Who Am I?

(Yes, I'm aware of the excellent Jackie Chan movie of that title.  No, I'm not going to talk about it today.)

I previously mentioned not being a terribly big fan of Superman (or DC comics in general, really.  Even as a power-gaming RPGer teenager, DC struck me as being more about the power and less about the people.  And even then, I didn't find that terribly interesting).

Still, after a friend of mine mentioned the latest Superman movie owing at least one scene to a recent Superman graphic novel, I tracked down a couple of them.  After talking with him at some length (and finding reviews/summaries of various graphic novels), we determined that the one he was particularly thinking of was one called Superman: Secret Identity.

The short answer was that the scene he was thinking of was really the only thing that might have been inspired by that book, but the book itself was still fabulous.

Going hard against the stereotype I developed (and mentioned above), this book is focused almost entirely on the human aspects.

So, the book takes place on an earth indistinguishable from where we live (at least, as of X years ago, indistinguishable).  Superman is known there, but only as a comic book figure.  Against that backdrop, a boy named Clark Kent grows up in Kansas, and gains Superman's powers when he's a teen.  He doesn't want to tell anyone about it, but has to deal with a number of temptations to do so.

As a young writer (working for the New Yorker, not a daily newspaper), he's set up with a Lois Chaudhari after work one day.  She storms out to show her appreciation for the setup, but he follows her out, and they end up hitting it off.  Bigger temptation for telling.

And, of course, for quite a while, the government is investigating, looking for him (they know Superman is there, but not who he is).  He wants them off his back, and needs to figure out a way to make that happen.  He doesn't want to be a lab specimen, obviously.

What makes it even better is running the whole gamut of his life.  It starts with him as a teenager, and ends with him as an old man, retired from "hero" work and contemplating retirement from writing as well.

It's extremely well done from start to finish.  I certainly wouldn't say I was blown away by the art, but it was good.  The whole arc of the story, though?  Yeah, really, really good.  I should probably hunt down other work by the authors, but haven't yet.

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