Secret Six #4

Top five insights into Secret Six #4:

  • New diversity in its cast of characters – introducing Porcelain as a non-binary gendered character
  • Dark storytelling, but strong comedy from the Ventriloquist and a veteran, returning character – Ragdoll
  • The return of veteran Secret Six characters Ragdoll, Jeanette, and Scandal Savage
  • Artwork showing an excellent and carefully planned action scene
  • A theme of animal welfare – characters safeguard small animals from harm

Conflict in this issue falls between Mockingbird’s mercenaries, who are three familiar characters, and the Secret Six. Comic relief balances out the darker parts of the conflict

Reintroducing Ragdoll, Jeanette, and Scandal brings to light the role of a character already seen in past issues. A red haired woman, who helped capture Catman back in Secret Six #1, is seen to be working with
Mockingbird – the mastermind who is hunting the Secret Six. Mockingbird wants the Secret Six captured and punished for their past crimes. This mystery mastermind is ruthless, holding a hostage to force Scandal, to work for him.

That’s the key conflict in the story. Half of the original Secret Six combat with the new team. Veteran Secret Six fans will no doubt enjoy seeing Ragdoll’s unusual, comic relief dialogue return to the issue. Ventriloquist has provided excellent comic relief so far in Secret Six. Both Ventriloquist and Ragdoll making clever quips adds to the issues sense of comedy.

Porcelain shows trust in the team, revealing more of her personality. Big Shot is accepting, while Strix collects a Lawn Gnome

Porcelain shows more layers, as she shares her non-binary perspective with her new team. Porcelain identifies as a woman sometimes, and as a man sometimes. She expresses her identity through her
dress choices. Wearing masculine gendered clothing, she tells Catman, Big Shot, Strix, and the ventriloquist about her identity as a non-binary person. Initially, it seems Big Shot has an
issue with her gender fluidity. He gives her a masculine, grey hat to wear. He says: “a fella’s got to look sharp”, showing acceptance.

Strix deciding to adopt a lawn gnome she finds in the front yard, and sampling a cookie rather than joining Catman in a scuffle against Ragdoll also add some great humor to the comic that plays out expertly through the artwork

Several romantic connections build romance as a theme here, while several other characters protect small animals from harm, which adds an animal welfare theme

Romance is important in Secret Six #4. Big Shot is very careful about a vase that his wife made for him. He pauses his battle with Jeanette the banshee to carefully place the vase out of harms way. Jeanette says she thinks it is a romantic gesture. Scandal Savage is working for Mockingbird because the mastermind has captured her partner. While they are not named, she goes to great lengths to rescue them
from Mockingbird.

Care for small animals is also brought up twice. Jeanette and Scandal will not allow Ragdoll to hurt squirrels and other woodland creatures. Catman also claims that Scandal brought him a pet cat while he
was in captivity earlier in his career. He says that this gesture “saved everything”.

Secret Six #4 is published by DC comics July 15 2015. Writer – Gail Simone. Artists – Ken Lashley & Tom Derenick. Colours – Jason Wright. Letters – Travis Lanham. ($2.99 USD).

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