Friday, February 1, 2008

Secret Six #1

Secret Six #1 (On Sale: February 1, 1968) features the second strange DC cover of the month. This Frank Springer cover is actually the first page of the story

(Code Name:Mockingbird) is by E. Nelson Bridwell and Frank Springer. The Secret Six are six trained specialists who are blackmailed by the mysterious and never seen Mockingbird (who communicates through pre-recorded messages) into going on missions. Think of it as Mission: Impossible with a twist. One of the six is not who they appear to be; one of the six is actually Mockingbird.

Which of the six are who they appear to be and which one is their blackmailer? How can they work as a team knowing that one of them is pulling all the strings? This was a completely new type of book for DC and a real breath of fresh air in 1968. I was a big Secret Six fan!

The Six are:

King Savage, who was a pilot during the Korean War, and was shot down and ended up revealing secrets to the enemy. Mockingbird freed him and allowed him to warn the UN. He works for Mockingbird or else Mockingbird reveals that he is not a war hero, but a coward. He was the stunt guy in the group.

Carlo di Rienzi, who was a magician in Italy, who fell afoul of the mob. They killed his wife and severely injured di Rienzi and his son. Mockingbird gave him the treatment he needs to be able to walk, but if he does not work for Mockingbird, the treatment vanishes. He was an escape artist.

Lili de Neuve was a famous actress framed for murder. Mockingbird came up with an alibi to save her, but if she did not work for him, the alibi would vanish. She was a masterful disguise artist.

August Durant was a famous scientist who was infected by enemies of America with a virus. Mockingbird devised an antidote, but he only gave Durant enough of the antidote so that Durant would need to keep coming back to him for more. And if he did not work for Mockingbird? You guessed it. Durant was the brains of the group.

Crimson Dawn was a socialite who was hoodwinked by a "suitor." She was so ashamed that she needed Mockingbird to create a new identity for her, as a famous model (Mockingbird did this with the help of Lili de Neuve). If she did not work for him, he would reveal her identity. She was the seductress of the group.

Tiger Force was a boxer who refused to take a fall. He was beaten by the mob, but saved by Mockingbird. He then created a new identity, which Mockingbird will reveal if Force does not work for Mockingbird. He was the brawn of the group.

This issue was reprinted in Brave and the Bold #117.

Edited by Murray Boltinoff.


rob! said...

stupendous cover. i loved this series, thought it was really innovative for the time. deserves a nice HC collection, i'd say!

-Keller said...

What I loved about this era is that DC was trying all kinds of innovative ideas and the Secret Six was certainly one of them.