If you aren’t reading Secret Six, you are missing out on a treat. No, scratch that – if you aren’t reading Secret Six, you are missing out on one of the best comic books on the shelves. Very, very few arcs epitomize why more so than the current one, titled “Cats in the Cradle.” Secret Six #20 still lacks art from Nicola Scott, but new artist J. Calafiore has proved an extremely able replacement, deftly building tension between the over-the-top action scenes and the moments of extraordinarily dark comedy.
Last issue ended on a brilliant cliffhanger – Catman’s son is kidnapped, and the boy will be allowed to live 1 year for every teammate Catman murders in the next 5 minutes – and the resolution of that moment this issue is one of the highlights of Simone’s run. Catman has always been one of the more measured members of the team, likely to be taken by his temper to do stupid things, but at heart, at least, he was probably the best of the bunch. This arc isn’t designed to destroy or reinforce that, but to highlight the side of his personality that puts him on the Secret Six, rather than making him yet another hardcore anti-hero… and it works. Fabulously. Secret Six #20 is a brutally violent character-driven action book like nothing else out today. Read it.
– Cal Cleary