Marvel will always have a special place in my heart, but I have been coming to terms recently that I love DC. Between Alan Moore for the Neo-Victorian Literature and the purchasing librarian being DC-centric, DC is slowly winning me over. At the end of the day, a graphic novel is a graphic novel (or some may still say “comic book”), but old grudges die hard.
Secret Identity, by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen, ran in 2004 as a miniseries of Superman. Clark Kent is the protagonist, but he is not the familiar Man of Steel. In fact, he detests Superman through his adolescence- until he develops his own Superman-esque powers. It’s only then he dons his own bodysuit and saves humanity on the sly does he accept his namesake-destiny. He battles numerous threats, and the US government, but there isn’t an opponent greater than the one he faces everyday- himself.
This Clark Kent is real. Well, as real as any fictional character based on a fictional character is going to get. He is a human who was given his powers by a meteor landing near his hometown in Kansas when he was a teenager (We see what you did there…). We feel his nervousness when he falls in love with the aptly-named Lois, and his exhilaration as he advances in his writing career. All of these human concerns are balanced with a sense of paranoia of the US government trying to locate him, and just wondering how he became what he is.
As the title implies, Identity is paramount to the miniseries. The struggles that this Clark Kent face are closer to home to the reader than one might experience with the original. You don’t receive the play-by-play of his daily struggles, but the series is four volumes that reflect on his life stages within his human identity and his “other” identity. In this, I found what I enjoy so much from Marvel. The human aspect. Civil War is slated for this break…
Thumbs: 2 out of 2