Saturday, March 26, 2022

Review of "Identity Crisis," graphic novel by Brad Meltzer et. al.

 Review of

Identity Crisis, graphic novel by Brad Meltzer et. al. ISBN 1401204589

Five out of five stars

Tough graphic novel featuring hard crimes

 Although it has been mentioned many times that the reason the superheroes have secret identities is so that their families will be safe from their enemies, that plot device has rarely been used. In this case, it is used to venture into territory rarely covered in the comic genre.

 Ralph Dibny is also known as the Elongated Man, and he is fairly unique in that he does not wear a mask or have a secret identity. Therefore, his wife Sue is also known to the world at large. When Sue is murdered under mysterious circumstances, the first list of likely suspects is populated by some of the powerful villains that Dibny has battled in the past.

 The path taken in the pursuit of the truth meanders a bit and covers a lot of ground with a lot of the characters of the Justice League. One of the darker points is the rape of Sue by a powerful villain that the members of the Justice League have fought several times. To cope with this event, Zatanna uses her powers to wipe some of the perpetrator’s memories. This involves a major debate among the Justice League members regarding the ethical status of such an action. Opinions are forcefully stated, as only super powered beings can.

 There is a break in the case when a detailed autopsy of Sue’s body is performed, revealing that the cause of death was not the obvious flaming of the body.  The true murderer is discovered, and it is not any of the logical suspects.

 Even though the members of the Justice League have great powers, they are still mostly human, and driven to some extent by human emotions. Protection of loved ones is one of the most powerful of those emotions, which is to a large extent what drives the heroes in this great graphic novel.

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