Monday, March 7, 2016

Comics From The Basement - Secret Weapons #4

This week I review Secret Weapons #4 from Valiant Comics!

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Welcome to the Basement...

Last week I said we were going to go over something more 'actiony'... not sure if that's a word, but this week's comic is a bit more action oriented... but last week's comic had a lot of action and I'm digging myself a hole aren't I? Anyway, this week's review is Secret Weapons #4.

The Publisher of this particular comic is Valiant Comics, which I talked about very briefly when I did a 'Linkara' styled look at Quantum & Woody #1 several months ago... but that was when the company was purchased by Acclaim and the quality went down hill. This comic is from Valiants first run, where they were know for being more expensive than Marvel and DC... but the artwork and writing more than make up for the price.

Now let's talk about Secret Weapons... a series published in 1993, it was a team-book, bringing together some of Valiant's stable of heroes together, such as Stronghold and Livewire, as spin-off of the Harbingers series, to combat the evils that threaten the world.

So let's start to the break down shall well?

Plot: After being drugged while out on date, Stronghold grows to monstrous size because he cannot controlled his powers of matter absorption and it threatens the entire east coast. This is the kind of plot comics are known for... it's totally ridiculous and off the wall, and straight out of the silver age.

Writer & Artist: Joe St. Pierre did the pencils and wrote the book... and he's more known for his art work than he is his writing. and this is actually the only comic he wrote that I actually read, so keeping that in mind, he certainly told a compelling story, where there was sympathy for the main character, and realizing the danger of the situation. And since he did the artwork, the artwork supports the story, probably one of the few times where a person doing both sides of a comic works out very well.

Positives: The art work is gorgeous and the story is well written. One of big strengths of Valiant comics prior to being bought by Acclaim, was that every character looked realistic in terms of their build and design.

Negatives: Now here's where the shoe drops... because we St Pierre did both the pencils and the writings, this is a comic that is an example of 'missing backgrounds', having just a color gradient in it. And... the plot as I said before is right out of the silver-age: he'll keeps absorbing and growing until there is nothing left or until he explodes.

Weirdness: The actual point of drugging Stronghold is to expose the dangers of 'super-powered' beings, a plot device we'll be seeing in Superman v Batman Dawn for Justice, and has been a central plot point for Marvel's X-Men and Civil Wars story-lines... however the weird lies in the fact that comic ends with 'society not caring' about it... and wanting to know more about things like the OJ Trial, Tonya Harding and Joey Buttafucco... America was weird back then.

Recommendation: This is a tough one... but I don't recommend this comic out right. If I thought this was Valiant Comics at its best... I would've said yes, but the dated plot makes this comic totally skip-able, unless you're collecting the Secret Weapons series. However if you do want to check it out, Comixology.com has it.

Next Week: We're Going To St. Canard... Where He Is A Terror That Flaps In The Night

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