DC Comics - Please Continue Publishing Secret Six In Some Format
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To DC Comics And Their Parent Corporations,
Please understand, first and foremost, this is a realistic plea and not a shrill demand. I respect you all as businessmen and creators too much to begin this petition with overly emotional hyperbole. I know you have more than likely been inundated with compliments, requests, comments and criticisms regarding your recent decision to cancel and relaunch several of your titles at this point - I can only hope that you have room in your hearts and your schedule to read at least one more.
The DC title known as Secret Six has proved to be both a critical darling and has a small but devoted following - as I'm sure you are already aware. Secret Six is a smart, well-written and beautifully illustrated comic by anyone's yardstick.
A digression: for those of you reading this who might be unfamiliar with Secret Six and why it's made such an impact, here's a brief primer. Secret Six an edgy, interesting story of six (or so) small-time supervillains who, due to various circumstances, have banded together to form a perverse sort of family. I, along with many others, have delighted in their exploits for the past few years and purchased each new issue eager to see more of their triumphs, tragedies and just flat-out craziness. It is a rarity in many respects in the modern day comic book world.
- Secret Six is a title with no major brand-name heroes.
- Secret Six is a title all about supervillians, albeit ones of delightful and amusing amounts of moral ambiguity - in itself another rarity in superhero comics. It is remarkably adult in content, in every positive sense of that word, for a mainstream DC title.
- Secret Six is a title with Gay, Lesbian and even Gender-Neutral characters as it's protagonists - a feat that, to my knowledge, has only come close to being matched by another one of your excellent DC titles, Batwoman.
For me, Secret Six is a title that illustrated that you can be different and still have friends. More importantly, it illustrates that you can choose your family, as these misfits do with one another. That family, love and even your sex life doesn't have to be conventional to be true, that you don't have to be a perfectly good person to find love and be loved. It has been a monthly gem that always guaranteed that, no matter how dark my life was at the time, I was going to have a belly laugh (or, failing that, read about a fictional character who had it much, much, MUCH worse than I ever could).
In short, Secret Six is a comic book that is a rare and beautifully dark bird.
It is also a title that DC Comics have chosen not to relaunch in their "New 52" campaign.
DC, I understand that you had several hard decisions to make and you did so for reasons both economical and creative in nature. I respect that your decision to relaunch the series "Suicide Squad" - no doubt carefully crafted by writer Adam Glass and artist Marco Rudy and featuring two of the main characters of Secret Six - was most likely not an easy one or rushed into lightly.
Your choice, however, to not offer the endlessly talented Gail Simone a chance to recreate her story of Secret Six in a relaunched milieu is heartbreaking for the many fans of the series - both those who have followed it since Villains United and the many more falling in love with it for the first time via recent online purchase or in trades.
I know you have sound business reasons to attempt something new and different with these characters, of which I know nothing of, so I can only appeal to your hearts instead of your heads. I offer three viable, reasonable options for you to pursue regarding Secret Six. Should you choose to do so, I can guarantee that you will make thousands of fans world-wide extremely happy.
OPTION 1: Take a chance on Gail Simone and allow her to write and create a new Secret Six mini-series or ongoing title.
While I understand if you feel it may be redundant with the existence of Suicide Squad, I can guarantee that I (and many fans like me) will purchase anything with Gail Simone's name attached to it, especially Secret Six.
I have come to understand that you are releasing additional mini-series and titles in addition to the 52 flagship titles, such as the Huntress and Penguin books you've recently announced. If allowing her to restart Secret Six as an ongoing seems too risky, why not a mini-series? If the sales for said series impress - which, with proper online marketing and a hungry fan base, they should - you can always continue to publish it as an ongoing. If not, then you will have only lost a small amount of revenue.
You have shown your confidence in Gail Simone by giving her the writing duties for the controversial new Batgirl series - why not try giving her the free reign to reinvent a pre-existing critical darling? You have little to lose and a good deal to gain should you make the attempt.
OPTION 2: Allow Gail Simone to take over as the new writer on Suicide Squad or act as co-writer with Adam Glass.
I am aware that this request does come across as deeply disrespectful to the writer of Suicide Squad, Adam Glass, and I apologize. There is every possibility that Mr. Glass' new take on the mythos may prove as engaging as Simone's or even Ostrander's seminal work. Even so, rather than ask you to throw the baby out with the bathwater or create a 'redundancy' by publishing Secret Six, I only make this request as an alternative - one that would allow Gail Simone to return to the characters she's used to thrill, move and entertain us for past few years.
Since she is already co-scripting the new adventures of Firestorm - a new title I promise to buy just on the strength of her name, incidentally - why not extend the offer to do the same with Suicide Squad, should Adam Glass be amenable?
OPTION 3: Continue to publish Secret Six with the same team - as a singular throwback to the DCU of old.
I understand the reasoning for uniformity in your new titles and new "soft reboot." I respect that you felt the need to make changes to generate new sales and new interest. Truth be told, your decisions have made me very excited and I do plan to purchase several of your new titles come the relaunch.
All of that said, would letting Secret Six continue to be published as it's own, separate universe do any harm to the rest of your books? I would hazard that the answer to that is "No, none."
While others have rightly pointed out that fans of the old continuity will always have back issues and trades to read, I see no harm in letting one creative writer have the entirety of the old, discarded sandbox to play with. I know that, of all the options I have suggested, this is the most unlikely to be agreed upon. Even so, I thought I would simply put the idea out there for consumption and hope it engenders both thought and discussion in your offices.
If I have offended anyone with my ardent plea, I do apologize. I hope that you all understand and appreciate that my arguments all stem from a passion to see something wonderful continue - in any format you choose.
And I am not alone.
I have chosen to write this petition in the hope that I can amass a significant amount of signatures below to impress upon you just how much your fans adore Secret Six and desperately want to see it continue. In any case, if just one of you at DC Comics reads and appreciates my words, I will consider it an honor.
To Gail Simone, Nicola Scott and the many, many more who made Secret Six a reality - myself and all of the undersigned thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
And to those of you at DC Comics who choose to keep Secret Six alive - should you decide to do so - we offer an even greater heartfelt thanks in advance.
Thank you for your time.