What s in a name Everything, if you share it with the Man of Steel SUPERMAN SECRET IDENTITY is apage trade paperback collecting the critically laudedissue miniseries written by Kurt Busiek JLA AVENGERS, ASTRO CITY with art by Stuart Immonen SUPERMAN END OF THE CENTURY, THOR Set in the real world, SECRET IDENTITY examines the life of a young Kansas man with the unfortunate name of Clark Kent All Clark wants is to be a writer, but his daily life is filled with the taunts and jibes of his peers, comparing him to that other Clark Kent the one with super powers Until one day when Clark awakens to discover that he can flythat he does in fact have super strength But where did these powers come from And what s he going to do about it Every time that Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen have worked together, they ve done something I ve really enjoyed, and Superman Secret Identity is no exception It sounds at first like a high concept story, where a weird coincidence sees a small town boy named Clark Kent actually realizing he does have super powers, but in reading the whole story, it becomes clear that it s as much about the central notion of Superman and the common life cycle we ll all live through as it is about a neat gimmick Every time that Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen have worked together, they ve done something I ve really enjoyed, and Superman Secret Identity is no exception It sounds at first like a high concept story, where a weird coincidence sees a small town boy named Clark Kent actually realizing he does have super powers, but in reading the whole story, it becomes clear that it s as much about the central notion of Superman and the common life cycle we ll all live through as it is about a neat gimmick premise Busiek tells a story about what it might be like to have super powers in areal world, where the government wouldn t leave you alone and everything, from love to marriage to kids to retirement, might be affected by your super powers With Immonen providing an unusual, painted style artwork that is realistic and yet hauntingly beautiful and otherworldly at the same time, readers will be transported to the world of Clark Kent even as they keep one foot in their own thoughts, dreams and wonders about the future.The story is grounded by Clark Kent s narration, by the feeling of what might really happen to a man who developed powers To some extent, it reads like the culmination of Busiek s work, examining the nature of celebrity and superheroes the way Busiek and Immonen did on Superstar, looking at the superhero with arounded approach as Busiek does in Astro City and showing a love for classic superheroes like Busiek has done in Untold Tales of Spider Man and Avengers I don t know if I would have enjoyed this book as much had I read it when I was single and childless, but now, as a married father of one, Secret Identity hit me just in the right spot It s a reflection on the changes we go through in life and the world we try to build for and with our children and loved ones, with a very optimistic, hopeful outlook that stops just short of being pollyanna or unrealistically bright.There s an impressive balance that Busiek maintains between superhero sense of wonder and realistic character building It s the easiest thing in the world when doing this type of story to applyhuman frailties to the characters, giving them feet of clay or a tendency toward using their powers for selfish or ignoble purposes Busiek sidesteps this notion by making Clark an honest, giving and noble person, but he doesn t go too far in the direction by making Clark a saint either We see him lose his temper, we get inside his head and his heart thanks to his narration and falling for Lois, and we see when he s terrified of being captured by the mysterious agency that s looking for him And while Clark does use his powers in fairly spectacular ways, they are always contrasted against a realistic backdrop, whether that is high school or the fields of Kansas or the geopolitical structure of the real world There s no Lex Luthor or Braniac here, and just as Clark s strengths come from his humanity, so do his opponents and the dangers he must overcome.Busiek shows the fears and joys of Clark Kent s life, and by extension, the lives we all lead The worry that something not necessarily a government conspiracy but maybe an accident or a violent crime will hurt us or our loved ones is balanced by the joys that come from finding the love of your life, seeing your children grown and seeing them take the lessons you ve taught them and their own intelligence and deciding to make the world a better place Busiek s story here is one of a father truly making a difference for his children, as well as one man making a change in the world, and I can t think of a better message for a Superman story.Though I ve always been fond of Stuart Immonen s artwork, he adopted a new style for Secret Identity that is perfectly matched to the tone of the book and undeniably beautiful It s a sort of washed out, oddly colored approach that is very realistic and yet at the same time has an unreal quality to it at the same time The colors, with some panels sometimes done entirely in cool blues or hot reds, tend to enhance the mood of the story, and some of the pages have the same emotional punch as some of the work of Alex Ross or Tim Sale In particular, the double page splash of the gas main explosion is very evocative, although Immonen also does a great job on smaller moments, such as the joy on Clark s face when he first discovers he can fly or the anger visible in his burning red eyes when he discovers Case s betrayal He also does an exceptional job with the aging of Clark throughout the series, as we watch him grow from a child to a man, from a teenager to a husband to a father There s a reality and warmth that comes through in the Christmas celebrations, and a terrific fatherly look that Clark takes on later in the series.Superman Secret Identity took me by surprise I expected it to be good, maybe even great But what I didn t expect was to find something that not only reaffirmed my interest in the Superman character and provided some actual lessons about real life, all the while telling a kickass yarn It is truly mature readers comics, not in that it features curse words or nudity or extreme violence in fact, it features none of that but in that it is going to appeal the most to those who want to see the story of a life, one that is different because of superpowers but also similar to the lives that many of us will go through It s probably the best Superman story I ve read in years, even though it doesn t feature the real Superman at all Re read 2015Ok, so I used to hate Superman, too Like most of you out there, I thought he was just a boring do gooder who had too many powers to make him an interesting character But over the years, my opinion has changed As opinions doAnd when I look back, I think it all started with this book.It s just a lovely story.Ok, in order to explain why I think this is a great story, and why I think you should read it, I m going to talk about things that happen in it I will try not to spoil detai Re read 2015Ok, so I used to hate Superman, too Like most of you out there, I thought he was just a boring do gooder who had too many powers to make him an interesting character But over the years, my opinion has changed As opinions doAnd when I look back, I think it all started with this book.It s just a lovely story.Ok, in order to explain why I think this is a great story, and why I think you should read it, I m going to talk about things that happen in it I will try not to spoil details, but I am going to go over the major plot points If you re already planning on reading it, you may want to skip this review However, if you re still on the fence, I m hoping to convince you to give this a shot.I recently recommended this one to a friend of mine, who isn t a fan of the character, in the hopes of bringing him over to The Dark Side play on my pro Superman team But then I had this panic moment, where I wondered if this was as good as I d remembered I mean, this comic is a little over ten years old now Shit, shit, shit Better do a re read before he gets his hands on it If it doesn t hold up, I ll just gracefully withdraw my recommendation Because I m nothing if not graceful at withdrawing insert your own inappropriate dick joke here Anyway, the point is, I grabbed a copy and read it.So, did it stand the test of time Yes.And it does so surprisingly well Maybe it s because it s not so much the story of a Superman, but it s the story of a regular manwith superpowers And it s not even a real Superman story anyway This is the story of a young man from Kansas whose parents had a horrible sense of humor.Since their last name was Kent, they thought it would be awesome to name their son Clark.The story begins when Clark is a teenager and is told through journal entries that he uses to make sense of his life At first, he writes about how hard it is to deal with the well meaning teasing, outright bullying, and feelings of isolation that come with being the constant butt of the jokes He s not a fan of the comics, but he wishes that he could switch lives with Superman After all, at least Superman had friends when he was growing upand no one made fun of him for being named Clark Kent You really feel for Clark as a teenager He doesn t lash out at other kids, or even his parents He just sort of quietly accepts that this is his fate and dreams of someday escaping from his small town to become a writer.Then and here is where the story takes off , one night he discovers that he really can fly Talk about a WTF moment Super strength Check Super speed Check Super hearing Check X ray vision Check Confused, exhilarated, scared Check He spends his time fishing for information on how this happened but comes up empty There s no alien spacecraft hidden under a tarp in the garage, waiting for him with the answers to his questions So, for a while, he just uses his powers to get up, up, and away.Then, one day, he sees a man getting ready to swept away by a flood Unable to sit by and watch someone die, he makes his first rescue And from there on, his path is set He continues to search for answers, and, for a while, he even thinks of revealing himself to the public.But things happen to make him realize that may not be the best idea.The story follows him into adulthood, shows him struggling with his career as a writer, and how why he uses the classic Superman suit to hide from being discovered or taken seriously when he saves someone We see how he meets his Lois, through a prank played on them both by co workers Seems the joke never gets oldWith Lois, he finally finds the kind of love and acceptance he s been looking for, but still debates whether or not to let her in on his biggest secret At the same time, he learns that the government has been tracking him.And others that may be like him After a close call, he retreats into himself and shuts everyone out Well, he tries.Busiek continues Clark s story into fatherhood and middle age Where, due to his fear for his children, he eventually brokers an uneasy truce with the government.Life marches on, his girls grow up and move out, and he and Lois continue to lead their lives as they always have Of course, there are always surprises to be had, no matter what your age But I ll let you discover those for yourself The ending isn t some sappy Superman on his deathbed kind of thing, either.It s all about one man looking back on how the world has changed, remembering all the things that made him who he is, and watching the sunsetsThis is a beautiful story Really Now go read it.Original review 2010 view spoiler Wow This is one of the best graphic novels that I ve read in a while If you haven t put this on your TBR list yet, do it now Now Ok, the premise sounds silly There is a kid from a small town in Kansas, whose parents have a warped sense of humor You see, their last name is Kentand they decided to name him Clark He is naturally teased mercilessly by other kids for having the same name as a comic book superhero Poor kid Or he is until one day he discovers that he actually does have powers like Superman So what would really happen next That is the story that Kurk Busiek is telling And it s a great story Really Really I know what you re thinking because, for one painful heart stopping moment, I thought that I had accidentally picked up a story about Superboy Prime It s not Evidently, Superboy Prime was the inspiration for this story, butit s not him Yay Now go out and read this hide spoiler An incredible read This was an exceptional book to read It explores the life of a person who unfortunately happened to be named Clark Kent, after the fictional and famous Clark Superman Kent Papa and Mama might have been huge Superman fans What s in a name yes, seriously What s in a name In most of the cases the name of a person may not mean anything, but at least in some it can either be a heavy burden to carry or a huge responsibility and shoes to fill Kurt Busiek understands e An incredible read This was an exceptional book to read It explores the life of a person who unfortunately happened to be named Clark Kent, after the fictional and famous Clark Superman Kent Papa and Mama might have been huge Superman fans What s in a name yes, seriously What s in a name In most of the cases the name of a person may not mean anything, but at least in some it can either be a heavy burden to carry or a huge responsibility and shoes to fill Kurt Busiek understands everything about Superman so very well, and gives us an amazing DC Comics book to read First published in 2004, Superman Secret Identity is a four issue series The first issue is about the growing up and being bullied days of a young Clark.The second issue starts with Clark moving to Manhattan and taking up a writing job at The New Yorker He also meets Lois Chaudhari, an interior designer Kurt realises that the world is so much diverse, so he decides to bring in an American Indian Lois Lane and gives her an Indian last name In the third and fourth issues, Clark continues with his successful career as a writer, he and Lois gets married and have a family and towards the end Clark retires Now, you may say that this is all so PREDICTABLE and also ask which part of this story is INCREDIBLE hehehe All I want to say this is a not to be missed and must read book Wow Wow, wow, wow Easily on the BEST graphic novels I ve ever read, 10 out of 10 wouldn t be enough, this should be a clear 11 out of 10 The characters, the plot, the prose, the storytelling, the philosophy each and every component was absolute pitch perfect I ve been on a Superman ride for the last week I m a big Batman fan forever both in comics and screen and while I always greatly enjoyed Superman on screen from Christopher Reeve s movies to Smallville to Man of Steel, I almost nev Wow Wow, wow, wow Easily on the BEST graphic novels I ve ever read, 10 out of 10 wouldn t be enough, this should be a clear 11 out of 10 The characters, the plot, the prose, the storytelling, the philosophy each and every component was absolute pitch perfect I ve been on a Superman ride for the last week I m a big Batman fan forever both in comics and screen and while I always greatly enjoyed Superman on screen from Christopher Reeve s movies to Smallville to Man of Steel, I almost never read any comics I thought its high time to rectify that, and have read Superman for All Seasons, Superman Red Son, Superman American Alien and Superman Birthright in very quick succession, found each of them to be a delightfully brilliant 5 star read But this this is without a doubt the best of the bunch, it not only entertained me but touched my heart and mind, made me think about human life and its goals and destinies, shone a light on the humanity and the world in both optimistic and cynical perspectives The funny thing is, even though the book contains Superman in it s title, how it is NOT a Superman story, literally and figuratively Superman exists in this world only in comicbooks, as a fictional character the world is just like ours without any superheroes Here was a boy who had the misfortune of being named Clark Kent , and for that all his life he was mocked, taunted and compared with his fictional counter part Its an evergreen coming of age tale of that young boy, often bullied and harassed, through his adolescence to his adulthood, love life, parenthood and beyond So what the boy suddenly and inexplicably got himself some very cool superpowers That didn t change him as a man his thoughts, fears, doubts are all ever so genuine and familiar to each and every one of us We all go through those phases in lifeor less in the same way, we can resonate with all of it Well maybe not in such extra ordinary circumstances, but still And that s the most powerful element of this wonderful graphic novel The voice of our unfortunately named hero Not once writer Kurt Busiek lost his focus from the main character and his countless inner struggles, he voiced him so perfectly and naturally that even though on the surface all his problems and experiences are comicbookish Supermanly, from the inside we can easily connect and empathize with him as a fellow human Once in a while in each of our lives, who doesn t feel like an outsider, lonely and isolated from his her own world and surroundings Feels like an alien in his her own home planet Everyone thinks sometimes in life,There s no one else like me No one who could truly understandThe biggest triumph of Busiek was his intricate and careful detailing of our hero s underlying Man aspect over his Super persona Coupled this with his lyrical prose and engrossing storytelling, and what we get is not just another cheap forgettable comicbook, but an unforgettable epic odyssey of a man s journey across life as a literature.I read the most of it today on an epic journey through traffic jam of my own The two and a half hours I was on the road moving on a snail s pace, I never once thought about what s happening around me, the endless crowd, the increasing restlessness, the intense heat and humidity At that time I was flying beyond the sky, breathlessly rushing through the pages, awestruck by its ups downs, all the while having a mile wide stupid grin on my face The perfect blissful contentment of reading something beautiful, spellbinding, fun And that smile didn t disappear even after I finished it This is why I read books, to escape the exhausts of daily realities for a while, to feel and understand me myself and my world through extra ordinary tales of ordinary souls, and returned to face my reality reinvigorated by that Traffic jam be damnedMaybe I had a secret identity , but then when you think about it, don t we all A part of ourselves very few people ever get to see The part we think of as me The part that deals with the big stuff Makes the real choices The part everything else is a reflection of11 out of 10, A