Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day and while work prevented me from taking advantage of it, at least I made lots of money to buy lots of comics. That’s almost as good. Anyway, the last time I talked comics on Sunday Funday, I got all ranty and kind of mean, and that kind of missed the point of the day, although I can’t deny it was fun. This weekend, a great deal of my downtime was spent reading the first two TPBs of Suicide Squad and then going back and re-reading some of Gail Simone’s run on Secret Six. I recently picked up two of those collected editions, “Unhinged” and “The Darkest House” as my individual issues inexplicably found their way into storage… at least I hope they’re in storage.
There were a lot of reasons to be suspicious and wary of the New 52 reboot, but when I look back to it, there was really only one thing about it that pissed me off: It signaled the end of Simone’s Secret Six. It was like being in a speeding car heading toward a brick wall and I couldn’t get out. Secret Six had grown to become one of my favorite comics of all time. Granted, that’s a long list, as I do love me my funnybooks, but Secret Six is a comic that I thoroughly savored. It hit on all the points that make me still an avid comic book reader, even as I enter that precarious point in my life called Middle Age. I can’t remember ever being so sad and disappointed as when I found out that it was wrapping up in favor of the impending reboot.
As it turns out, I’ve been pretty happy with a number of the New 52 books. Some may call that sacrilege, but that’s where I stand. I can say that I read every first issue, I pursued a little more than half of them past the first issue, and since then I’ve narrowed it down quite a bit. But the ones that I’m still reading are entertaining enough and somewhat refreshing to me. I’ve got 30+ years of the crushing weight of comic continuity running through my head, and I constantly felt as if I was falling behind on the books I cared about and in some cases, getting caught up would be a lost cause. Reading comics started to feel like a frustrating chore, and that’s never what I wanted from one of my favorite pastimes. The New 52 made me feel like I had half a chance again. Maybe on some level the reboot was like killing the patient to cure the disease, but in the end I was glad DC did it.
Anyway, one of the books I didn’t follow past the first issue was Suicide Squad. I was still bitter over Secret Six ending and I just thought DC was trying to use the Suicide Squad title as a cheap way to continue the popularity of Simone’s book. Whether that’s the case or not, it’s hard to argue that it’s intended as the spiritual successor. I can remember flipping through that first issue violently and screaming, “YOU’RE NOT SECRET SIX… STOP TRYING TO BE!!!” Then I threw it down and ran out of the room sobbing while slamming the door as loudly as I can. Ok, that didn’t really happen. I did, however, want to stay mad and bitter, but ultimately, my love for King Shark and Deadshot sucked me in, and I picked up the first two TPBs while browsing at the comic shop a week or so back.
A great deal of my resistance was worn down by seeing Adam Glass’ name on the cover. I really enjoyed Deadpool Pulp and Luke Cage Noir is still on my reading list. I can’t say I was instantly familiar with either artists’, Fernando Dagnino or Federico Dallocchio, work, but I can say that I’m a fan now because I really dig the look of these books. Anyway, I devoured both volumes pretty quickly and then I flipped through them a second time to skim the good parts and it dawned on me that there was room to have both books exist in my good graces. Suicide Squad is fun, violent, crazy, and best of all I can get my fix of Deadshot and King Shark. Y’all know I’m not a big Batman fan, so this was one of the first times I really followed a book with Harley Quinn and I warmed up to her a lot more than I thought I would. Oh, and tossing Captain Boomerang in there never hurts either. It’s a far cry from the glory days of Simone and Secret Six, but a good time had at the FigureFan ranch this weekend, and I’m looking forward to October when I will most definitely pick up volume three.
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