Secret Six #10 “Watch A Yellow Sun Fade”
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Dale EagleshamTom Derenick
Colors by Jason Wright
The magical fallout comes to a close in “Watch A Yellow Sun Fade!” Is this the end of magic? Will Black Alice sacrifice herself for the world? Will other members of the Secret Six fall victim to the current situation? Find out below!
I’ve been praising this arc since it began. It took Simone and team a while to find their footing, but once they did, they hit a strong, fast stride. Since the debut, the characters have been the shining star of Secret Six, specifically Catman, Strix, and Ralph Dibny. Some of the characters are more interesting than others, but the quirkiness found within the entire team kept me satisfied through the highs and lows of the previous plots.
With the team established, and their unification/loyalty to one another justified, Simone struck gold when she revealed that Black Alice’s abilities were draining the entire magical community. Mystics, good and evil, came from all over the world to determine how to deal with the issue as their abilities, and the realities they’d created around them, began to diminish. But it wasn’t just the magical community that was in danger… the entire world was at risk. If magic disappeared, mystical barriers keeping ancient gods at bay would collapse and open the world to their wrath. And neither Alice, nor her team, knew of the risk.
While all of the mystical beings had a similar cause, their resolution for dealing with Alice varied. Immediately learning of the issue, some of the darker mystics set out to destroy Black Alice. With their attempts unsuccessful, the rest of the Secret Six partnered with Etrigan to try and find their own resolve – a solution that didn’t involve killing their friend. Creatures referring to themselves as the “true Atlanteans” soon appeared, and educated the team of the full extent of the magical war that was unfolding. Unfortunately, their story was less than honest. Hoping to open the mystical barrier that would free the ancient gods, the true Atlanteans sent the Secret Six on a mission to destroy four alabaster pillars that served as conduits of power maintaining the barrier.
After defeating heavy hitters like Aquaman and Swamp Thing, and destroying two pillars, Catman and team embark to take out the final two pillars. Zatanna, aware that the odds are quickly stacking against the magical community and the earth, turns to the only person who she believes can help at this point: Superman.
I thought what most of you are probably thinking, “There’s no way they can hold their own with Superman.” Well, much to my surprise, I was wrong. In fact, surprised might not be the right word. I was shocked… And what’s even more shocking, is the team member that delivers the most damage to Superman.
If this weren’t enough, throughout the entire ordeal, we continue to have frequent check-ins with Scandal Savage and Ragdoll, who are looking after Alice. Now that Alice is fully aware of what’s going on, she presses Scandal to kill her so she can save the world… The narrative then races to the finish as tension builds to a resolution. In many ways, this chapter was everything I wanted it to be, plus more… and in other ways, it completely fell short of my expectations. Despite its shortcomings, this was still one of the strongest issues of Secret Six, and setup a plethora of new
The Art: Eaglesham and Derenick’s art appeared to be exceptionally good here! They’ve always delivered strong art, but something about this issue felt tighter and more cohesive than previous issues. I’ve studied their work enough times now that I can typically spot each artist’s work rather easily, but it was nearly impossible for me in this issue. If the trend continues, and their craft continues to improve and mesh with one another, Derenick and Eaglesham could potentially become the dynamic duo for art at DC!
Breakdowns for this issue can be found in the spoiler tag.
The Good: Superman. If you ever want to raise the stakes for a book, involve Superman. The moment I saw him, I thought, “Oh crap! Simone isn’t playing!” And she wasn’t. I initially expected him to wipe out the Secret Six with ease, but all of his power was surprisingly met with just as much power. It was an exciting battle that was unexpected, and well worth the cost of the book alone!
Porcelain. If I were a betting man, I would’ve put money down that Jeanette or Etrigan would’ve been the ones to go toe-to-toe with Superman. Yet again, I was wrong. After an initial strike from the team fails to do any damage, it’s Shauna that manages to get Superman a little off balance. He quickly recovers and disposes of her, but it was a solid reminder of how dangerous should could be. Although, the biggest shock was Porcelain. For all extensive purposes, Superman was beat. Hell, he could’ve been killed. I was shocked. SHOCKED! Thankfully, Porcelain’s humanity, as well as Dibny’s sensibility, saved Superman’s life. But still… I’m SHOCKED!
Black Alice/ Scandal. Alice hasn’t really had a moment to shine or standout – with the exception of sporadic power spikes – but she gets that opportunity in this issue. Here, we get to see a young girl that is willing to die for the sake of the world… but she’s not able to kill herself. It’s simple, eloquent, and powerful. There’s insight into why she wants to make this sacrifice (other than the world ending if she’s doesn’t), and Scandal, albeit reluctantly, gives in to Alice’s request. Then, if this scene weren’t already somewhat beautiful in its own twisted way, Scandal manages to make it even more poignant by asking Alice to think of things she loves… I mean, come on! Knife in my heart! And then… Scandal does it.
Dark Alice. Except it doesn’t exactly work, because we learn Alice is already dead! Playing with magic in her early teens, Alice opened herself up to a powerful demon. The car crash that killed her parents, actually killer her as well, but the demon has been controlling her, keeping itself hidden deep within her this entire time. Top make matters worse, the demon has been playing with the magical forces just to amuse itself. That kind of power is scary, and I feel pretty confident in saying that this is just the beginning of the things to come.
The Bad: The ending. Seriously? What in the hell was that? This title has been building to a huge moment for months now, and the way Simone wraps up the story is essentially with the dem-out.on in Black Alice saying, “Just kidding. I’m bored with this.” The demon basically wishes for everything to go back to normal, and it does… just like that… in the final three pages of the book. Really? After so much potential and so much buzz, they just throw the whole plot away? Party foul! I feel like there could have actually been a resolution that would’ve just had long-term effects without blowing the universe apart, but instead, we get this cop-out.
- You want to see Superman vs the Secret
- You’ve been waiting to learn more about Black Alice.
- You want your opinion of Porcelain to be changed forever.
Overall: As brilliant as this issue is, it’s unfortunately tainted by a poor close to the arc. I can’t stress how painful that is for me. There’s great action, great character work, and the team functions extremely well as a unit here. Despite the quality writing and the terrific set-up for future issues, the one thing that’s glaring at me is the ending.