By Dustin Cabeal
The thing that I have always enjoyed about Valiant is the Harbinger section of the universe. The pisots are not unsimilar to the mutants at Marvel. It’s just that Grant Morrison destroyed the X-Men and then Bendis found several ways to make it even worse. With Secret Weapons, it’s a reminder that in the Valiant Universe there’s still a world of possibility with the psiots and that’s refreshing and enjoyable to read.
The issue is a nice follow up to the first. Our duo is sent to find out more about an object from another psiot. Along the way, Owen creates things that they’ll need when they’re called in to rescue another reject from the Willows. There’s a great bit of character development for Livewire and Owen in this issue. Ninjak makes a guest appearance, and they continue their flirty nature, which I desperately miss from Unity. There’s an intense battle with some terrific artwork, and all three kids use their powers in unique ways, but also in ways that show they weren’t useless, just undervalued.
While I enjoy Livewire and her powers, particularly when they’re being used to her full potential, I have to say that Nikki and Owen are stealing the show. Mostly Owen because his power is seemingly random, but always the thing he needs at the moment. It’s just taking him longer to figure that out than the audience.
The writing is solid on this issue and the one before it as well. Eric Heisserer builds this really interesting tension between Nikki, Owen, and Avichal. When they’re together, it’s like old times, but there’s this overwhelming sensation that something happened when their facility closed and they all went their separate ways. They’re like boxers in the ring sparring again like old times, not realizing they’ve all brought new moves to the spar.
Rex-O is the weakest part of the story. He’s like a dumber Doomsday and in his current form is being billed as unstoppable making it hard to buy into the team defeating him later. There are cool elements to him, like absorbing the powers/voice of the people he’s “soaking” with, but he’s a heel that’s too big to fail and when he does it won’t be as believable.
Overall the artwork from Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín is the best aspect of the issue. There were a few places where the faces were inconsistent, but it’s not such a big deal that it would distract you while reading. If anything I only noticed due to excessive staring at the issue while writing this review and enjoying the artwork. You can kind of see the switch between the two artists, but it’s very consistent overall, and that makes it a complete package with story and art.
I was a little on the fence about checking out this series. It was the first time Valiant was bringing in a big writer outside the world of comics, but it worked out. The team has put together yet another strong team of pisots to follow, but with this group, I’m vested more in them due to how they were labeled to be rejects. I would love to see them do more and be a bigger part of the Valiant U. I’m invested and completely sold on Secret Weapons.
Secret Weapons #2
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Artists: Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín
Letterer: Patricia Martín
Publisher: Valiant Comics