Secret Weapons #4
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Art: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
There’s a New Superteam in Town!
What You Need To Know:
If you’re going to follow Valiant titles, there’s one word you need to know: Psiot. A Psiot is essentially Valiant’s equivalent of Marvel’s mutants, although their powers need to be triggered. The Psiots were briefly collected, and weaponised, by a madman named Harada. In the aftermath of Harada’s defeat, heroic Psiots dumped all his files on the Internet.
Secret Weapons has revealed another of Harada’s secrets; that he discovered some Psiots who he considered useless. He initially restricted these Psiots in The Willows, and now their identities are publicly known they’re targets of hate and fear.
Worse still, Secret Weapons has seen a monstrous creature known as Rex-0 hunting these Psiots down. Sickeningly, Rex-0’s creator – who calls himself the Scavenger – bathes his creation in the blood of Psiots, thereby granting Rex-0 their powers. It seems the Scavenger was a mysterious failsafe set up by Harada, and he’s started killing off Psiots by going for the relatively defenceless ones first.
Fortunately, a technopathic powerhouse named Amanda McKee has come to these guys’ help. She’s working with Nikki, an athletic girl who can communicate with birds, Owen, who conjures objects from thin air, and Avichal, who can turn into an immobile stone statue. But can they defeat Rex-0?
What You’ll Find Out
The Scavenger has successfully captured Amanda McKee, and he’s planning to give Rex-0 one dangerous power upgrade. Can the Psiots save their mentor / friend?
What Just Happened?
The purpose of Secret Weapons is a simple one; to help you realise that even ‘lame’ powers can be tremendously useful. As a result, for all Amanda gets major action sequences in this issue, the bulk of the story is concerned with Harada’s rejects. It’s a fascinating approach, and it’s sure to delight many comic book fans. Not least because the issue carefully reveals that each character’s powers aren’t so useless as we’d been led to believe.
Eric Heisserer’s script is smart and enjoyable, blending dark plots with a great sense of humor. The final battle between the Conjurer and Rex-0 is a strange combination of emotional angst and Looney Tunes humor (right down to Rex-0 being crushed by a falling piano!). Somehow, though, the different tones blend rather than clashing. It’s a really enjoyable read.
The miniseries is clearly setup, and I can’t help hoping we see a lot more of Harada’s ‘rejects’ in the future. They’re a delightful bunch, and over the course of the miniseries I’ve come to care a great deal about them. Real credit needs to be go to Raul Allen and Patricia Martin, whose whimsical artwork is perfect for this story.
Viewed as the launch of a new franchise, the Secret Weapons miniseries is a tremendous success. At the same time, it’s perhaps just a little too steeped in Valiant lore to be accessible to a new reader.
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