Secret Weapons #1

Secret Weapons #1 cover by Raúl Allén

Every so often, a superhero comic reminds me that they can still come up with interesting ideas to explore. Valiant’s Secret Weapons gave me the kind of genre book I enjoy: a mismatched team of people with wacky powers figuring out how to get along. It’s written by Eric Heisserer and illustrated by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martin.

The Willows was a secret location where a crazy rich guy parked those with superpowers he thought were losers. He activated a bunch of people’s (I want to say metagene but apparently in the Valiant universe, they were “psiots”) abilities but only wanted powerful ones. Now, someone has sent an alien monster to kill former inhabitants of this facility.

In this issue, we meet Nicole Finch, who can talk to birds; Martin Tyus, who can make things glow; and Owen Cho, who conjures up random objects that turn out to be surprisingly useful. (I’m guessing the crazy rich guy never saw The Birds, if he thought Nicole’s power was too mundane.) Livewire, a “technopath” hero (telepathy with machines), is trying to find them to protect them. (That name sounds familiar…) Here are preview pages that lay it all out:

Unlike other Valiant comics I’ve read, this one has some good character bits in addition to the action. I particularly like Nicole’s bird conversations. They’re silly but nice, light diversions, and her friends provide a terrific view of the city and surroundings. And she calls two of the helper pigeons Statler and Waldorf.

I wish the book was a bit more stand-alone — I kept referring back to the issue solicitation description to be sure of what was going on, mainly in terms of what’s happened previously in the comic universe, and I find the tendency to make up words like “psiot” annoying — but I like the characters enough I’ll check out another issue. It’s only a four-issue miniseries, so hopefully, we’ll also get some kind of conclusion.

Typical of today’s book launches, there were seven variant covers, one blank and the ones shown here:

(The publisher provided a digital review copy.)

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