ACW #628 – Secret Six

Action Comics Weekly #628 (Secret Six)
“Remains to be Seen”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Pencils – Frank Springer
Inks – Frank McLaughlin
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Robert Greenberger

After last week’s cop-out unmasking… do I have any shot in hell at convincing you all that there will be a legit… “facing the camera” unmasking today?  I mean it, gang, this is it!  We will see the face behind the mask… and it’s going to be spectac… er, fairly underwhelming and predictable.

Let’s do it anyway!

We open with Mockingbird reaffixing his mask while his so–… Gino stands by dumbfounded.  An attendant enters the room and informs Mr. Byrd that there’s a goings on requiring his attention in the Communications Room.  Ya see, the New Secret Six has infiltrated “the workshop”.  I hate tugging on these same threads in my synopses, but… didn’t Mockingbird already “discover” this last time?  We shift scenes to “The Workshop”, where the Sixers are blasting the bejeezus out of some drab-clad workers.  Meanwhile, Mitch finds himself stood before a wall full of drawers.  He shoots the lock off of one and makes a most grim discovery.

Over the course of the next several pages… feels like we’re just eating up paginal real estate here… several Sixers exchange fire with the bad guys, while Maria and Luke send each other DMs.  Mitch calls in his findings, and by now we can see that he’s opened several more drawers.

We shift scenes to poolside.  We’re at Fenedy’s sprawling Georgetown estate (maybe?), where he is chatting up a man wearing an oversized hat (which, naturally, obscures his face… not that we’ll recognize him anyway!).  It’s alluded to that he’s a member of White House staff… so, maybe that’s why he’s gone “faceless here”.  Anyhoo, they exchange both pleasantries and threats… and it’s an overall dull conversation.

Back at The Workshop, Vic, Luke, and Tony reconnoiter with Mitch in the room full’a drawers.  At this point, Vic makes a flippant remark about August Durant being Mockingbird… to which, Mitch unzips the bodybag inside the drawer, revealing the corpse of that very same August Durant.  Whoops.  Mockingbird decides to make his move, and taps into the VTOLs computer system to chat up Maria.  He tells her that he’s totally cool with everything they’re doing… but, she and LaDonna have gotta get out of the VTOL P.D.Q., cuz that sucker’s about to blow!

Then, after setting a bunch of charges, and bringing all of the workers to safety… The Workshop (including the VTOL, and very likely the bodies of five members of the original Secret Six) is blown to smithereens!

We wrap up with with… the actual un-masking of Mockingbird!  Turns out it’s… wait for it… the man behind the mask is… oh boy, here it comes… the brains behind this entire operation is… oof, my goosebumps have got goosbumps… it’s… it’s… it’s… exactly who we all thought it was, Rafael DiRienzi’s father, Carlo.

Well, there ya have it… all these months, and Mockingbird has finally been revealed as being “original sixer” Carlo DiRienzi.  I don’t wanna project, but I’m pretty sure most of us following along figured that out several weeks ago… maybe even longer!

Really not sure what to make of him.  Is he a good guy?  Is he a bad guy?  Is he one’a dem shades of grey (bro?).  On one hand, we’ve got him sorta-kinda brainwashing his Son into acting like an infant?  On the other, he seems to be really against killing… at least in this instance?  I mean, he had no problem feeding a dude poisoned meat a few months back… but, this time out, not so much?  I dunno.  This feels less “complicated” and more just “confusing”.

This chapter felt a bit uneven… almost like they were buying time to ensure the unmasking scene was our cliffhanger.  That’s fair enough, and makes good sense, but… the lead up was kind of redundant.  Feels like we got an extra page or two of firefight… though, I should probably count my lucky stars we didn’t get an extra two pages of Fenedy!  That bit of this story is still very very dull.

Overall… I guess we’ll see where this goes.  The “reveal” didn’t rock my socks… but, at least it (mostly) made sense.  Only two chapters left for this feature… so, we should be expecting 16 exposition-heavy pages in our future!

Tomorrow: The Man Returns!  Blackhawk’s Back!

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