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Six-Guns Blazing

August 26, 2010

As a fun little interlude before the next major arc, Gail Simone gives us Secret Six #24, an Elseworlds story in which the Secret Six are in the wild west.  We start out with someone doing a Punch and Judy show (they look suspiciously like the Joker and Harley Quinn) as Deadshot, a bounty hunter, rides into town with a bounty to collect.  The sheriff, Scandal Savage, doesn’t like him, but she’s willing to let him stay long enough to get his bounty.  Her two subordinates are her deputy, Bane, a Native American, and her “ladyfriend” Knockout.  And it seems there’s some crazy woman wants the town, and she’s killed the last two sheriffs.  The Punch and Judy show ends, and all the kids run away.  Oh yes, and it was done by Ragdoll, whose mask is flippable comedy and tragedy mask on a stick.  Deadshot goes into the saloon, where he’s greeted by the whore Jeannette.  She’ll only sleep with him if he bathes, though.  Then, Catman, who was beaten, slashed, and staked by two familiar looking brothers, returns and kills both of them, wanting both his furs back (he’s a fur trader) and their hides.  And Jeannette has sex with Deadshot while he’s bathing.  Ragdoll comes in and informs his sister is coming to take the town by force because she wants the mines.  Yes, the crazy lady is Junior.  And she has Deathstroke working for her.  Jeannette ropes Deadshot into helping fend Junior off, but when Deathstroke and his goons arrive shortly later, they start making quick work of everyone.  Then Junior, wearing rather fancy clothes (creepy) shows up.  Deadshot takes out Deathstroke’s other eye with Scandal’s badge, and Bane breaks Deathstroke’s back as revenge for Scandal.  However, everyone ends up getting killed.  Junior stands over Catman as he dies, saying that they were not destined to be heroes in this lifetime.

Well, that was a rather interesting look at these great characters.  Good to know that, even in a complete other timeline, Gail Simone knows how to keep them all as crazy, gross, and degenerate as ever.  Can I say it was particularly creepy to see Junior wearing a white dress with an umbrella?  The whole thing was just so beautifully constructed, even if the ending was very disheartening.  It was really interesting to see what each character turned into in this world.  Some of them, like Jeannette as a whore, Deadshot as a bounty hunter, and Ragdoll as the local creepy-looking puppeteer made more sense.  Others, like Scandal as the sheriff, were a tad more bizarre.  Not particularly sure what Deathstroke was doing there, especially since he had no involvement in the original Secret Six arc.  Maybe Simone just figured the narrative focus (Deadshot) needed more a of a rival.  The Catman one was just ironic.  You might even think this was an actual part of DC Universe history, as Junior’s last statement was rather… foreboding.  Like they’d be heroes in another lifetime.  Wink wink.  Or it could just be an Elseworld, as I originally thought.  It was a damn good one, at any rate.  Jim Calafiore continues to be the perfect artist for this title.  He renders all the characters in all their grossness and awesomeness, and despite not being Nicola Scott, he even does a good Junior.  He also made Deathstroke’s empty eye socket look sufficiently disgusting.  The only mistake was that the dialogue in the first panel is switched around.  Well, this was a nice, pointless story right before Simone makes the two Secret Sixes duke it out.  Sure, I wish that storyline started earlier.  But I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this thoroughly.  Almost makes me wish she had the chance to do more Secret Six Elseworlds.

Plot: 9.2      Art: 9.2      Dialogue: 9.3      Overall: 9.2

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