Thursday, June 7, 2012

Secret #2

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Ryan Bodenheim

Jonathan Hickman's new series, Secret, is kind of the 'other' Hickman book.  His Manhattan Projects has been garnering more attention, and while that book, about the variety of secret science projects rolled into the development of the atom bomb, is a lot of fun and generally pretty nuts, Secret feels to be its opposite.

The first issue established that this series was about espionage in the business world, and it introduced a number of characters, but Hickman kept most of the comic's goals and purpose quiet.  I thought this new issue would clarify what's going on, and it did to a certain degree, but it also just piled on a number of new questions.

The comic opens on two boys who are waiting for their father to mete out punishment for something they did.  We are given enough to know that the father is involved in organized crime, and that his punishment is pretty harsh (I'm not going to spoil it, but the cover kind of does).

From there, we move to today, where Grant Miller is target shooting with a woman.  She gives him a letter, and they both realize that this particular day has significance to Grant.  Later, he's called into his boss's office, where he learns that his friend was killed last issue, and that the company's 'fixer', who he doesn't like, will be handling that problem.

Hickman takes his time establishing Miller's past and relationships, without really getting into the nuts and bolts of what he, or Steadfast Security Solutions is really up to.  The mystery works very well though, as I find I'm completely invested in finding out what's going to happen moving forward.

Ryan Bodenheim's doing some very good work with this comic.  His previous books, A Red Mass For Mars (with Hickman), and Halcyon, have both been much more over the top.  I like how he handles normal everyday situations, and Michael Garland's colours, which fit with Hickman's usual monochromatic palette, work very well here.

This title deserves at least as much attention as The Manhattan Projects is getting, and is perfect for anyone who enjoys Thief of Thieves or Criminal.

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