Friday, January 1, 2010

Identity Crisis TPB [2004] by Brad Meltzer | Rags Morales


IDENTITY CRISIS TRADE PAPERBACK
Novelist Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales brought the first part of a three part Crisis Trilogy. The series began in August 2004 setting up some of the stories to follow later. The dark tone set paved the way for Infinite Crisis which is a sequel to 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths by Geoff Johns and Final Crisis by Grant Morrison where evil takes over the world.

The dark tone set a realistic view on heroes who are willing to do anything to save others. Infinite Crisis brought back Kal-L and Superboy Prime who saw an Earth which was worse off than they left it so they returned to set it right however Superboy Prime and Alexander Luthor became villains due to their actions.

Meltzer brings a dark mystery where secrets eventually come to light and have lasting consequences. He takes an unknown character of Ralph Dibny and makes him human by mirroring the loving husband we are or we want to be. The tragedy is explored and ends with a horrific ending where more lives are destroyed than healed.

Sue Dibny is murdered and the worst of all she was pregnant with Ralph’s child. A memorial is held with a closed casket since she was badly burned by her attacker. Ralph believes it was Dr. Light who raped her years before and now its time for his revenge on her. The Justice League erased Dr. Light’s mind of the event and made him slow.

Now Dr. Light has hired the services of Deathstroke who almost takes down the Justice League of the past. Dr. Light slowly remembers his mind was erased by the Justice League. Doctor Mid-Nite discovers Sue Dibny was not killed by Dr. Light and now the same killer targets Jean Loring.

The big Justice League guns arrive with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Batman asks the question “Who benefits?” Oliver Queen confronts Hal Jordan who is currently the Spectre to find out who killed Sue. There is a beautiful scene where Oliver Queen asks Hal “When’re you really coming back?” Hal replies “I’m working on it.” This is just prior to Geoff Johns bringing Hal back in Green Lantern: Rebirth.

Now the killer target Lois Lane and Jack Drake. Batman and Robin rush to the scene of Jack Drake however it’s too late and Robin is an orphan. Wally West discovers the Justice League took Batman’s memories as well and he doesn’t know it yet. Now the truth is discover Sue was killed before she was burned so the killer was hiding something. After find out little footprints in Sue’s brain, the Justice League race to find Ray Palmer. The ending is heartbreaking as it explodes towards the events of Infinite CrisisHowever before Infinite Crisis begins, Identity Crisis leads into JLA: Crisis of Conscience where Batman finds out his memories were tampered with.

RECOMMENDED – 4 OUT OF 5