We saw this coming with issue 34, and now it's been confirmed.
With the announcement of the new Suicide Squad #1 coming out in the DC Reboot (more on that below), we've also learned that the best book DC has been putting out lately is going away – Gail Simone's Secret Six will be ending with issue #36. If you've been exercising any restraint in criticizing the reboot until you got all the crucial information, you can now commence angrily berating the powers that be. For all the good it'll do you.
The team of uncontrollable malcontents, cranky pricks, sullen bastards, angry killers, twisted weirdos and bitter misfits defied the odds by defying everything that was ever expected of them, but we won't be getting their stories anymore. Scandal Savage, Floyd "Deadshot" Lawton, Bane, Jeannette, Peter "Ragdoll" Merkel Jr., and the recent but fantastic addition of a talking shark with arms and legs named King Shark will be going off into some blood red sunset together.
Simone herself made the announcement today, and here's the full text of her farewell, explaining the circumstances. She'd probably rather you didn't berate anybody, by the sound of it.
I guess the cat is out of the bag.
Secret Six is no more as of issue 36.
I know this book is more than just another comic book to a lot of people, and I'm sorry to deliver the bad news. Due to the information rollout plan, I have known about this for a while, but was unfortunately not able to announce it.
Secret Six was a book with no stars, no a-list, or even b-list characters. It did not have Batman in it. It did not have a Green Lantern.
What it had was some of the most hardcore readership I have ever seen in comics. Because of them, we outlasted all other Infinite Crisis spin-off series, we topped the New York Times Bestseller graphic novel list just a couple weeks ago, all the trade paperbacks have been in demand and in print, and routinely were reviewed as one of the best comics DC put out month after month after month.
On behalf of everyone who worked on this book, I want to thank those readers. In this market, there is no way that a book starring CATMAN, of all people, should even exist, let alone be the favorite read of so many pros, readers, and critics. More comics pros and staffers from all companies told me it was their favorite DC book than anything else I have ever worked on. I think the message was that there was room for outsider comics even during a time when the focus is so intent on the icon characters.
I am not mad at DC in any way. They not only took a chance on a book and character set that sounded absolutely ridiculous in the outline form, but they stood by with very little interference even when it was most clear that we weren't going to be doing many of the things that would have followed the usual superteam recipe.
DC has been lovely all the way with this book. They allowed content that frankly surprised me again and again and offered little but encouragement and support the entire time. Believe me, when you go up to a major publisher and say you want your team book to be headed up by Catman, it takes a leap of faith to say, "Okay, run with it." But they did.
They never blinked at the lgbtq content. They never asked us to tone anything down. For a book that had lots of filth, sex, violence, perversion, and talking sharks, they never asked us to pull it back a little. The let us push the envelope, right off the cliff and down into the ravine. And mostly, they let an oddly personal book out onto the unsuspecting public.
And that is one of the big reasons DC has my loyalty.
I have to also add, unlike other times I have experienced and witnessed, they were extremely good about the cancellation. Mike Marts and Eddie Berganza called me in person while I was in Australia, and were very kind and remorseful, and had nothing but positive things to say. It helped a great deal.
Also, unlike some other titles in the pre-relaunch landscape, the editors went out of their way to let us end the book the way it should be ended. They allowed us enough issues to wrap the storyline the way we wanted, with our team intact. It can't even be expressed how important that was to me, and they made sure it happened. And trust me, this last issue, even if you don't read the book regularly, you want this. Because the editors went out of their way to make it special, as well.
It's a book that meant a great deal to a lot of people, myself included. I often felt more sympathy and admiration for those poor loser bastards in the Six than for the big name guys in capes and cowls.
I'm amazed it saw print at all, but delighted that their are something like eight trade paperback collections of this out there for people to read for years to come.
I don't want to get maudlin, so I'll just say thanks again to everyone who ever read and supported this book. I'm going to thank some people in the next post down who helped make the book unique, so if you hate Oscar speeches, you can stop right here.
And King Shark? Turns out he's a SHARK.
So, Simone's going to be working on Fury of Firestorm instead, since she's just ended her run on Birds of Prey (the title she's essentially synonymous wiith), too. We'll be getting a new Suicide Squad from Adam Glass and Marco Rudy that retains King Shark, although apparently as some kind of hammerhead now, a creepy robo-looking Deadshot and adds a ridiculously re-"vamp"-ed Harley Quinn. Take a look.
This… this is not what you call a "trade-up."
If it helps the bitter pill go down any smoother, there's also a Blue Beetle #1 coming from Tony Bedard and Ig Guara to give us the adventures of Jaime Reyes.