Secret Identities by Jeff Yang

Secret Identities

What if we told you a tale about a quiet, unassuming guy with black hair and thick glasses; an immigrant, who's done his best to fit into a world that isn't his? Many Asian Americans fit that bill. But so does Clark Kent, better known to the world as Superman. The editors of Secret Identities Appealing to both comics fans and Asian Americans seeking to claim their place in American culture, Secret Identities makes brilliant use of the conventions...

Details Secret Identities

TitleSecret Identities
Release DateMar 3rd, 2009
PublisherThe New Press
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Short Stories, Fiction, Fantasy, Anthologies

Reviews Secret Identities

  • Raina
    I really dig the idea of this. Provide a place for Asian-American graphic novelists to present their vision of Asian-American superhero comics. It should be noted that I am not a rabid reader of superhero comics (tending to gravitate toward indie/alternative/small press graphic novels), so this is not an expert's perspective and I may not be the target audience.And, like most anthologies, in terms of success, it's a grab-bag. Some of the selectio...
  • Parka
    (More pictures at Identities is one of the few comic anthologies I enjoy tremendously. There are 48 chapters, all drawn by Asian Americans — of course — but a few are 1-page superhero profiles and stories. So really, there are only 40 longer stories.For most of the 1-page stories, it's an artist talking about the concept of superheroes, Asian Americans and the influence of Asia on western comics. The longer stories are r...
  • Joe
    A very good, very different read.So much ground is covered.So many new stories and new voices.I would love to see some of them followed up.
  • Skye Kilaen
    Superheroes? Yes! Superhero comics that push back against stereotypes? Even more yes! I am not always a big fan of anthologies, but there were a number of short stories here that I would have bought immediately if they were ongoing series. This was a groundbreaking collection when it was published in 2018, and remains an important and entertaining work in the genre. It isn't preachy, it's action-packed, funny, satirical, and heartfelt. Shattered,...
  • Kelvin
    The very fact that this exists is reason enough to give it 5 stars. As an Asian American, I never realized how important AA representation in the media and having strong, non-stereotypical AA role models was to me until coming to college and taking AA studies classes.As for the anthology's content, I did find it a bit hard to follow some of the stories, but I'll attribute part of that difficulty to my lack of familiarity with comics.I especially ...
  • Matt Sautman
    A meditation on Asian Americans' relationship to comic books, Secret Identities is both an anthology of stories about Asians (mostly in superhero settings) written by people of Asian descent and it is a serious exploration of Asian identity politics. The stories themselves are designed to be interconnected, but their interconnectivity is subtle and easy to miss if it wasn't for a chart at the end. From investigating Japanese Americans fighting ag...
  • Nate
    Any anthology is going to be uneven. Especially one with this high a volume of up and coming writers and illustrators. You know that going in but what makes Secret Identities special other than the obvious, groundbreaking nature of getting this many Asian writers and artists all in one book is that the overall quality is so high. The super hero genre is almost completely under the control of well meaning. white people from Portland that it is a b...
  • April Rogers
    Sequential art anthology by Asian Americans featuring Asian Americans. Some of the comics were fantastic but others were harder to follow or not as well done so it averaged out 3 stars for me. :) I do hope some of them continue.
  • Carina
    I don't have my copy of the book with me, or I could write a more detailed review. I'll try to write about what I remember. First of all, this book makes me really happy just by existing. The only reasons it doesn't get five unqualified stars are: 1) the quality of the art is somewhat variable, and 2) it was a little unclear how some of the stories fit (or not) into a larger narrative. While some of the stories stand entirely on their own, others...
  • Michelle
    I wasn't sure what to expect, but this turned out to be a delightful and solid anthology. While I didn't like all of the stories equally, the ones that resonated with me were awesome! The only real link I see between all these stories is the Asian-American protagonist, and the setting (a city called Troy), but I wasn't looking for connections so this lack didn't bother me. Some of the stories parody stereotypes or overt racism, some call it out, ...
  • Eli
    This anthology has stories that bowled me over, made me cry, and left me wanting more. Dozens of complex lives are artfully shared in snapshots, in a wealth of different artistic styles. Themes of heroism, role models, strength and weakness, family and culture, pride and shame, being seen and being invisible, and loving and being loved are lived and experienced in these pages.I know this volume is set against the backdrop of a dearth of Asian Ame...
  • Leo
    Just finished reading this, so this is a first impression.I really wanted to give this a 3.5. While it wasn't a fully satisfying experience, the fact that it is, after all, an anthology of Asian-American superhero comics makes it a notable accomplishment.With that said, I could not quite accept all of them as worthwhile reads. The first third, with the exception of Jamie Ford's "Gaman," felt too didactic and had a sense of attempt at grasping too...
  • Sonja P.
    So, a bunch of comics creators got together and started to discussing how invisible Asian-Americans were in comics. They realized that there were a lot of Asian-Americans behind the comics, but that their presence in the actual comics was lacking. More than that, a lot of superhero ideas cross over into their own experiences. So, they got several Asian-American comics creators, and they developed an anthology. Here you'll discover why the chauffe...
  • CuriousLibrarian
    This is a 2.5 from me.Shortly before this book was published, I went to a panel at NYCC with some of the editors and creators. The enthusiasm was palpable and contagious, so I was greatly looking forward to reading this anthology.Maybe my hopes were up too high, but I was very disappointed. I almost abandoned it after finishing section one, because I was just that uninterested. The stories in that section felt more like snippets than complete sto...
  • Ryan Miller
    I love the idea of this. I loved some of the execution, the way story threads connected with one another and with historical events, including World War II and the internment camps. The challenge for compilations is that they are only as strong as their weakest entries, and some of the entries fell flat. Still, I hope for another in a series of Secret Identities. No, strike that. I hope that the superhero genre evolves an ability to create nuance...
  • Mark
    A pretty awesome anthology of short comics created by Asian-Americans and starring Asian-American super heros. About 200 pages and 40 contributers, so lots of variety and different perspectives packed into the collection. There are parts focusing on history, on typical experiences, of reactions agains stereotyping, and parts that are simply solid hero stories. My favorite bit about stereotypes: a comparative literature professor discovers he has ...
  • Kathleen
    This is a brilliant collection of short stories from an incredible group of extremely talented writers and artists. All of the contributions were interesting and entertaining. I particularly liked the ones that subverted tropes, like Just Ordinary where the hero puts on glasses and a white shirt instead of a costume to completely hide his identity when he fights crime. The dry cleaner with an unusual power was also terrific, as was young John Hen...
  • Andriana
    I love the idea and the fact that this anthology actually exists. I have spent a lot of time studying Asian American history and I do believe that this book challenges a lot of notions that have been created over time. However, as much as I wanted to fall in love with this book, I found a lot of the comics very dry. Perhaps it is because I read it outside of a school setting as a leisure book. Although I must admit that I fell in love with two of...
  • Crystal
    Simply amazing. This anthology blew my mind. The sheer wealth of stories, all pushing the bounds of the imagination while drawing attention to and combating the stereotypes and offenses that have plagued Asian American heroes in comics, tv, etc. for decades. I'd love to see these characters in mainstream universes leading their own titles and mixing it up with the icons of American comics. I'm already working on volume two!
  • Stacey Richardson
    Excellent collection! The only thing i didn't like was that so many of the pieces were just a taste of the whole. I'm going to spend lots of time searching for the rest of the stories.Favorites in no particular order: Sampler, Trinity, Heroes Without a Country, The HibakushaBooks i need to find: Flight, Gaze, Jia, Parallel Penny
  • LW
    There are some real gems of stories in here and some amazing artwork, but the anthology feels a bit disjointed and disorganized. I hope a 2nd volume fleshes out some of the characters and storylines introduced here.Some of my favorites were "The Blue Scorpion & Chung," "From Headline to Hero," "Driving Steel," and "9066."
  • Steven Morton
    One of the best anthologies I have read. Well crafted, educational and creative. Thru words and art the creators made me remember the journey of Asians in America was as hard and dangerous as it was for African Americans and our struggles share similar highs and lows. i recommend this to anyone who want to be exposed to so many talented creators in comics.
  • A. Musquiz
    I loved how much diversity was in this graphic novel! I really enjoyed the concept of Asian-American heroes and thought the art styles for all the stories was really fun and interesting and I definitely had my favorites! There's something for everyone in this graphic novel. From war stories to the years after 2020, it's a graphic novel I highly recommend if you love superhero stories!
  • Barbara
    Secret Identities is truly a great leap forward for the Asian American community. But since it is an anthology with many stories of different characters, each story is more like an introduction for these characters. I can only wish that Secret Identities would have babies. So, I would be able to really learn more about these characters and stories that come with them.
  • Lam Peng
    The first story by Yang was fun and delightful. But unfortunately, many of the other stories were choppy and out of place. A good effort to celebrate Asian American heroes, but the inconsistency and some questionable stories pulled down the rating.
  • Darcy
    Fun anthology of Asian American artists and authors that examines the equation "hero" + Asian ... which is not to imply the "good at math" stereotype reigns supreme. Honest, funny, thought-provoking. Recommended.
  • Sinistmer
    Great art and storylines. There were definitely stories that I wish had continued; there was a story about a military team made up of Asian superheroes, for example, that I wanted to know about.Definitely worth a read, and many stories would be good discussion material for courses.
  • Sasa
    i really tried giving this a chance. i liked the idea of asian americans as super heroes since there's a lack of visibility. i just couldn't get into the storyline and the art work wasn't as great, in my opinion. i didn't bother finishing it.
  • Salsabrarian
    Although I enjoy manga and comics, I'm not a big superhero story fan. Still, this book is a great way to highlight the many Asian-American talents in the graphic-novel/comic world. The fave for me was "You Are What You Eat."
  • Dru Pagliassotti
    This is a brilliant anthology that offers commentary, history, and some fantastic superhero stories. I picked it up for the comics class I'll be teaching, but now I want to read the follow-ups just for myself.