For all of you that have been wondering and asking where Secret has been I have three words for you: “It’s a secret.” Damnit I couldn’t resist making a seriously terrible joke to start this review. Honestly I don’t know what the delay on this series has been; I asked Image months ago and never heard back so I assumed the answer was “no comment.” I follow Hickman on Twitter, but keeping up with that guy’s feed is impossible. At any rate its back… and I don’t remember anything about the first two issues other than the fact that they were pretty average. It’s probably good that I didn’t remember anything going on in them because it made me like this issue a lot more. It kicks off four years in the past at a urinal. Our main character… ah, fuck what’s his name… Grant (I already knew it from reading, but I wanted to illustrate my first experience with the issue) pulls up to the urinal in-between two skin heads. He makes a snide remark to the two men to get them riled up and then the scene changes.
We find Grant and his friend Thomas at a café sitting outside waiting for someone. They talk in military/undercover/black ops terms about two targets approaching them for a meeting. It turns out to just be a double date which put a grin on my face. They begin chatting and we see the results of the first scene in one of those “we had a quite morning too” type of deals. The scene is actually of Grant with a knife to his throat while Thomas busts out of the bathroom stall and caps them both in the head.
Here’s the thing about this issue… (SPOILER AHEAD IF YOU DIDN’T READ THE FIRST TWO ISSUES) I thought that Grant set Thomas up to die, but he’s very hurt and confused by his death. I let this go quickly because clearly I was wrong, but it definitely means that the first two issues weren’t constructed very well with their story. I remember them jumping around as much as this issue, but here I wasn’t lost or confused by what was happening. It sucks that it took three issues for that to happen and a hell of a delay. Overall the story was good and I’m interested in it more, but it still struggles. The humor and witty remarks are all fairly obvious. If you’ve ever watched a con man/spy movie then that’s all this is. It’s a shame, but I don’t think this is Hickman’s forte.
The art is great. I enjoyed Ryan Bodenheim’s work on the first two issues and he commands the page and story with this issue. He controls the pacing of the story and even though the beginning was working its way towards an obvious conclusion, it was partially because of Bodenheim’s page and panel structure. I personally enjoy his character designs and faces. Everyone is kind of rough and chiseled looking, but at the same time beautiful looking. It definitely plays to the Hollywood feel. Also I appreciate that the character’s had different facial structures and their fashion wasn’t copy and paste. The thing is, that I may have been confused about the story due to the art… I don’t know anymore.
Honestly I could recommend this to anyone because it felt like a brand new series to me. I almost went back and re-read the first two issues, but after I actually enjoyed this issue I decided not to bother. Why go back and confuse or remind myself that I was planning on giving up on this series after seeing what this issue was going to do. In a strange way I think the long delay may work in their favor so if you missed the first two go ahead and jump on.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 8/28/13