ACW #610 – Secret Six

Action Comics Weekly #610 (Secret Six)
“… Another Man’s Poison”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Art – Dan Spiegle
Letters – Carrie Spiegle
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Dick Giordano

We’ve got the Vic love-triangle behind us, and it’s finally time for the Secret Six’s second mission!

Fry up some Farmer Ralph’s Bacon… it’s time for MEAT WEEK!

We open with Luke chatting up a woman inside the offices of Farmer Ralph’s, Incorporated.  After getting the skinny on Mr. Dorn’s interview schedule, he checks in with Vic… confirming that the “bugs” are in place.  Vic breaks communication so he can throw on his prosthetic mask, and “clock in” for his day of work.  Meanwhile, outside LaDonna and Tony (disguised as reporters for the Trib) are being given a guided tour of the facilities.  LaDonna is especially thrown off at the sight of some very small pigs.  The tour guide assures them that those “mini-pigs” are bred specifically for Farmer Ralph’s Bacon.

Vic finishes applying his mask as Luke enters the mobile-command center.  After sharing some last bits of Intel with Maria, he heads out to “work”.  Back at Headquarters, Maria and Mitch discuss the Mystery of the Disappearing DiRienzi.

Speaking of whom, we join ol’ Gino… who’s being confined in a rather swanky suite.  A guard enters the room with a platter of food… and gets kayoed for his troubles.  Gino tries to make a run for it, but isn’t fast enough to beat the hydraulic-electroshock door!

Back at Headquarters, Maria and Mitch are chatting with Luke via comm-link, when suddenly… the line goes dead!  We can see that someone has infiltrated the mobile command.  Meanwhile, Vic is working on the line, collecting samples of potentially-tainted meat… and is approached by, I wanna say the guy he’s disguised as?  It’s hard to tell, so many of these Meat Plant people have similar faces!  It doesn’t help that the color of their smocks seems to change from panel to panel.

Anyhoo, there’s a stand-off… and a fight, which Vic flees from, jumping right over the ledge of the work platform.  He grabs onto a carcass hanging from a hook.  An Officer shoots the hook, severing the meat… and dropping poor Vic into the darkness below.

Yesterday, we talked about the Deadman feature getting a bit long in the tooth… and I can’t help but to feel this Secret Six feature has also began to overstay its welcome.

This is a feature that both has too many pages, and not enough pages.  There’s just too much going on for this to feel like a “story”.  Our main “beat” here is the Farmer Ralph’s deal… but, we just keep bouncing around from HQ to Mobile Command to friggin’ Rafael DiRienzi’s holding room… there’s just too much.

It flows… moderately well… but, still… we don’t get much of a second to breathe here.  I’m just thankful we didn’t have to deal with the crashed plane this time out!

I feel like we gotta address the art here a bit.  While good… it became rather hard (for me) to follow toward the end.  I get that there was supposed to be this “doppelganger” moment… but, the storytelling was a bit unclear (at least to me).

Vic leaping onto the pig carcass sure was something… as was the, uh, extreme measures taken by that officer.  Not sure it’s wise to open fire inside a crowded metal-walled room… I mean, bullets are sometimes known to ricochet, right?  Just seems like a poorly thought out thing to do to squeeze a trigger in that situation.

I mean, what was the best-case scenario there?  Killing Vic?  Again, that seems a little extreme.  Oh well… guess cliffhangers ain’t gonna write themselves!  Only two chapters left… let’s hope they’re a bit more satisfying than this!

Tomorrow: Black Canary’s new-er duds!

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