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Villains United: The Birth of the Secret Six

Welcome back to Comical-Musings.  I am happy to have you back to visit.  I hope that your Easter Holiday was greatness.  My family is blessed and I hope that yours is too.  I have a little extra time to create this post as I am recovering from minor surgery on my toes.  I first read the subject matter discussed today a few years ago and really liked it.  I decided to give Villains United, by Gail Simone, a re-read last week and possibly use it to catapult me into the reading of the follow-up series to it, Secret Six.

villains uniteVillains United is a really pivotal title that didn’t get a ton of acclaim in my opinion.  The Society, a legion of villainy that the world has never seen, comes to life in this book and seems to be a non-factor six issues later.  Lex Luthor, Talia Al Ghul, Dr. Psycho, Black Adam, Calculator, and Deathstroke make up the ruling body of the Society.  They make the supervillain community an offer that they can’t refuse and basically union-ize the baddies of the D.C. Universe.  Join or die.  We see only a few villains oppose, but one is unique in Catman.

Thomas Blake or Catman is a “third-rate never was” and was bested time after time in his career by the likes of Batman and The Green Arrow.  The last time that we saw him, before Villains United, he was overweight and worthless.  After he is kidnapped by second rate villains and partially eaten by a monkey, he freaks out and goes to Africa.  He lives with Lions and receives the spirit of the lion that marks him (no, not that way).  Through all of this, he comes out blazing in Villains United and is described as a man who “speaks and dangerous men listen.”  His transformation is complete as he leads his team of misfits, the Secret Six.

224px-CatmanThe team is made up of the mysterious Scandal, Ragdoll (a JSA villain), Deadshot of the Suicide Squad, Cheshire, and a Parademon from Apokolips.  These unlikely partners engage in a bloody adventure that ends up part James Bond, part Lost and the result is very entertaining.  The series highlights some of the lesser seen villains and really puts punctuation and soul into some of the more obvious criminal heavyweights that the DC world has to offer.  The Six are an extremely violent, somewhat evil, but also gallant team of renegades rebelling against The Society under the supervision and control of “Mockingbird,” the unseen mastermind.  Each character is engaging and their quips and arguments entertain and intrigue.

This comic is in NO WAY CLOSE TO EVEN PG-13 and the torture scenes in it really bothered me.  They are well written and almost a climax in the series, but young eyes should avoid this one.  The comic is really great and almost beautiful in the brutal ways that Gail Simone paints the picture of the action components.  You find yourself rooting for villains…it must be well written!  Ultimately, Catman emerges as the Protagonist in the story and it satisfies greatly.  All of the writing is top-notch, the art is above par, and this comic ends up definitely being worth your time to read.  Let’s hope that the Secret Six follow up series is nearly as good.  Read on intrepid readers!

~ Scott Deaux ~

About Scott Deaux

Favorite Comics: Lazarus, Essex County, Chew, Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, Age of Apocalypse stuff, The Nightly News, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Pax Romana, Avengers, NEXTWAVE: Agents Of Hate, Sweet Tooth, We3, others... Favorite Quote(s): "Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world." - Warren Ellis "People who hold signs go on...to hold many other things" - Eddie Pepitone

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