Chico Comics Page Review: Secret Weapons #0
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Illustrator: Adam Pollina
Colorist: David Baron
Letters: A Larger World Studios
Reviewer: Chris “The Bearded Wonder” Natale
Secret Weapons #0 is the second comic I have read by Valiant Entertainment and I do not think it will be my last. However, even though this comic piqued my interest in the characters of the Valiant Universe, it was not one of my favorites. I feel that this may be because I am not as familiar with the Secret Weapons comics that have come out previously. Heisserer is not a bad writer by any means, but I felt that I just did not get some of the references that he made, particularly to Les Misérables. I liked the way he wrote Nikki Finch because I found her relatable and likeable. However, I thought her power was laughable considering what her name is, but I’ll let you guys be the judge of that. One big positive for me was that she was not oversexualized. As you can tell if you have read my other reviews, that is a big plus in my book. Her character reminded me a lot of a mutant from the Marvel Universe just trying to fit in and I love the X-Men so I immediately gravitated to that. Her parents seemed like they just didn’t understand her or even try to empathize with her. I also liked the way that the story is sequenced throughout a year of her life. It starts on October 10 and ends on October 10. Even if there is no date significance there, that is pretty cool to me. I would have liked to see a year included, but that’s really minor stuff.
The art drawn by Adam Pollina is not a style I am used to, but it did not take away from the story. I liked how the silhouettes of the characters were darkened which made them pop off the page. It was almost like looking at a motion comic. I was expecting to hear voice actors performing the dialogue for each panel. Another detail I enjoyed was how they showed the first panel and then the second panel had “Nikki’s Story” drawn out with birds all around it with one even holding an apostrophe up in the air. I really liked that Nikki was the center focus of each panel, which basically tells the readers that their eyes should be glued to her because this is her story. The colors provided by David Baron really allowed Nikki to stand out among the background characters. For example, in one panel she was wearing purple while everything in the background had a blue tint to it. In another panel, her hair and skin color were brighter than everyone else’s. Details like these really make me appreciate comic art and why I love it so much. The lettering done by A Larger World Studios was sufficient and I had no problem following along. I have to say that I really admire the creative process behind making comics so it was a special treat at the end that they decided to include the steps they went through to create the pages. First, they started with the script on the left side, which then transitioned to the inked drawings, then colors, and lastly final colors. As I have said in past reviews, adding in little things like that make me appreciate the stories I am reading more and more. Comic books are fun for us and the creators, but there is a lot of hard work that goes into it that we don’t see as readers/consumers.
Overall, even though Secret Weapons was not one of my favorite comics, it piqued my interest in checking out other titles that Valiant has to offer. I also enjoyed that it was an issue #0 because it was easy for me to step into the world of Nikki Finch and see what she is all about. I did not need to do any preliminary research before reading this comic. Granted if I had to do it, I would have, but I like that it is a good starting point for any comic fan, new or experienced, to enjoy. Nikki Finch is a relatable character who I actually felt sorry for at times because of the cards she was dealt and when a creator makes you feel something for a fictional character, they are doing something right. The art was really different for me, but there were things I liked about it. It did not take me out of the story by any means and at the end of the issue, I had no trouble following along with what was happening. If anything I said about this book interests you, pick it up and give it a shot. Even if this book is not your style, I am sure Valiant has plenty of other titles to offer. I am not as familiar with them so if you have any suggestions on what to check out by them, please let me know in the comments below and I will give it a shot.
“Psiots are people capable of unlocking fantastic abilities, but only about one in four will survive the surgical activation process.” Enter Nikki Finch, a young teenage girl who just wants to find out what her purpose is in life and who she is supposed to be. She is noticed and contacted by an NGO (non-governmental organization) called the Harbinger Foundation as a candidate to qualify for their “psiot activation” program. Little does she know that this could change her life for better or worse…
To me, my Psiots! Secret Weapons is not a title I am familiar with, but I think it’s important to keep an open mind while reading any book with characters and worlds that are new to you. Nikki’s story was sequenced well. The art was different, but unique enough to enjoy. The colors only complimented the characters and backgrounds involved. If any of what I said interests you, pick Secret Weapons #0 up and give it a shot. Since its issue #0, you won’t have any trouble following along. The official rating by the Bearded Wonder is a goatee on the beard scale, which is a 5.5/10.
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