Saturday, April 19, 2014

Final Psi Sighting: Secret Six #17 & #18

Just when you thought it was safe to forget about Psi, the misunderstood empath from The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, I show one more Psi-sighting. I have really gotten a big kick out of this look back at the character, spurred by the reintroduction of her to the New 52 by Sterling Gates in Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S..

So we have seen her fight Supergirl as a dupe for Mr. Pendergast, trying to stem the tide of Decay. Then we saw her turn on Pendergast. We have seen her die on a mission for the Suicide Squad. And we have seen her resurrected as a Black Lantern.

So what did she do as a revenant? The sad answer is 'not much'.  Secret Six #17 and #18 were Blackest Night crossover issues, co-written by John Ostrander and Gail Simone. And art is done by Jim Calafiore, whose style perfectly fits the grimy mayhem of these issues.

The plot itself is an insane mix of action. Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad is trying to rein in and maybe even absorb the Secret Six, a similar group of super-villains. This brawl takes place on 2 fronts - one Belle Reve prison, the other in front of the Six's headquarters the House of Secrets. But added into the mix is a group of dead ex-Suicide Squaders, raised as Black Lanterns and led by the Fiddler. Brief alliances, back-stabs and treachery, retreats and attacks - it is all there in 2 crazy issues.

But I was so hoping that the Black Lanterns would have more lines. The Fiddler and Yasemine get the most. Psi unfortunately remains silent (Psi-lent?). And there would be so much fun there ... taking about decay, etc.

 Instead we see her (far right) tearing through Belle Reve guards and prisoners.

 And then taking the fight to the Secret Six outside the prison walls.

 Somehow this group - Bane, Black Alice, and my gal pal Nightshade - are able to hold them off until some back-up arrives. But these are Black Lanterns. Any physical damage done can simply be regenerated. This will eventually be a losing fight.

It is clear that both the Six and the Squad, now temporarily united against this common foe, have to retreat. They use Nightshade's shadow-path power to head to the House of Secrets.

Unfortunately, it is Black Alice (who has drained Nightshade of her powers) who opens up that path. And, like the novice she is, she leaves it open. Suddenly, the Black Lanterns, including Psi (over on the right) are there and ready to brawl.

Luckily, Amanda Waller has an ace in the hole. She has a partially powered old Manhunter robot. And she uses it as a Green energy grenade.

Now it has been a while since I read Blackest Night. Is this a valid weapon for Black Lanterns?

At least in this book, it is.

The Black Lantern rings connections are severed and the zombies blow away like ash.

And that my friends ... I promise you ... is the last we saw of that Psi.

I wish we could have had some lines from her in this form!

Outside of the Psi sighting, these issues are a wild romp. And if you see them in the 50cent box, you should buy them just for the action and some excellent moments. I wanted to share a couple.

First off, look at Nightshade just hammering away at Bane. He can't lay a glove on her. I love how she is shown to be strong and battle-savvy.

But this was my favorite moment.

Yasemine looks at Deadshot to see his emotional energies. I love how Deadshot has buried his emotions so deep inside his psyche that we only see cracks of will and rage. Just a nice little characterization moment.

So this certainly isn't important from a Supergirl point of view. Heck, it isn't even important from a Psi viewpoint. But it is her last moments. So, for completeness sake, I figured I would finish off the Psi-sightings.

Hope you enjoyed this look back at this purely Supergirl rogue.


AndNowInStereo said...

I haven't read Blackest Night, but I read somewhere that Red Lantern plasma vomit was the go-to weapon for destroying Black Lanterns, because it eats them faster than they regenerate?

Is Blackest Night enjoyable if you don't know all the Green Lantern and DCU lore building up to it?

Anonymous said...

It was supposed to be green energy mixed with any of the other Lantern energy that could destroy Black Lanterns. Any Lantern light could hurt them, but the only way to truly stop them was to combine Lantern energies.

I loved these issues of Secret Six. I miss that book so much. Gail Simone needs to create a New 52 version.