Secret #6 – Spoiler free review

Secret #6 is the penultimate issue of Secret by Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim, and I’m still in utter disbelief as to how this is happening, both on the level of the story and on the real world level. I remember only 2 issues being out for the longest time, and then a sudden influx of issues coming out every other month. It was pretty cool to hop back on and pick things up, but I was under the impression this was going to be an ongoing series. I guess things don’t always work out the way they were supposed to because seven issues does not seem like enough time to wrap things up, and this issue is the perfect example of that. I recently talked in my Green Arrow review about the feeling of rushed-ness in that comic, and I’m getting the exact same feeling here. Everything is being sped up to reach the conclusion in issue 7, and that leaves Secret #6 at a middle ground.

secret #6On one hand, some of the stuff happening in this issue, is pretty sweet. As a reader, you get a killer action sequence, some awesome dialogue, and some of the best art in the business right now. The limited color palette strikes specific moods for specific scenes, and Bodenheim’s combo of pencils and inks are almost garishly realistic, right down to the individual wrinkles on character’s faces. As of right now, there are too many players in the game. One gets shot and killed, the other one gets shot at and may or may not be dead, and it would be a nice whittling down of the cast if I cared for anybody in this comic. The delays between issues may have helped the art out tremendously but if it can’t come out in a timely manner I can’t feel anything for anybody here. And that’s the biggest weakness about this as a limited series: not enough time is given to make the reader feel a modicum of emotion towards anybody in this book. I’m sure it’s all about the bigger plot at this point, but what am I supposed to do if I don’t care about anybody in it?

Still, this is a spy epic that tends to subvert tropes more than use them. A lot of things here feel like clever references to spy movie tricks without actually using them, and I genuinely don’t know how the next issue is going to end the series. If the solicits mean anything, a time machine is involved, which brought this from being a spy story to science fiction, and that just confuses me. Buy Secret #6 if you’re a completionist like myself, but be prepared to feel utterly confused as to your feelings on it. I know I was.

My rating: 3/5