Seven Secrets is writer Tom Taylor's first creator-owned comic. He and artist Daniele Di Nicuollo, colorists Walter Baiamonte and Joan Moldez Oday, and letterer Ed Dukeshire are back with the fourth issue of this action-packed thriller. Let's check it out.
In its first issues, Seven Secrets felt like perhaps the most derivative comic coming out from a major publisher. In its third issue, it surprised by giving the reader something to invest in as it delivered a readable, captivating story. It finally felt like the story was going somewhere, and that continues with this issue. All-in-all, Seven Secrets #4 is more of a single scene than a complete issue, but it works well enough while still being a bit too decompressed. The action is intense, executed with immense craft and beautiful brutality by di Nucuolo and Baiamonte, and the script keeps the reader's interest. While the last issue left me personally feeling "Wow… Seven Secrets may actually be good," this issue satisfied but didn't go beyond that. It has very much the same energy that made Jack Bauer's adventures in 24 get tired around the sixth season. It's that "Everything you thought you knew was wrong" energy. It works once, twice, three times, but it becomes a little funny after a while. In Seven Secrets #4, there is twist after twist after twist, which, yes, leaves the reader guessing but also leaves the reader reeling a bit. There are three major, game-changing twists in the final nine pages, which come right after a major character's death. Maybe two major characters?
While the artwork in Seven Secrets has always been its major selling point, the uncertain way in which death and violence are depicted was odd here. One character seems as if their neck was broken… and then is seen sitting a few panels later, but not crumpled. It's visually unclear if they're just spent or dead, but it's certainly odd. And then, a character seems to have his head slammed into the ground… but it's the smallest panel on the page, and the following pages and the captions make it seem as if he died. There were way more crushing blows shown in this issue, so these two moments to fail to communicate the stakes here were a strange misstep in the layout phase.
All in all, Seven Secrets remains on the uptick but still feels like it could be a better, more consistent read.