Now that I’ve taken a really good hard look of this cover, it’s hard to say what words form the title. The ‘of’ and the ‘presents’ confuses me. Still the words Secret Origins are the biggest here, so I’ll go with those.
This anthology collects a lot of classic DC material, from the forties to the sixties. There’s a few predictably zany Superman/Batman startups, and Green Lantern fails to impress me as usual. I liked this version of the Flash was inspired by a comic book, and I appreciate how calm Martian Manhunter was about being stranded on Earth, even being so altruistic as to become a police detective. Alien characters are great that way, you can write them however you want and their eccentricities can be excused by their extraterrestrial origins.
By far my favourite story detailed the origins of Eclipso, an astronomy-themed Dr. Hyde villain who shares a body and a brain with his greatest nemesis, the brilliant scientist Bruce Gordon. The ruins of Gordon’s solar-powered city was an evocative setting. I want to read more about this guy.
There’s also a tale on the origins of Bizarro’s planet, a cubical world where everyday is opposite day. This is a simple concept, but it’s amazing how much cool stuff the writer can milk out of the concept.
Despite all my praise, I’d only recommend this one to people who are already fans of DC Comics. These story’s lack of context could frustrate newcomers.