REVIEW: Secret Weapons #1 (of 4)

Publisher: Valiant
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Artist: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Colourist: Raul Allen & Patricia Martin
Release Date: OUT NOW!

Price: $3.99

Secret Weapons #1

Sings: “Summer’s here and the time is right, for dancing in the street!” Or, alternatively, you could practice your vampire shtick and hide yourself away from the light and indulge in Secret Weapons #1 (of 4), Valiant’s big summer blockbuster series.

Secret Weapons #1 (of 4) is brought to you by Academy Award nominated writer Eric Heisserer and Harvey Award nominated artist Raul Allen. That may be a pedigree to make you salivate or you may be cynical enough to think that being nominated but not winning is a bit like coming second in a boxing match. That particular train of thought is not just me being snarky, it actually has some relevance to the action in Secret Weapons #1 (of 4).

Technopath Amanda McKee, the psiot named Livewire has been dispatched by the Government to investigate a secret facility, formerly run by Toyo Harada, Livewire’s former mentor, which houses psiots whose powers he deemed to be of no value to his cause, only to find the place wrecked following Harada’s secrets being exposed, and all the inmates have fled. Harada may have thought these second stringers below par, a bit like the Legion of Substitute Heroes, The New Mutants or any X-Men line up post Chris Claremont, but Livewire sees potential in someone like Nikki who can talk to birds or Martin who can make inanimate objects gently glow or maybe Owen, the worlds lousiest conjurer who can magic up all sorts of objects, he just can’t control what object he conjours.

Go figure! Anyway in Secret Weapons #1, Livewire sets out to find all these second string runaways (nominated but not winners, see what I did there?) so she can forge them into a team whose sum will be greater than their individual parts. Probably a wise move since a mechanized killer called Rex-O is also on their trail for some as yet unspecified reason.

In Secret Weapons #1, the forging of a team of untried and untested teen heroes isn’t exactly new, but there is a certain curiosity value in seeing how these apparently pointless powers can be used in a way that is effective and logical without stretching the bounds of credulity beyond even that which a hardened comic book fan can tolerate. At least none of them are as dumb as Arm Fall Off Boy (yes, he really existed, look him up) but then we haven’t seen the full roster yet.

For the record, I actually liked The Legion of Substitute Heroes, but will Secret Weapons #1 (of 4) be the summer event Valiant is hoping for? Only time and consistency like this will tell.


Reviewer: Gary Orchard
Reviews Editor: Steve Hooker


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