Thursday, May 22, 2014

Secret Weapons #3 (Classic Valiant)

Eddie 'Stronghold' Sedgewick and Amanda 'Livewire' McKee, two Harbingers (superpowered beings) are called to action when their friend Geoff McHenry tells them that Gilad, the immortal and nigh-invincible Eternal Warrior has been kidnapped by the sinister Iwatsu corporation , which gave power to the hero Bloodshot, who escaped them. Desperate to successfully repeat the Bloodshot procedure (which currently produces only Speedshots, who lack most of Bloodshot's abilities, and have an extremely short life expectancy), the ailing Iwatsu has horrific plans for the Eternal Warrior...

As the first issue to take place after the first story, this shows just what the protagonists of Secret Weapons are-A superhero team, or just a bunch of bro-skis and gal-skis who hang out and just so happen to get embroiled in superhero stuff. It's the latter.

The artwork here is good, although there's heavy inking for a lot of dialogue, and one panel that's blurry! The title page, like all Valiant comics, is a splash page, and while it is wasting space, it looks pretty stylish. And there's one almost two page spread which gets really lazy, and just uses a cityscape photo with a bit of filtering.

The plot is dull, minute, and the climax, or lack thereof, is unforgivable! The guest Valiant character Archer (of Archer and Armstrong), having somehow followed the speeding train the Speedshots are on with only a motorcycle, makes a ridiculous jump on it, and is about to land in the specific compartment with Gilad and the Speeds when!....The comic cuts to several hours later, when the problem has been defused already, and it's never shown, or explained what the hell happened! The narration just says that the good guys won!

Ok, not only does having Archer do everything take away from the series' own heroes, but reading this comic is akin to going crazy blackout drunk just before the last act of an action movie!

Oh, and if you think that everything will be explained in Bloodshot #11, given the 'To be continued in' tag, no, only the Iwatsu having a heart attack plot point carries over.

The Speedshots are annoying, because they talk like a Mr. Spock comedy double act.

Stronghold and Livewire are pretty dull here, and have banter which very much falls into the territory of failed attempts at humour. Livewire's powers are always vague in this series, which is quite an accomplishment given this issue actually says what they are! Is she a Technopath? Is she a female Magneto? How can she fly? No idea, and I've read the whole volume.

Gilad spends the issue fighting, and being unconscious. By the way, this issue (and other ones) explain his immortality and super-strength/durability by saying he has a denser cell structure than normal people. I'm not a scientist, and while that sounds bullshit, I could be wrong, and it could very well be a perfectly legit reason, so I'll give the comic the benefit of the doubt. What I do know to be bad science though is when Archer blows up a plane simply by crossbow-firing an arrow at the fuel tank! Not even if it was coated in gasoline, buddy!

As for the Geomancer (earth seer) Geoff, he's a little shit! He also narrates and exposits constantly, which is pretty unwelcome and annoying. Just let the story tell the story!

The biggest question on my lips is-where's Bloodshot in any of this? He's probably absent because the writers knew that he could instantly solve this problem.

I'm sad to say, this series just keeps getting worse and worse as it goes on! The length doesn't help, nor do the lacklustre stories, or the lack of character from Eddie and Amanda! I like them, but this series is doing them no favours.

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