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Superman: Secret Identity (Superman Secret Identity Complete)

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4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,098 Ratings  ·  216 Reviews
What's in a name? Everything, if you share it with the Man of Steel!

SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY is a 208-page trade paperback collecting the critically lauded 4-issue miniseries written by Kurt Busiek (JLA/AVENGERS, ASTRO CITY) with art by Stuart Immonen (SUPERMAN: END OF THE CENTURY, THOR).

Set in the real world, SECRET IDENTITY examines the life of a young Kansas man with
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by DC Comics (first published 2004)
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10th out of 180 books — 171 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne
Aug 02, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone Who Thinks Superman Is Dumb
Re-read 2015
Ok, so I used to hate Superman, too. Like most of you out there, I thought he was just a boring do-gooder who had too many powers to make him an interesting character.

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But over the years, my opinion has changed.
As opinions do...
And, when I look back, I think it all started with this book.
It's just a lovely story.

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Ok, in order to explain why I think this is a great story, and why I think you should read it, I'm going to talk about things that happen in it. I will try not to spoil detail
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Terence
Apr 08, 2016 Terence rated it really liked it
Recommended to Terence by: Saugata Mukherjee
David and Laura Kent are a couple from Kansas with a poor sense of humor. The proof of that poor sense of humor is the fact that they named their son Clark. He's Clark Kent from a small Kansas town and the Superman jokes never end. One night he stopped caring as the impossible happened, he flew. Not in a plane or a hang glider instead he flew into the air in a sleeping bag.
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It turns out this Clark Kent is a Superman and he has all of Superman's powers as well. Welcome to the life of a Kansas boy
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Ronyell
Sep 14, 2013 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ronyell by: Mike
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
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Sam Quixote
Apr 28, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing
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
Mike
Oct 17, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
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,
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Gavin
Oct 12, 2013 Gavin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
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
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
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Randy Lander
Jan 05, 2009 Randy Lander rated it it was amazing
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
Roxanne
Nov 30, 2015 Roxanne rated it liked it
What the heck was this all about?

It's superman, but it's not, and i hate these types of stories when batsy does this so how does superman compare?
It's only four issues long but they're quite lengthy and it spans across Kent's life which was a nice touch it was cool to see his entire life story and how his lil family grew. However it tries to pack too much in and the answers you need, never really get answered it's just yeah there was a meteor and the water was meteoried up, just deal with it! Y
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Paul
Feb 02, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing
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!
'kris Pung
Nov 22, 2014 'kris Pung rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was just amazing right up there with Red Son as far as best Superman books I've read.
Jesse A
Sep 08, 2015 Jesse A rated it it was amazing
One of the top 5 Superman books ever. So we'll done!
Drown Hollum
Jul 07, 2014 Drown Hollum rated it it was amazing
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
Jim Ef
May 12, 2015 Jim Ef rated it it was amazing
Thank you Goodreads. This is why you need goodreads, i didn't knew about this book and only found it from the reviews by some friends( thank you guys ).
A unique Superman story by Kurt Busiek.
This reminds me "Marvels" also by Busiek and it gave me the same feeling. Its one of those books that makes you wanna get to the end fast, but then its over and you are sad ( sad for a good reason ).
So the story is about a boy named Clark Kent (he's parents thought it would be funny name him like that). Cla
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Alistair
Jun 07, 2015 Alistair rated it liked it
Sorry to everyone who loved this, but it just didn't sit well with me, which I kind of knew before I bought it.

I love Superman, but this to me was just another avenue of telling Superman's origin story and I'm so bored of that story whether it's different or not I don't care. Instead I want something that explores what Superman is capable of. I like that he's powerful and I like that he's intelligent. I loved what Morrison did with Allstar Superman and I wish more would follow suit.

This had gr
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Shelly
Apr 10, 2016 Shelly rated it it was amazing
I've had Secret Identity sitting here for years in one of the stacks on unread graphic novels and collections. I didn't know what it was when I bought it, and I didn't know much about author Kurt Busiek. All I knew was that Stuart Immonen's art was amazing. The cover had caught my eye, so I bought the book. And now, over a decade later, I finally read it.

It is nothing short of brilliant. If you haven't read it, you should. It's about what it might be like to develop superpowers in the real world
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Michael S.
Dec 29, 2015 Michael S. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, superheroes
Everyone knows who Superman is: he's secretly mild-mannered Clark Kent. Busiek starts from our world: What if there was a real kid who lived in a flea-speck little town in Kansas and his parents named him "Clark Kent" because they thought it was funny? He gets Superman gag gifts all the time, and resents it. Just like he would in our world.

But when he really develops Superman's powers, the story really gets underway. Following Clark's journey through adolescence, marriage, fatherhood, and old ag
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Jedi JC
Jul 27, 2014 Jedi JC rated it it was amazing
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
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Lloyd
Jun 16, 2013 Lloyd rated it it was amazing
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
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Jeremy DeBottis
Jul 01, 2013 Jeremy DeBottis rated it really liked it
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
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Alexander
Jul 06, 2014 Alexander rated it really liked it
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
Jennifer
Oct 25, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
It's cheesy and cliche at times, but this retelling of Superman manages to accomplish something that canon Superman never has for me; it made me feel an emotional connection to Clark Kent and Superman. This Clark /Superman is still private and introspective, depicted majestically and nostalgically through Immonen's art, but he's not so rigidly upright. He believably wants to do the right thing, and Superman: Secret Identity is a sweet, poignant re-imagining of Superman as an everyday man, not me ...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Apr 06, 2016 Nicholas Karpuk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superman is a tricky proposition for modern comic writers. A lot of their tool set of interesting quirks they've built up don't particularly work well for the character. He's not edgy, obsessed, or overly angry, so a lot of the angsty archetypes popularized in the 80's don't work. And they're afraid to have him tell jokes, for fear that it'll seem to much like Spider-Man or Deadpool.

In essence, if it's character driven, Superman requires a level of earnestness that a lot of writers don't posses
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Tony Laplume
Jan 15, 2016 Tony Laplume rated it really liked it
It's hard to review something like Secret Identity. I can start by saying this is arguably Stuart Immonen's best work in a Superman comic (which is far greater praise than history is currently suggesting). If you read this for that alone, you won't be disappointed. The other half creatively is Kurt Busiek. This may prove to be his single greatest creative statement.

That's a harder thing to discuss. Among comic book fans and the culture at large, "literary superhero comics" kind of begins and en
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Wing Kee
Mar 03, 2016 Wing Kee rated it really liked it
Wow, just wow!

Superman is always a hard character to write, I agree, he's way too powerful to give him enough conflict to tell a good story. This is the baggage that he's had since he was created in the 30s, but like every generation, someone writes Superman a bit differently giving us different takes of this iconic character and making him relevant and relatable. This is Busiek's take and it's a very interesting thing indeed.

World: The art was great, it had a very old timey and grounded look to
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Victoria
Oct 01, 2015 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Victoria by: Dan Clarke
Shelves: best-books
I love everything about this graphic novel--the art, the narrative voice, even the intro about its origins. There are very few pieces of media that touch me the same way on a reread (or a rewatch) as they did the first time, but this beautiful little book is one of them. All the superlatives. (Reread October 2015)
Stewart Tame
Oct 17, 2015 Stewart Tame rated it it was amazing
One of the best things Kurt Busiek has written. Set in the real world, a young boy named Clark Kent endures constant jokes about his name. Until one day, when he discovers that he actually has Superman's powers. The four chapters of the book examine Clark at four different ages, looking at the choices he makes and how he deals with his powers. Busiek brings an emotional weight and a sense of reality to the writing. Clark doesn't feel like a comic book character but a human being. His choices are ...more
Brian Murray
This is a terrifically original Superman story. Because he is such an explored character, I think his best stories come from writers who take big, divisive risks. Luckily, it pays off here. Clark Kent, for the first time, is a normal person. He grows up in the world of Superman comics, cursed to live an existence of never measuring up to his comic book counterpart until one day, that is, when he acquires the same powers.

While not canon in any way, I find this unique take on the Superman myth to
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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
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Comic books/Graph...: September: Superman: Secret Identity 6 9 Sep 29, 2013 02:53PM  
  • Superman: Birthright
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  • Superman: Peace on Earth
  • Gotham Central, Vol. 3: Unresolved Targets
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  • DC: The New Frontier, Vol. 1
  • Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
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  • JSA: The Golden Age (Justice Society of America)
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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;
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More about Kurt Busiek...

Other Books in the Series

Superman Secret Identity (3 books)
  • Superman : Identité secrète, Tome 1
  • Superman : Identité secrète, Tome 2

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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.” 19 likes
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