COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Superman: Secrets and Lies
As I begin to ramp up my efforts to start reviewing more comics, I thought that it was about time that we returned to the Man of Steel. During the New 52, Superman had two main comic book series running; Action Comics and Superman. I expected Action Comics to be the more exciting and well-written series, however, so far it has led to disappointment. The first Superman novel, ‘What Price Tomorrow’ had also been a little underwhelming, so I had hoped that this novel would the one to change my mind about the Last Son of Krypton.
’Secrets and Lies’ starts with our titular hero facing off against a robot of unknown origin. Superman hastily dispatches him, but Metropolis, to whom Superman is still new are still hesitant to embrace the Kryptonian hero. As he begins to investigate the origin of this new nemesis he is transported to a mysterious alien temple in the heart of a mountain range. Here he is introduced to Helspont; a Daemonite who wishes to give Clark the power to rule over the world, judging him to be worthy given his skillset. Superman hastily dispatches this idea in Helspont’s head, only for the two of them to battle it out and Helspont to disappear. There are two stories that see Superman go up against two quite different threats who’s skills prove difficult for the Man of Steel to deal with. Finishing off the novel, we see Helspont return to Earth, but only to assassinate all the Daemonites in disguise living on Earth. Can Superman save this day?
Well, it was about time that the good Superman novels showed up to the party. I have to say that compared to all the previous novels that I’d read before I really liked this one. Apart from the fact that despite issues in the middle that had other villains, the overarching plot revolved around this one threat that Clark didn’t know how to deal with, it made it interesting. Let’s be honest, with Superman, it’s always tough because critics always point out the fact that he’s basically unbeatable, but this novel did well to introduce us to characters that actually prove to be difficult for Clark to deal with, but not in your traditional powerhouse way. On the alter-ego side, we also see a decent amount of character development for Clark as he begins to enjoy his civilian life. I really hope that future novels build on what ‘Secrets and Lies’ has managed to do.
The artwork was good and in certain issues, we got to see some decent panels of Superman fighting various bad guys. I think the standout feature in the artwork was the covers, some of which were drawn by Ivan Reis who I think is one of the best illustrators of Superman there is. Overall, this was a good novel and a definite step in the right direction. I sincerely hope that the writers could capitalise on this and future novels build on what they have here.
I think this is the most important aspect of Superman’s personality. Despite all his power, he still sees himself as part of the human world.
Quite clearly Superman. I think that he’s beginning to grow on me.
Story Arc: 13/20
Character Development: 15/20