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Superman: Secret Identity (Superman by Kurt Busiek Secret Identity, #1-4)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  5,433 Ratings  ·  239 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
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by DC Comics (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.


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.


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
Sep 14, 2013 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ronyell by: Mike
Secret Identity

5.5 stars!


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
Wow. Wow, wow, wow! Easily on the BEST graphic novels I've ever read, 10 out of 10 wouldn't be enough, this should be a clear 11 out of 10! The characters, the plot, the prose, the storytelling, the philosophy... each and every component was absolute pitch perfect. I've been on a Superman ride for the last week, am a big Batman fan forever (both in comics and screen) and while I always greatly enjoyed Superman on screen from Christopher Reeve's movies to Smallville to Man of Steel, I almost neve ...more
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
Jesse A
May 25, 2016 Jesse A rated it it was amazing
One of the top 5 Superman books ever. So well done!
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,
Jul 16, 2016 Josh rated it it was amazing
Superman Secret Identity is amazing across the board. Stuart Immonen's illustrations are timeless and beautiful. Kurt Busiek's writing is crisp, concise, and heartfelt.

With Secret Identity, Busiek has taken an approach that accepts all previous incarnations of Superman while blazing his own path. Rather than digging up a bunch of obscure silver age references, Busiek's Clark lives in a world where Superman already exists in comic form. This opens doors to give and take away powers without fanbo
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
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
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
"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
James DeSantis
Jun 18, 2016 James DeSantis rated it it was amazing
If I didn't read American Alien earlier this year I would say this is the greatest Superman story of all time. I still enjoyed American Alien a bit more, but this story...goddamn was this a great story. So many good things about it, where the hell do I start?

So the story is about Clark Kent, but not the same one we all know from the comics. In this real world setting this boy, named after Clark Kent from the comics, begins his life as a regular kid. Then his powers form and he learns to use the
Jun 20, 2016 Robert rated it it was amazing

Once Upon a Time in Kansas

Such an amazing reading experience, more than anything for Father's Day as themes of family, mortality and legacy give an unexpected heft to the later chapters.

Up, up and away...

This is a big recommendation, if not a must-read, for anyone who liked Superman for All Seasons, Absolute All-Star Superman, and similar material. It may be light on the superheroics, but it more than makes up for it by means of its (super)humanity.

Aug 05, 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
To those of you reading this review who have not yet read this, be warned: this isn't one of those Superman comics filled with action and adventure. Instead, it takes it's time and builds character. Very impressive work, Kurt. This is another of the few Superman stories I can say I have actually loved reading. It's beautiful, actually. And I'm not sure if I've seen Immonen illustrate a book quite so impressively.
Jun 07, 2015 Cheese 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
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
Jul 11, 2016 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.
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.
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
May 24, 2016 Albert rated it really liked it
Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek is one of those tales that takes a sideways view of the current comic book mythos surrounding the Kryptonian and let's us view a different side of what it is to be Superman.

What if? You're a small town Kansas farm boy born to a family with the last name of Kent. Your parents, in their warped sense of humor, name you Clark after that other small town Kansas farm boy. What would your life be like?

A series of constant gags and bullying from your classmates.
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
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
Jun 09, 2016 Camilo rated it really liked it

I'm not the biggest superman fan, and actually this was my first superman story. But man, this book was so good, Stuart Immonem art is one of the best things I've seen in comics, and Busiek's writing is just as great. Excellent story, really recommend it to anyone, even if you don't like superman, this book is still for everyone taste.
Michael Miller
Dec 29, 2015 Michael Miller 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
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
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
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
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
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Comic books/Graph...: September: Superman: Secret Identity 6 9 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 about Kurt Busiek...

Other Books in the Series

Superman by Kurt Busiek (9 books)
  • Superman: Up, Up, and Away!
  • Superman: Back in Action
  • Superman: Camelot Falls, Vol. 1
  • Superman: Camelot Falls, Vol. 2: The Weight of the World
  • Superman: The Third Kryptonian
  • Superman: Redemption
  • Superman: 3-2-1 Action!
  • Superman: Shadows Linger

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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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