Secret Identities is—well, will be—an ongoing, monthly series published by Image Comics that debuts next month—that’s right, February 18th—and is written by Jay Faerber and Brian Joines and is illustrated by Ilias Kyriazis and colored by Charlie Kirchoff.
And, y’all? I’ve read the first issue already, and it’s amazingly on point.
I’m ridiculously excited about Secret Identities because of The Front Line’s every day identities but also because of the dearth of representation that’s going on here.
So, buckle up, buttercups. It’s gonna be a wild ride.
The Tagline: “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.”
The Premise: A group of superheroes called The Front Line—not unlike the Avengers or Justice League because you can’t do superheroes in the 21st century and not have those comparisons happen—fighting for truth, justice, and the—not-specifically American way.
Because they’re an international group.
That hangs out in Canada because ~Canada~.
What to expect from Secret Identities: You’re going to recognize the characters as archetypes. They’re going to feel unsettlingly familiar. But, that’s a good thing because then—oh, then!—that’s where your expectations for those archetypes begin to be subverted and the adage of “We all have dark sides.” begins to take shape in ways that are interesting in ways that I’m not sure that they usually are.
I’m just completely chuffed by the writing and all the little moments that the characters have.
Should you be reading Secret Identities?: Yes. Really. Yes. The motivations and events, loyalty and future betrayals, the double-lives (the quadruple lives and not-so-double lives) and even the team headquarters already have me wanting the next issue.
The Art: Y’all, the art is making me extremely happy. As one might expect for an extremely meta comic, the art is similarly meta. Y’all are going to see touches to character designs that are going to potentially make you think of James McKelvie’s Odin from The Wicked + The Divine, Dee from Rat Queen, Chip Zdarsky’s work in Sex Criminals, and a whole lot of Fiona Staples.
Just—y’all are going to recognize artistic influences and rejoice because they’re all the good ones.
So—basically everything and everyone I already adore in an Ilias Kyriazis-flavored art-smoothie.