The Comic Queen

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Friday, June 11, 2004

Identity Crisis #1 Review

Identity Crisis #1
DC Comics
1 of 7
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Pencils: Rags Morales
Inks: Michael Bair
Colorist: Alex Sinclair

All right, enough hype already. There’s been a lot of talk about this 7-issue limited series. DC’s been building up the suspense for this comic for a while now – saying it will rock the foundation of the DC Universe and other such phrases designed to whip up the masses into a frenzy and drive them screaming to the nearest comic shop. So, I thought I’d give the series a shot – I’m sure as hell not going to be left out of “The Comics Event of the Year” dammit.

Going into the book, we all know someone is going to die. The mystery is – whom will it be? I won’t give it away, but I have to say, I wasn’t at all familiar with the character. That said, Brad Meltzer’s writing got me sufficiently invested in the characters and story to want to keep reading. And with a proper cliffhanger, it appears the mystery is just beginning.

Rags Morales did a nice job as penciller, especially at the times when the Elongated Man, Ralph Dibny, literally couldn’t keep himself together. The book is very text heavy, so this is an extra challenge for any artist, but Morales does a good job.

And when I say text heavy, I don’t mean this as a criticism to the writer (this time). Meltzer chose his words carefully – I’ve definitely read comics with a fewer number of words that feel much more wordy than this book. I have to say the cover by Michael Turner looked more like a Wizard cover than a comic cover, though, with teasers like “Deadly Secrets! Private Hells! The Comics Event of the Year Begins HERE! So, so many exclamation points.

Now, I’ve read a few reviews that criticize specific points of the plot, and I can’t say that I completely disagree with these criticisms. The character who died isn’t very well known, and so this feels like a cheat to the big “rock the universe” premise. The whole super-hero death to shake things up is getting pretty contrived, etc. But let’s not forget that there are six more issues left to this series folks. I just keep getting a picture of the writer reading these columns, leaning back in his chair with his arms folded behind his head and chuckling because he knows, oh yes, he knows what happens next, and boy will the joke be on the doubters. So, I’m game. Bring on issue #2.

Bottom line: B+


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