Secret Weapons #1

Writer: Eric Heisserer
Artist: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
Publisher: Valiant

This is like jumping into a random episode of a TV show several seasons in. And for a #1, that’s really not a good thing. I’m not 100% sure of what happened, since Secret Weapons was very stingy with explanations or introductions, but it seems a powerful super powered being is hunting down teenagers with powers of their own across Oklahoma City.

About the only thing you get from Secret Weapons are the powers characters have, and occasionally their names. It’s assumed you know why they have powers, who they are, what’s going on, their relationships to each other, their past… But I knew none of that, and at the end of issue #1, I still don’t. I just vaguely know some of their powers.

To be fair, the art by Raul Allen and Patricia Martin is quite good. It reminds me of Jon Davis-Hunt’s work right now on The Wild Storm. Action can be a little confusing when it’s physical rather than focused on powers, but the designs of the characters are clear, and the art works hard on selling a moment or an aesthetic. There are images that stick out, a girl sitting on a rooftop talking to pigeons, a desperate escape from a monster with nothing but an umbrella, a tender moment between characters as they camp out on a rooftop, hiding from the strange creature hunting them… As individual moments, they all work, but aren’t much more than striking images. Why can this girl talk to pigeons? Who are these characters, and why should I care about them? About the only thing that works is the escape with the umbrella because it’s inventive.

If this really were a new series, these moments would be enough to keep me reading, but it isn’t. It’s got baggage and events preceding it and history with these characters. A win for Secret Weapons would have been to make me interested in seeing where to start reading so I can understand, but it doesn’t do that. Outside of some moments and an interesting power set for the two main characters, there isn’t much that drew me in.

Part of me wants to like Secret Weapons, but I just really can’t get into it. Again, if you’re already a fan of Valiant, then maybe you’ll like it, the art is solid and in combination with the writing it can create what seems like could be pretty powerful moments, but for people unfamiliar with Valiant, I really can’t recommend this comic.

Rating: 2/5

More Info: For more information on Secret Weapons and Valiant, check out their website, Twitter, and Facebook Page.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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