Reviewed by Dave Brzeski
Remember when super-hero team comics were good? When the story was contained within one series? When you didn’t have to buy a maxi-series, six mini-series’ and a handful of regular issues of at least another dozen titles to follow the story? Remember when you didn’t buy and read twenty comics, and yet find the story still didn’t really progress much? Remember Wally Wood’s THUNDER Agents, Wolfman and Perez’s New Teen Titans, or Keith Giffen’s Legion of Super-Heroes? Over the last few decades, several things have happened to superhero comics. They’ve become darker, stories have been expanded in endless company-wide “events”, that crossover into dozens of titles and cost a fortune to follow. They promise changes that will permanently affect the characters, but they never do. I miss the days when multi-character superhero titles were fun, and affordably self-contained.
I really enjoyed everything about ‘Secret Identities’. Ilias Kyriazis’ art is really attractive to the eye, without being difficult to follow. It reminded me quite a bit of George Perez’s work. The story is sophisticated enough to not bore, but it’s not overburdened with those current clichés that I previously mentioned.
The Front Line are a team of super-heroes, who officially banded together after they first fought together in an as yet untold story. They chose to make their base in Toronto, simply because that was where they first got together, much to the annoyance of certain people within the American government. Understandable when you consider that one of them is the daughter of the President.
While battling an overwhelming force of monstrous attackers, they are helped out by Crosswind, an armoured hero, who is invited to join the team. Crosswind, however, has a hidden agenda. It’s impossible, these days, to design totally original super-hero characters, so it’s not surprise that the Front Line have examples of various well-known types amongst their ranks, but they do have their differences. I particularly liked the somewhat dodgy use to which Rundown, their speedster, puts his abilities in his complicated private life.
I shall continue to follow ‘Secret Identities’ until such time as Image involve them in some huge crossover, at which point I will be forced to have a re-think.