Secret Identities #1 suffers from a lot of problems first-issues have when dealing with a large scale. They want to tell the plot and introduce the concept, but they also need to build a living, breathing world at the same time. If you stick with the slow opening, however, Secret Identities #1 looks like it could be very promising.
The official description from Image:
The supergroup known as The Front Line have just invited new hero Crosswind to join them. But what they don’t know is that Crosswind is a mole, sent to learn all their secrets. And the Front Line have LOTS of secrets. Writers BRIAN JOINES and JAY FAERBER and the stunning art team of ILIAS KYRIAZIS and CHARLIE KIRCHOFF bring you classic super-team action and intrigue for the 21st century. Behind every mask is a secret…
This issue suffers from a slow opening that really didn’t excite me. It introduces the cast quickly then expects the reader to keep pace. However, the latter half does start to slow down and, straight from the start, there’s a strong sense of ambition and scale. We’re introduced to different plot elements and various back stories already. This is great, in all honesty, but it is staggering. There’s simply too much to take an when a character has only just been introduced, it’s too much to start adding all that weight.
I don’t want to knock the work that’s gone into this, because it’s clear writers Jay Faerber and Brian Joines have put a lot of work in. Indeed, no characters appeal 2 dimensional and they all very much have a drive and reason for being. The problem, as I said, is one of scale. This is a big opening issue and it jumps into a few plot arcs. While this keeps it exciting, it’s expecting the reader to keep track of X, Y and Z. That said, Faerber and Joines do estbalish the hook and gimmick early on and this seems to be a strong driving point going onwards, and I’m okay with that.
Visually, however, I do really enjoy this title. Secret Identities #1 displays a strong love of color and variety. This makes the darker moments stand out against the lighter, humorous segements. It’s not gritty and it’s not rainbows and sunshine either. Combined with Ilias Kyriazi’s pencils, Charlie Kirchoff’s colors make this title feel very alive and attractive. The pages yearn for attention, rather than going the dark, broody route this idea could have gone.
All in all, despite it’s few flaws, I quite like this concept. The idea, combined with the superhero genre, gives it plenty of potential and the creative team looks to be exploiting this as much as possible.