Comic Name: Identity Crisis
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Artist: Rags Morales
# of Issues: 7
Release Date: 2005
Reprints Identity Crisis #1-7 (September 2004-February 2005). A tragedy occurs when Sue Dibny, the wife of the Elongated Man, is killed in their home. Now, the hunt is on for the killer, but it appears that the criminals are organizing and targeting superheroes and their families. Some members of the Justice League have been keeping a secret and it could be coming back to haunt them…what occurred on the JLA Satellite with Dr. Light could be the reason behind all the attacks, or it could be something worse.
Written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Rags Morales, Identity Crisis was a DC Universe worldwide event. The series was a big seller for DC but has received mixed reviews from fans.
I fall on the lines that the Identity Crisis was a big mistake. The story took a dark turn for the entire DC Universe and led DC Comics down a long path of darkness which took years to repair (and one could argue hasn’t ever been repaired). Identity Crisis not only had negative outcomes, but it also isn’t a very good mini-series.
Identity Crisis does have some positive aspects. Rag Morales art is strong and has a lot of heart. The series restored the “killer” Deathstroke and did raise a few interesting questions about the repetitive nature of superheroes fighting criminals over and over again…unfortunately the approach and style of the comic failed.
The reason behind Identity Crisis’ failure is that it went against character so often and had a lot of pretense to the series. The series forced the red herring aspect of the story so hard with the “who benefits” aspect of the story. As the cover story, we get the Justice League magically lobotomizing their enemies (and Batman) after the rape of Sue Dibny…something that would never happen. The story went on to reveal Jean Loring is behind the horror and just happened to bring a flame thrower to her “attack” on Sue. It doesn’t even make sense and the story ending puts on airs that it is somehow clever and artsy…It was just a weak attempt to shock with a left field approach.
The series could have easily been fixed however with a simple tweak. If Jean was meant to be the killer, it should have been her who was raped by Dr. Light. If the League had mind wiped both her and Light, the effects of the mind wipe could have pushed her over the edge and caused her to kill Sue Dibny (along with everyone else who is threatened in this series) out of jealousy/madness…It then would have the League finding out that they are responsible for their own demise instead of the weak, undeveloped Dr. Light story.
Identity Crisis lead to more problems with the League and a darkness settled over the DC Universe. The series was followed by JLA 18: Crisis of Conscience which dealt more with Batman and Dr. Light’s brain wipes. It also spawned four mini-series and a one shot. Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1, The O.M.A.C. Project, Day of Vengeance, Villains United, and the Rann-Thanagar War which led into the next big crossover event Infinite Crisis.
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