Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Brian Joines & Jay Faerber
Art: Ilias Kyriazis
Colours: Charlie Kirchoff
Lettering: Ed Dukeshire
Seven super heroes, calling themselves collectively The Front Line, are fighting an invasion of aliens controlled by a religious fanatic (who looks a little like Alan Moore) in a Toronto public park. They are in serious trouble until another super, Crosswind, intervenes to save the day. But we saw in the first couple of pages that the new guy isn’t just a selfless super like the others… something (or someone) drives his actions and his will to become the eighth member of The Front Line. Actually, this fact is made already perfectly clear by the cover of this #1 of Secret Identities. Just look at it.
Anyway, seven supers (and Crosswind) with regular personal issues: Punchline, their leader, is a mediocre comedienne (and I’m being nice by calling her “mediocre”); Gaijin is an alien who was raised by a Yakuza family; Vesuvius was a Roman soldier, until he was caught in the eruption that destroyed Pompeii in the first century AD; Rundown is the speedster of the group, but his family thinks he’s a businessman; Luminary is the daughter of the US President; Helot is a cyborg; The Recluse is… a recluse.
Authors Brian Joines (Krampus!) and Jay Faerber (Copperhead) put together a “super heroes with super problems” team with an edge. We already know who is the traitor in their midst (really, watch the cover), but of course we don’t know why he’s doing it, for whom, and what will he exactly do to screw up this team of superguys.
There is a lot of irony in this story, especially but not only in the few pages dedicated to each hero’s personal life, and quite a huge mystery.
Ilias Kyriazis’s art is very… very superheroistic. Lots of great colours (thanks to Charlie Kirchoff), slightly over-the-top imagery (that sometimes isn’t that slightly over the top, in one occasion, when we see The Front Line’s base, it actually blasts the top away), very expressive but just a little bit caricatured “regular” people (as opposed to the supers).
Secret Identities promises to be a good, fun series to follow, with big fights against supervillains (I expect) and small, personal issues to face for the heroes.