For Issue #2 of My So-Called Secret Identity, there’s a lot going on. The creative team decided to make a change from Issue #1, running pages in weekly installments from 21 March- 23 June, with a couple of pages released each week. I did not read the pages as they were released (thus having to also ban myself from the discussion board for several months) as I like to view things as a whole. When I finally sat down to view all of Issue #2, it did not disappoint.
Again, Issue #2 was fully funded by fans. In fact, Issue #2-4 are completely funded as of this writing. According to the website, while the creative team works on Issue #3, they’ve taken down their donation program, although they encourage fans to still donate to their partner charity:
In the new world of Kickstarter, and more online comics, the idea of fan funded material is no longer the rarity it once was. However, it’s still pretty cool that fans can fund material they believe in. The My So-Called Secret Identity team takes it one step further by offering bonus materials to fans who donate, something I hope they continue.
Once again, Issue #2 is beautifully drawn, and I love the color scheme and art. It’s a combination of styles that they make work. I still wish, as an online comic, that the panels were drawn/laid out to fit the screen, but if the endgoal is to paper publish the comic, I can understand why the creators are sticking to the format. I also love the Lookbook, and other goodies that are available on the website, which will hopefully get expanded as the comic evolves.
Online, Issue #2 saw the addition of Sound and Vision, which provides music and videos from fans, which is a great interaction. For a fangirl like me, the inside look of Backstage (an inside look at Will Brooker, Suze Shore, Lindsay Searles) is also nice, and will hopefully be expanded as the comic goes on.
Issue #2 (http://www.mysocalledsecretidentity.com/comic/volume1/issue2/page1) as I said is full of stuff, and it jumps right in on page 1. For those of you following from Issue #1, we’ve jumped from where #1 ended, with the incredibly dramatic shadow entrance, to the home of Cat. In an interesting twist on comic lore- we find out who Urbanite and Miser are immediately, it turns out there are no secret identities, as everyone know who they are. There’s another reference for comic geeks/historians, this time to Batman (long held thoughts/theory of a homosexual relationship between Batman-Robin) , in Farley Grange and his long term partner Brandon Stewart, which Cat dismisses, and in Cat’s statement that Urbanite is incapable of being in any type of loving relationship (of interest to Batman fans who argue whether or not if real, Bruce Wayne/Batman was capable of a normal life, or whether he’d be a well functioning sociopath).
This relationship seems further complicated with Cat’s relationship/friendship with Enrique. This was a little confusing to me, as I’m not sure yet what’s going to come of this. One of the issues with a completely new comic is that we don’t yet have a sphere of reference yet for certain events or characters. This can be a wonderful thing because everything is new, but it also can mean that it takes some time to work out where everyone fits. At this point, we’re not sure how Urbanite, Miser, and Cat all fit together, something that promises to become clear later on, as writer, Brooker has said he has storylines planned out.
In this issue, we also see Cat literally create her other persona, and it’s perfectly post-modern, and fitting, that she does so from everyday items. It also speaks to the fact that Cat is a different type of superhero, despite being very familiar in many ways.
I had only two issues with Issue #2, and one of them isn’t even with the comic itself. In prep for the release of Issue #1, one of the things I loved most was the decision of the creative team to have an (anachronistic, as the comic is set in the 90s) online presence on both Twitter and Facebook. Particularly, I came to love Cat’s voice on Twitter as she posted updates and responded to fans. In today’s world, the idea of interacting with a character I liked was a big draw for me. This presence was mostly absent for Issue #2. While there were weekly posts and teasers on the comic’s Facebook page in prep of pages being released every week, I found I really missed hearing Cat’s voice on Twitter. This may have been due to the breakneck pace of releasing pages every week, and the creative team may have simply been overwhelmed with the task they set for themselves. However, I hope that with the release of Issue #3 that they decide to give Cat back her online voice.
The other issue, is not really an issue, rather it has the potential to become an issue. As I said, there’s a lot in Issue #2, a lot gets introduced, and there’s a lot of information that we’re not sure where it goes yet, or what the context is. If the following issues are as strong character and plot wise as these first two, then fans will quickly find their feet, and be able to place new information in the right spot (much as fans are doing with the lookbook and extra goodies online). But this places a lot on the shoulders of the creative team- in creating a superhero from scratch, and aiming for some lofty goals, the expectations are high from a fan perspective. Fans are already known for having insane expectations for the things they like, and I suppose I’m no different.
I have very high expectations for Cat.
But somehow, I have faith that Cat and her team will live up to them.
According to their website, the creators plan to release Issue #3 as a whole at the beginning of October.