WEFOUNDSecret Identities Vol. 1


I do not own Young Justice or the Avengers. They belong to Warner Brothers and Marvel respectively. All credit for existing characters goes to their respective creators.

"It's no good, Barry," Wally said to his uncle as he attempted to grab the boy's shoulder, only for his hand to pass right through.

This is it then, Kid Flash thought to himself. I'm going to die. But still he kept running. He ran for his family. For his friends. For the Team. For Artemis. He kept going knowing that if he stopped, the world was doomed.

What would you do if you found out that you had one year left to live? If you were Superman you would decide to drop your disguise and spend that time with the person who mattered the most. At least, you would if that last year of your life was written by Grant Morrison. Morrison’s All-Star Superman is easily one of my favorite Superman stories of all time. In my opinion, it’s also one of the few that gets Superman right. (Although, to be honest, I think I might actually prefer the animated version , written by the late Dwayne McDuffie, a bit more than the print version.)

All Star Superman is a great examination into the concept of a secret identity, why a hero would need one, the good (and bad) that they serve and how it impacts what it means to be a hero. Far too often comics through the idea around very loosely and treat it more like a trope. But, it’s not a trope. Identity, and what we do and do not choose to share with the world, is one of the cores of what it means to be human. What we do , often defines who we are . So the idea that someone like Superman, Batman or Spider-Man would need choose to have a secret identity is what you might call a “big friggin’ deal.”

For Batman, his secret identity is Bruce Wayne. Bruce is a wild playboy, an irresponsible ne’er do well. His real face is the cowl, the mask is when Bruce has to stand in front of a boardroom and address investors. Bruce Wayne is the ultimate insider who often wants nothing more than to be left alone, to operate in the shadows. He’s the guys every guy thinks they want to be, but whose burdens not even Superman could bear.

Secret Identities also benefits from a clean, engaging visual style. Ilias Kyriazis renders energetic action sequences and expressive, dialogue-driven panels equally well. His pencils are capably enhanced by Charlie Kirchoff's colors. There's nothing earth-shattering about the visual depiction of these characters, but it's a very solid, traditional take on the genre.

The challenge for Secret Identities is proving that this book has legs beyond simply airing these characters' dirty laundry. Can the conspiracy to discredit these heroes serve as a long-term driving force? Will the busy ensemble focus allow readers to truly connect with any one character? That's what we'll have to see in the months ahead.

Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter , or Kicksplode on MyIGN .

I do not own Young Justice or the Avengers. They belong to Warner Brothers and Marvel respectively. All credit for existing characters goes to their respective creators.

"It's no good, Barry," Wally said to his uncle as he attempted to grab the boy's shoulder, only for his hand to pass right through.

This is it then, Kid Flash thought to himself. I'm going to die. But still he kept running. He ran for his family. For his friends. For the Team. For Artemis. He kept going knowing that if he stopped, the world was doomed.

What would you do if you found out that you had one year left to live? If you were Superman you would decide to drop your disguise and spend that time with the person who mattered the most. At least, you would if that last year of your life was written by Grant Morrison. Morrison’s All-Star Superman is easily one of my favorite Superman stories of all time. In my opinion, it’s also one of the few that gets Superman right. (Although, to be honest, I think I might actually prefer the animated version , written by the late Dwayne McDuffie, a bit more than the print version.)

All Star Superman is a great examination into the concept of a secret identity, why a hero would need one, the good (and bad) that they serve and how it impacts what it means to be a hero. Far too often comics through the idea around very loosely and treat it more like a trope. But, it’s not a trope. Identity, and what we do and do not choose to share with the world, is one of the cores of what it means to be human. What we do , often defines who we are . So the idea that someone like Superman, Batman or Spider-Man would need choose to have a secret identity is what you might call a “big friggin’ deal.”

For Batman, his secret identity is Bruce Wayne. Bruce is a wild playboy, an irresponsible ne’er do well. His real face is the cowl, the mask is when Bruce has to stand in front of a boardroom and address investors. Bruce Wayne is the ultimate insider who often wants nothing more than to be left alone, to operate in the shadows. He’s the guys every guy thinks they want to be, but whose burdens not even Superman could bear.

I do not own Young Justice or the Avengers. They belong to Warner Brothers and Marvel respectively. All credit for existing characters goes to their respective creators.

"It's no good, Barry," Wally said to his uncle as he attempted to grab the boy's shoulder, only for his hand to pass right through.

This is it then, Kid Flash thought to himself. I'm going to die. But still he kept running. He ran for his family. For his friends. For the Team. For Artemis. He kept going knowing that if he stopped, the world was doomed.


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