Review: Secret Origins #1 (The New 52!)
Title: Secret Origins #1
Publisher: DC Comics, The New 52 © 2014
Cover Art: Lee Bermejo
The New 52’s Secret Origins series finally reveals the New 52 origins of our favorite heroes. It is an 8 issue series and this is number 1 of my reviews on the series. This installment covers the New 52 origins of Superman, Dick Grayson & Supergirl.
- Superman: Secret Origins
Writer: Greg Pak.
Pencils: Lee Weeks.
Inks: Sandra Hope & Lee Weeks.
Colors: Dave McCaig.
Letters: John J. Hill.
Greg Pak writes a moving and heartfelt story narrated by Kal-El’s two mothers for Secret Origins Volume 1. But he was not alone. I was particularly impressed with the artistic work of Lee Weeks, Sandra Hope and Dave McCaig. The penciled work by Lee Weeks in Secret Origins Volume 1 is great and the depth and shading provided by the inks and colors of Sandra Hope, Lee Weeks and Dave McCaig really add real dimension to the each panel of the page. The lettering was orderly and easy to read.
This Superman origin story in Secret Origins #1 is actually fairly true to the pre-Flashpoint origin of Kal-El by creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, save for its perspective. Previously Superman’s origin has been told from either Kal-El’s perspective or even the comic narrative. It was refreshing to hear the tale from the perspective of the two people that loved Kal-El the most, his mothers.
- Robin/Dick Grayson: The Long Year
Writer: Kyle Higgins.
Art: Doug Mahnke.
Inks: Keith Champagne & Christian Alamy.
Colors: John Kalisz.
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual.
I enjoyed Kyle Higgins art overall, though it did seem to lack consistency with the feel. In some panels it’s kind of anime-like with its big emotional eyes. In other panels this same feel is not there and is instead a realistic depiction. It’s not bad art in any way. I just found it to be a little distracting. Though I’m sure that there are those out there who would appreciate this style. The inks and colors on the other hand were great. Keith Champagne & Christian Alamy’s inks were done very well. There was a good mixture of bold and thin expressions throughout. The lettering was nice, providing bold lettering at certain moments for emphasis in a non-distracting and elegant way.
I think my favorite part of this otherwise familiar story from Secret Origins #1 was the bits centered around the significance of the robin, the actual bird, to Dick Grayson. I like this because it was Dick Grayson that named what would become a handed down title and not just his alternate identity. It was Dick Grayson who chose the robin. After being taken in by Bruce Wayne / Batman in Secret Origins #1, Dick Grayson tries for days to come up with a name and costume for himself. He draws multiple sketches but doesn’t settle on an idea until he sees two robins in a tree. But it was what Bruce said about the robin that sealed the deal. Bruce Wayne tells him that the robin is a symbol of hope and rebirth and also, growing up.
- Supergirl: Daughter of the House of El
Writer: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Paulo Siqueira.
Inks/colors by: Hi-Fi.
Letters: Travis Lanham.
The artistic team of Paulo Siqueira and Hi-Fi was a good choice. Together they create a nostalgic 90’s feel to their work which I personally love. Hi-Fi in particular, doing both the inks and the coloring, blended his colors very well. Great mixtures and shading techniques. Travis Lanham was typewriter-like in its precision and consistency.
The story by Tony Bedard – one of my favorite writers – was good. It offers some insight into Kara Zor-El’s angry and antisocial character by revealing events that took place before she ever got to Earth. When added to her first encounters with Earthlings we see a series of events that directly influenced her developing character. I really like this version of Kara Zor-El. She says it nicely herself when she says that she is, “…able to do almost anything–except fit in.”
Overall, Secret Origins #1 is a good read. DC’s creative staff of Secret Origins #1 pack a lot of information into a small package but not so much that it is overwhelming. In fact, much of the various stories’ greatest points about the characters are written between the lines. But this is not the end. Check back with us here at the Big Glasgow Comic Page each week for the next installment. And don’t forget to like and follow us on Twitter/ Facebook for regular updates and news on comics, news, reviews, commentary and all things generally nerd-worthy.