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.
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.
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.