Secret Origins #6 (Comics Review)

The Secret Origins is one where each issue contains three short stories, each about a different superhero and supervillain in the DC universe and their respective origins. I’ve been fairly interested in the series for a while now, though I haven’t really gotten into it as yet. There’s already so many titles I want to read every month that just managing any more is a super-task. But still, the concept of the series is a good one and it really does seem to give you a brief taste of different characters and titles in a single package, so why not check it out yeah? Least, that’s what my thinking was when I picked up this week’s issue.

Secret Origins #6 is the origin stories of Wonder Woman, Deadman and Sinestro, from the respective creative teams of Wonder Woman, Justice League Dark and Sinestro, with some changes. Each story deals with the earliest days of the respective characters, and each story is executed well with enough callbacks to later events in the characters’ histories or even their respective ongoing titles. There is a right crazy mix of creators here, and I can definitely recommend this one, for it is a great standalone issue given you a great brief look at three of DC’s greatest characters.

Secret Origins 006Wonder Woman’s story here is the first one, and it is set in the days before she left Themiscyra to go out in the world of men as an ambassador of her people, to experience something that the Amazons have cut themselves off from for thousands of years now. Written by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang (Cliff was an artist on Wonder Woman), the story deals with how the various Amazons looked at Diana, and the tale of her birth from sand clay. Aside from being a formative experience for Diana, it was also one of the most troubling because she was often called Clay by her fellow sisters, who used the term as an insult.

Where Brian’s Wonder Woman is concerned, it was a title that I thought was one of the best of DC’s newly relaunched titles but I lost interest in the series sometime after the second volume, since the story continued on and on without end and just became boring. I’ve checked out a few issues here and there since I cut it off my pull-list, but I haven’t felt as if I could continue on with it. With his story in Secret Origins #6 however, I think I could be convinced to come back. He did start off the series on a great note and this story here is just as good as those early issues.

The art here is by Goran Sudzuka, with colours by Matt Wilson and letters by Jared K. Fletcher. Without a doubt, I loved the artwork here. The pencilwork is very old-school, quite unlike the current DC house-style, and the colours really enhance the whole effect, with the soft, natural colour palette in use. Recommended for the art alone.

J. M. DeMatteis writes the Deadman story here, “Life After Death“, and he picks up some of the threads that he introduced in a recent 2-part arc on Justice League Dark about Deadman’s origins and his time at Nanda Parbat. It is a rather tragic tale of a boy who watched his mother get abused by his father on a regular basis and who just wanted to get out of that rut in life, and it is rather wonderful.

Sure, DeMatteis moves the story along at a very fast pace, but he keeps the focus on Deadman always, and he makes it quite the human interest story, and a story about redemption and even absolution. It has all the religious overtones that have characterized DeMatteis’ work on the now-ended The Phantom Stranger and I loved the references to Nanda Parbat, and how he introduces the character of Brahma Dass to readers and Boston Brand alike.

Deadman is one of my favourite characters from Justice League Dark and this story here is a great peek at the man he used to be and the ghost he is now. Nice easy tale.

Kevin Stokes is the artist here with Chris Sotomayor on colours and Taylor Esposito on letters. The art starts off somewhat stylized with quite an angular look to the characters, but as it goes on, it conforms more to the DC house style with a somewhat rough-edged look to the characters and the colours alike. This I definitely liked. The tone matches that of Justice League Dark and it is a great look at the heart and soul of the Justice League Dark team.

The final story is that of Thaal Sinestro, one of the greatest Green Lanterns in recent history, and also one of its greatest opponents. Cullen Bunn starts off the story from Sinestro’s childhood, and then goes on to show the leader of the future Sinestro Corps as an archaeologist and at a point in his short-lived career when he meets a Green lantern for the first time. This is the only story in this issue where we see an actual villain, as Sinestro fights off a Weaponer of Qward.

While Cullen’s story is a great look at the earliest days Sinestro, it is also a brief commentary on Korugarian society, and how Sinestro was shaped by the world he was born on, and his interest in empires old and fading. When the story inevitably turns to his years as a Green Lantern and then as the leader of Sinestro Corps, you are perfectly primed for the changes.

In many ways, this story is a recap of Sinestro’s long life, and some of his more memorable events are covered here, and it is a great introduction to one of DC’s best villains to date. Iconic villain no less, someone who is one of the lucky few to have made it to film. If you have been curious about who Sinestro is and what his beef with the Green Lantern Corps really is, then this is the story you should be looking at. Loved every moment of it.

The art is by Igor Lima, with inks by Jose Marzan Jr., colours by Tony Avina and letters by Taylor Esposito. The art is a little different from what Dale Eaglesham and Jason Wright are doing on Sinestro, but the visual consistency is still there. Kind of reminds me of Ethan Van Sciver’s best days on Green Lantern. The Weaponer of Qward is an especially nice touch, and the action scenes are among some of the best that I’ve seen, though it is very brief indeed.

Overall, this was a great issue, a great look at three different heroes and villains. Now I’m more inclined to check out the previous issues and add it to my regular pull-list as well. Oh and that cover featuring Wonder Woman, by Lee Bermejo, is absolutely excellent as well. Ferocity and elegance both.

Rating: 9.5/10

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Posted on October 24, 2014, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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