Advanced Comic Review – Secret Identities #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

Over the holiday break I was very fortunate to be sent an advanced copy of Secret Identities #1 from Image Comics.  Co-written by Brian Joines and Jay Faerber, with art from Ilias Kryiazis and Charlie Kirchoff, according to Image’s solicits:

In SECRET IDENTITIES #1, the supergroup known as The Front Line has just invited the new hero Crosswind to join them. But what they don’t know is that Crosswind is a mole, sent to learn all their secrets. And the Front Line has LOTS of secrets…

In this opening issue, the mystery isn’t that a mole is joining The Front Line or who it is. It’s clear from the start. The mystery and intrigue comes from why Crosswind is infiltrating the superhero team, who he is working with and what sort of secrets he has been sent to learn. We get a glimpse of some of these secrets and the backgrounds of Luminary, Helot, Punchline, Gaijin,  Recluse, Vesuvius and Rundown as they accept in their new member. The team themselves are all varied and potentially broken in their own right, with a decent look at each of them that is sure to be fleshed out further in future issues. The pacing, plot and characterisation are all off to a really strong start, and with an interesting take on the superhero genre I can’t wait to see what Joines and Faerber have in store for us.

Secret Identities

The art from Kryiazis and Kirchoff shines here too, and the opening scene with The Front Line taking on an inter-dimensional horde of creatures explodes off the page, allowing the unique character designs and the powers of the heroes to distinguish from each other. The clear facial detail and expression is accentuated by the colour work, and the tonal shifts between scenes teasing at some of the dark secrets of the group does a great job of highlighting how sinister some of them are.

This is a strong first issue for a really interesting new superhero story, and with the benefit of being a creator-owned story it means the stakes can be much higher (for example, the death of a character can actually have meaning as we can’t guarantee they’ll be back from the dead in a year).

Secret Identities #1 hits stores on February 18th so definitely pick it up. You can also help out the creators by either pre-ordering with Diamond Code DEC140617 or adding it to your pull list at your local comic book shop!

9 Dark Secrets out of 10

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