Advance Review: Secret #2 By Jonathan Hickman
“NEVER GET CAUGHT“
We learn the secret past of the Steadfast Security’s chief operator as clues begin to appear regarding the mysterious KODIAC protocols. Someone gets out of jail, someone gets divorced, someone comes home dead.
Secret follows on the heels of Jonathan Hickman’s other Image comic, The Manhattan Projects, which I absolutely love. You can check the reviews on that series out after you finish this one. Secret is a spy comic that dives into the world of legal, accounting, and private security on the surface. There is a lot going on that we don’t know, and it’s up to us to piece it all together. Issue 2 starts off with a flashback but picks up after the events of the first issue.
To say that Jonathan Hickman is a good writer is an understatement. Hickman has crafted another fine story, but as usual it’s all about the long term arc and not short self-contained stories. Hickman does a good job as always, but the true stars of this book are artist Ryan Bodenheim and colorist Michael Garland. Colorists don’t get a lot of credit. We know when they don’t do a good job, but we never really hear about them when they do an excellent one. The colors are simple, selective, and beautiful. We get amazing color shifts to convey different parts of the story that match the overall tone and information of each panel. Panels are generally one color, but there are often splashes of another to accentuate the tone- red rage, yellows and oranges of tension and uncertainty. The art is just as good. It is nice and stylized, and rough where it needs to be.
The story feels like a spy movie, there is little character development over the first two issues but we do learn a something about a couple of characters. The long planned story is perfectly fine if you can hold the attention and pace of the single issues, and this one was hit and miss. The first issue really grabbed you, but the second one throws up more questions and leave us wondering what is really going on. It’s a good enough story, but we won’t really know anything until we get more pieces. That works at times, you want readers coming back and finding out how it develops. This one will probably play out better with further issues, but as a standalone it leaves a little to be desired. There’s questions I want the answers to so I’ll be sticking around for now.
Bottom Line: The story will play out better later, but for now the art and colors elevate this book to another level. Hickman is a great story writer so I have no doubt he knows where this is going and how we’re going to get there. Hopefully this is just a layover to the next destination. Because the colors and art helped this one out until we get more puzzle pieces, I give Secret #2 a solid score of 3/5.