Thursday, January 12, 2006

meltzer's identity crisis

After the tragic death of Sue Debny, the wife of the Elongated Man, the members of the Justice League of America and most of the DC superheroes are brought together to investigate. Sue’s murder is unsettling for a couple of reasons: she was a friend and whoever committed the murder knew enough personal information to be able to sneak past JLA security. Even more troubling are the letters that the family members of other heroes receive, indicating that they are the next targets. The superheroes split into teams to follow the leads that they are most suited (pun not intended) to solve. While the script contains strong elements, it is writer Brad Meltzer’s ability to manipulate the reader with the heroes and villains’ characterization that makes him capture our imagination. Meltzer’s novel asks: how far do you go to protect your loved ones? What if everything you stand for goes against your need to protect your family? The story moves quickly and the full-color artwork is splendid. Illustrator Rags Morales captures human emotion in such a way that he breathes life and authenticity to the characters. Alex Sinclair did a superb job with the coloring; the dark somber tones perfectly set the mood of the story. Some of the action occurs off-screen – the flashback to Sue’s rape – which makes what happens even more dramatic and powerful. Featuring a good mystery, great fight scenes, and good writing, Identity Crisis is a good read for most fans of the DC universe.


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