So often the secret identity of a hero is more important than the hero itself. Image Comics’ new series Secret Identities has shown the hero side of the characters more than their real life identities, but when we do get to see the personal side it’s the most interesting thing about the series. This is most likely on purpose, because really it’s about who they are under the masks that make them compelling. I take a look at issue #3 to answer the question: is it good?
Secret Identities #3 (Image Comics)
This issue opens with a radioactive villain calling himself The Example attacking a man in his apartment. If we’ve been paying attention we know he’s related to Frontline hero Gaijin. Crosswind, new member to Frontline who’s secretly trying to infiltrate the team to destroy them, shows up to stop The Example and gets his butt handed to him. The focus of this issue is Frontline attempting to stop The Example and Crosswind coming a bit closer to getting his revenge on the team.
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I can’t say this issue is as strong as the last two, partly because the characters’ true lives aren’t explored much at all, but also because the focus is more about the team fighting this new radioactive villain. Jay Faerber and Brian Joines write essentially a conventional comic book action story with this issue and not a lot more. The weakness of the tam is revealed a bit, but there’s nothing new added as far as Crosswind and why he wants his revenge. It’s growing tiresome at this point to see how angry Crosswind is without knowing why he’s angry in the first place. It also lacks the interesting true life backstory or development of any of the Frontline members which is the strongest aspect of this series so far. Essentially this feels like an issue focused on progressing the plot a smidge and revealing the team as dysfunctional when actively fighting bad guys as in their real lives.
The art by Ilias Kyriazis continues to be strong with well balanced layouts and very good acting from its characters. He also continues to instill some new ideas in layout—for instance in this issue a penthouse office can be seen by cutting out the side of the wall and ceiling to give us a top down view of the building. There’s also a diagonal film strip cutting across one page that shows a fight sequence via thumbnail that helps show the complexity of a team taking on one villain. Great stuff.
The power of wind is pretty lame inside a building.
Is It Good?
The third issue in the series loses track of what makes this series so good, but the art is strong enough to keep you turning the pages.