Thursday, September 1, 2011
Blast From the Past: Superman Secret Identity
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Company: DC Comics
It's no secret that Superman is one of the hardest characters to write. He's a god, the brightest and best example of what man hopes and can hope to be. Trying to hit on that in a story and make it memorable while at the same time making it approachable is a Herculean feat. Hence the reason that a good Superman story, one that stands the test of time and has been branded into your mind, doesn't happen as often as you'd think. It's strange then that Secret Identity, a book that really isn't a story starring the Superman that we all know and love, is one of the all-time best. There's a lot of reasons for that, but mainly its due to two very gifted individuals: Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen.
Kurt Busiek, the man behind things like Astro City, Marvels, Wednesday Comics, and The Avengers is a master level craftsman. He knows what makes a good comic book tick and constantly is able to find that ever shifting formula that keeps you turning the page, dying to know what comes next. With Superman: Secret Identity, the defining factor that makes it so damn good is its heart. The story that Busiek weaves is extremely human, therefore extremely relatable. It's set in the real world, tells the tale of a young boy who's parents jokingly named him Clark thinking that it would be a great name for a kid to grow up with (especially with a last name like Kent), and explores the many routes of what happens when you get superpowers.
So yes, Superman: Secret Idenity is indeed one of the best Superman stories, right up there with All-Star. It has a bit of everything and anything that a person could want. The only down side is that it's been out of print for awhile. I read a friend's copy, but a few weeks ago I came across one at a local used book store, which I was super stoked about. Luckily, DC is reprinting the series (not in a trade, which is a shame), but in their DC Comics Presents line. Seriously, if you haven't ever read it before, do yourself a favor and pre-order it or hit up your local comic book store. You will be glad that you did.