Secret Weapons #0
Written by: Eric Heisserer
Art by: Adam Pollina and David Baron
Published by: Valiant Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I’m going to be honest here. Secret Weapons #0 was exactly what I thought I was going to get from the Harbinger #1 relaunch way back in 2012. It is the exact book. I mean it is like writer Eric Heisserer looked in my secret Valiant diary and stole all my good story ideas.  STOP SNEAKING IN MY HOUSE, HEISSERER!!!

The issue takes you on a quick journey on what it is to be one of Valiant’s psiot characters. With the Harbinger Foundation it is really rare to find a psiot whose powers are already active. Usually Harbinger (and its CEO Toyo Harada) had to find those who were psiot-capable and then put them through a process that could give them powers. Usually it would just kill them. Having someone develop powers is pretty rare.

The issue focuses on Secret Weapons character Nikki Finch – who we got to know in the brilliant 4 issue miniseries from 2017. The issue shows Nikki before she had her powers. What her high school life was like. What life was like with her parents. What she did to feel sexy. What she did to feel like she belonged. And how she really knew that she was kind of different.

This is Nikki’s journey. From her hometown to the Harbinger Foundation to finally gaining her powers. The funny thing is Harbinger knows she’s activated but they can’t figure out what her power actually is. They put her through a battery of tests that is pretty damn hilarious and scary for Nikki at the same time.

If you haven’t read the Secret Weapons miniseries this part is going to be a spoiler I suppose. I think it is silly to say so in this case but I’m going to give you a moment to shy away…

Still here? Nikki’s power is she call talk to pigeons. To birds. She is one with birds and they are one with her. She’s like Dr. Doolittle….if Dr. Doolittle only spoke to birds. The issue also shows what happens when you gain lame powers like just talking to birds. Not that I think it is lame. But in Toyo Harada’s quest for powerful warriors he doesn’t see someone that can talk to birds as being advantageous to him. That is his huge mistake.  The rest of the issue shows us the many events of Nikki’s journey before we joined her in Secret Weapons #1.

The entire Secret Weapons mini was pretty damn fantastic and I loved seeing Nikki get an origin like this. Did I think she deserved her own zero issue?  Sure why not.  Did her origin absolutely kill?  It absolutely did.  It moved pretty quickly but it really showed a huge range of her life. Great storytelling.  Once again I thought this would have made a great Harbinger #1 back in 2012 switching out Nikki for Peter Stanchek. I’m glad he didn’t get this story and she did. It really showed the depth of one of my newest favorite Valiant characters. I only hope she, and the rest of the Secret Weapons gang, survive the upcoming Harbinger Wars 2. If they don’t…if Nikki doesn’t…I may be truly pissed. For now? I’ll savor these moments and probably just reread this entire series again starting with this brilliant zero issue.


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