Superman: Secret Identity by

Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen (Illustrator) book is about an Earth where Superman is a comic book hero, and Clark Kent is a boy who grew up in Kansas hating Superman — because of the name, obviously.

I get it. I was born a Kent too. (According to one site I checked, Kent is the 778th most popular surname in the United States, so there are quite a lot of us.) I didn’t get nearly as much teasing as my brother (who is not named Clark), and certainly not as much as Clark Kent in this book gets — because his family all thought it was hilarious.

But just like every kid, I wondered if I was a superhero, or a mutant, or any of those things (It was a little too early to wonder if I was a wizard.) And I wish I’d had this book at 13 or 15 or even 25 to remind me that superheroes lives aren’t any easier, nor are they any harder, they’re just different. And ultimately, that somehow makes it all okay.

Update: It’s hard to capture in one post how much this story meant to me. Six months later, just thinking about it still makes my heart ache in a good way. Hopefully you’ll get as much out of it as I did.