Friday, December 30, 2011

"The End" Week: Secret Six #36!

Another recent finish: Secret Six #36, "Caution to the Wind, part 2: Blood Honor" Written by Gail Simone, art by Jim Calafiore. After a night with his new girlfriend, Bane realizes if he can be swayed by emotion, so can the Bat. With the other seven members of the Secret Six, he plans on attacking Red Robin, Batgirl, Catwoman, and Huntress. Catman vetoes Huntress, so Bane subs in Azrael: they will hurt Batman, by hurting them.

Unfortunately, their source, the Penguin rats them out, and it's Butch-and-Sundance time for the team, as they realize they might not want to hurt innocents, but they are the bad guys. The fact that the Secret Six has earned more respect plays against them as more and more heroes show up: a Green Lantern, two Batmen, Superman and his family, and more. Bane offers the Six a chance "to go out like gods" by dosing up on his Venom. They go out fighting, although Huntress is aware enough to feel like a jerk about it.

Although he would miss them, the Six's defeat was part of Bane's plan: either they would win (unlikely) or he would be free of them, of caring, of emotion making him weak. This is the downside of Bane: Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, and now Simone all tried to move the character forward from "I break you" only to have him put right back. There's a lot that could be done with the character, but the powers-that-be seem to just want the steroid-monster Bat-villain.

Hetero-lifemates Catman and Deadshot were the breakout characters for the Secret Six, so it's a little disappointing they aren't the ones to wreck their gig. Still, Simone does her usual sharp job on the script, and Calafiore isn't flashy, but he does the job even when the script calls for forty-plus characters. I didn't read it every month, but I think the Secret Six will be missed for a while.

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