Well the title Secret Weapons continues to gather meanings as this four-parter from Valiant moves into the second issue.
It turns out that Rex-O, the creature that is hunting the psiots from the Willows compound, was once a secret weapon of Toyo Harada. On top of that, Livewire, considers herself to be the Willows psiots’ secret weapon, but they just may turn out to be hers.
The Willows was a compound where Toyo Harada, the big bad of the Valiant universe, sent psiots whose abilities he considered useless. It was hidden away in Oklahoma until the secret base was exposed when all of Harada’s secrets were broadcast to the world. The Willows residents fled and – some more successfully that others – hid among the humans of Oklahoma City.
Now someone is sending Rex-O to hunt them down and absorb their powers. This time Rex-O targets Avi who can turn to stone, but becomes immobile when he does. Nikki and Owen manage to get there just as the attack begins and the three almost manage a credible defense while waiting for Livewire to arrive.
While the action is well-timed and the story has a pace that keeps pulling you through the book easily, Eric Heisserer and Raúl Allén (Ninjak) both excel at the quieter parts of the story when you get to see the Willows’ psiots spend time together and re-connect like they used to on the compound. The mirrored views of the current situation with their memories shows both how much this cobbled together family needs each other as much as it shows how they have grown apart.
Heissserer is primarily a screenwriter and it shows in the way that he controls the story. He knows when to keep the action flowing and when to give the reader chances to breathe and take in all that has happened. But don’t let that make you thing that the book lacks for action. The fight is well choreographed and builds the danger to all the characters.
I also loved how Allén and Patricia Martín envision how Livewire sees the internet when she is searching for Rex-O. The swirling violet, organic patterns are all made from digital code. It gives a real feel to how Amanda see and interacts with the electronic environment and provides a lot more understanding than the explanation that her power is to interact with technology.
There are still plenty of mysteries to unravel, as wounds are healing, not the least of which is who are the real secret weapons and what is their target. This book continues to stand out on my pull list and I cannot wait for the next issue.
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Artist: Raúl Allén
Colorist and Letterer: Patricia Martín
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment