Odd, this is the fifth trade I've read this year so far and the fourth one to be Volume 2. I think it's odd.
Anyway, Gail Simone's Secret Six was a book I loved back in the day. You could tell she had the best time writing the book. Full of irredeemable characters, she probably had more liberty to do things with them than she would have on Birds of Prey or Batgirl. I was bummed when the book went away when DC did their ill-conceived New 52. I was thrilled when I heard they were letting her bring the book back. And now, this is where I'm torn on this book.
Gail was forced to re-introduce the characters from the old book she wanted to use, many of them appearing in the New 52 Universe for the very first time. She got to create some new characters for the book, too. And that's a shame, because you can tell she really was held back by the fact that, for all intents and purposes, these were ALL brand new characters with no history. History that the characters had and new history she built on that base.
This trade contains two stories. The first one felt like it ended abruptly for no good reason. The second was much better, not that the first one was bad. Classic Gail storytelling. But with strangers with familiar names. Also, she got to reintroduce Elongated Man into the New 52 universe. Even with her deft skills, I don't like what she did with him. I don't know how much of that was her doing and how much of it was editorial, but I just didn't care for his reintroduction. And near the end, he got his costume back and it instantly reminded me not of any of his previous costumes, but my first thought was Joe Staton's E-Man.
The book is good. The stories are solid. The art is beautiful. I just felt like they were wasted on this shadows of characters.
Secret Six Vol 02: The Gauntlet
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenick