Secret Weapons Issue 4 Review: Ready to Rumble

There’s a scene between a young Amanda McKee and her mentor Toyo Harada. He’s enhancing her psiot powers. This young orphaned black girl, smart and fearless endures a tremendous amount of pain. She becomes Livewire and later Harada’s enemy. Now she’s at a point in her life where she’s fed up with cleaning up his abandoned messes. The latest are a group of rejects or failures, since Harada didn’t see the potential in their psiot abilities. Nikki Finch talks to birds, Owen Cho manifests things out of thin air just by using his thoughts and Avichal Malakar can turn himself to stone. If you lacked imagination, you would think that this group of misfits wouldn’t survive this psiot-hunting landscape. But something Livewire has an abundance in is creativity.

In issue four of ‘Secret Weapons’ Livewire utilizes aspects of her powers you wouldn’t think of. In the interim Nikki, Owen and Avi become a team. At the beginning of this miniseries you may have thought instead of brining in new characters Valiant should focus on their mainstays. Perhaps they shouldn’t reboot Ninjak – again. However with each comic, writer Eric Heisserer utilized an underdeveloped character and gave her a part of the Valiant universe ripe with storylines. Just who are these psiots who were hiding in this facility? Why is HARD Corps hunting them? And where is Harada? For now the main focus is developing the powers of this newfound team. They’re going to be important in not only their own comic book series, but across the universe. The Corps isn’t the only one hunting psiots. There’s a new threat called the Omen. The dismantling of Project Rising Spirit has a created a vacuum. Livewire’s team is being set up to be a key player in this shifting narrative.

When you see the cover of this issue take a good look at it. You’ll notice Nikki flanked by two crows. As she gives you a defiant side-eye, understand what those birds represent. Odin in Norse mythology is known for his ravens, a gathering of crows is referred to as a murder. The folklore surrounding birds is filled with mystery and evolution. Crows are known to be some of the smartest among the animal world. They utilize tools similar to chimpanzees, are able to recognize people’s faces and can understand over 200 bird calls. Essentially, the stereotype of dumb birds is not the reality of how they function. The same goes for the thrown away psiots. They are stronger than Harada could ever hope. Imagine having the capability of turning other people into stone, at will. Or, being able to communicate with every living creature on the planet. With all the possibilities of stories that can be told, you can tell that Heisserer has laid a foundation for an ongoing series, filled with characters you can’t help but root for.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 613 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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