Thursday, March 22, 2012


IDENTITY CRISIS (DC, 2005; Hardcover)
Collects Identity Crisis Nos. 1-7 (cover dates August, 2004- February, 2005)
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Artist: Rags Morales and Michael Bair
This was a birthday gift from my homeskillet Ferjo Byroy...last year. I finally got around to reading it before this birthday, and I must say that I enjoyed this quite a bit. One of the liberating things about reading DC books for me is that I have no real emotional attachment or involvement with the characters, and no personal history with them outside of the Mego 8” dolls and Super Friends cartoons from when I was a kid in the late '70s. I consider myself knowledgeable about DC's continuity...until 1942. I am still working my way forward.
The only thing about this story that seemed strange to me is how so many of DC's icons were different from their classic counterparts. Robin, Flash, Green Lantern...all of them had different people in their roles than the characters I have read before. Again, I am working my way forward through the DC Universe, so forgive my ignorance about this universe of characters. It should be noted that Marvel has done the exact same thing at times, so maybe this shouldn't seem so strange after all.
I wonder if the DC faithful hate this series or loved it. I don't know any DC fans who are as anal about continuity as we Marvel fans are. Perhaps it is the endless reboots and Crises and Earths in the DC Universe. Perhaps DC fans are more accepting of different, non-continuity takes of their beloved icons than we Marvel fans are. Or perhaps I take continuity way too seriously, and would have a better time reading modern Marvel Comics if I could only let my adherence to the rules of continuity go.
I can honestly say that I did not predict the ending. I love how Meltzer's writing had an onion layer effect, and how each issue peeled more and more away. This has some pretty clever writing and plot twists. I must also give props to the art team of Morales and Bair, as their artwork really nailed it for me. In some ways, this read like Astro City. I shall keep skimming my toe in the waters of DC. I'm not ready to jump in with both feet yet, nor do I know if I ever will. I am fairly content to cherry pick from DC's vast library of collected editions.
The OCD zone- This hardcover has glued binding, and it is among the finest glued bindings that I have ever seen. Indeed, it lays about as flat as the nicest sewn binding hardcovers that I own. If DC knew how to make books that did this back then, then why are they having such problems now? I am perplexed. The paper has a dull matte finish, but it captures the colors well and works for this material.

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