Superman: Secret Identity Paperback – 21 Jan 2005
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"Beautifully told, with some gorgeous moments that capture the trials of true life at least as deftly as the herois." -- SFX Magazine February 2005
"Thankfully Busiek and Immonen combine their care for the character...with restraint to produce a fascinating story." -- The Leeds Guide 26 Jan- 10 Feb 2005
Top customer reviews
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!
"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.
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Clark Kent (not that one) is an ordinary midwest teenager living in small town Kansas in a...Read more
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