Action Comics Weekly #611 (Secret Six)
“Bringing Home the Bacon”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Art – Dan Spiegle
Letters – Carrie Spiegle
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Dick Giordano
Hey gang… remember like, two weeks ago, I shared that eBay listing for what appeared to be an Action Comics Weekly mobile that you’d hang on a baby’s crib? Ya know, this thing:
You also know how I mentioned that (having been ripped off the only time I used it) I don’t really “do” eBay? Listen to me, actually assuming anyone knows what I’m talking about. Ahem. Carrying on…
Well, my buddy Dave doesn’t have those same irrational fears of eBayin’, and he did me the tremendous favor of getting that very piece into my hot little hands! Just the other day, I received…
Pardon the rosy cheeks… I was doing yard work, but, there it is! An awesome piece of DC Comics ephemera that I never thought I’d ever own! Heck, two weeks ago, I didn’t even realize it was a thing that anyone could own! Here’s the other side of the piece:
It’s just so cool! Definitely one of the coolest “pieces” that I own. You can see our “New Secret Six” badge featured prominently on the left… and you can also see DC’s lazy-as-heck Deadman badge. I mean, compare that to ours:
No contest, right? Anyhoo. I’ve thanked Dave many times in private, but I want to thank him here on the blog (in front of the dozens… and dozens) for his most thoughtful gift… and to assure him it will be properly framed and proudly displayed in my library!
We open… kind of all over the place. Remember how Luke was attacked in the mobile command last week? Well, I didn’t realize it then, but he was attacked by the dude that Vic was pretending to be so he could procure some samples of (potentially tainted) cured meat. His audio and video connection is lost to Secret Six HQ… but he can still transmit text messages (he cannot see the replies, however). His tape reels are spinning, and he hears Farmer Ralph’s CEO acknowledging the contaminated livestock! At that very moment, Vic is still riding that little piggy (wee, wee, wee) alllllll the wayyyy down.
He lands with an “Augh”, but doesn’t seem terribly worse for wear. Vic, that is, the poor pig is still meat. A woman pops into the CEO’s office to inform him about the goings-down at the Pork Processing Plant (the cool kids call it the PPP… the even cooler ones call it the “Triple P”). He assumes it’s just those reporters “digging for dirt”, and orders them removed from the premises immediately. Also… detained!
Vic-in-disguise is helped to his feet by some Security Officers and he proves to be still “with it” enough to fight them off. He grabs his tainted meat samples and ducks into an office where he can change costumes. He emerges, disguised as a maintenance worker just as his fellow Sixers (disguised as reporters) are being escorted out. Meanwhile, it seems as though rumor-and-innuendo of the tainted meat is being spread. CEO Whatshisface has a very large customer cancel their order (accounting for 40% of Farmer Ralph’s bottom line).
As LaDonna and… uh, that other Secret Sixer are walked into the parking lot, Vic makes his move. He wallops security with his… lunch pail. Well, whatever works in a pinch, right? They hop in the back of a van being driven by Luke and make their hasty exit.
We rejoin the team that evening, where everything else falls into place. We learn that the “minipigs” were indeed contaminated, however the contamination is viral and not bacterial, which wouldn’t have been deduced during a routine inspection. Also, those minipigs aren’t specially bred for lean meats and bacon… they’re bred to be used for medical research, and as part of that research… you guessed it, they were exposed to this dangerous (unnamed) virus!
Vic and Luke head off to Sunnydale Farms, who were responsible for shipping those minipigs in order to get some answers. Meanwhile, we close out at the swanky hotel where Rafael DiRienzi is being held… and he’s about to be served a platter of Farmer Ralph’s extra-lean. Doncha just love it when everything comes together?
Now, this one’s starting to subvert my expectations… at least I think it is… and that’s a good thing. From the get-go of this second arc, I was certain that the Farmer Ralph’s CEO was going to be the “big bad”… and oh, what a cliche “big bad” he’d have been! Here, however, it’s not altogether certain that he realized just how contaminated the meat he was passing on to the public really is.
I didn’t mention it during the synopsis, because… well, that was more muddled than I hoped for as it was… but, he seemed genuinely shocked to learn that the contamination couldn’t be “cooked out” of the meats. My Bachelors of Science degree has nothing to do with bacteria, but I think we’ve all heard that certain bacteria can’t survive at high temperatures… so, we might assume that the CEO was buying cheaper stock to increase his profits, never thinking that he’d be passing certain death on to his customers.
Because really, why would he want to kill the people filling his pockets, right? I’m not saying he’s completely without blame… when human lives are being lost/affected, ignorance isn’t all that great an excuse. All’s I’m saying is… the CEO doesn’t appear to be the “final boss” of this arc… and that’s pretty damn refreshing!
The Sixers all fill their roles well here… and, despite their pangs of guilt and conscience telling them everything they’re doing is wrong, seem to be coming together as a team. I came down pretty hard on the Secret Six feature last week… but this one was rather good!
Our cliffhanger all but promises us that Rafael’s story will have “a” resolution… just as the feature goes on hiatus. That’s right, next week is it… for a little while. By the time the Secret Six come back… why, Action Comics Weekly will have a whole new “banner” (more to come on that soon)!
Tomorrow: Laser Tag in the Park with Superman