Secret Identities #3 Review

Writers: Jay Faerber, Brian Joines / art: Ilias Kyriazis / Image Comics

We’re back with our favorite not-Canadian super hero team as the Front Line squares off against a man named The Example. He’s an example of what, exactly? Well, trust Punchline to have a few thoughts on that, and then move on to the good stuff. Secret Identities #3 gets back to reminding us what the story is mainly about – the traitor in our midst – and manages to integrate nuggets of the more interesting overarching plot within a smaller story-arc that may not feel especially compelling.

True to form, Secret Identities #3 doesn’t delve too much into any particular character; instead we get small insights – What does Rundown do for a living? What’re Gaijin’s color changes about again? – that inform a little bit across a lot of characters. I don’t know how long that can go without negatively impacting perceived character depth, but it’s been effective enough so far.

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The pace felt more cohesive than previous issues since it mostly revolved around a single enemy. We don’t see the Front Line fighting as a team as much as we see them working as a team, talking through leads and clues in groups of 2. When we do have team fight scenes – or any fight scenes, really – that’s when the layouts shine. I enjoy Kyriazis’ use of small filmstrips between the larger panels, breaking down a frenetic action sequence to capture each scene. They can be hard to follow sometimes, but I enjoy them nonetheless.

Kyriazis’ artwork continues to shine in this action-heavy issue, particularly with The Example as an anthropomorphic mass of nuclear energy. Watching him take a hit shows a trail of yellow chasing after each blow, and we get multiple angles of him mixing it up against a barrage of different assaults.

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Secret Identities stays moving in the right direction, and I can’t wait to have a favorite character after learning more of their backstories. Vesuvius is my personal front-runner… because who could dislike a gentle lava-giant? Nobody. Nobody could.

You can read previous reviews of Secret Identities here.


  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer in New York City. His forthcoming debut book "Piccolo Is Black" is a celebration of the common adaptations we made while non-diverse pop culture helped us form identities. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @JordanMCalhoun

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