Story by Jay Faerber & Brian Joines
Art by Ilias Kyriazis
Colours by Charlie Kirchoff
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 02/18/2015
To succeed in today’s comics marketplace, a brand new super-hero comic has to truly differentiate itself. It has to do something that no one else has, or do something better than its rivals on the marketplace.
The first page certainly intrigues. I costumed figure stands atop a building. Watching, Waiting. Biding time for the right moment to come. The scene he surveys could be classed as standard superhero fare. The Front Line. A team of seven fighting back the gates of hell. The Patriot, the Speedster, the behemoth, the ‘loner’, the joker etc. You’ll recognize the allegory’s. Though they function as a team it’s the intervention of another that sways this battle.
Crosswind, the figure from page 1, finally joins the fray. His performance aiding their victory giving him an invitation into the Front Line. Giving him access to the team. Bringing his plot to fruition. Infiltration.
But this book is not just about the battles. A book entitled Secret Identities, must also handle the heroes’ civilian side. It’s here that the book really hits its stride and stands out from the crowd. We’ve seen flawed characters before, but these characters go right to the edge of flawed. Can the speedster, Rundown, be in two places at once? Can the Recluse justify using those who have escaped justice in the way he does?
Moving onto Kryiazis’ art. Well the first splash was so similar to something that Ryan Ottley would have done in Invincible, that I was pretty much looking for the ‘after Wya’ on the page. Going further into the book you can see there is a major influence by Ottley, but also artists such as Nauck. My favourite pages though feature the ethereal Gaijin. Her alien features alongside he colour changing skin (alongside emotions?) really do give ambience and steal scenes.
Does Secret Identities do enough to differentiate itself from the crowd? Yes, it brings a new dynamic to team super-heroics, and really questions the edge of morality. This ones well worth the $3.50 entrance fee.