June 9, 2012

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Secret #1

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Illustrated by Ryan Bodenheim
Image Comics

Sometimes the saying is wrong.  It might be "a tooth for a tooth" after all, at least not when industrial espionage is involved.  A security firm looks to be playing both sides from the middle in the complex first issue of Secret.

The first thing I want to know is who has teeth that look that good?  The cover of Secret #1 is extremely striking, and I admit I'm a bit envious, as my own pearly whites are more like iced-tea stain yellow, to say nothing of chips and cavities.

But I'm getting off task.  Jonathan Hickman comes highly recommended from other comics bloggers that I respect, and though I can't say I'm that fond of what I've read of his Fantastic Four work (sorry, but Reed is the least interesting member of the team), I did some away from Secret with a better understanding of why he's so popular.  The plot here is extremely complex, but does not quite tip over into being incomprehensible, though I do think it takes a few readings to truly understand what is going on.  Each character gets a unique voice (though their body shapes do not follow suit, with Bodenheim really doing very little to differentiate them) and their dialog feels natural for fictional people in their situations.  We get a sense that a big scheme is about to go down, urging and enticing us to follow along in the next issue.  What we don't get--and I am perfectly okay with this--is just why a person's tooth is so damned important.  That's going to come later, and I'm really looking forward to seeing just how it plays out.

I read a lot of these kinds of comics, most of which are more straightforward than Secret.  This is not going to be a straight heist book, like Thief of Thieves, or a neo-noir work such as the multiple Brubaker-Phillips collaborations.  Secret has a very twisted mystery at its heart and won't be for everyone.  Those who like being challenged as they read should sink their teeth into this one now, while its still early in the story.  Issue #2 just came out, and I look forward to seeing how the story progresses from here.