A secret is something known by only a few, and an origin is the beginning of something…so strap in for some secrets divulged regarding the beginnings of our favorite DC heroes! Is it good?
Secret Origins #1 (DC Comics)
Well, for starters, there are no secrets within this issue, and unless you’ve never read a single DC comic in your life you’ve seen these origins. In fact, some of the details in this book appeared in the new Superman movie for crying out loud! This issue covers Superman’s origin, Supergirl’s origin and Dick Grayson’s origin. What makes this issue extra not-secret is the fact that everyone and their cat knows the origin of Superman and Dick Grayson. That isn’t to say there isn’t some good writing and art in this book though, right?
Baby Superman is soooo happy to see his parents die.
The book opens with Superman’s origin and takes the point of view of the mothers in his life. It starts with his Krypton mom and is mostly driven by her narration. She hopes he is loved and cared for on Earth. Once on Earth, Martha continues this thread once she takes in Superman and again, it’s all about love, and it’s obvious writer Greg Pak’s entire point is to suggest Superman is good because of the love he received as a child. As far as secrets, again, there are none. It’s your standard Superman origin through and through.
Dick looks like a girl.
Kyle Higgins writes the second story, focused on Dick Grayson. It opens with Dick and his parents strolling through the carnival. I immediately thought when reading this, “aren’t these people sick of this place? It’s where they work!” Anyway, the first portion is all about Dick surprising his mom with a gift. Then we roll right into their deaths we all know and love, and finally the meet up with him and Batman. There’s a nice scene between Bruce and Dick speaking on Robin, and finally Alfred consoling Dick on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths. Once again, absolutely no secrets within this origin story.
The book finishes with Supergirl and opens with her on Krypton. This is probably the most interesting of the stories, largely because I’m not as familiar with her origin. Whether or not there are secrets is beyond me, but it’s refreshing to read something new at least. It is however a bit wordy, with dialogue and narration taking over the pages. Tony Bedard writes this one and does a good job showing us how her personality is different from Superman’s and why that dynamic is an interesting one.
The art throughout this book is exceptional. I’m a bit more impartial to the Supergirl work, possibly because of its use of heavy inks, but you shouldn’t have any problem reading these stories. Paulo Siqueira does a good job with pages that are crowded due to the verbosity. Doug Mahnke has a stiffer bit of work on the Dick Grayson story, but it’s very clean and nice on the eyes. Lee Weeks does the art on Superman’s origin and it’s the most cartoony of the bunch. His work is the best as far as atmosphere and backgrounds go.
Eat it bullets!
Is It Good?
What we have here are three very well drawn stories with good to great dialogue throughout. What we don’t have is a single surprise or secret. The title is misleading and while that’s not such a big deal if the writing is great, there’s nothing new here for anyone who has any knowledge of these characters.