Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Rare Superman Book - And the Best Alternative Origin Story Too!, 11 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. S. W. Steel "stephensteel" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Superman: Secret Identity TP (Paperback)
This is a very rare graphic novel and at the time of me writing this review(2010), it is out of print and as a consequence is phenomenally expensive. You have to be very careful when buying this book - the original stories were published in 4 different comics, so i would recommend emailing a potential seller to ensure you are getting the complete set contained within one graphic novel, and not just one part of the series.
In a lot of cases books that go out of print are valuable because of their rarity value, and in a lot of cases this is because the book didn't sell well enough to justify keeping in print. There are quite a few out of print graphic novels that just weren't that great, and now, because they are rare, are perceived as being collectors' items - when in fact, they were never that good to begin with.

THIS BOOK IS THE EXCEPTION THAT PROVES THE RULE

I absolutely loved this book from the very first page to the very last - even the introduction was rivetting, and actually helps 'place' all the action. This is not a classic origin story of Superman - it deals with a separate universe within DC Comics where a boy is named Clark Kent and is endless teased by his peers at school. Every birthday, he gets Superman gifts. But in fact, Clark Kent is an ordinary boy. Until one day, when he suddenly has all of Superman's powers....The next question he has to ask himself, is 'Do i let people know who i am?'

This is the first part of the book , the second deals with Clark's life in Metropolis and deals with the growth of a relationship with Lois - does he tell her his secret or not? And the government trying to capture him and learn about his powers.

The third part deals with Clark knowing that Lois is pregnant, and deciding he has to try and end the government pursuit of his secret so he can bring up his family in peace.

The fourth and final part concerns Clarks journey into old age, with his powers fading.

I have tried to give the briefest outline of the book without spoiling any of the twists and turns, or the subtleties in it. This book is really well done and worth you experiencing yourself. There are none of Superman's big enemies in this, nor are there any major punch-ups - it is a character driven story.
It is quite interesting to read the early stories - you can really see where Smallville got some of its ideas from.
A lot of people rave on about the artwork in this book, but i have to be honest, it isn't my favourite kind of artwork - i am a huge Alex Ross fan and would have loved to have seen what he could have done with this book. Having said that, it compliments the story very, very well so i wouldn't mark it down because of that.

This is by far, the best alternative Superman origin story. Even better than Superman: Red Son in my opinion which is superb too. This is better in my opinion as it captures the character of Superman and his alter-ego much better.

I loved this book and read it in one sitting - i found it a real page turner and i would put it my top ten of Superman graphic novels; it is that good.

The final thing to talk about is that pesky price tag. I paid a lot of money for this, but in my mind it was worth every penny. This graphic novel won't be for everyone - the fact it is rare, and didn't sell unbelievably well to start with proves that. The only way i can help you decide whether to invest in this book is to say that if you love your Superman stories about the character more than the action, then this is the book for you.

Fantastic book - fantastic price ? You will have to decide for yourself!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superman, but not as we know him., 21 Feb 2005
Beautifully written, and equally beautifully drawn and inked, this Elseworld story takes the idea of Superman and asks what would happen if he were to truly exist in our world. How would humanity behave towards a real superhuman? More importantly, how would he feel towards us? The narration is superb and the character of Clark is wonderfully rounded and believable, with a thoroughly human voice, guiding the reader through his story, through his life, echoing the fears and anxieties he feels, which we all share. It is a wonderful book, utterly different to the standard superheroic fare of other Superman titles, and totally distinctive for that difference. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest Superman stories ever told, 28 April 2013
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
What if you grew up in a world like ours where everyone knows who Superman is, from comics, films, toys, etc? And then what if you were also named Clark Kent and lived in a small town in Kansas? It'd be a bit crappy wouldn't it? Being teased for being so similar but clearly not having such incredible, fantastical powers? And then, what if - one day you got those powers? This is the story of another Clark Kent who becomes a Superman and navigates the choppy waters of being a superhero in a world where they exist solely in pop culture while keeping his identity secret from everyone around him.

"Secret Identity" by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Stuart Immonen is one of those books whose premise just seems too corny as hell to work and yet it does - really well. In fact, Secret Identity might be one of the best Superman books ever written.

This might be because it doesn't read like a lot of Superman books as there's very little action and the focus is on the characters, always. The four 48 page issues touch on different moments in Clark's life - 1) teenage years when he discovers his powers, 2) young adulthood, 3) starting a family, 4) old age and retirement - and there is (of course) a Lois to his Clark (though she is an interior designer and Clark is a writer for the New Yorker - not a journalist!), and the bulk of the book follows their relationship from courtship to marriage to parenthood and beyond.

The Clark and Lois relationship is central to the book beyond everything else and it's a really sweet and convincing portrayal of true love. I believed they were real people who cared about one another and their love was like what a lot of people experience - though there are a few unbelievably romantic moments like Clark and Lois smooching above the Statue of Liberty as the sun set.

There's no Lex Luthor in the book, no real villain, though the US Government does keep bugging Clark throughout his life and there is one nightmarish sequence when Clark is young and captured by would-be vivisectionists before escaping.

But the best thing about this book? How it perfectly envisions the true nature of Superman. The best Superman writers understand Superman is an inspiring figure, someone who does the right thing always, no matter what, and when Superman destroys the government lab containing dead babies who've been vivisected by shadowy agent-types, he still saves these sickos from the flames even though they would've done everything they could to kill him just to find out how he got his powers. And he saves them without thinking about it - he just does it. He just saves them because he's Superman and that's what Superman does. Beautiful.

And it is a beautiful Superman book, showing up all the pretenders who think Superman is all about glowing red eyes and wearing armour (!) and the godawful representation of him in Injustice: Gods Among Us - this is instead a book that showcases why Superman means so much to so many. It shows the character's best traits and restored the wonder of the character to this jaded Superman reader (damn you JMS!).

No, it doesn't explain how Clark got his powers. Yes, it's not the "real" Superman (Busiek informs us in the intro that the book was initially about Superboy Prime from Crisis on Infinite Earths). None of it matters though. It's Superman. And that's all that matters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest Superman stories ever told, 28 April 2013
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
What if you grew up in a world like ours where everyone knows who Superman is, from comics, films, toys, etc? And then what if you were also named Clark Kent and lived in a small town in Kansas? It'd be a bit crappy wouldn't it? Being teased for being so similar but clearly not having such incredible, fantastical powers? And then, what if - one day you got those powers? This is the story of another Clark Kent who becomes a Superman and navigates the choppy waters of being a superhero in a world where they exist solely in pop culture while keeping his identity secret from everyone around him.

"Secret Identity" by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Stuart Immonen is one of those books whose premise just seems too corny as hell to work and yet it does - really well. In fact, Secret Identity might be one of the best Superman books ever written.

This might be because it doesn't read like a lot of Superman books as there's very little action and the focus is on the characters, always. The four 48 page issues touch on different moments in Clark's life - 1) teenage years when he discovers his powers, 2) young adulthood, 3) starting a family, 4) old age and retirement - and there is (of course) a Lois to his Clark (though she is an interior designer and Clark is a writer for the New Yorker - not a journalist!), and the bulk of the book follows their relationship from courtship to marriage to parenthood and beyond.

The Clark and Lois relationship is central to the book beyond everything else and it's a really sweet and convincing portrayal of true love. I believed they were real people who cared about one another and their love was like what a lot of people experience - though there are a few unbelievably romantic moments like Clark and Lois smooching above the Statue of Liberty as the sun set.

There's no Lex Luthor in the book, no real villain, though the US Government does keep bugging Clark throughout his life and there is one nightmarish sequence when Clark is young and captured by would-be vivisectionists before escaping.

But the best thing about this book? How it perfectly envisions the true nature of Superman. The best Superman writers understand Superman is an inspiring figure, someone who does the right thing always, no matter what, and when Superman destroys the government lab containing dead babies who've been vivisected by shadowy agent-types, he still saves these sickos from the flames even though they would've done everything they could to kill him just to find out how he got his powers. And he saves them without thinking about it - he just does it. He just saves them because he's Superman and that's what Superman does. Beautiful.

And it is a beautiful Superman book, showing up all the pretenders who think Superman is all about glowing red eyes and wearing armour (!) and the godawful representation of him in Injustice: Gods Among Us - this is instead a book that showcases why Superman means so much to so many. It shows the character's best traits and restored the wonder of the character to this jaded Superman reader (damn you JMS!).

No, it doesn't explain how Clark got his powers. Yes, it's not the "real" Superman (Busiek informs us in the intro that the book was initially about Superboy Prime from Crisis on Infinite Earths). None of it matters though. It's Superman. And that's all that matters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest Superman stories ever told, 28 April 2013
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Superman: Secret Identity TP (Paperback)
What if you grew up in a world like ours where everyone knows who Superman is, from comics, films, toys, etc? And then what if you were also named Clark Kent and lived in a small town in Kansas? It'd be a bit crappy wouldn't it? Being teased for being so similar but clearly not having such incredible, fantastical powers? And then, what if - one day you got those powers? This is the story of another Clark Kent who becomes a Superman and navigates the choppy waters of being a superhero in a world where they exist solely in pop culture while keeping his identity secret from everyone around him.

"Secret Identity" by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Stuart Immonen is one of those books whose premise just seems too corny as hell to work and yet it does - really well. In fact, Secret Identity might be one of the best Superman books ever written.

This might be because it doesn't read like a lot of Superman books as there's very little action and the focus is on the characters, always. The four 48 page issues touch on different moments in Clark's life - 1) teenage years when he discovers his powers, 2) young adulthood, 3) starting a family, 4) old age and retirement - and there is (of course) a Lois to his Clark (though she is an interior designer and Clark is a writer for the New Yorker - not a journalist!), and the bulk of the book follows their relationship from courtship to marriage to parenthood and beyond.

The Clark and Lois relationship is central to the book beyond everything else and it's a really sweet and convincing portrayal of true love. I believed they were real people who cared about one another and their love was like what a lot of people experience - though there are a few unbelievably romantic moments like Clark and Lois smooching above the Statue of Liberty as the sun set.

There's no Lex Luthor in the book, no real villain, though the US Government does keep bugging Clark throughout his life and there is one nightmarish sequence when Clark is young and captured by would-be vivisectionists before escaping.

But the best thing about this book? How it perfectly envisions the true nature of Superman. The best Superman writers understand Superman is an inspiring figure, someone who does the right thing always, no matter what, and when Superman destroys the government lab containing dead babies who've been vivisected by shadowy agent-types, he still saves these sickos from the flames even though they would've done everything they could to kill him just to find out how he got his powers. And he saves them without thinking about it - he just does it. He just saves them because he's Superman and that's what Superman does. Beautiful.

And it is a beautiful Superman book, showing up all the pretenders who think Superman is all about glowing red eyes and wearing armour (!) and the godawful representation of him in Injustice: Gods Among Us - this is instead a book that showcases why Superman means so much to so many. It shows the character's best traits and restored the wonder of the character to this jaded Superman reader (damn you JMS!).

No, it doesn't explain how Clark got his powers. Yes, it's not the "real" Superman (Busiek informs us in the intro that the book was initially about Superboy Prime from Crisis on Infinite Earths). None of it matters though. It's Superman. And that's all that matters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative self-referential Super-story, 7 Sep 2007
This review is from: Superman: Secret Identity TP (Paperback)
This non-canonical version of Superman is described by the author as the culmination of a long-delayed wish: to develop the (formerly) obscure character Superboy-Prime. Briefly created back in 1985, the teenage Clark Kent of Earth-Prime - the "real" Earth, on which DC's mainstream superheros were purely fictional - discovered that a lifetime of Superboy jokes suddenly culminated in ironic fact as he manifested genuine super powers. Unfortunately, Superboy-Prime was quickly retired to a forgotten dimension after his Earth was destroyed (only to return 20 years later as a genocidal villain!) Superman: Secret Identity could be regarded as the story of his life that might have been, had Earth-Prime endured and remained separate from the main DC Universe.

What comic book fan has not imagined secretly possessing real Superman powers, smiling slyly through the movies and soaring above the clouds unseen? With beautiful art and a lucid but poetic first-person narration, an anomalous Clark Kent goes through life hiding what he can do, though at first he did consider "going public" - and changed his mind, after a glimpse of the endless mass-media nightmare he would never escape. He knowingly accepts numerous Superman-themed birthday presents, and blind dates with women named Lois or Lana, in good humour; then irony strikes again, as he finds that one such Lois is in fact his soulmate, whom he eventually shares his secret with. His occasional slips give the FBI enough reason to pursue him for years, government agents striving tirelessly to locate and capture the elusive real superhuman (or is Clark not the only one..?)

There are none of the major battles or cosmic catastrophes which typify the lives of "normal" comic-book heroes, but this book is far from boring; as realistic as such a concept could be made, it is a story anybody can identify with, and enjoy in a thoughful kind of way. Well worth the price!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A New Interpretation That Works, 1 Aug 2013
By 
Peter J. Holmes (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Superman: Secret Identity TP (Paperback)
I didn't realise that this material was originally published in 2004 when I acquired this but it stands the test of time very well.

I agree with the consensus here that this is a truly worthwhile addition to any Superman fan's library. Despite the absence of supervillains and aliens this book held my attention throughout. It was both enjoyable and moving. It has four stories highlighting key moments in Clark's life. These moments are well chosen and ring true.

You don't need to be familiar with Superman's background, contemporary, Golden age, Silver age or whatever, to enjoy this. The stories are linked but no previous knowledge of Superman is necessary to enjoy them, although it's hard to believe there are people visiting Amazon who haven't at least heard of Superman.

Strongly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars bought as a gift, 12 July 2013
This review is from: Superman: Secret Identity TP (Paperback)
I have no idea when it comes to graphic novels but I went with the reviews I had looked through and decided to buy it, he was very happy with the choice I made :-)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and illustrated, 2 July 2013
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
A book that restored my faith in reading in general and comics in particular

Clark Kent (not that one) is an ordinary midwest teenager living in small town Kansas in a world just like ours. Superman exists as a comic character and cultural myth but humans are just that, there are no superpowers. Clark's parents thought it would be cute to call him Clark, so for every birthday he gets Superman paraphanelia and every day is tormented at school. His crush on girl next door Cassie is unrequited and high school is torturous.

So to find peace of mind Clark takes himself off hiking in the hills at weekends. Until the night he wakes up sleeping several feet off the ground and realises he can fly. The public wants to know who he is, the governement want to literally take him to pieces and people need him to save them, but he still just wants a quiet life.

The pacing and artwork of this story is just beautiful, narration bubbles are in the style of scraps of manual typewriting, Clark needs to use something tangible and not hackable to record his story but it also speaks of an attachment to the visceral and traditional. There are intermittent old style Superman comic panels with their high bright Warholesque colours and thick black lines which contrast with the subdued colour palatte and watercolour style renderings of Clark's story.

It is just a beautifully put together story arc, an absolute pleasure, artistically and narratively satisfying, a rare thing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elseworlds concept used correctly, 12 Jan 2007
By 
H "H" (Ancient kingdom of Northumbria) - See all my reviews
this is a thoughtful and well balanced tale set in a world without super-heroes until young Clark Kent suddenly finds he has all the powers described in the comics his family buy for him just because of his name.

OK once you get over the 'it had to be Clark Kent' moan, the rest is beutifully written, taking the super powered teenager through life to relative old age in what is still the near-future to us.

Sounds corny but it isn't. Not as dark as Frank Miller or Alan Moore but in a lot of ways more human and believable. Not just for Superman fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Superman: Secret Identity TP
Superman: Secret Identity TP by Kurt Busiek (Paperback - 16 April 2013)
£11.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews