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Superman: Secret Identity (Superman Secret Identity Complete)

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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  3,869 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Many graphic novels have attempted to ground in reality the notion of superheroes living in the real world, but very few have done so with such finesse and skill. Named after the famous comics character by his parents, Laura and David Kent, Clark has grown up detached and alienated by his stupid moniker. Then one night, life imitates art and Clark, like the bane of his lif...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by DC Comics (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Ronyell
Secret Identity

5.5 stars!

Introduction:

Now, I have just recently gotten into the “Superman” comics, starting with Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and after enjoying that comic, I decided to check out more “Superman” comics! So, I finally managed to stumbled upon a “Superman” comic that my friends have strongly recommended to me and it was called “Superman: Secret Identity,” which was written by Kurt Busiek along with artwork by Stuart Immonen and I have to tell you that this is clearly o...more
Sam Quixote
What if you grew up in a world like ours where everyone knows who Superman is, from comics, films, toys, etc? And then what if you were also named Clark Kent and lived in a small town in Kansas? It’d be a bit crappy wouldn’t it? Being teased for being so similar but clearly not having such incredible, fantastical powers? And then, what if - one day you got those powers? This is the story of another Clark Kent who becomes a Superman and navigates the choppy waters of being a superhero in a world...more
Anne
Wow. This is one of the best graphic novels that I've read in while! If you haven't put this on your TBR list yet, do it now! Now!
Ok, the premise sounds silly. There is a kid from a small town in Kansas, who's parents have a warped sense of humor. You see, their last name is Kent...and they decided to name him Clark. He is (naturally) teased mercilessly by other kids for having the same name as a comic book superhero. Poor kid. Or he is until one day he discovers that he actually does have powe...more
Randy Lander
Every time that Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen have worked together, they've done something I've really enjoyed, and Superman: Secret Identity is no exception. It sounds at first like a high concept story, where a weird coincidence sees a small town boy named Clark Kent actually realizing he does have super-powers, but in reading the whole story, it becomes clear that it's as much about the central notion of Superman and the common life cycle we'll all live through as it is about a neat gimmick...more
Mike
"A story that takes the concept of the secret identity and uses it as a metaphor for our own inner selves, the part of us that most of the world doesn't get to see, that we share with few others across a lifetime." - Kurt Busiek's own description from the forward.

Superman was never a character that really called out to me. For "normal" superhero adventures a neigh-invulnerable man never interested me much. But the potential for more was always there, and when creators really embrace the problem...more
Mike
Superman: Secret Identity

First chapter, as he becomes Superboy, feels a little odd to me. Pleasant and non-threatening, like a stitch out of Andy Griffith (with a little more mayhem). Makes CK seem pretty mild and a little too controlled for a teenager with all these powers and feelings and confusion.

It actually creeped me out - like that feeling you get watching the Talented Mr. Ripley, where you just know there's something sinister under the surface of everything going so smoothly. Honestly,...more
Alexander
Sometimes you wonder if it's possible to do anything new with a concept or character that has been around for so long. Then you read a book like this and you're reminded that there are depths yet to be explored. This is a phenomenal book. Exceptional and moving writing from Kurt Busiek and gorgeous artwork from Stuart Immonen. I really enjoyed this, the way this is grounded in reality and explores themes that many of us can relate to - being an outsider, growing up, how to open up to somebody el...more
David Schaafsma
I asked Gian Pagnucci what was the best superhero book he had read last year and he said this one. It's terrific. great concept, great execution from the story to the art, to the tone, the humanity of it, the way we get to know this new Superman, born in Kansas Clark Kent, ha ha, butt of jokes growing up, then discovers he actually HAS the powers,,, but this isn't about saving the world so much as what it would be like to have the powers and how he deals with it emotionally, through the years, t...more
Paul
THIS! This is what a Superman: Earth One story should be.
Busiek explores the Superman from his Superboy days all the way to his Super-Pappy days!
My only regret is that this book has yet to be released as a DC Deluxe Hardcover... my trade paperback is getting kinda used up from the multiple re-reads!
Victoria
May 05, 2014 Victoria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Victoria by: Dan Clarke
Shelves: best-books
I'm not going to spoil the big thing near the end that made me cry, but THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL. YOU SHOULD READ IT. BECAUSE OF [SPOILERS]. AMAZING.
Mambabasang Miong
Secret Identity is the most feel-good Superman story I have ever read. It has that uplifting story that could have made Superman: Birthright definitive and a heart that could have made All-Star Superman a timeless classic.

Take note that the one in Secret Identity is technically not the Earth-1 Superman. Clark Kent here is the "average guy"-turned Man of Steel in our very own world, a world where superheroes are just mere comic creations.


Busiek doesn't go into details, he just makes Superman soar...more
Lexxi Kitty
This is arguably the best superman story/graphic novel, and separately, the best graphic novel that I have read.

It's a neat non-canon little story about a family of Kent's who live in Kansas. And have a male child. During the period in time when Superman/Clark Kent was huge in the popular media/comic books. So, naturally, the Kent's named their newborn Clark.

A story of a kid who grows up with the stigma of a . . . 'interesting' name. A kid who grew up with kids who maliciously and viciously bu...more
Jays
Periodically, we get various attempts to re-tell the Superman origin story. At worst, that happens when someone at DC thinks that someone might possibly live under a rock and have no idea of how Superman came to be. Usually, it's more a function of wanting to update the origin to make it fit better with changing times - the details of Superman's origin being in the 1920s look vastly different from a modern Superman who would have had to have been found by the Kents sometime around the early 80s,...more
M
Setting a Superman tale in the "real world" is the overarching premise of Kurt Busiek's Secret Identity tome. Born to a small-town Kansas family with the surname of Kent, young Clark has has to endure comparisons to a certain Kryptonian comic book hero all his life. Awakening one night to find himself hovering in the air, Clark knows his entire life has changed. When word gets out of a possible flying man rescuing people from a flood, Clark faces down awe, wonder, fanaticism, and danger in his o...more
Lloyd
This one's a really great Superman story.

Except is really isn't a Superman story... Or is it?

It begins by introducing us to a young boy living in Kansas who is named Clark Kent. His family thinks it's hilarious and buys him every piece of Superman paraphernalia they can find. Classmates mock him and his name, throwing taunts at him.

This Clark Kent isn't really Superman, except for one day... He is. Young Clark Kent, who is based in our "real world", finds himself with Superman-like powers one...more
Diana Welsch
When I wanted something quick to read to try to meet my yearly book quota (50, and I made 42), my boyfriend handed me this. I was nonplussed, as I usually am when he hands me something like this. While I love comics, superheroes aren't my thing. I really liked Watchmen (who didn't?), but superheroes like Superman and Batman and all the big names just appear to me as worn out and trite. To my boyfriend they seem timeless and classic, and stories about them must be perpetrated at all costs, no mat...more
Jo Bennie
A book that restored my faith in reading in general and comics in particular

Clark Kent (not that one) is an ordinary midwest teenager living in small town Kansas in a world just like ours. Superman exists as a comic character and cultural myth but humans are just that, there are no superpowers. Clark's parents thought it would be cute to call him Clark, so for every birthday he gets Superman paraphanelia and every day is tormented at school. His crush on girl next door Cassie is unrequited and h...more
Gavin
Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. This is everything that a Superman miniseries should be. New, inventive, keeping you interested, tweaking the old familiar into something new yet respective of the original. This book breathes more life into Superman than a heck of a lot of the other stuff I've read. When they keep doing origin stories and changing one or two little things, I wonder what the point is? Here, Busiek takes an idea (from Superboy Prime as he full well admits in the intro) and fleshes it out...more
Drown Hollum
It's books like these that make me wish I could add another star to the rating. Busiek's and Immonen's Secret Identity is an amazing title that tells a story unlike anything else. As much a slice-of-life story as it is a cape book, Secret Identity lets us see an alternate earth Clark through all his days, including the birth of super-humanity itself. Its very Astro City in its vibe, as Busiek is the king of exploring superpowers and the cultural aspects they embody, making it a smooth read, rich...more
Sophie
So far I've avoided the "regular" Superman books, but each and every "standalone" Superman comic I've read so far has been amazing (maybe discounting "Son of Superman", but even that wasn't bad at all). And "Secret Identity" was no different.

It's the story of Clark Kent, a perfectly ordinary boy whose parents displayed a "particular" sense of humor when they named him Clark. He's really nothing special, except that he gets teased a lot because of his name. And then, one day, he discovers he can...more
Mcgyver5
Oct 05, 2011 Mcgyver5 rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: graphic-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Randy
What if Clark Kent was just a regular kid? What if his parents named him after the superhero because they thought it would be good to have a famous name? What if that name caused hi to be bullied? What if, at 13 he started to develop super powers? How does a hero live in a world where there are no superheroes? How do you protect your identity and try to have a normal life? These are the things that Clark must grapple with in thus reimagining of the Superman story.

I picked this book up on the rec...more
Jeremy DeBottis
I like things that are not the common take on something that everyone already knows. Everyone already knows the story of Superman. About the alien sent to Earth when his planet was about to go all Ka-blooey who grows up to have super powers and so on. This is similar to that story, but not it entirely.

It focuses a great deal on how and why Superman wants to maintain a secret identity, and even more so how it makes him feel and relate to others. Parts of the story make you want to cheer, while ot...more
Louise
Sometimes it can be hard to get into comics when there are decades worth of backstory to understand which is why I loved Secret Identity as it was a complete standalone story. A new spin on the tale of Clark Kent.

In this world Superman only exists in comics and Clark has been named after him. He has to learn to navigate high school and then adult life when he develops superpowers for real.

Adored Clark's relationship with Lois and how we saw their marriage and family grow up over the course of 4...more
Miles
A fun and interesting take on a pretty silly premise - what if, in a world likes ours with popular Superman comics and all of the mythology surrounding the character, a young man coincidentally named Clark Kent discovers that he actually has Superman's powers. Some of the plot turns are interesting, thought-provoking and well executed, as Busiek uses the character to explore the deeper themes of identity and maturity over the course of a lifetime. Stuart Immonen's artwork is first rate, as usual...more
Kimberly
This book takes place in "our" world, where Superman is just a fictional character. The protagonist is a smalltown Kansas boy who has the misfortune of being named Clark Kent. He later discovers that he has powers. By divorcing Superman from the normal DC universe of heroes and villains, the series explores Superman at his most human and personal. It's not an action packed read, but the Clark and Lois romance is one of the best ever which I loved.

Stuart Immonen's art is beautiful and complement...more
Mike
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Asciigod
Superman “Secret Identity”: another minor masterpiece from Busiek. No surprise, he’s batting a thousand in my book. Fans of Busiek know what the deal is. A humane, insightful story that paces itself perfectly over the course of 206 gorgeously illustrated pages. Busiek’s comics are the total package. The content is always original, and presented in his unique way. No one should really miss the opportunity to read yet another fine piece of his work.
JT
This was a graphic novel that came highly recommended to me by the good people of Hatrack. It's about a boy who grows up with the unfortunate name of Clark Kent, and so he's mercilessly teased for that. Until he starts to develop superpowers. He becomes Superman, for real, but leads a double life.

The novel actually chronicles Clark's whole life -- it's really compelling. My review does not do it justice.

If you like Superman, go read this.
Miss
this was really good!

premise: in our world a boy is born to parents with the kind of sense of humour that leads them to name their son clark kent. this gets him all the attendant flack you'd expect. and then one day superpowers!

this was just a really nice grounded take on superman. busiek's writing is excellent as usual and i liked the semi-realistic style immonen did with the art. also i super appreciate him making lois brown! 4 stars
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Comic books/Graph...: September: Superman: Secret Identity 6 8 Sep 29, 2013 02:53PM  
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Kurt Busiek is an American comic book writer notable for his work on the Marvels limited series, his own title Astro City, and his four-year run on Avengers.

Busiek did not read comics as a youngster, as his parents disapproved of them. He began to read them regularly around the age of 14, when he picked up a copy of Daredevil #120. This was the first part of a continuity-heavy four-part story arc;...more
More about Kurt Busiek...
Marvels Astro City, Vol. 1: Life in the Big City Astro City, Vol. 2: Confession JLA/Avengers Conan, Vol. 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories

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“Maybe I had a "secret identity", but then when you think about it, don't we all? A part of ourselves very few people ever get to see. The part we think of as "me". The part that deals with the big stuff. Makes the real choices. The part everything else is a reflection of.” 17 likes
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