Secrets Abound in Seven Secrets #1

Page 5 from Seven Secrets #1, BOOM! Studios, 2020

Seven Secrets #1 is the first of a brand new comic series from BOOM! Studios. Jumping through three different time points, Seven Secrets #1 sets readers up for mysteries, shadowy cults, and, of course, plenty of secrets.

Seven Secrets #1

Walter Baiamonte (colourist), Ed Dukeshire (lettering), Daniele Di Nicuolo (artist), Katia Ranalli (colour assistance), Tom Taylor (writer)
BOOM! Studios
August 12, 2020

Seven Secrets #1 Cover, BOOM! Studios, 2020

There exists a secret organization called the Order of Seven, whose sole purpose is to protect seven secrets. We don’t know what these secrets are (otherwise they wouldn’t be secrets), only that they range from words to weapons to wonders. Each secret is guarded by a pair of highly trained keepers, and each secret also holds enormous power. Some of these secrets are meant to be shared, others kept hidden; some might unite people while others divide. But it is the power of these seven secrets together that has drawn the attention of the wrong kind of people, who want the power for themselves.

Casper, the focus of Seven Secrets and the narrator of the story, guides readers from his conception to the present, 15 years later. Casper has all seven secrets, but readers aren’t privy yet to how he came to be in possession of those secrets. All that readers learn is that three months earlier the Order of Seven was attacked at their home base by villain Amon as he tried to steal the secrets. Fast-forwarding three months, many people are now dead, the seven secrets are together in one place, and a box with the symbol from the first secret is about to be opened. What happens next will have to wait for issue #2!

Page 5 from Seven Secrets #1, BOOM! Studios, 2020
The scene on page 5 from Seven Secrets #1 (BOOM! Studios 2020), when the first box of secrets is about to be opened

Seven Secrets feels like a fitting new story for the times we’re in. Art imitates life and comics have long had a tendency to reflect the world they exist in, whether in overt or subtle ways. Seven Secrets #1 is no different. We live in a world of conspiracy theories, whose secrets are always trying to be exposed by those invested in them. Some are fairly benign and stay within small groups of people while others hold scary amounts of power and infiltrate many different corners of our lives, much like the seven secrets described in Seven Secrets #1. I’m intrigued by this new series. I’ve already seen mention of the mythical city of Atlantis in this issue, and as of 2018, 57% of Americans believe in the existence of civilizations like Atlantis. I wonder how much more of our society will we see in these pages as the series progresses? Perhaps we can consider that to be the eighth secret of Seven Secrets.

I enjoyed how Daniele Di Nicuolo’s artwork played into the secretive nature of the comic. We see the characters, but not much else around them. We get glimpses of the landscape these characters exist in, enough to give us a general sense of the organization. The large amphitheatre and pillar-lined halls within their headquarters plays to a grand sense of importance and an almost otherworldly feeling, but then the urban environment outside reminds us that the Order could be protecting secrets in any present urban centre. I liked that there isn’t much super detailed about their locations because it plays into the storyline surrounding a secret organization. Keeping their locations under wraps would definitely be part of guarding their secrets! I also noticed a subtle manga influence in the expressive action panels and bold colours.

I enjoy comics that involve cults, the occult, and conspiracy theories. I’m fascinated by the way society holds these themes at an arm’s length as something we only see in fiction, and yet these themes appear everywhere in our non-fictional lives. As an archaeologist, the relationship between cults, the occult, conspiracy theories, and archaeology is strong and I see its influence everywhere (which is why it’s the focus of my PhD). I enjoy looking through bits and pieces of history to figure out where mysteries and conspiracies come from, and Seven Secrets #1 doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Tom Taylor has set up a fun storyline where the audience gets to play along as the series continues. I like the fact that the secrets are kept secret from us, and I suspect that as the series continue they will be revealed to us one by one, which is a fun way to play along with unraveling the mystery. I also hope the series will share more information about the Order of Seven. Who are they? How did they come to be? In a world full of secrets, how did they come to realize it was these seven secrets specifically which needed to be protected?

Stephanie Halmhofer

Stephanie Halmhofer

I'm an archaeologist in Canada! I'm currently working on my PhD, focused on how cults use archaeology and pseudoarchaeology to build and support their mythical and mystical origins, and if pop culture has any influence over that. I'm also a big pop culture nerd - I love movies, books, video games, and comics, especially those involving archaeology, cults, the occult, sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure. She/her.