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TOPIC: Superman: Secret Identity

Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 3 weeks ago #37177

  • Stonepaw
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Reading Club for Calendar week 44 & 45 (October 28 - November 11, 2013)
Book:Superman: Secret Identity
No. of Issues4
Host:Stonepaw
Publisher:DC Comics
Creators:Kurt Busiek (Writer), Stuart Immonen (Illustrator)
Genre:Superhero
ISBN:978-1401204518
Where to purchase a physical copy?:Amazon
Read by:November 11, 2013
Host Rating:4.5/5
Community Rating:n/a
Published:2004
Host Review:I haven't read comics in a while and picked up this one on a whim on day and really enjoyed it. This comic does not take place in the main DC universe instead it takes place in a universe where superheroes do not exist and Superman is a character in a comic book. The comic follows a boy unfortunately named Clark Kent who suddenly gets the powers of his namesake. Each issue follows a period in Clark Kent's life: Teens, Early Adult, Middle aged and elderly. I found the first issue was the weakest but they are all very good.
Next Host:to-be-announced
Book Description:
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 fly...that he does in fact have super-strength! But where did these powers come from? And what's he going to do about it? -Summary from amazon.

Last Edit: 4 years 3 weeks ago by Stonepaw. Reason: forgot the poll
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 3 weeks ago #37191

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I've read the first two issues so far and it's a pretty good read so far. It's funny, the first issue reminded me a lot of Chosen. I think the color scheme is pretty interesting, everything is dull and drab except for red, blue and yellow especially on the costume.

I'm not a big reader of Superman, but I usually enjoy the alternative storylines of him such as All-Star Superman, and Small-ville.
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 3 weeks ago #37192

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This looks promising :)

I've never really been into Superman, I think the only complete story I ever read was Superman: Earth One.
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 3 weeks ago #37195

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I bought the book! :cheer:



Now to find some time to read it.... :silly:
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 2 weeks ago #37207

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It's rare that I read 200 pages in a couple of days in just my spare time because I usually get most my reading done in the restroom, lol. I wasn't super impressed overall but I kept picking it up and was very readable. I think I liked it more because it wasn't really a story about Superman so it always kept you guessing.
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 2 weeks ago #37228

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My views on Chapter 1: Smallville

The first 7 pages which feature Kent's monologue are one of the finest opening pages I've read in a long time. 

This is followed by the oft-repeated 'what if you suddenly got superpowers' story. We have seen it so so many times  (the cape, irredeemable, etc), but somehow each story turns out a bit different. Mostly either they become supervillains & sometimes, superheroes. But here Clark Kent becomes neither. He just keeps things to himself, happy in his solitude. I really liked this concept. 
Now I'm really looking forward to the second chapter.

I think this is re-readable. So, I give this first chapter a 4 out of 5. 
 
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 2 weeks ago #37231

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My views on Chapter 2: Metropolis

This was very well-written. The monologue (& the art) completely fit in with the mood of the story. I was apprehensive throughout the chapter, afraid for Clark's secret. So, while it's good that the writer made me care about his protagonist, but this caused me a wee bit of tension, that I would rather not like to experience again. 

So, I fall short of a 4, and settle with a 3.5 out of 5. 
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 2 weeks ago #37235

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Chapter 3

This issue cleared the air for me as to the direction in which this story is going. Here are some musings:
  • This is not a superhero story. This is 'primarily' the story of an introverted person who got superpowers, but, for valid reasons, preferred not to go 'full-on'. Maybe that qualifies as a very practical thing to do, something we don't see in our usual supe stories. 
  • All the story is developed around a single premise: Clark runs away to his solitude, but the government (or society) keeps on chasing after his powers. 
  • There is no main 'villain' or antagonist here. Yes, there's the symbolic government & the society, but no particular person (Lex Luthor?) plotting consistently to bring Kent down. 
  • The story is suffocating. All the pages, Clark fears things that could happen. The reader also stays apprehensive for the hero. The main protagonist is so detached from society & so 'into' himself that he is a boring, brooding person. 
  • There's no humor. This is a serious story that takes itself too seriously. 
All that said, this is still a very good book, if compared to the regular Superman ongoing series, crossovers & spin-offs. But the consistent tension going in Clark's mind is getting too prolonged. 

As an above-average story, I give this issue a 3 out of 5 (average is 2.5/5).
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Last Edit: 4 years 2 weeks ago by 600WPMPO.
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 2 weeks ago #37292

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Chapter 4:Tomorrow

This was the last chapter, and by this time, Clark's monologue has become tiring. At places, I found myself wishing that he would just end speaking/thinking & just get on with the story. From a reader's perspective, that's never a good, is it? Whenever I get that feeling while reading a comic, it instantaneously ceases to be a very good (3.5/5) book. It can still be above average (average is 2.5/5), largely because the majority of books are such crap.

Clark's monologue apart, the story doesn't have much to it. It's a very simple story of a man, from his teenage to his old age, who happens to have superpowers. There is a 'minor' revelation in the end, but then that's it. It's just a deconstruction of a superhero, following the 'what-if-he-chose-to-stay-anonymous' storyline. He chooses a 'normal' life (as normal as possible) & that makes this the most practical superhero story I've ever read. Hell, if I were in his place, maybe I'd also have done the same. But all that said, it is somewhat a boring story. Just like normal, practical life is boring.

As I close this last chapter, I think this is above average but certainly not what I call ‘very good’.So, I give this issue a 3 out of 5.
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Re: Superman: Secret Identity 4 years 2 weeks ago #37293

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Overall views & rating:

How people’s choices differ! Stoney said that he liked the first issue the least. When I look back, I like the first issue the most, and then it went downhill (but always stayed above average). This gets a total of 13.5 out of 20, which makes it a 3.38 out of 5 as the final rating.

So for me this book is somewhere between ‘above average’ and ‘very good’ (what Stoney calls in his polls: ‘Pretty good’ & ‘Meh’). The poll has no option for ‘excellent’ (which is above pretty good). When I see it this way, I think I’ll vote for the second option (what Stoney calls 'meh'), but it was definitely better than what I generally call ‘meh’! :silly:

Thanks Stoney for a good book! :-)

p.s. Here's my ratings system:
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Last Edit: 4 years 2 weeks ago by 600WPMPO.
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