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Monday, November 1, 2010

Comic Book Review: Superman Secret Identity

Probably my favorite Superman comic book... for now... ( I haven't finished the newly released Superman: Earth One yet), this book explores the life of a teen named Clark Kent. Yes, I know the names are the same, and you might be thinking that it will be the same old song, same old dance. How many reincarnations of the Superman origin have we read/heard anyway?


Clark Kent is a young boy living in Picketsville, Kansas, in a world where superheroes only exists in comics (just like the real world).  He is not totally giddy about having the name of the fictional superhero, because he only receives Superman-related gifts during Christmas, and he is getting tired of getting the same gifts all over again. Not to mention that he always puts up with being the target of many Superman jokes and is bullied often at school. One day, after awaking from a bad dream while on camping, he realizes that he is floating... no flying! Realizing that he has the same powers as Superman, (you know, x ray vision, super breath, super speed, invulnerability - the whole shebang) he goes on to save and protect people during the weekends while keeping his secret identity. 

That's just he beginning of the story. He eventually becomes Superman and gets to marry a woman named Lois. (not the Lois Lane of DC continuity). There are a lot of adventures featuring him and the US government, who is tracking him down, trying to pin him to get to know his real identity and to use him as a weapon. 

From that point onward, the story of our hero just becomes as complicated as ever. How will he fend off these guys? Can he survive their relentless onslaught without his loved ones getting hurt? How would he protect everybody? What about his dreams, his career and his plans of probably... having his own family?

Superman: Secret Identity is a well-written story that transcends any Superman titles or story arcs ever. It presents a very realistic view on the life of the Man of Steel, of what he would look like if he had the same problems as ours and also shows the kind of resolution that he would have to do given those circumstances. Everybody could relate to this story, because the writer "humanized" Superman to the point that he is as confused, angry, and frustrated - just like any of us would be - in some parts of the story. The Last Son of Krypton has never been this vulnerable.

If you are tired of the current flow of Superman titles you've been reading lately, sick of the usual origin story and villains, try this book. It will give you a whole new perspective on our hero while getting the romance, suspense and  that down-to-earth Superman story that has never been told before. Of course, it is also hopeful and touching down to the very last pages which should be a fitting end to any Superman saga they plan on putting in the movies. The illustrations nice and fluid and is a perfect complement to the story. You would really get to feel "Superman in the real world".

Superman: Secret Identity is as good as any comic that I have read for a while and reading it was fun. Definite read. 

Superman: Secret Identity is written by Kurt Busiek with illustraions by Stuart Immonen. Published by DC Comics.

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