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Identity Crisis (2015-) #1 (DC Comics Essentials)

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Award-winning novelist Brad Meltzer's critically acclaimed limited series redefined superhero storytelling, offering readers a look in the dark and dangerous sides of super-heroism that blur the lines between right and wrong—and reveal the consequences of actions. This excerpt from IDENTITY CRISIS is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIA Award-winning novelist Brad Meltzer's critically acclaimed limited series redefined superhero storytelling, offering readers a look in the dark and dangerous sides of super-heroism that blur the lines between right and wrong—and reveal the consequences of actions. This excerpt from IDENTITY CRISIS is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS AND CHRONOLOGY 2014 catalog. Inside is an expansive look at our rich backlist collection created by the best writers and illustrators in the industry. This catalog can be used as an important resource for new fans seeking a starting point, as well as a look back at our impressive backlist for the most fervent DCE enthusiasts.


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Award-winning novelist Brad Meltzer's critically acclaimed limited series redefined superhero storytelling, offering readers a look in the dark and dangerous sides of super-heroism that blur the lines between right and wrong—and reveal the consequences of actions. This excerpt from IDENTITY CRISIS is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIA Award-winning novelist Brad Meltzer's critically acclaimed limited series redefined superhero storytelling, offering readers a look in the dark and dangerous sides of super-heroism that blur the lines between right and wrong—and reveal the consequences of actions. This excerpt from IDENTITY CRISIS is a part of just one of the titles featured in the DC ENTERTAINMENT ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS AND CHRONOLOGY 2014 catalog. Inside is an expansive look at our rich backlist collection created by the best writers and illustrators in the industry. This catalog can be used as an important resource for new fans seeking a starting point, as well as a look back at our impressive backlist for the most fervent DCE enthusiasts.

30 review for Identity Crisis (2015-) #1 (DC Comics Essentials)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jedhua

    (Note: Due to Goodreads' alphanumeric character limit, the following "review" merely consists of the postscript to my main review of the Identity Crisis miniseries.) Postscript: Firstly, let me just say that I was disappointed with the declaration of the perpetrator and their motive at the end of the book. Apparently, the crime was committed for a very selfish and petty reason, and by someone who was too insane to sympathize with. In other works of fiction, I've seen extremely evil acts committed (Note: Due to Goodreads' alphanumeric character limit, the following "review" merely consists of the postscript to my main review of the Identity Crisis miniseries.) Postscript: Firstly, let me just say that I was disappointed with the declaration of the perpetrator and their motive at the end of the book. Apparently, the crime was committed for a very selfish and petty reason, and by someone who was too insane to sympathize with. In other works of fiction, I've seen extremely evil acts committed for very human reasons, and was deeply moved by the revelation. I refuse to believe that Meltzer couldn't have come up with something better than this. Click the following spoiler tag to see how I interpreted the reveal: (view spoiler)[it seems kind of like Jean divorced Ray because she felt their marriage got stale, and concocted this whole plot in an effort to revive "that spark" and make everything "just like the old days." In issue #2, we discover, through Ray's account, that it was Jean (not Ray) who walked out on the marriage, which caused a "devastated" Ray to "throw [himself] into [his] work." Wouldn't it have been better if Ray was the neglectful, workaholic husband that didn't know what he had until it was gone? I know that bit of character history probably predated this book (meaning that it was out of the writer's hands), but this scenario would have much better conveyed the sense of desperation and longing (from Jean's perspective) necessary to make it that much more disturbing. And though it may have increased readers' suspicions concerning Jean to some degree, the amount of red herrings Meltzer included might still have been enough to make that a negligible concern. (hide spoiler)] ------------------------------------------------ Okay. Getting back to paragraph #6: Remember when I made reference to an "intrinsically one-sided" dilemma? Well if you take a look at Whedon's introduction to the book, he seems to validate that assessment when he mentions actions taken by certain heroes which "they not only might have taken, but inevitably would have, *must* have." I know I said earlier that this element inevitability made for weak drama and conflict, but I can see hints of poetry behind it too. The rationale behind that statement, and the reason I stick to it even still, has to do with the fact that this inevitability – which seems like it should be obvious to almost all sensible readers – makes the desire for secrecy feel unnecessary, or makes those heroes ignorant of it look naive and old-fashioned; how dare they sit in judgement of their comrades when there was no alternative to the action taken? This seems entirely different than the dispute brought about in Marvel's Civil War, for instance, where there were two distinct and (largely) legitimate paths. A probably slippery slope scenario seems like a second clear implication to this. By this I only mean that there should be no conceivable end to the "questionable actions" taken by heroes in a world so fraught with evil and unimaginable peril. So Meltzer's attempt to intensify the genre took things to a place that, if traditional values of heroism were tried to be held intact, was logically unsustainable – and that's regardless of how you feel about moral ambiguity "grit" in comic books. In no time at all, things would have come to a head, and produced a crossover event more than 10 times as gruesome and catastrophic as Ultimatum . If you've read that book, you know that's a place there's no coming back from. ------------------------------------------------ This next section will deal with the "logical errors" I mentioned in the main review above. 1.) Look at the picture below – with particular attention to the rooftop with the brightly glowing superheroine and her colorfully-clad companion – and tell me if this looks appropriately inconspicuous enough for a superhero stakeout. 2.) From the timeline suggested in the book, Doctor Mid-Nite had about 4-5 days to perform the autopsy on Sue. If this expert physician was working laboriously the whole time, as I'm sure he was, I have little doubt he could have found out Sue's cause of death in less than half the time. And in so doing, would have provided the League useful information early enough to have prevented much of the needless carnage that followed. 3.) Related to my last point (and assuming I read the below picture accurately), I don't see Batman blindly trusting *anyone* – far less a grief-stricken widower – so much that he would take their word for the state of a crime scene without analyzing it for himself. I know he still believed Ralph to be "as sharp as ever," but it's not like him to leave anything to chance. For a second I considered the possibility that there may have been other investigative avenues he thought more appropriate for him to pursue, but then I realized that any evidence gleaned from the crime scene is too vital a starting point to ignore, and could immediately narrow the suspect pool by a substantial margin. And even if he didn't wish to be a part of the forensic process, for whatever reason, it should have been *him* (not Oliver) that put together the team that ultimately carried out the investigation. 4.) I saved the best for last: it's time for Deathstroke vs the JLA. Strictly speaking, I guess technically it's only seven members of the team, but I honestly don't see this particular technicality amounting to much for my purposes. But I think I'll preface my short rant by saying that this battle was a beautifully orchestrated sequence, planned brilliantly by Meltzer and illustrated masterfully by Morales. It's a damn shame these two were working under faulty assumptions, but it is what it is I guess... So anyway, according to his Wikipedia page, Deathstroke has "enhanced physical and mental abilities (including superhuman strength, speed, endurance and reflexes)," is "extremely skilled in manipulation, deception and military tactics," and is a "master swordsman, marksman, hand-to-hand fighter and martial artist." Plus, he fights with "ninety percent of his brain capacity," has got a "regenerative healing factor," and sports "hi-tech weapons and equipment." Sounds like quite the formidable adversary, does he not? Most of us should agree it's probably more than enough to take out B-listers like Green Arrow and Black Canary, as well as Hawkman – all of whom could be fighting against him together. I'm a little hesitant to add Zatanna to the list since she's a bit of a wildcard, and he would need to act fast enough to incapacitate her – a feat which may not always be feasible. But either of the other two S-class heroes (i.e. Kyle Rayner and Flash) could take him out without even trying. As a Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner wields "the most powerful weapon in the universe," and battles near Superman-level cosmic threats on a regular basis. Even without Hal's experience, he's more than a match for a clown like Deathstroke. And just to give you a rough idea of how much the Flash outclasses Deathstroke, I'd say that I'm not sure the merc could even take down Marvel's Quicksilver – who has to be *at least* 20 times slower than the slowest modern incarnation of the Flash. For those unable to see the logic in what I propose, please refer here; I could go on and on about this if I wanted to, but this review is already long enough, wouldn't you say? ------------------------------------------------ For my final point, take a look at the following villain-centric pics: (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] For starters, why DC comics insists on keeping around so many cheesy villains (and have the gall to put them in live-action films) is beyond me. Neither the heroes nor the villains in this book can take him seriously! So for Meltzer to try and make readers sympathize with this father-son dynamic, he starts at a sizable disadvantage right off the bat. But since this subplot is only marginally pursued, it really had no chance of being very compelling anyway. Also, I wonder if this notion of tightly-knit supercriminals in DC began here; I remember there was a similar scene at the start of Blackest Night where a group of villains were mourning at the grave of a dead Rogue (who happens to be (view spoiler)[the same Captain Boomerang who dies in this book (hide spoiler)] ), and I cringed nearly as hard here (i.e. in the second above image hidden in the spoiler tag) as I did there. If my suspicions are correct, Meltzer has set a very dangerous precedent for DC comics moving forward... At this point, it's important to note that the point I just made about the villains is just part of a larger one concerning characters and plotlines just sitting around and wasting space. There are several examples of this, and pointless appearances made by Perry White and Jimmy, Black Lightning and Katana, and the Spectre, are only the most obvious ones. It's as if the DC execs just wanted to cram this with as many cameos as they could get away with. Oh, and since I mentioned the Spectre, there is one last thing I'd like to touch on. When Oliver and Hal Jordan (i.e. the Spectre) are talking in the graveyard in issue #4, Ollie asks Hal when he's really coming back to life, to which Hal glibly responds by saying that "[he's] working on it." Again, there's yet another eerily similar scene in Blackest Night where Hal (who's now, shockingly, alive again) talks with Flash about the uncanny tendency of dead heroes not to say that way. And earlier in Identity Crisis – sometime in the first issue – Oliver mentions that both he and Superman were once dead and buried, before being brought back to life. For me, this is looks like yet another bad habit that DC has picked up where they too casually diminish the impact of the death of a superhero, to the point where the whole thing is reduced to nothing more than a bad joke. And this point is especially harmful for a book that so proudly claims to approach the genre in such a mature way in terms of realistic implications, and one who so sternly emphasizes mortality and death.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    I read DC Identity Crisis' in high school, and was not prepared for what I read. This book reminds me a bit of Marvel's Civil War, in it being a dark story that brushed me the wrong way. If you enjoy this book, all the more power to you. For me, this doesn't click. The characters feel off, and for a long time I didn't read any DC books because I hated a lot of the characters and how they were presented. The treatment of Jean, and in particular Sue, really rubbed me the wrong way.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josh McInnis

    The classics of the JLA show with a watchmen feel to it added.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Milligan

    Brad Meltzer I am Excited about Brad Meltzer new focus into comics. I Can't wait to read part two of this version.

  5. 5 out of 5

    William

  6. 4 out of 5

    Abdullah Shaekh

  7. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  8. 4 out of 5

    Abdul Rahman

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nur Hidayah

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vinton Bayne

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kody Biggs

  13. 5 out of 5

    Panz

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  15. 5 out of 5

    est

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tim Potter

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gary Parkes

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katie Kempski

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jovy Low

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  21. 5 out of 5

    lulilalae

  22. 4 out of 5

    MDDLWSTRN

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Burton

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve Dickson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Cabot

  26. 5 out of 5

    Smae

  27. 4 out of 5

    ed ed

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben Peltier

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