By Ben Snyder
Secret Weapons #1 does a good enough job of setting up an interesting premise of a bunch of teenaged reject super heroes escaping a hulking brute programmed to kill them.
Writer Eric Heisserer tells an interesting story with quirky characters. While this book could easily veer into X-Men knockoff territory, seeing as the book is about a group of teenagers with powers, is kept in balance by the fact that at least a couple of the powers are useless. The lead female protagonist Nikki can communicate with birds, and another character, Martin, can make inanimate objects glow bright. In fact it is important to the story that these powers in fact suck. Because of these inferior powers, the mysterious Harada character sequestered the teens to essentially an orphanage where they were kept isolated. But Heisserer leaves the door open for hope by sending the brute out for the blood of “champions” which leads him to Martin. Maybe there is more to Martin’s powers?
While none of the characters are of particular interest, what does keep my interest is the mystery behind what the brute actually is. Is he an alien? Is he a time traveler? Is he a member of the school who actually had a useful power? We are left in the dark. I am excited to see Livewire in a matriarchal role over the kids. She obviously feels for them and has a level of empathy displayed when she cries after finding out that Harada placed them in “The Willows”.
The art holds up with the story. Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín’s figure work is nothing to write home about but it does its job well enough. I do have issue with a particular lack of detail in most of the settings and character’s faces. I perhaps wouldn’t mind it at much if there weren’t some panels where the art looks exponentially better, such as Nikki’s opening on the rooftop as she converses with the birds.
While not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, Secret Weapons #1 does enough to merit its worth and offers hope for improvement in further issues. If Heisserer continues to expand on the mythos and answer questions, Secret Weapons should improve and prove to be an enjoyable read.
Secret Weapons #1