Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Brian Joines & Jay Faerber
Art, Cover: Ilias Kyriazis
Colours: Charlie Kirchoff, Ron Riley
Lettering: Ed Dukeshire
In this second issue of Secret Identities, we start finding out a little more about Crosswind, the traitor that the Front Line have accepted in their midst in issue #1; the Recluse is suspicious, but he is the only one.
Meanwhile, after easily dispatching a minor threat, we get once more into the lives of our main cast, assembled in their secret base: the corpse of a gigantic alien menace in Toronto. We see Helot asking Vesuvius for personal advice while sparring, Gaijin facing a serious personal issue, Rundown trying to cope with family commitments and Luminary struggling with her two very public roles as a super and as the daughter of the US President. And newbie (and traitor) Crosswind undergoing a (mild and funny) hazing ritual.
Joines and Faerber seem to be having lots of fun with their characters. They mostly give the impression to be absolutely regular people, just with superpowers. Each of them will slightly remind careful readers of some other comic character, but never closely enough to suggest laziness. Mostly, they took the main superhero stereotypes, mixed them all together and created a bunch of totally new, very interesting characters with… erm… great powers and great responsibilities.
Ilias Kyriazis’s art, well complemented by the two colourists who worked on this issue (Charlie Kirchoff and Ron Riley), is perfect for a superhero book, with all the brightly coloured and wide eyed imagery you can expect – but also with a good, strong darker side. Also, somehow, Crosswind’s mouth (both in costume and not) reminds me of something out of a manga.
Secret Identities shows us an extremely interesting side of the world of superheroes, bringing up stuff that we just might not have thought about. It is an extremely entertaining, fun read, and this second issue opens up a series of subplots that will definitely bring something very interesting with them. If I’d have to place a bet on the most relevant one, I’d go for the one involving Gaijin. Besides the “traitor” story, I mean.