. The ability to show character through action is a beautiful thing seen throughout this series. That goes for snap judgments, prowess under fire, and a lot more seen in this issue.
Given much of this issue is one long action scene, there are a lot of meaty moments to behold. What makes this issue work so well are these micro-moments. You gain a bit of dramatic weight when the story cuts to a closeup of a character as they think about what they are to do or reflect on what they are seeing. There’s a deft hand at the wheel of this series, and that includes what you don’t see. There’s a key moment of defeat in amongst the action that helps convey how powerful the main bad guy is while also taking a mysterious masked character down a notch.
As far as action stories are concerned this issue also offers some excellent staging, setting up expectations only to blow them out in a vacuum reveal. Taylor smartly leaves it up to the reader to determine if the bad guys were better prepared or vice versa. There’s a level of interpretation one can make that makes determining who has the upper hand more complex than simply telling us one topped the other. It also sets up the bad guy as truly being evil even to their own men and puts into question what the end game is for the main villain.
Speaking of the villain and the big reveal, this is an ample moment in the series that puts a twist on the nature of Caspar’s situation. Not only does this set up many new directions the series could go but it is going to seriously change how Caspar and his mother feel about their situation. It’s an exciting turn of events that’ll seriously make these characters grow up or change how they think.
Seven Secrets continues to be one of the best action comics on the stands today. It deftly mixes mystery and intrigue with a narrative that’s hard to pin down making for an exciting page-turner.