Secret Weapons debut is a refreshing and enthralling introduction to its world of teenage superhero’s. It’s a wonderfully constructed first issue that’s engrossing for it’s effortless character work, deft world building and visceral visual storytelling. Secret Weapons is one of the most interesting and exciting new superhero comics to be released in 2017.
Secret Weapons follows a group of super powered teenagers as they’re hunted by both a monstrous techno organic symbiote, and stalwart Valiant character Livewire simultaneously. The kids use their powers to allude the former to varying degrees of success while Livewire works to ensure their safety. Written by screen writer for the Oscar nominated The Arrival, Eric Heisserer, Secret Weapons #1 has a naturalism to its characters and flow of story that is instantly inviting. Heisserer transition into comics writing with a high degree of ingenuity for the art form, as he easily adapts to the economy of narrative in a single issue story. As such, his writing is smooth and purposeful, with just the right amount of fun, adventure, humor and thrills in equal measure. Comics has seen a lot of writers come in from other mediums over the last couple years, to varying degree’s of success. Heisserer’s debut on Secret Weapons is one of the best as he instantly understands the structure and pacing of great comics writing.
Yet, for how impressive the writing is from Heisserer, the leap Raul Allen & Patricia Martin take here is simply astonishing. Allen & Martin have gained notoriety over the last few years for their economy of style, sharp lines, fluid movement, dynamic panel construction & electric color palette. Their art on Secret Weapons feels fuller and more pronounced then what they’d done on past work like Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior or Ninjak. Yet, Allen retains his innate gift for geometry in his design and composition while rendering his characters and background in greater detail then he’s ever done before. The panel work is a masters class in visual story telling as they flow across the page. Secret Weapons is a comic that is constantly moving and the art is the chief engine in that. Matin renders the pages in bright pinks and muted blues for a vibrancy to the narrative that jumps off the page. Her work is truly explosive and adds an element of intrinsic excitement.
Based on the talent involved, all expectations for Secret Weapons were high. If it’s debut is any indication for the rest of the series, it should exceed those pre-conceived notions rather handily. Secret Weapons #1 is fun, thrilling and heartfelt in all the right places; with exceptional execution of craft from the writer and artist. It’s creators find an initial alchemy together that should serve the project well as it continues, in addition to making for an incredibly satisfying reading experience in the series first issue.
Secret Weapons #1 will be available in comics shops and digital platforms on 6/28/2017
Disclosure: Publisher Valiant Comics provided a review copy of this comic to Nothing But Comics without any payment between the site and publisher or agreement on the review’s content.