Saturday, June 10, 2006

Identity Crisis

Identity CrisisI've always been into comic book superheroes: Superman, Batman and Spiderman (specifically). As a kid, I enjoyed Superman & Superman II, Batman & Batman Returns. As an adult, I loved Batman Begins, the two Spiderman movies and the X-men movies (1 & 2 so far). I can't wait until Superman Returns.

Brad Meltzer is one of my favorite authors. Holly and I have read all of his novels so far starting with The Tenth Justice all the way to The Zero Game. We cannot wait to get our hands on The Book of Fate when it's released on September 5, 2006.

Today I finally read my copy of Identity Crisis, a graphic novel which includes Brad's script and Rags Morales's pictures to tell a great story about a mystery involving The Justice League of America.

Identity Crisis begins with the murder of Sue Dibny, wife of Elongated Man. Members of the Justice League try to find the killer(s) and start to panic trying to protect their loved ones. Other family members are attacked over the course of the story and egos clash while trying to find the murderers. The main characters in the investigation are The Green Arrow, The Flash, The Green Lantern, Zatanna, Black Canary, Hawkman, Atom and Elongated Man. I think using these characters as the main focus makes the story more interesting since they're not "the big three" (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). Don't worry, though, Batman & Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman are in the story and play a major role.

During their search for the killer(s), a secret from the past comes up that causes some controversy amongs the superheroes. This storyline causes you to question the ethics of some of the heroes and I'm sure some readers won't like that. I actually liked the story and it's "controversial" secret. As others wrote, I think it does add to the humanity of the characters.

The story as a whole is exciting and a page-turner (I read it all in one sitting). Rags Morales translates Meltzer's script wonderfully. Some of the scenes pull at the heart strings (specifically at the deaths of family members).

This book has made me want to read more graphic novels (I'm starting with The Complete Frank Miller Batman).

Image taken from Brad Meltzer's Website.


  1. Is this a graphic novel or in book format?

  2. It is a graphic novel in book format. :)


  3. Came here for the SSH info, but saw this on the front page.

    I myself am a reborn comic geek, leaving back in the mid 90's like everyone reason was more due to my age rather than the crumbling industry.

    But they have brought it back, and this is one of the gems in recent DC history. This leads into the Infinite Crisis which just wrapped up and most seem to like it. I hated it in the end, but Identity Crisis was pretty slick. The Deathstroke vs. JLA was handled well.

    As far as graphic novels go you have more to pick from than ever! Just like this they are now typically releasing the GN of almost every arc in any major book, and fast. This is a great way to keep up on the current stuff.

    If I may suggest a few goodies:

    1. Ultimate Planetary - $70 and worth every penny! This large format hardcover is impressive, but it's the stuff inbetween the leather covers that puts it at #1 for me. It's a great twisted take on several popular superhero mythos...Thor, Fantastic Four, JLA, the Hulk. It also brings it's own madness resulting in a confusing and sinful read. And the art is very nice...I'm not a huge fan of the style but no one does it better than Cassiday these days. It's only half the series though, and you will be rereading it to the point of insanity sometimes, but it's worth it.

    2. Powers - Any of the first three or four trades are nice. After that, it starts getting into the main-main-main story and then it goes down in my opinion. But the early stories of two cops investigating super hero related crimes are original and hilarious. It's a serious book in a comedic way...the guy who writes this does like 50 books a month these days, and I for one say you can tell in the quality.

    3. Daredevil - Guardian Devil - Kevin Smith did this one, which I read only once but still enjoy thinking about it to this day. I need to get me a copy, some how I've missed that one. You can't go wrong with a satanic baby, Bullseye, and some great art by Quesada.

    While the big fantastic gigantic mega crossover stories are fun and deserved to be read as a graphic novel, the format also lends to just getting short consistant stories of almost anything, not just the summer bonanza.

  4. Oh, and if that's the leather-bound batman that has both the Dark Knight Returns and Year One that is a fantastic book! I had one back when I originally collected and it was beautiful in every way. I think they re-released it as a standard trade which is just as good of course.

  5. Thanks for the info, inthewayboy. I actually ordered the first edition Frank Miller Complete Batman from Amazon Marketplace. I haven't heard back from the vendor yet, so I hope the order has gone through. I can't wait to get it.