Monday, February 22, 2010

Secret Six #18

“Danse Macabre” Part 3

Writer: Gail Simone & John Ostrander

Artist: J. Calafiore

Editor: Sean Ryan


The Secret Six and the Suicide Squad must unite to battle the Black Lantern Suicide Squad, but even that might not be enough. Only Amanda Waller has the key to defeating the undead threat, but time is running out…


Page 1: Count Vertigo, Black Alice, Nightshade, Bane and Black Lanterns Atom, Shrike, Psi, Manticore, Ravan, Twister, Punch and still as-yet unidentified blond lady last appeared in Secret Six (second series) #17.

Page 2: Richard Rogers “Rick” Flag, Jr., Deadshot, Jeannette, Ragdoll, Virtuosa and Black Lanterns Fiddler and Yasemin Soze last appeared in Secret Six (second series) #17.

Page 3: Catman and Bronze Tiger last appeared in Secret Six (second series) #17.

Page 4: Dr. Amanda Blake Waller, Multiplex and Scandal Savage last appeared in Secret Six (second series) #17.

“Turns out this house has a gargoyle for some reason.” In Secret Six (second series) #17, Scandal released Gregory the Gargoyle so that he could take out some of Waller’s troops.

“The Manhunter android we recovered from the swamp…” The swamp in question surrounds Belle Reve prison, the headquarters of the Suicide Squad. Now, this is a wild guess, but I assume that the Manhunter android was from way back during the Millennium affair, involving Manhunters, the Guardians of the Universe, and some chosen ones who were supposedly important to the future of Earth.

Anyway, at one point, Batman, the Spectre, Captain Atom, Firestorm and the Suicide Squad were all involved – separately – in an attack on a Manhunter temple in the swamp. Lots of Manhunters were destroyed, and presumably, this android was recovered from that battle. This story was chronicled in Millennium #4, Detective Comics #582, Captain Atom (second series) #11, Suicide Squad (first series) #9 and The Spectre (second series) #10.

Page 5: “I can’t. I don’t have my powers, Flag! That little brat’s got ‘em!” Black Alice has the ability to “borrow” the powers of other mystical heroes or villains. She stole Nightshade’s abilities in Secret Six (second series) #17.

Page 7: “Fiddler? Thought you said you killed him, Lawton.” Deadshot killed the Fiddler in Villains United #1.

Page 10: The Secret Six are a bit troubled after emerging from the teleportation field because they had to travel through the Land of the Nightshades, once a fairy-tale land of magic and sunshine, now a nightmarish realm of madness. Nightshade usually has others close their eyes as they pass on through. The fact that Ragdoll wants to go back through says much about his fragile mental state.

“Another step and I’ll click it and blow off the back of your head with that chip we installed inside you when you worked for us.” Bane joined the Suicide Squad in Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #8. In Salvation Run #2, he was tricked by teammates and exiled to a prison planet; he doesn’t have many good memories of his time with the Squad.

Page 11: “Something is sucking the energy right out of me!” Is this just Black Alice losing Nightshade’s abilities, or is something else going on here?

Pages 12-13: I gotta say…this is one cool two-page spread.

“I took Batman once, you know.” Batman and Catman last fought in Secret Six (second series) #2. According to Catman, he let Batman win. Not sure if I believe that…

“Ack! It’s All-Dead Atom!” A spoof on the title of one of Gail Simone’s former writing gigs, The All-New Atom.

Page 15: King Faraday last appeared in Secret Six (second series) #17.

I’m not sure if “Stein” is supposed to be Harry Stein, a former veteran of the NYPD who later went to work for the first incarnation of Checkmate. I assume it’s not, because he’s never shown any scientific aptitude in the past.

“Tell me this isn’t the same helmet Mrs. Waller used to control Chemo, Stein.” Waller used this same technology to control the rampaging creature known as Chemo in the Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag mini-series.

“And let’s hope the Flash knows what he’s talking about!” Waller refers to Barry Allen’s Paul Revere” run, in which he informed the heroes of the world about the threat of the Black Lanterns and how to defeat them.

Page 17: “You think you can win, banshee?” Jeannette, the woman to whom Black Lantern Fiddler is speaking, is a banshee.

Page 18: Waller is using the former Dr. Light’s light grenades as well as the Green Lantern energy stored in the Manhunter’s power core to destroy the Black Lanterns.

Unfortunately...that shouldn’t work.

Intense light has been shown to destroy Black Lanterns. Both Halo and Doctor Light (the good one) were able to use their light-generation abilities, turned up full-blast, to destroy Black Lanterns. But I doubt that some light grenades would have the same power levels.

And Green Lantern energy can destroy a Black Lantern, but only when combined with the energies of another shade of the emotional spectrum. Green Lantern energy alone is ineffective.

I know...nitpicky nitpicky…

Page 20: “My best intel says you’re not making those calls anymore. Bane is.” As of Secret Six (second series) #14, Bane assumed control of the Secret Six from Scandal.

“I do let him think that.” Well, I guess Scandal was just humoring Bane the entire time…

“I am where I belong.” Damn. Deadshot shot Waller.

Nice. Been waiting YEARS for that…

Page 21: “And I owed her a bullet for what she pulled with me.” Waller betrayed Deadshot and sent him to the prison planet in Salvation Run. He wasn’t too happy about that.

Page 22: “They still haven’t twigged that I’m Mockingbird.” Mockingbird is the mystery individual who blackmails the Secret Six into taking on missions that they might not normally undertake. Their first Mockingbird was Lex Luthor, who pitted the group against the Society in Villains United #1. The new Mockingbird first began sending the group on missions in Secret Six (second series) #10.