Identity Crisis – Brad Meltzer

I avoided this comic like the plague. Everyone, it seemed, had a complaint, from friends who described it as a rip-off of a Squadron Supreme plot to Peter David who complained where’s the fun in comics today to the ex-DC employee who implied in her blog that DC had a rape agenda. Yet for all its problems, not the least of which was a mad attempt to throw as many characters as possible at the reader, this storyline addressed the nagging question of why super villains never seem to discover the secret identity behind their enemies, and does so in an interesting and articulate manner. The truth is that the villains do figure out just who is behind those masks and the heroes—often with trepidation and not a few harsh debates—have to deal with it. I understand people’s complaints. Was it necessary to pick the Elongated Man, other than the fact that he’s silly and no one cares about him, much less his wife? Is rape the only way to show that someone is really bad (I guess all those other crimes, like murder, are meaningless)? Did all those other characters have to die, and all those people have their lives ruined, and why didn’t anyone seem to care as much about them? Do you really need Joss Whedon to write a lame, one page introduction to sell books? Still, in the final analysis, I felt the writing and art were generally well done, the characterizations—when attempted—were insightful, and an outstanding issue was finally put to rest.