Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Secret Six #4

Secret Six #4 (On Sale: August 6, 1968) has only a so-so cover by Jack Sparling.

"Escape for an Enemy" is plotted by E. Nelson Bridwell, scripted by Joe Gill and drawn by Jack Sparling. This issue focuses on King Savage. The Hollywood stunt man had been a fighter pilot during the Korean War. After having been shot down and captured by the North Koreans, he escaped imprisonment and made it back to his own lines in time to warn U.N. forces of an imminent Chinese ambush. But while imprisoned, under torture, King revealed valuable information about American forces. As he reveals here, it was Mockingbird who provided King the tools and weapons which enabled him to escape prison in time to warn the U. N. troops of the North Korean ambush.

The Six's mission is to rescue a North Korean general from the Red Chinese before he can be executed as a traitor and to turn him over to the U.S. authorities for interrogation. This general just happens to have been the commandant of the prison camp where King was held during the war and the one who forced King to betray his country.

This issue has another example of Dick Giordano's "hands off" style of editing, giving his writers and artists pretty much free reign to create as they saw fit, causing mistakes to be made.

In this issue Joe Gill wrote a thought balloon for Carlo that says, "If Doc is Mockingbird…I had to make this look good!" Now since the underlying gimmick to this entire series is that one of the members of the Secret Six is actually Mockingbird, and nobody knows who he is, this little faux pas just eliminated Carlo from suspicion and therefore weakened the basic premise of the entire series.

I wish I was home and could get hold of my Secret Six issues as some people on the net say this "mistake" actually took place in issue #2, not issue #4. Argh! Who to trust, who to trust?

Edited by Dick Giordano.

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