Doing My Part To Keep The Identity Crisis Controversy Raging
In case anyone cares, here are my thoughts on Identity Crisis
(reprinted from this
on the Grotesque Rampage forum):
Identity Crisis #1
Thanks to David Welsh
, I was
finally able to read IDENTITY CRISIS #1 last night. (Thanks, David!)
First reaction: Well, I'm sure glad I didn't blow four bucks on
Second thought: Perhaps my perception is tainted by the fact
that I've heard all the discussion already, but Jesus Christ was this
the most heavy-handed writing job ever in comics? How much more obvious
could you have made things? "Let's all reflect on all the death and
misery we heroes have suffered, conveniently timed within minutes of
Sue Dibny's brutal murder."
Third thought: Good god that Turner cover is ugly. And it
doesn't even appear to be properly finished. It looks like the cover to
an ashcan edition or something.
Identity Crisis #2
Thanks to Johanna
I was finally able to read Identity Crisis #2
Perhaps because everything was so much worse in my imagination, the
actual comic wasn't as bad as I'd thought. Don't get me wrong, it
was still pretty bad, but it wasn't the atrocity I'd pictured.
Some of the still bad stuff:
- The way the rape scene is depicted, it looks like a first-person
video game where your eyes are the camera so everything's seen from
your perspective. Think of shooter games where you see your
character's arms holding the gun at the bottom of the screen.
That's what the rape scene in IC #2 reminded me of.
Unfortunately, the disembodied arms we're seeing belong to Dr. Light
the pages Tim
O'Neil scanned in, especially panels 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8)
so the effect is we're seeing things as Dr. Light. Now, I doubt
the creators intended for the readers to identify with a rapist, but
the presentation is still extremely poor.
- I generally like Rags Morales' art, so I was surprised how much
the art didn't work for me in this issue. The scene of all the
heroes hanging on to an enraged Dr. Light was just goofy beyond
words. It might have worked in a Silver Age story (in fact, now
I'm wondering if this wasn't a riff on some old JLA cover) but it
doesn't fit the tone of this story at all. And having Dr. Light
perform his Gene Simmons impersonation was too over-the-top and
actually trivialized the violence of the rape a bit in my eyes:
Yes, because only raving psychos commit rape.
- So Ray Palmer goes through all this trouble to give Jean Loring a
crossbow with which to protect herself (let's leave aside what good a
crossbow would do to the villain presumed to be the murderer at that
point, given that he was shown as fighting several super-powered heroes
despite having been shot with multiple arrows), but he doesn't even
check to make sure it still works after all that time in storage in
the basement? Sloppy.
- The ending with Dr. Mid-Nite making his bizarre leap of
(il)logic. But others have already commented on this.
Some of the stuff that's mainly troubling from a geeky fanboy
- Wasn't Dr. Light already a bit of a joke before the era depicted
in flashback? I'll have to go back and check my trusty Justice
League Archives, but I thought all DC villains were silly long before
the Satellite Era JLA.
- How did the JLA members who were in on Dr. Light's
"reprogramming" manage to keep the deed secret from a telepath, the
world's greatest detective (and biggest stickler for moral absolutes),
and any number of mystical agents?
- Batman should be better at bugging a place than that. And
how would the villains have time to get away? Couldn't Supes be
there in a flash?
- Extreme nitpick: Ralph's present-day costume has changed
from #1 to #2. In #1 the neck had a slit in the middle, so it was
more of a collar. In #2 the neck is solid, like a turtleneck.
Some of the not-so-bad stuff:
- I can actually buy that the heroes would have been tempted to try
something like this given the intensity of the situation. I'm
still not sure how it fits in continuity, but I'll grant that DC
continuity is pretty much whatever the most recent event determines it
is. (It's still a bit odd that the heroes who were against the
reprogramming wouldn't have tried to stop the others from going through
with it, but that might just be years of reading comics where heroes
fight over the littlest thing talking.)
- Liked the bit with Hawkman able to see Wally vibrating at
super-speed, as well as Ollie's bluff with Kyle.
In all, I thought it was pretty bleh but not as bad as I had built it
up to be in my mind. Still glad I didn't blow four bucks on this
(esp. considering it's only a couple pages longer than a standard