Bane's Secret Six is hired by a branch of the US government run by Spycatcher to go to Skartaris (the world at the Earth's core) and conquer it in the name of the USA. Scandal's Secret Six is hired by Amanda Waller to stop them. New to the team(s) are Dwarfstar a psychotic rapist and murderer with Atom-type powers, the jovial King Shark who just loves to eat people, Giganta who doesn't know that Dwarfstar killed her boyfriend Ryan Choi (aka Atom v.3), the assassin Lady Vic who Deadshot has a grudge against, and Tremor who works for Waller. Throw in primitive violent people, dinosaurs plus assorted monsters and fans of bloody carnage won't be disappointed.
Unfortunately the two-parter at the end is a no previous knowledge necessary (well, almost) tie-in by Paul Cornell with his (and I like Cornell's writing as a rule) over-rated Luthor series.
I nearly gave this volume 3 stars. Somewhat disappointing.
Talking of Barbara Gordon, as Oracle she has a four-part team-up with Stephanie as they face the menace of the Calculator who's in the process of turning most of Gotham (including several heroes) into techno-zombies under his control and he really doesn't like either Batgirl or Oracle. Rounding off the package is Batgirl vs Clayface with the help of the attractive new cop she rather likes and concludes with Stephanie having a girl's night out with friend Kara (aka Supergirl) which needless to say doesn't go plan.
This is a lightweight fun package with good character work and it's a shame that it's going to end fairly soon,though I'm sure Stephanie will be back as, my guess and I could be wrong, the Spoiler again. Meanwhile, enjoy this, one of DC's consistently better titles.
So, yes, it's business as usual and fans of Simone's run on this title won't be disappointed. Fans of Oracle should also be checking out the current Batgirl series.
My favourite character is probably the rather sad and ultimately tragic figure of Jarvis Poker the British Joker who admires the real Joker's style but just can't find it in himself to actually commit crimes. It's Jarvis Poker who is indirectly responsible for the abrupt change of tone of the series from knowing humour to one of tragedy.
My rating is probably a bit high as I'm not overly keen on artist Jimmy Broxton's style (one character is supposed to be modelled on Patrick Moore but you could have fooled me, though Jonathan Ross is recognisable). The writing by Paul Cornell, however, is terrific though I don't think this would support an ongoing title but a miniseries like this one every couple of years would be a treat to anticipate. Rather like an ice cream at the seaside on a warm British summer's day.