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Hunting the Hunters

July 17, 2010

It’s the issue after a major arc, so John Ostrander’s filling in to give us a nice story just before everything goes to hell.  Yet again.  The book does come with an explanatory note that it takes place before Secret Six #19.  So Secret Six #23 features this island with a bunch of guys with high tech armor and helicopters taking out mercenaries and people for sport.  And their newest prey is the Secret Six, whom their leader has hired under the pretense of having a mission for them.  While in a plane, shortly after Ragdoll freaks out about aerodynamics being fake, the pilot zaps them all to knock them out.  They wake up, separated, without their weapons, with electrified collars around their necks, on the island.  Bane breaks out of his collar fairly quickly, and then the hunters come after them.  However, none of them are actually prepared to take on the Secret Six.  Each Six member manages to take out their opponent, with Deadshot using the only bullet he has to secure a gatling gun for more ammo.  Jeannette makes it to the villa to slaughter all of the support staff, and Deadshot takes out the plane with the lead guy as he tries to escape the island.  Then, the Six head off in a boat, with Ragadoll singing some ridiculous songs along the way.

As we all know, this team is best written by Gail Simone.  There is no question with that.  Nonetheless, Ostrander does a pretty dang good job.  He’s very good with Ragdoll, managing to infuse him with all of the appropriate craziness.  Of course he’s good with Deadshot, a character he knows fairly well.  That whole aerodynamics thing with him and Ragdoll was hilarious.  And he also treats Bane pretty well, since Bane did have a brief stint in one of Ostrander’s Suicide Squad books.  I’m not sure I get why Jeannette’s so upset about getting wet, but whatever.  And Catman and Scandal Savage were sufficiently bad-ass.  I’m confused as to where Black Alice is, since by this point, she was a member of the team (even though she isn’t anymore).  Maybe the employer requested that she not come or something.  But whatever.  Even though this concept is a rather tried and true one, Ostrander manages to do a good job with it, mostly because of the personality of the Six, not the villains.  R.B. Silva was Nicola Scott’s main backup artist when she was the main artist on the book, so it’s nice to have some artistic continuity.  In fact, he’s definitely better than he used to be.  His faces are a bit less mushy, and it’s clear that he’s beginning to get his own style, so that he’s not simply a lesser Scott.  I wouldn’t mind him being the main artist for this book eventually some day.  So yeah, this was just filler.  But it was good filler, so I don’t mind.  Just whets my appetite for whatever insanity Simone will be serving up next.

Plot: 7.6      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 8.5      Overall: 8.0

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