Action Comics Weekly #612 (Secret Six)
“Our of the Frying Pan… Into the Fire”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Art – Dan Spiegle
Letters – Carrie Spiegle
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Dick Giordano
Welcome to the first of two “farewell” days in a row!
Today we say goodbye to one of our originals… after twelve weeks, the Secret Six are going on hiatus. I’m sure Mr. Pasko has one heckuvan ending for us!
I can hardly wait… let’s get into it!
We open with Vic and Luke at Sunnydale Farms, and learn about a fella named Jack Poundstone. He learned about the leaner-meated (though, virally contaminated) minipigs that were being bred for medical research (at Jefferson University) and bought himself a male and female in order to get ta reproducing. The University rep, a Stephen Traeger, was supposed to destroy the pigs, but figured there’d be little harm in making a few bucks on the side. A pair of good ol’ boy security guard bust in on our Sixers, but get beaten up pretty easily.
Meanwhile, we see that Ralph Dorn, C.E.O. of Farmer Ralph’s was the “VIP” who was about to be fed the tainted meat at the end of the last chapter. I had assumed it was going to be Rafael DiRienzi… guess that’ll teach me for assumin’.
Though, speaking of Rafael… we rejoin him, still held captive at the posh hotel. He is awakened, and placed before a television set. On the screen… Mockingbird! Looks like everything is going according to Emm-Bee’s plan! DiRienzi insists that there will be people looking for him… which, turns out, is all the better!
Back at Secret Six HQ, we learn that there might be a connection between Jefferson University’s Science Department and… TechnoDyne? I thought we were through with those guys! Anyhoo, DiRienzi’s pal shows up… just as predicted, and after a brief skirmish, is able to convince Maria and Mitch to hear him out.
We shift scenes to Washington, D.C., where they’re still investigating the VTOL crash. It’s assumed that all of the passengers had perished. It’s also assumed that OG Sixer, August Durant was responsible for the whole thing… and, later in the conversation, he is linked to… Jefferson University. Uh-oh.
Back with the Six, Rafe’s pal tells his tale. Turns out he was the Manager of the Enchanted Forest… but knew very little about the Secret Six. All he knows is that the VTOL crashed, and that Rafe suspected Mockingbird was behind it. He confirms that the club was later burned to the ground to “send a message”… and states that he’d received Rafael’s communication device in the mail with instructions to visit Frisco (they hate it when you call it that).
We wrap up, with the revelation that Mockingbird could only be… one of the original Secret Six! Rafael’s pal offers to become the New-Sixer’s “secret agent”, trying to peel back the layers of this mystery… while giving them all deniability (and thus, holding on to their “gifts”). I think it’s a pretty big assumption that Mockingbird doesn’t have this entire place bugged… but, we’ll play along. Anyhoo… this is how we end things. We won’t be discussing the Secret Six again for… seven weeks! Yes, really.
Twelve Weeks, Twelve Chapters… probably, three or four too many, if I’m being honest… annnnnnd, this is the “ending” we get?! It’s… it’s not even an ending! Heck, it’s hardly even a “new wrinkle”… the Sixers already knew Mockingbird probably shouldn’t be trusted. Ay yai yai.
“Ending” aside… what else we get?
Well, we’ve established a Sunnydale Farms, Jefferson University, and a TechnoDyne link. Also, that original Sixer, August Durant has links to potentially all three as well. It’s actually all quite interesting… though, at this point, probably should have been explained to us several weeks ago. These aren’t “Senses-Shattering” revelations, and the fact that we’ve had to wait so long to get ’em takes even more of the “oomph” out.
Rafael is still being held hostage, and it looks like he’d best get comfortable. “Farmer” Ralph Dorn is dealt with… fed a platter of his own tainted meat… which, if I’m remembering right, is more or less exactly what Mockingbird intended to happen. Hmm… maybe there’s more to this “connection” than I’d originally thought!
Overall, as a chapter… it’s a darn good one, though perhaps a bit “info-dumpy”. As a concluding chapter, however… ehh-ehh, nope. I get wanting to leave the people wanting more, but this kind of kicks dirt in the faces of all of us who were expecting just a little bit of resolution before the hiatus.
Tomorrow: Beat it, Boston Brand!