Synopsis: Nikki Finch thought the offer from the Harada Foundation would change her life for the better. The possibility of having an ability; the possibility being special. Through the preliminary tests, Nikki always held out hope that this would be the defining moment in her story. Leaving behind friends and family, Nikki underwent the dangerous activation procedure, but the struggles were about to begin. Her psiot abilities were passive, and Harada deemed her unworthy to join his main ranks. Sent to the Willows, Nikki quickly realizes that her fears may have finally come true. Even in a world were Nikki has powers, she may still be rather banal.
Review: It is no great secret that Secret Weapons should be considered one of the best series Valiant has to offer. Yes, Harbinger has treated us to engaging, personal stories before, but they sometimes feel like a side dish to the main story and action sequences. Secret Weapons #0 serves up character insights as the main course. Nikki goes from high school student to potential psiot, to rejected talent. The emotional roller coaster is shown day by day and panel by panel. When Nikki leaves the Willows, the reader may believe that moment to be a turning point for her, so her return comes as a bit of a shock. However, it makes Nikki seem more relatable as a person.
The panel layout is the perfect visual to express time. It grants the reader snapshots into Nikki’s life. Sometimes, it only progresses a day, and sometimes it jumps weeks. And with this kind of layout, it makes the tight face shots more powerful and arresting. There is an economy of space, and it is appreciated. Therefore, more attention is paid on the moment rather than just letting the eyes wander.
Secret Weapons never disappoints, and it is good to see its quality continue post-hiatus.