Advanced Review – Secret Weapons, Turning Rejects Into Heroes
I got to read an advanced copy of Valiant's new title Secret Weapons. The concept is basic but good and has been tried a few times with mixed results. A group of people with powers that seem mundane or useless, but when they are pulled together and guided by the right person, they become far more powerful than the imagined. I even played with the concept a few years ago. The key here is that it's being done by Eric Heisserer, the screenwriter for Arrival and the upcoming Harbinger film. He's teamed with Raul Allen for what is an interesting and fast paced first issue.
It fits into the Valiant universe through Harada. When everything was released about him, it include information about a place called the Willows, a home for psiots whose powers seem less than spectacular. There is Nicole Finch, she can talk to birds (Ornipathy), Martin Tyus, he can make inanimate objects glow (Phosphene), and Owen Cho, a conjurer who can summon random objects, but he doesn't control when or what he summons. Someone is hunting these Psiots and Amanda McKee / Livewire has taken on the responsibility to save them.
When Heisserer spoke about this series at the Valiant Summit last week, he talked about how the book was a chance to showcase Livewire, a character he thinks deserves the spotlight. And the series does that, but it also gives a lot of depth two the other characters and he makes them far more than just victims needing to be rescue. Nicole is quite capable and uses her abilities in some very cool ways. Owen's power is completely random, but he is ready to jump in to help the others. Martin doesn't get much screen time yet, but I look forward to when he does. There are supposed to be six Psiots from the Willows, but we get the impression that one, Sonya, has already been killed and the creature hunting them is only give 4 targets. So another Psiot may be off the board already.
Secret Weapons feels a little bit like the original New Warriors graphic novel crossed with the first issue of Harbinger. The characters are compelling and you get pulled into the story very quickly. Allen's art grounds the book, making it feel more realistic than a normal superhero story. This is the type of book Marvel used to do so well, the group of misfits and rejects pulled together to become heroes. Put this one on your pull list, you won't be disappointed.