Skip to main content

ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Secret Weapons' #1 by Eric Heisserer, Raúl Allén, and Patricia Martin

In comics, the assembling of a team of heroes is not a new concept. But what if those "heroes" had been rejected for having lame powers? Valiant addresses this question in the fantastic new mini, Secret Weapons #1, starring Amanda McKee - the technopath codenamed Livewire.


★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) and Harvey Award-nominated artist Raúl Allén (Wrath of the Eternal Warrior) have given this band of misfits a new life under the leadership of Livewire. What could have been treated as a parody is handled with great care and love as these psiots that Toyo Harada had stashed away after drawing out their powers but considered useless have found a new purpose.It's another great entry point for new readers and a rewarding one for longtime fans of Livewire and the Unity series.

Harada stashed Nicole (can speak to birds), Martin (can make inanimate objects glow), Owen (spontaneously summons a random object at any given time) and three others in a facility known as the Willows. When a recent attack leaves the place in shambles and all the misfit psiots missing, Livewire begins to seek them out. Unbeknownst to them, a new threat emerges when a mysterious monster is unleashed and on the hunt for the same psiots. Livewire has to find them in time while also keeping them safe.

It's a straight-forward concept that harkens back to Marvel teams like 'New Warriors' but this is the beauty of Valiant, it values not only the front-line powerful heroes but finds room to tell the stories of lower tier heroes too. There is plenty of heart and character development that takes place that makes characters like Nicole endearing and empathetic. The struggle to find your place in a world that doesn't value who you are is universally relatable. Heisserer paces the story with just the right beats, allowing scenes to breathe and sink in. The diversity displayed on the page mirrors the real world which makes Secret Weapons an inclusive story that will have you rooting for the underdogs. The backstory of Harada's experiments and what lead to the present is concise and brief giving the reader plenty to go on. This is the kind of story you can easily slip into like a pair of silk pajamas.

Raul Allen and Patricia Martin work in unison to bring some marvelous art. Allen's designs are detailed but with a soft touch, not too heavy-handed with the line work and the layouts flow nicely with the eye of a cinematographer using varied angles and scope. He takes what could have been a troublesome and intricate monster to illustrate and makes it look easy. The action sequences are never too busy or unclear. It's a testament to his patience and attention to clean pencils. The efficiency with which he smoothly transitions from scene to scene keeps the momentum going even when the characters stop to talk. Martin's colors rest on a distinct palette of purples and pinks help set the mood.

It's a shame that Secret Weapons is only a 4-issue limited series. After one issue I'm ready to follow Livewire and these underestimated kids into the battle. I want to see just how they'll work together using their very unique skills. Livewire seems like the perfect leader to bring them together and encourage their development. Not surprisingly, Heisserer captures the emotional heart of these unwanted heroes and makes us care about them. It's easy to root for the strongest, fastest, most dominate superhuman in a cape but it takes a special skill to make this band of misfits endeared to the most cynical of comic book fans. Secret Weapons #1 is another winner for Valiant with a beautifully told and illustrated debut that speaks to the heart of what makes a hero a hero.


SECRET WEAPONS #1 (of 4)
Written by ERIC HEISSERER
Art by RAÚL ALLÉN with PATRICIA MARTIN
Cover A by RAÚL ALLÉN (APR172108)
Cover B by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC (APR172109)
Variant Cover by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE (APR172112)
Variant Cover by BRYAN HITCH (APR172113)
Signed Virgin Art Variant by RAÚL ALLÉN (INDIVIDUALLY SIGNED BY ERIC HEISSERER) (FEB178016)
Blank Cover Also Available (APR172111)

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | VALIANT PRESTIGE | T+ | On Sale JUNE 28th (FOC – 6/5/17)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

KICKSTARTER SPOTLIGHT: Tyler & Wendy Chin-Tanner's 'Dead Beats' Music Themed Horror Anthology

Dead Beats is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store by its enigmatic Shoppe Keeper.

..if you're looking for new or used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, gear, or merch, Dead Beats has the best selection in town. Of course, everything we sell has a story and our friendly Shoppe Keeper is happy to tell you all about it. All sales final Edited by Joseph Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Mine!) and Eric Palicki (This Nightmare Kills Fascists, All We Ever Wanted), Dead Beats features more than twenty comics stories and more than forty up-and-coming creators and industry veterans, as well as cover art and interstitial narrative illustrations by Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Submerged).




From the Dead Beats introduction, illustrated by Lisa Sterle



From "Vanishing." Illustrations by Sally Cantirino from a script by Matthew Erman.

From "The Cursed Saxophone of Skasferatu." Illustrations by…

Poison Ivy's Rebirth From Child to Sexed-Up Adult on 'Gotham' Covered in New Featurette

The wacky world of Fox's Gotham has long embraced its brand of crazy. "Anything goes," seems to be the motto as the show has tried to fill in the blanks of a pre-Batman Gotham City. Besides making the future Commissioner Gordon an erratic hot-head, his future wife a sociopath, and brought back a villain from the dead, the latest stunt involves aging-up a teen Ivy Pepper magically into an adult to use her powers as a seductress.
Executive producer Ken Woodruff explained this creepy premise to THR: We made the change for two reasons: The character Ivy in the comics, one of her greatest powers is the power of seduction. Everyone was much more comfortable with that with an older actress as opposed to a teenager. We want to explore that classic, canonical power of Ivy. And we didn't just make her older with that attack. When she's changed and transformed, there's a real character change as well. She'll still have some of the same traits, but she'll be much d…

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…