Review: Secret Identities #5

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jay Faerber & Brian Joines
Art, Cover: Ilias Kyriazis
Colours: Ron Riley
Lettering: Ed Dukeshire

In Secret Identities #4 we saw some of the members of superhero group The Front Line fight Rey de la Luz, a Mexican super who was following Cinzia – the youngest member of the family that welcomed Vesuvius after he was retrieved from the ancient ashes of the volcano whose name he bears. Rey insisted that the woman had stolen some ancient artefact… and was eventually proven right: Cinzia had become a smuggler.

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Meanwhile, Gaijin is contacted by someone about her adoptive brother Kayoto, who has been kidnapped by none less than Crosswind, the newest member of The Front Line who is really working for someone else in order to disrupt the group and discover its secrets. Gaijin decided to ask for some help to rescue her brother – and she ended up asking no-one less than Crosswind himself.

Issue #5 opens with Luminary, the only member of The Front Line whose identity is not secret as she is the daughter of the U.S. President, appearing on a TV show along with the actress who will play her role in a movie.

Crosswind, meanwhile, reports to his handler about what Gaijin has asked him to do.

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Once again, this issue looks at the superheroes in The Front Line not only as (more or less) human beings with incredible powers: it focuses on the men and women behind the secret identities, on who they really are, what they need, what they miss.

Joines and Faerber make superheroes (and villains) sound and act like real people, with everyday problems. Secret Identities is not about superior people: it is about normal individuals who can do something better than anybody else – but still have a proper life. They are no Peter Parker/Spiderman, whose job as a photographer is a cover for his “other” life.

Ilias Kyriazis’s art is perfect for Secret Identities: his characters are just slightly over the top, like in any good superhero series, but not so much to be absurd and unbelievable.

A very entertaining series to read, that can be followed on several levels.

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