The Secret #3


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The Secret #3


  • Words: Mike Richardson
  • Art: Jason Shawn Alexander
  • Inks: Jason Shawn Alexander
  • Colors: Jason Shawn Alexander
  • Story Title: The Secret
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 18, 2007

Tommy’s inability to admit his would-be girlfriend is dead has sent him down one wild goose chase he may not be coming back from . . . .

The Secret is an interesting creation from Mike Richardson and Jason Shawn Alexander. Somewhere between full-on edge-of-your-seat tension/horror and laughable teenage angst, the book leaves this reader with mixed feelings of dread and anticipation. In this issue Tommy finds the house of the man he is sure is holding Pam hostage and doing God-knows-what to her so he enlists the aid of some of her friends and goes on a stakeout of this creepy home. But as the story builds and the tension rises it is clear Tommy’s little adventure is only going one place and it isn’t pretty.

Richardson’s story of a boy struggling with the mysterious disappearance of the girl he loves (or at least thinks he does, there really is no telling with teenagers, am I right?) is a thing many of us can at least empathize with. While the opening soliloquy reads like something that could have just as easily been thought balloons or captions, the rest of the story makes up for it with realistic dialogue from pragmatic detectives to suspicious friends of the aforementioned missing Pam. The frustration in Pam’s mother’s words is clear as well when Tommy appears on her porch claiming irrational claims. Additionally, the story is building in drama like a teenage horror/mystery, which may not appeal to all, but is enough to keep me reading and wondering as to what will come next.

It doesn’t hurt that Alexander’s art is something to behold. It is sketchy and dark, brooding almost like the mind of a depressed teenager. Horrific images jump out at you, screaming to be looked at. The gray tone water color used to make this comic look this way is enough to frighten the easily frightened, but some of the vague backgrounds juxtaposed with the sharp, solid foregrounds only messes with you more, constantly reminding you that in this story nothing is as it seems. Alexander is taking pains to make The Secret appear frightening. From cover to cover, he is succeeding.

The Secret may not appeal to everyone. It may in fact be a bit too disturbing, not so much for what you see, but for what you do not—I know, a strange twist these days—I however enjoyed it and will be picking up the next two issues to see if Tommy figures out what happened to Pam before it happens to him as well.

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