One of the best superhero books on the stands continues this week with a plot thickening issue, but is it good?
Secret Identities #5 (Image Comics)
The story so far is simple if you boil it down to what makes it good: a team of heroes with many different backstories have come together since a giant sentinel alien was taken down by them in Toronto. They all have different powers: one fast, one a cyborg another strong and indestructible, but ultimately their powers don’t matter. No, it’s their secret identities and how complex they are. Or, in most cases, how messed up they are. Writer Brian Joines and Jay Faerber clearly know this, because it’s this aspect that’s been slowly burning while a bigger plot transpires. That is, the newest hero wants to take them down. Cue dramatic music.
The most interesting aspect of this issue is the characterization of Luminary. She’s the president’s daughter and has a movie based on her life coming out soon. She goes on a press tour (this is what opens the book) and meets the actress playing her. We get to see a Hollywood version of the origin of her powers, but it seems a bit false. Later we get the true story and how messed up it is, and it makes her that much more complex. Joines does a fantastic job laying this character’s backstory out and it’s the strength of this issue.
The issue opens with a lot of gloom and doom as an unstoppable force is slowly approaching Earth. Things are getting a lot more on edge because of it and it’s driving the story well. Meanwhile Gaijin and Crosswind spend a lot of pages figuring out how to save her brother. I can’t say Joines does a fantastic job playing this element out; partly because it’s relatively paint by numbers how it plays out, but also because it’s a lot of talking about what to do and not enough doing. Gaijin is understandably upset and torn, but also annoyingly gullible. For a hero who’s been working for a while, you’d think she’d have a bit more common sense. That aside, the story is progressing nicely, as is the backstory of Luminary.
Nice touch with the “Courtesy of…”
The art by Ilias Kyriazis continues to be excellent, albeit the heavy dialogue throughout does temper his now consistently great double page and full page spreads. Luminary’s backstory is fantastic, as I’ve said, and that’s partly due to the panels Kyriazis gives it. They are flat out frightening and disturbing and add a new layer to a character we thought was a regular girl. Not likely.
Something tells me the film version isn’t quite right.
Is It Good?
Another good issue from this consistently interesting series all about character.