Secret Identities #1

by Forrest.H on February 18, 2015

Secret Identities #1 Comic Review Image

letters by: ED DUKESHIRE
A story about the men and women under the masks done in a refreshing way.

Faerber, Joines and the rest of the team behind this book bring us, in Secret Identities #1, a look at a team of superheroes called The Front Line that is stronger than the sum of its parts, exactly like the issue itself.

The strong and diverse team has just invited solo hero, Crosswind to join their ranks. What they don’t know however, is that Crosswind is looking to destroy the team from the inside. That is, if the struggles and pitfalls of their normal, day to day, non-hero lives don’t destroy them first.

It’s almost an antiquated story, one of the people under the masks and the realities of their situations that has been touched on from Batman to Watchmen as we follow them through their lives personal and heroic. The thing is, it’s still the best superhero book I’ve read in a while because it doesn’t shy away from those influences.

Faerber and Joines write interesting and flawed, believable people here even if there are a few too many of them to keep track of in this first issue, which there are. Introducing eight people is hard, and these writers do their best but the scope is still overwhelming and leaves little room for depth. I like that the usual powers and costumes are integral parts of the team however, it wouldn’t be a poignant character and genre study if they weren’t. Helot and Vesuvius are the strongest thus far in my opinion (despite how hard it is to read Vesuvius’s dialogue) but, I have faith that each character, all eight of them that is, will serve as an important and vital cogs in this story that will either be about the utter destruction or success of this multi-cultural and dynamic team.  

There’s humor, action, and cool set pieces that all give you an immediate feel of what these creators are going for. A Teen Titans meets Watchmen vibe, if you will. I think it works to great success. Especially, for a first issue.

Kyriazis, Kirchoff, and Dukeshire compliment that strong writing with equally strong artistic endeavors. As I said before, Vesuvius’s dialogue is too hard to read. But, aside from that one misstep, this is a colorful, complex and interesting book. The initial fight that dominates the first 1/3rd of the book is impressive in both scope and scale. The hero designs are equally refreshing. Especially the racial and cultural diversity it seems that we’ll be looking at. The cherry on top of it all, is The Front Line’s base from sword tip to water drenched feet. If that giant remains a mystery, I’ll be fine with it simply because it’s so cool. If, however these artists and writers delve into the backstory of that hulking monster, I’ll be sure to review that issue simply for my own personal enjoyment.

Secret Identities #1 is a complex, refreshing issue that introduces us to age old ideas in a new way. It’s held back by being too large in scope but, the initial legwork is done. Now, it’s time to run with it.

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