Comic Book Review: Superman: Secret Identity

Details: Written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Stuart Immonen. More information can be found at https://www.dccomics.com/graphic-novels/superman-secret-identity-2004/superman-secret-identity

Score: 7/10

Superman: Secret Identity is story about what would happen if someone gained Superman’s powers in the real world and how that person would live their life. It’s a nice story that reminds me of the recent book, Spider-Man: Life Story, excep thtat this book takes place in the real world versus a comic book continuity.

The story is divided into four parts, each going into a phase of the protagonist’s life as he gets older. The story centers on Clark Kent, a young boy living in Kansas. Clark’s parents named him after the fictional Superman character because they thought it would be funny. One day, Clark actually does develop Superman’s powers and must decide what to do with it in this real world.

What I really like is watching Clark age. You get to see him grow and feel a lot of the nostalgic pangs that one would feel looking back on their life. I also like how Clark’s primary enemy is the government. That’s the way it should be if anyone got superpowers. The book makes it clear that the government seeks to kill and dissect Clark if they could. That’s how it should be.

What I don’t like is some of the more improbable decisions made. The book tries to be as detailed and realistic as possible, but it overlooks a great many things. Firstly, the government should’ve been able to figure out his secret in like three seconds. That they couldn’t was due to narrative inconvenience. The writer could’ve come up with a better explanation, or better yet, just get rid of the whole secret identity thing because it’s silly considering he has no mask. Something else that is addressed in other Superman books but not this is that if Superman probably couldn’t have children because he would super ejaculate a poor woman to death. This book conveniently glosses over that even though Clark definitely has super strength.

The art is fine and fits the tone of the book.

Overall, this was a good read. It isn’t really about Superman, more than being a what if story about what a person would do if they have Superman’s powers.

 

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