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Superman: Secret Identity

December 19, 2008

First of all let me apologize for the unusually long absence. My workload is a bit overwhelming and although I love reading about Superman, I’m not him. But that’s neither here nor there, so let me move on with this week’s review of Superman: Secret Identity.

This four issue mini-series takes not place in the usual DC universe, but rather in a reality similar to our own. The protagonist however has also been named Clark Kent by his parents and living in Kansas, his schoolmates give him a hard time about it. Clark tries to ignore them of course, but after years of harassment he grows weary of the constant reminders of his parents’ idea of a joke. When he one days goes for a short hike on his own and falls asleep in the woods, he wakes up to discover that he can fly. Freaked out and ecstatic at the same time, he explores his new powers and finds out that he also has increased strength and resilience. Although his new found powers would make his co students shut up and leave him alone, he decides to keep this secret to himself and use them to help humanity.

The four issues all deal with another period in Clark’s life. In the first he is a teenager, discovering his powers. In the next he is in his twenties, working as a writer (not a reporter) in Manhattan. His friends set him up with a woman called Lois and although both are fed up with the Clark & Lois jokes, they give it a shot and fall in love. At the same time, the military, who has been secretly observing the superhuman Samaritan, decides to become active and catches Clark in order to experiment on him. The third issue deals with an older Clark, married to Lois and occasionally working together with the military in order to keep them off his back. Finally in issue four we see Clark as an old man with children and dealing with his fading powers.

What makes this series such a special and delightful read is the way it connects to our own reality. It deals with realistic questions considering somebody gaining superhuman powers. How would this person keep his secret? What would the government do once they find out? And how can you have a family with such a huge burden on your shoulders?

The illustrations by Stuart Immonen are beautiful and touching at the same time. Kurt Busuik’s story is one of the best I have read in a long time and probably one of my favorite Superman tales ever, even though it is not a DC universe story. Highly recommended!

Story 10, Art 9, Re-read 9, Overall Score 10/10

ssi-01-00 ssi-01-09 ssi-01-31 smsi-02-00 smsi-03-00 smsi-04-00

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