Monday, January 23, 2012

15 Things That Are Wrong With Identity Crisis



15 Things that Linkara objects to over the DC miniseries "Identity Crisis."

NOTE: Due to the length of this episode, I'm also including it in split form.



240 comments:

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RJHammer said...

I really hate the other firestorm. He was totally inferior as a character and just bore. He is bringing down the new series too. He is failure as a replacement and they keep him around. I hate Identity Crisis for everything on this list and really mind wipes that retcon into other books after this series. They used it as excuse to screw up a bunch of reformed villains. To me sue and Ted Kord's deaths are the moment dc jump the shark. It look there were times they were going to turn around but they do things like reboot. Most of the dc is totally screwed up. Superboy, Fairchild, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc all messed up by this reboot. DC continues to fail it's readers and even economy was better fans won't come back to this crap because it's CRAP! Identity Crisis and Avengers Disambled will go down to what may kill the industry. Why? Cause fans that don't death/destruction for sake of it that started with it won't come back as long you keep messing up the characters people care about. Reboot is suppose to be something different and that didn't bring enough fans back. What would have worked is a reboot that went back to the way characters are like pre things like indentiy crisis. Back to the way fans like the characters but they keep moving away from it and makes me sad. By the way I am not sure if Identity Crisis is still in continuity. They can't make up there mind over at dc if it or not. Depends on who you ask.
When it comes to love letter to silver age stuff I got a quote from nash for brad melterz: What The F Is Wrong With You?
By the way fun watching some of AT4W now on my roku on blip.tv roku channel. :)

Anonymous said...

"You should be careful with identities, Linkara.

You may realize that if you find Pollo..."

Anonymous said...

This was a good episode. This comic was one of the first dc universe stories I read and is one of the reasons I prefer marvel. I personally think it decent if you remove anything involving dr. light and the Drake Boomerang fight.

Would you do a similar list for a story like Final Crisis or did you actually like that?

Also what are you planning for two weeks it has been awhile since you posted an odds and ends?

Anonymous said...

1/10 women in USA are raped. 2/5 women in USA armed forces are raped. Sad state we are in as a society. We do need someone to discuss rape seriously in comics.

And sorry "dating sims" fans, getting someone tipsy and having her say "yes" still counts as date rape.

Mountain King said...

The biggest problem with this series is that, let's face it, the entire Dr Light sub-plot was pointless. It did nothing for the murder story and was nothing more than an utter waste.
Identity Crisis was suppost to be one of DC's Crisis events, hence the name, but by wrapping it around a convoluted murder they robbed it of it's impact. There has to be a thousand different ways to get the same result that didn't end with pointless death, murder, rape, gross abuse of power and mental violation.
The only reason to include all of that was to appear more edgy. Unfortunately this make DC look more like a kid waving his dad's pocket knife and pretending to be a pirate. A grown up story doesn't need cheap shocks and darkness for the sake of it. It needs depth compassion and, dare I say it, a heart.

Thomas

Bossman103 said...

I disagree with you on the investigation. Look you would not check the phone records as she was burnt. As far as I know noi fire based villian nor hero has the power to travel down the phone lines.

Secondly batman is not infailable and I think this shows that he does not always get things right or the nuisance of things. Secondly the other members have not always been excellent. I think its shows that jean lonerg is the excellent maniulator. I think he is a genius but maniac like a hannibal lecter.

Inquisitor D. said...

*bows* First class, Linkara. Even beyond the book itself... this video sounds like a mission statement to me. An explanation of the fallacy that is 'dark for the sake of dark'

Identity Crisis was going on at the first time I considered getting into modern comics. And... whilst it wasn't directly what turned me off, it was emblematic of the tone many of the books at the time seemed to be taking, and sounds like it had most of the problems too. I'm glad I didn't buy it, and glad I gave my return to comics a few more years. There were books and runs I missed out on.. but there were a lot more that would've infuriated me.

Oddly enough though, the thing this reminds me of is more Element of Water, a Welsh novel, that features Nazi sex scenes for no apparent reason, a main character who has an affair and then is shocked at society's reaction (in the 1950s), and the author comparing regular 1950s style social conditions in Britan to Nazi Germany

And it's considered a classic piece of literature. It's on University courses.

*sigh* I don't get you people

Starman said...

Great review. I'm especially gratified that you singled-out how this issue unrealistically elevated Deathstroke to an Omega-Level threat capable of fighting the whole Justice League at once. An idea that, unfortunately, was picked up by Brad Meltzer's former roommate Judd Winick in the pages of Green Arrow and has continued into the New 52 book.

One thing I'm surprised you didn't mention is how aggravating the first issue is one respect - we get a great, world-class build up for Sue and Ralph Dibny that perfectly sums up what is great about them as characters... only to rip that all apart with the murder.

Why does that bother me so much? Because Ralph and Sue were great characters but even the biggest Silver Age fanboys in the creator community treated them like jokes. Alex Ross made jibes about Ralph being a second-rate Plastic Man. The JLU animated series had Ralph portrayed as an insecure whiner who tried to build himself up as Plastic Man/Batman in one package and failed miserably. Hell, the Giffen/DeMattias JL? books gave Ralph and Sue more respect and they were meant to be silly there!

The first issue of Identity Crisis looked poised to change that, though. It showed us exactly why Ralph was unique among heroes - he didn't waste time worrying about whether or not he was as smart as Batman or as powerful as The Flash. He took the gifts he had and used them to do what little he could to help people. You know, like a hero. And what he lacked in power, he more than made up for in experience and insight, which he used to try and mentor younger but more powerful heroes like Firebird.

And Sue? You fall in love with Sue in that first chapter... seeing this debutante who sees the good heart at the center of what everyone else sees as this gawky, awkward freakshow of a superhero... and she falls in love with him. "Because some people like Rocky Road."

And I love that metaphor because it so neatly sums up why some of us like the oddball superheroes more than Superman or Batman. The only story I can think that comes close to making that comparison is one issue of Starman, where Jack Knight says superheroes are like Woody Allen movies - everybody agrees a few of them are classics (Superman & Batman vs. Annie Hall & Manhattan) but everyone has at least one obscure hero/film that they like better, even if they aren't the best (Green Lantern and Starman vs. Crimes & Misdemeanors or Radio Days)

That is what bothers me the most about Identity Crisis. In that first chapter, Brad Meltzer proved he was capable of writing a true love letter to the Silver Age. Or Bronze Age. Or whatever. He could have written a story that showcased all these minor heroes and shown the world at large just what was some awesome about these heroes that put them on par with the Trinity.

He was capable of writing that story... but instead chose to give us a murder mystery that wasn't really a mystery, which served no purpose other than to add more shadows to a world that didn't want or need them.

Quicksilver said...

In general, Linkara, I agree with your major points--most especially in regards to Sue Dibny and the use of rape as a plot point. The Dibnys were just... good people, and yes, bad things happen to good people, but it wasn't their story. Ralph seeking to ressurect Sue in 52? That was his story, but it was a damn shame that Sue didn't get the same kind of treatment.

However, on some level I... have to disagree with you as to how we were supposed to figure out the mystery. The idea that the reader is supposed to be able to pull in clues and actually solve the mystery themselves via not being misled by red herrings and putting all those clues together is a pretty recent thing, historically, in mysteries. It was particularly ironic that you chose to use "Sherlock Oan" because Sherlock Holmes is probably the best example of a dectective of a different mystery subgenre, one where the reader is more caught up in the human/macabre elements of the mystery and have to have a detective who knows things the reader can't possibly know to explain everything.

Identity Crisis is not a good example of that subgenre of mystery, I admit. We have no real "detective" that works in a conventional mystery sense--the ones we do are made "dumb" in order to get the plot rolling. (See also: Yeah, they should've found some damn evidence at the crime scene). We have to wait for the criminal to tell us how and why it happened. (See also: Yeah, not disagreeing that the on-again, off-again insanity wasn't an issue). Still, when I read the story the idea that I couldn't get the clues to piece it together didn't bother me because I wasn't really looking for clues TO piece together, if that makes sense.

Something not mentioned in your review that disappointed me when I picked up this book: we didn't get to see the various teams who were hunting down villians and their reactions to Sue's death. I mean, no offense to the characters they did focus on, but as a JLI fan I was really thinking about the JLI members and what they were going through. I guess that maybe could've dissolved into "pointless miniseries" territory, though.

Either way, love long episodes like these where you give very thoughtful analyses of how/why you think as you do. Good to watch and then re-listen to later and helps my own thought get rolling.

David said...

Awww. I was hoping for Spider-Man's Identity Crisis. That was a 'fun' plotline...

NeoSilverThorn said...

Jean Loring being committed to Arkham didn't bug me that much; I figured she'd had an Advance Directive in place from before the divorce that Ray used to get her committed. Mind you, that's still a huge fracking contrivance, but there you go.

Good ep, though.

SynjoDeonecros said...

I've said it before, I've written a story where rape was the central plot point, but as you said, I treat it as it is: a horrible thing not to be glorified or used as a simple throwaway plot point, and I do focus on how it is handled by the victim himself (yes, HIMself, the character is a male in my story). Hell, it's the first of a three-parter I'm eventually going to write, and the other parts STILL have it haunting him and affecting his life. So yeah, I agree, the way they handled Sue Dibney's rape is just appalling and stupid.

I find it really atrocious how the belief that "darker and grittier" is the best way of making something better. Name me one thing that has gotten a "darker and edgier" relaunch or remake that has actually improved on the original. One single thing. It didn't work for Sonic, it didn't work for Super Mario, and it certainly didn't work for the DC comics.

Anonymous said...

Excellent review I must say however they was one other minor fair that the manor of Firestorms death, http://www.whiterose.org/howlingcurmudgeons/archives/006974.html this should help clear things up a little this is why writers really need to research these sort of things before writing them.

The Exiled One said...

What Linkara said about retcons is the very reason why I HATE the "Paranormal Activity" sequels/prequel.

In the ORIGINAL "Paranormal Activity":

-Katie was one of the most cowardly, easily-frightened female character in movie history.

For those who grew up in the 80s, think back to Wade Duck from "Garfield and Friends". For those who grew up in the 90s, think back to either Chuckie from "Rugrats" or Adrien Monk. THAT is Katie

-There was NO family living in the house with Katie and Micah, and there was certainly NO baby in the house

-it was a haunted house movie. The demon was possessing the HOUSE, he was NOT possessing Katie

-it was a supernatural thriller movie, full of psychological horror and Hitccock-esque scares. It's NOT supposed to feature any gore whatsoever.

-Katie died when she slashed her own throat after killing Micah. So no, she WASN'T run over by some random Asian girl.

-...and even if you don't take the REAL ending as canon, the demon would have stayed inside the house and would not have possessed the Asian girl

-finally, this was clearly the first time the demon attacked Katie. Meaning that no, she WASN'T attacked by the demon as a little girl

So yeah, I myself know a thing or two about unnecessary retcons.

Lord You Know Who said...

I'm sorry, but now Linkara has the balls to whine about unnessary retcons that contradict past stories?

The magic gun being powered by the soul of a little girl IS an unnecessary retcon that contradicts past Linkara videos, and that unnecessarily changes the tones of those videos.

Linkara of all people whining about retcons is like Joe Quesada whining about Lois and Clark no longer being together, or Michael Bay whining about Bruce Kalish using too much explosions.

I mean, say what you will about Doug or Brad, at least they are not fucking hypocrites.

smallish said...

I cannot express my gratitude enough that you took the time to talk about rape in stories and how it's not used as a way to tell stories about women or to explore what rape is like for the victim, but just as a plot convenience, and usually one that motivates male characters and proves how evil a (male!) villain is. Ugh. I genuinely doubt the ability of many writers to grasp how terrifying the threat of rape is for a woman and how damaging and long-lasting the effects are.

SchweitzerMan said...

Ugh...you make me sound pretty stupid. Because every few weeks you do a great review and I say, "This is probably my favourite review" and you've done that again right here.

I read Identity Crisis one day in a bookstore and didn't like it at all. Most of the things you brought up here, I felt the same way when reading it. The only part that I did like was the part where Tim was speaking with his Dad for the last time. But again, I didn't like that Jack had to die.

And plus...why did it take the Batmobile so long to get back to Tim's house?

I also liked how this wasn't a Top 15 list either, just 15 individual things wrong with the story. Plus the topic of rape just made me shiver and never seems to be done right in comics. Hell, wasn't Tim Drake almost the victim of female rape near the end of Red Robin and one of the writers said that it wasn't rape, just "non-consensual", or am I thinking of something else?

Either way, great review and I shudder and yet look forward to what you're reviewing next week.

MichaelGrey said...

Since this was just before my birthday, I simply HAD to make a comment on the complete, utter and disgustingly epic FAIL that was Identity Crisis. And I really like how you tore into it.

It did indeed lead into a deep darkening of the DC universe and it felt so...meanspirited towards the Silver Age. What people were asking for this kind of story? And rape? REALLY? Rape? Turning a formerly silly villain into "Dr. Rape". YES, we got some HILARIOUSLY bad storylines out of what they did to Dr. Rape-sorry, Dr. Light, but that's no excuse for what they did to poor Sue. And turning Jean into a lunatic and shoving her off in ARKHAM (even though I don't think the Atom LIVED near Arkham and Jean had no powers so it doesn't really make much sense AND they could have just put her in a mental hospital somewhere in Greenwich or something)...it was all so tasteless.

This could have been really good. A murder mystery and analysis of the importance of family and supporting characters to the DC superheroes. And I really cried when Robin and Captain Boomerang's son listened to that phone message, it really did reduce me to tears because I grew UP with Robin and I felt the same pain he went through. But there was just so much wasteful death.

WASTEFUL. That's a good word to sum up this entire miniseries. Good art? Yes. Good potential in it? Yes. But...really...it commits the cardinal sin of all stories: murdering good story potential. Thank you for finally taking a good look at this series, Mr. Lewis. :)

The Exiled One said...

By the way, if you want "love letter to the Silver Age" done RIGHT, check out my favorite non-Marvel/non-DC comic:

"Astro City" by Kurt Busiek.

If you ignore "The Dark Age", it captures the classic Silver Age feel wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

One thing that shocks me about this list is that you don't mentioned the "Superman hears what he wants to hear" and "Batman knows what he wants to know." When I saw that you were doing a list of the negatives of this story I was willing to bet that you'd include that, as that is my number one problem with the book itself. It feels like an empty and shallow conclusion, but beyond that it makes it sound like Superman AGREES with what the heroes did when they mindwiped Dr. Light and Batman.

Also everyone complains about how Deathstroke took out Flash, but after watching the Justice League cartoon I have to say that he's been taken out in far dumber ways before. Obviously DCAU Flash =/= DC Comics Flash, but it is possible for Flash to run into attacks.

Anonymous said...

the fictional citys thing is one of the resons i prefer marvel over DC yes it a stupid reson but then i can relate the city as opposed to assume i'm supposed to know were robinson park is in Gotham were as i know were central park is in New York its a dumb reson but that just what i like

Anonymous said...

Uh, isn't the otehr HUGE problem with the rape that it's completely tasteless? Why not have a pasedophile supervillain while you're at it.

The problem isn't so much 'Rape is a thing that happens to women', but 'rape is a thing that Eeeeevvvvil People do' in a blatant attempt to Retcon Dr. Light into someone menacing.
Because yeah, that's what the Joker, Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Magneto, Dr. Doom all lack: sex crimes! It's a writer going 'Hmmm- how can I make Dr. Light as evil as possible in one swoop- oh, good old rape! That'll work'

Remorseless schlock like this is why comics aren't taken more seriously, not the goofiness.

Jesse said...

ALL good points, and not hard at all to see that.

1: I think you left out a few problems with yours points though. With Doctor Light's mind wipe, I think they said in the comic itself that making him a buffoon was an accident. An accident they never even attempted to change, but an accident nonetheless. Zatanna said removing memories is easy, but altering personalities is harder.

1.1: Doctor Light wasn't so much beaten but he Teen Titans after this story. He very nearly won. Seemed like a hallow victory to the Titans to me.

2: With the investigation I was upset that they never went after the most likely of villains. Sonar. The guy lost his country because of Sue, so wouldn't he be the absolute most likely to kill her to them?

3: The mind wiping thing as a whole. It caused them so much trouble and moral issues, then why did they KEEP DOING IT? Catwoman and Top were the only other villains they mind wiped. Batman and SSOSV from the comic "only" had their memories removed. I*n itself, not a mind wipe. Practical even. Film Freak and Angle Man were total mind wipes though, so does that mean Zatanna owes Top and them, as Light favors now too? Wish you would have brought hat up, but oh well.

That's about it, so I'll end this on a more upbeat note. Thanks a million for bringing up what was done to Doctor Light's character as one of the issues. I always LIKED (still do) the guy from those old New Teen Titan comics and found him to be enjoyable. Good fighter at times too. It was nice to see someone else point out he wasn't a fool and how he beat the JLA in his debut issue.

PS Look on the bright side. Next week comic will STILL be better than this one;)

Des Shinta said...

Ah Retcons, the inevitable Evil of all series. Take a look at recent popular series. Harry Potter, Naruto, And Bleach were all ruined for a lot of readers/viewers by them (along with other factors). Halo nearly had the same reaction from it's fanbase with ODST and Reach, as it screwed with the timeline and established continuity. Come to think of it, one of the few to survive Retconning recently I can think of, is One Piece, and the new My little Pony series.

Silly little story about the MT watch. Though, who it seems a little odd for a gift to a thirteen-year-old. Not a bad one, mind you.

Jarkes said...

Hey, weird question: You said you did three crossovers at MagFest, right? Well, I couldn't help but notice that only two of them have been posted on the blog here: The Wonder Woman pilot review, and that Dracula anime thing. Has the other one been released elsewhere, or have you not finished making it yet?

Jarkes said...

"You should be careful with identities, Linkara.

You may realize that if you find Pollo..."

...Aw, crap, MORE anonymous comments hinting at the nature of the current AT4W storyline?

Ken Godberson said...

Wow.

Seriously, Lewis, I think this may be the best review you have ever done. Not from a comedic standpoint, but from an analytical standpoint. Every little detail that was simply unnecessary about Identity Crisis is looked at, as well as the long term ramifications are here and it is amazing.

I have to admit, I never finished Identity Crisis because I stopped at the whole "Batman and Robin. Orphans." schtick because I knew what DC was trying to do, turn Tim Drake, my favorite Superhero, into more like Bruce. Combining this with the deaths of his best friends and the "death" of his girlfriend just put the kid more darker than Jason. Now he's considered the closest to being like Bruce, which is just...wrong.

So I only learned about the ending from summaries and reviews, and I agree that it makes no sense. The Rape, the Deaths, the Mind Wipes, its just so unnecessary.

I have a personal philosophy when it comes to what is a good story, and I try to show that in my own writing: a good story knows how to balance both light and dark tones, in particular stories where the hero earns their happy ending. There are many examples that I consider paradigms of this, not just comics: the manga Fullmetal Alchemist, Avatar: The Last Airbender, hell, even The Dresden Files has this tone balance in it occasionally. If you were to go into comics, I would look at Kingdom Come, Neil Gaiman's "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?"

I just wish there were more stories that go that way. Stories that go extremely dark, at least in the context of modern comics, do nothing but shatter the escapist nature of stories and suck an emotion your may have for characters. IF you go too light and soft, it feels cheesy and fake.

This was something that has worried me with the DCnU. Stories that had a lighter tone becoming more darker, "edgier", and "realistic". I think if you are going for a "realistic" tone it may become ironically unrealistic. Life is not dark all the time, damnit!

Regardless of my opinion, I just want you to know you made a phenomenal review.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, I was right about Pollo being in Linkara's head. Pretty soon, others are going to point out how unstable Linkara has become and then will try to attack them. Linkara will go through a dilemma in which he cannot trust himself not trying to outright maim his friends, kind of like Jekyel and Hyde. Also, the whole Pollo transferring into Linkara thing adds to the theme of this being Star Trek related seeing how this happened in Star Trek 3.

Linkara what do you think of my fan interpretation of the current storyline. Do you think I suck at storylines, or I've come up with something you never thought of.

Please respond soon.

JaiCSC said...

But the Miller Time videos are already hard to watch?

No no no no no no no no no no no! Don't misunderstand me, I think they are some of the best and funniest episodes of AT4W. It's just Frank Miller and him writing stories. That guy is just cuckoo.

Sureia said...

I think the reasoning behind Jean Loring creating this hullabaloo is that she initially got into spats with him based on his putting the League before her.

When she cheated on him, he ran away to the Amazon.

When he begged her to come back, she stated more than once that she never wanted to go back.

This story is a bit of betrayal of that strong character, but the reasoning is (almost) sound in that she doesn't want to look weak by asking Ray to come back

Or so I think.

Lizard-Man said...

I haven't read the series, but the rape issue always bothered me so I never picked it up. It's funny though, one of my friends always says that Dr. Light's change was the best thing to come out of the series. I'm not entirely sure now if that's accurate if you're right. Beaten by the Titans, again, and all he does is tlak about how much he likes to rape? Is that really all there is to his change?

Capt. Sake "Hancock" Mangusto said...

Stop the presses, thanks God and Pants to Be Darkened, finally Linkara is back ! A little out of shape but BACK nonetheless.

Where have you being for so long ?

That Landlord of yours, Lewis...?Lewis...??Lewis...??? Huey Lewis ? Nice guy but terrible reviewer, i have no idea where did you get this kind of guy. He even let Mechakara do it a Miller Time once. Go figured.

Is nice to see again a mature man who will not compromise his critic values to bend his opinion in favor of the masses.

Well done review ? Probably, i don't care that much for comic books made under the Age of Stupidity except for the few that stand above the crap like Frank Miller, Garth Ennis, Howard Chaykin, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Jeph Loeb, etc... you already know most of the wasted ink and colored toilet paper comes from DC Comics, nothing new on that.

Thanks God again for Frank take back Holy Terror from those morons and publish that independently, imagine what that could had been if they keep forced Frank into do it another Batman story ?

Didn't we had Goddamn exploitation enough ? Its about time for the world know a new superhero like The Fixer, fresh and new from the printer.

Anyway, i hope you don't leave us so soon, the schedule must come back on track, there are a lot of work to be done, tons of stories that should never to be told waiting to be exposed at the George Foreman's Fried Chicken Spotlight of Doom (basically a big laser able to fried things and remove all saturated fats at the same time, you only need to use a 1.21 Gigawatts powercell to operate the thing but i guess the Comicron 1 reactor should do this job just fine, just don't forget to apply sun block fator 60 or higher on everything inside the room including you, ask Doctor Insano if you have any doubts - Its all SCIENCE !).

Anyway, thank you for coming back and deliver a job well done, that Lewis LordFog guy was giving me chills and i live in a place where never snows, the average temperature never goes below 69° Fahrenheit and this summer maybe goes closer to 104° F, is not Hell on Earth but makes me sweat a lot.

Sun block anyone ?

End Credits - Katrina and the Waves Walking On Sunshine

August M. said...

I always avoided this comic for all the bad things you've said about it in past reviews(Heck, you were the one who got this Marvel fan-boy to read DC more religiously, and I thank you for that). After seeing the video, I'm glad I didn't bother with it, it's just badly told. I hate when comics go dark for money purposes than telling a great story(Even though money keeps the company up, and dark and edgy sells these days).

Any ways great review as always and keep up the work.

JaiCSC said...

Serious post 1:

So this is the comic that pushed DC on the darker and grittier path. Story spoiled or not, with that information, I'm probably not gonna give this a fair chance if I ever read it.

I am sick of Darker and Gritter. I'm bored of it, it's clichéd and more often or not they lack subtlety or imagination. It will take me away from the story. I don't think it's the magic tool to make a story brilliant.

For the record I'm not saying Darker and grittier is bad. While I'm not the biggest fan of stories like that any more it can still be extremely entertaining and exceptionally compelling.

My problem with going darker and grittier is everyone is doing it and I think it prevents natural writing. It results in having to justify the criteria that's been imposed. By no means is this a one way critique, the most common example I know where this occurs is PG-13 (12A for us brits) where things are scaled back more often than they should just maximise the audience.

If you take the Joker, him using water balloons to terrorise people is as ridiculous as him going just as far in the opposite direction by having him force feed pregnant women thalidomide. The former is too tame and confusing and the latter is overly sadistic and cheap. Stuff like that does a disservice.

They are thinking of making a sequel to Green Lantern film. And the producer was quoted to say Darker and grittier. You know what, the first wasn't a success because it wasn't dark and gritty. It was largely because poor marketing, and then the audience they got were disappointed by characters you couldn't connect to, bizarre pacing and just an odd plot.
Darker and grittier won't fix that. Thinking about what you are writing will.

If you want to go with a different tone fine, make sure it will work to begin with, pick your subject carefully, think about it about how would go and then let it flow naturally. Thinking a little before doing works surprsingly. Otherwise you'll shoehorn stuff just to satisfy the tone you're going for and you'll end up with something clunky and unpleasant. *cough* Buffy season 6 *cough* *cough*

Mike Perron said...

I am going to focus on your comments on rape and it's use in this story. Like you, I am no expert. However, I know too many people that have been through it.

First thing, I agree with everything you say on the topic, however I have never read Identity Crisis, so I cannot personally comment on it's use in the story. From your description of it, I think it was misused.

I am going to bring up a movie where they did it well (quick explanation). In American History X, Edward Norton's character is a Neo-Nazi, he is serving time in prison for killing 2 black men that tried to steal his truck (I believe the charge is actually manslaughter, could be wrong). In prison he shuns his fellow Neo-Nazis and as payback, they gang up on him in the shower and rape him.

I bring this up, because it took this act to shake the character out of his life. It took a violation, by the people he most identified with to make him rethink his life of hating minorities and other religious groups. The act makes sense in the story to get the character to move beyond what he currently believes. It simply breaks him, when he tells his younger brother, he took to heart what happened. His older brother's violation, effects him.

Rape has an effect on the person, and anyone that person tells. I am not a violent person, but when I was told, I nearly stabbed a man. This is not a topic to be used as a throw away. It allows victim blaming and ignorance of the importance to become more prevalent.


And the simple fact that this story focuses on others reactions to this violation, simply proves the author had absolutely ZERO reason for it have to be rape. Unlike American History X and other works.



After that very serious topic. I will say, from your issues Linkara I can't say how I would fall on this topic. This could be something I liked, in spite of the flaws. I don't mind spoilers, so I might give it a read at some point.

jetstream said...

Re: Deathstroke Overriding Rayner

To be FAIR... back in the ... early 90s, late 80s? Something like that? There was an instance wherein both Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan lost their rings. I forget the circumstances. Anyway, some rednecks picked them up, and Guy and Hal tracked them down (I wanna say it was one of the Emerald Dawn or Emerald Knights series?)

Guy and Hal overrode the rings through force of will... from several feet away. They never laid a hand on the rednecks.

So yeah, lame or not, there is precedent for this.

LAActor101 said...

Well I'll say that I am in the minority of liking this story as it was a introduction to the DC Universe for me. (This & Infinite Crisis) However after seeing this excellent analysis I probably go back & read it once again in order to understand it a bit better.

And that's all I have to say other than continue the great work, Linkara as your great analysis on this subject & your awesome story telling you include in your show have continued to inspired me as a writer, nuff said.
Peace.

Adam said...

This was a great book.. on the first read, before one starts thinking about the little things.

The whole sense of the Hero community, assembled in shock and despair after a death.. none of whom even mention Firestorm after his death scene.

Dr. Mid-Nite's "Sue was burnt after death.. which means it can't be Doctor Light" Okay, he was right, but that logic is still just weird.

And, of course, Jean's super magic flame-thrower that doesn't leave obvious trace evidence. It's powered by rainbows, not accelerant, I guess.

Anonymous said...

The thing that bothers me the most, and this might be just because I'm a huge fan of Green Arrow's, is that there's no way Oliver Queen would ever agree to mindraping someone. Out of all the people on the Justice League, you had HIM give the deciding vote? How could you ever get him so wrong?

FieryVulpine said...

Re: Firestorm's Death

I'm a huge fan of the character, and yes, I admit Ronnie Raymond's death was pointless chock value. But to address RJHammer's complaints about the Jason Rusch character beg this question: what did Ronnie accomplish as Firestorm since the end of the "Fury of Firestorm"? That is one thing that bugs me about how the Firestorm character was treated when Ronnie resumed the mantle almost twenty years ago with Extreme Justice. They made him an incompetent idiot and the alcoholic and cancer subplots where swiped from what Gerry Conway (and later John Ostrander) did with the silent partner of Firestorm, Martin Stein. In having having Ronnie resume the mantle alone goes against the raison d'tere of the character in the first place.

Firestorm was the result of two people fused into a "nuclear man" as a result of a nuclear meltdown. However, since these people lived very different lives-- if one of them "summoned" Firestorm, it had adverse affect on the other's life. That is one reason why Fury of Firestorm lasted 100 issues from 1982 to 1990. Granted, Ostrander's run deviated from the formula, at least the elemental Firestorm paid lip service to the central concept.

Is that to say Ronnie should have died in Identity Crisis? No. There was still tremendous potential in the character-- but only if they brought back Firestorm's status as a composite character. Go check up on Mike Carey's proposal for Firestorm, which put even more people into the reboot. The only reason why it never made it to print is because of Dan Raspler's departure from DC.

As for the hatred I hear about Jason Rusch, I would actually like to hear a decent argument stating why he is a "failure." His series had a rocky start but he eventually came into his own as Firestorm. Stuart Moore actually brought back characters like Martin Stein and Mikhail Arkadin. Created new and interesting characters-- and made a pretty damn good comic from Firestorm (v3) #14-32.

Dwayne McDuffie's run (#33-35) loses points for tying into Countdown.

And I'm not digging the current Fury of Firestorm because Ronnie and Jason are played very OOC and the whole execution was a mess.

But yeah, the death in Identity Crisis was pointless.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to Rape in stories, I do believe it does need to happen because Rape is a very real thing that can and will happen in real life.

So my question to you Linkara, what kind of story based on a Rape would be ok? Like what factors involved or some examples of stories that do it right?

Of course, I know your opinion is not the end all be all about this ,but you're honestly a lot smarter then me when it comes to literary analysis and story building, so you'd be the better one to ask then me.

The Blue And The Gold said...

I have to admit I am one of the people who enjoyed this book, for a few reasons. One which I don't think gets considered a lot is that for a crisis crossover, it's a bit more low-key and not about saving the world or the multiverse or anything like that. I mean, yes, as superheroes that's what they're expected to do but it's a nice change of pace to see something a bit more personal and actually go into their day-to-day lives.

Though it would have been nice if the story had actually been from the point of view of the supporting cast like Lois or Jack Drake or Linda West, and I agree that Sue should have been more of a central character.

While I see your point on character death and agree largely to a point, sometimes we have to be reminded that not everybody is going to walk away unscathed. Of course, emotionally, everyone is scarred by the events that triggered the investigation but not every battle is always going to be favourable to the characters we love, as it is in 80's cartoon fare.
To quote Giles "Yes, it's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after."
As much as we want that to be true, nothing, not even in comic books, is that simple. But I'm not trying to dismiss your point of view and I'm not a fan of "Kill'em all, DIE DIE DIE!" (I'm still pissed about Nightcrawler and the Spider-Man of the Ultimate Universe), I'm just saying it would be unrealistic in these crossovers for no major fatalities (Sue not included, for being the catalyst and for the record, I do not hate Sue Dibny and I while I enjoyed this book, I wouldn't have objected if she had been resurrected in Blackest Night or from the relaunch)

But at the end of it all, what I remember most from this comic, is how Ralph is finding it impossible to cope and the very end of it, I actually tear up.

But then, I read Sin City so I'm probably not the best judge of quality...

harmonicajay said...

The Boomerang Subplot is something that should have been in the Flash series.

I am going to be honest: I hate Rape. It is ugly and wrong. The worst example of it being used poorly, is when it is being used as part of a JOKE. The best example is from a Family Guy episode when we get yet ANOTHER joke about Aquaman being useless, ignoring the unoriginality of that. A woman is being attacked on the beach and Aquaman just watches and half-heartedly tells the rapist to stop. One: It makes no sense when you think about it, because even Super Friends Aquaman could kick that rapist in the groin and save the woman. 2: It says that a Superhero enjoys watching someone get raped. 3: WHAT IS SO FUNNY ABOUT SOMEONE GETTING RAPED WHILE SOMEONE WATCHES?!

Honestly, Brad Meltzer may have read these stories, but honestly, like you said, I am not seeing the love.

I have to admit, when I first read this, I guess I treated this like a summer blockbuster (like Transformers), but when you stop and think beyond the pretty lights and colors, there is nothing. I liked the angle of discussing why heroes in the DCU are adamant about identities. It did show that while they are people to look up to and aspire to, they still have lives beyond the mask. I never liked the bitter taste it left.
If you want a story that had darkness in it, but had light at the end of the tunnel, I would say the first 4 issues of the new Aquaman series. Yes it had dark moments. Aquaman was a bit angsty and a bit jerky at times, but that can be accounted for because of his past experiences with the public as a hero. Plus, it had a happy ending with a little boy, whose mom Aquaman saved, calling him his favorite hero. Plus, it ended with him smiling with Mera with a new dog and the public beginning to see him for the hero he was. Maybe you can have darkness, but there must always be light at the end of that tunnel.

Psychotime said...

This might be up there as one of your best episodes. It's not funny (obviously given the subject matter) but it was well thought out, extensive, and organized.

Gyre said...

For the insanity defense (which is something the defense would probably seek). It is NOWHERE near the easy defense that hack writers and writers with an agenda like to pretend it is. Look at the statistics for cases that go to court. Very few of them try for the insanity defense and far fewer actually succeed. You have to prove that the accused is so insane that they are unable to distinguish right from wrong. If they are insane but cannot be shown to not understand right and wrong (which is entirely possible) then they still go to prison.
The only possible reason for sending her to Arkham is if they have specialized training and equipment to handle people with unusual powers or talents (though from what we see of the place it's junk and Batman would better serve the public by shutting it down).

I have to note that Batman really seems to suddenly fly into a rage in that flashback (even attempting to attack them) without any knowledge of the situation. Yes their response was bull but frankly it was a scene where everyone lost their marbles.

Out of curiosity Linkara, you criticize the industry and you do have some good points about its failings but can you think up some possible reforms?

Sijo said...

I hate this comic. I hated its premise when it was announced, I hated all its obvious story flaws as it came out, and most of all, I hate the legacy of death and darkness it left in the DC Universe to this day.

Why was this series allowed? I'm convinced it was because the new editorial staff in DC at the time -Dan Didio had arrived from Hollywood only shortly before- wanted to test out if the same cheap sex-and-violence approach used in other media would help sell their comics. And sadly, the series was popular enough to convince them of it, and get them to permit all the other pathetic events Lewis mentioned.

And yet, I can *actually* see what inspired Meltzer to write it. Lewis didn't mention them, but there were several events in the DC universe back in the 70s that inspired the ones in here: Doctor Light DID discover the League's secret identities in one JLA story, without no clear explanation of why he forgot about them later; Pre-Crisis some of DC's heroes DID use hypnotism and such means to make villains forget stuff that was inconvenient for the heroes in an almost casual manner (Green Lantern brainwashed Major Disaster so he could not reveal his secret identity, for example.) And most importantly, Jean Loering, who DID know the heroes' identities (but gain, only Pre-Crisis) HAD gone insane once (driven mad by her own latent psychic powers.) Put all this stuff together and I can see how someone could come up with a story that explored the consequences of such events more logically.

But as was pointed out, what failed in this comic was the execution of the story. It felt incredibly forced and darkened just for shock value (did you know it was one of DC's FEMALE editors who suggested the rape be added to the story? Yup.) Even if the rape HAD been necessary, DID THEY ACTUALLY HAVE TO SHOW IT??? It couldn't happen off-panel!?! I don't know about most of you, but that's NOT what I look for in a superhero comic, much less a Justice League one. Really, a very low point on DC's track record.

And the worst part is, nobody involved in its making is willing to accept how bad the whole thing was. But then if they did, they would have to admit the other awful stuff they've done since then as well.

I hate to accept it, but Lewis is right- DC doesn't really care about their characters, they only say they do to our faces so we'll keep buying their comics.

And for the record, I stopped buying DC comics after Infinity Crisis and only tried them again after the Flashpoint reboot to see if they had changed after all this time. Sadly, they haven't. :/

Lewis, thanks for the analysis. I know it was very hard for you to make but it was very cathartic for us to watch.

E. Wilson said...

I don't know which story handled rape in a less respectful manner: this one, or "Spider-Man/Black Cat: Evil That Men Do". But I do know that the latter pissed me off a bit more.

("EtMD" would be a fine candidate for your program, if you have the stomach for it.)

JaiCSC said...

Serious Post 2:

Now If I didn't get a wealth of unpleasant comments my way for my serious post 1. I know I'm getting them now for this comment.

To be fair I'll probably get them for good reason if I do seeing as I have yet to read Identity Crisis.

However hearing that a character is raped a pretty big deterrent and after elaboration on the matter in Reason 11. It's looking like it matches reasons why why I utterly despise the film Splice.
And for some bizarre reason. I'm in the minority.

I'm gonna go off in a tangent but it will tie back to Identity Crisis.

***SPOILERS FOR SPLICE***
(But I don't care and neither should you but I suppose I should give fair warning anyway)

The film is a Frankenstein story.

Up until the ending I just thought this was a terrible film. It was nasty to look at, characters outdo themselves in the stupid department which is a feat and they are all thoroughly unlikeable. Naturally at the end they lose control and everything comes back to haunt them.

And then their monster rapes the female lead.
Why? It came straight from nowhere, there was no explanation as as to why it did, (If there was someone has yet to point it out) so why was this included, why was that necessary? Because they wanted a shock ending. Someone along the line thought this dumb take on Frankenstein needed to be truly unforgettable and this was what they went with. Mission Fucking Accomplished.

Honestly I hated that character and she needed a lesson in humility but even I didn't think she deserved anything that horrible. It gets even worse as well which is truly unbelievable.

To tie this back to Identity Crisis, I have never read Identity Crisis, after this video it's seems unlikely that I ever will because much like Splice it seems like they have taken a horrific real world crime, and handled it so badly and put it in their stories to enhance it's edginess and horror. I can't not hate that. I really can't.

And to finish the Splice rant the worst part of me hating this film is I know there are more abhorrent and reprehensible films than this out there, which really makes me sad, but as of now this stands as the most hateful and worst film I have ever seen and unfortunately I have to keep it that way.
I imagine readers of Ultimatum must have felt similar in a way. One particular death in that seems like that's the line they aren't wanting to see the other side of.

Kaibaman41 said...

I really need to get a blogspot....anyway! One thing that pissed me off the most of the list out of anything that pissed Linkara off.....IS THE HEROES MINDWIPED BATMAN.......WHAT!?

I knew their were some tension between the heroes but....I never knew that was the reason..that just made me angry out of the entire list for some reason

TheDarkEricDraven said...

Comics in general are too...depressing since the start of the 21st century. I don't want Silver Age goofiness, I just want happy endings every now and then. It feels like victory is always at a cost, at least in the books I read, which is mostly X-Books, were admittedly there has always been lot of angst.

I was reading Volume Two of Ghost Rider the other day, and so many innocent people died it stopped having an effect. Granted, that was in the early 90s, my favorite period of comics and fiction in general, and not the 2000s, but it was a preview fir a lot of what was to come in both DC and Marvel. There is so much blood spilt, it is easy to believe that civilians in these universes live every day of their lives in terror, just waiting to be slaughtered by bad guys.

Deconstructions like Irredeemable(that I haaaaaaaaaate, and has colored my view of DC styled heroes) show just what life for normal people would be like in a world were any random person can have godlike powers. In retrospect, Identity Crisis is a lot like Irredeemable. It's sad. It's unusual. And it takes our popular perspective of superheroes and makes them "realistic", but all they do for me is bum me out.

13th Doctor said...

Boy, was this depressing. I can see why you dislike this series so much. This was also a nice change of pace from your usual tone of rage and venom. Don't get me wrong; I love rage and venom. But you respected the fans by not slathering this trash with bile, however much it may deserve it.

Cameron said...

On the Subject of Doctor Lights "Incompetence" That was used in Suicide Squad (the good series, not the shitty one now) where he was portrayed as a Buffon who was actually afraid of Children due to his battles with the Teen Titans, and he was having a struggle with not only being haunted by the man he murdered (the original Doctor Light) but also wondering whether or not to reform, but in the end, he died on Apokolips, but i guess he got better. Not trying to give this story an excuse, just throwing that out there.

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that the whole time I was watching this review, all I could think was "Hey! He used the cover of Avengers: the Initiative when he showed off Marvel."
I'm sorry, I had to get that off my chest cause that's one thing that stuck out to me cause I loved that series.

Anonymous said...

This comic almost brought me back to comics, but then I read the 1st issue. I love that era of JLA stories and what this mini series did to them was appalling. I agree with everything you said, and I thought it was called identity crisis because of the mind wipe thing but I could be wrong.This was a great video!

DarthShap said...

First, I want to say I am a big fan of the show. I usually agree with you on most things and this is really a first. I just think we all come with our baggage and bias and it reflects in our interpretation of the book. It seems to me that in focusing on the detective story, you completely missed the point here, as I will explain.

But first, the Arkham Asylum argument does not hold up. Otherwise, every single comic book is guilty of this because no real judge would ever gather the crazy masterminds in one place. And if they were all murderers of this magnitude, after the first ten escapes, there would be dispersed and sent to a high security facilities guarded by the army, a Guantanamo times ten at the very least.

About the Deathstroke fight, I have no problem with it. Unlike Prometheus, Deathstroke is not really a villain, more of an anti-hero. He even had his own series in the 90’s and in the 2011 relaunch. Here, he is just not on the same side as them. Also, this is rather well done, unlike Prometheus’ fight.

About “the other mind wipe”, it is pretty in-character here. They all know him very well and, unlike what Frank Miller would write, Batman does not compromise on his principles. He is also crazy and obsessive, something that was very well developed later with the Omac Project but finds its roots in its suicidal rant in Year One or quasi-neurotic phase in Absolution.

Regarding the lack of evidence, it is not like a house is completely clean right before a murder, there are always lots of fingerprints and residues of skins. The thing is, and it is central to the book, in the DCU, communities stick together. The superheroes just immediately thought about supervillains because that is how their world usually works. If they found traces from the superhero community, they probably discarded them automatically, exactly like forensics discard every trace of their own staff. Here, the forensics are the friends and families.

Of course, rape is something that should only be used when absolutely necessary to the plot.
Here I think it is the case. I agree with Grant Morrison when he says that it is disturbing that each Alan Moore story seems to contain rape to some extent but does this make him a bad writer? Do his comics suck because of it? Do Watchmen, Swamp Thing and V for Vendetta suck? Of course not, because it served the story.
In Identity Crisis, the point was to explain why the JLA would not only mind wipe Light, something they had done in the past, but actually change his personality. For the Justice League to even think about this kind of extreme action, there needs to be a very strong reason and just a threat or even violence would not cut it because these are things the JLA had already faced in the past.
The point was that faced with a new situation, our reality where women do get raped by maniacs unfortunately, conflicting with their Silver Age, they needed to go to extremes.

And I do not get your point that a story featuring rape can only be a story about rape. Would you say the same about murder or any other crime? Can’t a crime be just the beginning of something else? Does every story featuring have to be about the victim? That does not make any sense. You are just making up rules of writing.

Is this a “women in refrigerator” moment? Well kind of but to me, a moment is WIR only when it is unnecessary, lazy writing that could be replaced by something else or just does not need to be. Here, the deaths and suffering of the heroes’ close ones are the entire point. It is not gratuitous and without build-up, just for the shock moment of it all. On the contrary, it is what the plot is about and every fond scene between the heroes and their close ones participates to the build-up.

DarthShap said...

Now, the Firestorm death was absolutely unnecessary because it had nothing to do with the plot and the point, I will give you that, but this was clearly an editorial mandate to add diversity to the DCU roster and it turned out more than fine (up until the reboot that is and it pains me because I am a huge Simone fan).

One thing that is awesome about this comic book is that for once, an event comic is not about the whole of reality about to collapse (although those are cool and I am a big Doctor Who fan) but stops and thinks about what it means to be a super-hero, secret identities and the superheroes and supervillains communities as such (and their families, hence the Cap Boomerang subplot).

I would not say it fails as an homage. Every showcase of elements from a distant past is already an homage. The thing is, it does more that that, it also brings a new layer of complexity and modernity to the Silver Age, very similar to what Grant Morrison has been doing in his Batman run (Zur En Arrh, Bat-mite, Dr Hurt, Batmen of all Nations, Batwoman I…).

About the Jean Loring going crazy and heel turn, I do not see sexism here. In comics, people tend to go crazy, usually more men than women. Now, Jean Loring was not a popular character and if wrestling (and John Cena) is teaching us anything, it is that if a character is not popular, you better either get rid of him or make him a villain or else, fans will not be happy.

Also, I do see the plot hole in the “I accidentally killed Sue but I had prepared a flame-thrower just in case” but again, this is comics. Batman always seems to be carrying the right tool in his belt and is “always ready for anything” but Sue, who is apparently way crazier than the Dark Knight cannot be a tad paranoid? For all we know, the flamethrower was right beside the costume and she just said to herself that one can never be too careful when attempting something illegal and dangerous.
Of course, “well she IS crazy” is a very easy getaway but when did it start to become a problem in comics? It is not even the usual ridiculously convoluted plan with way too many variables (for instance the horrible Cry for Justice). Sometimes it is just that simple.

Now I am not saying that it could not have been improved as a mystery story. Of course it could have but I do not think it was the point. I know what I am about to say is heresy but this is not the first time that a badly executed mystery story is the basis for a deeper reflection on the super-hero genre, it was already a problem in, well, Watchmen. I mean I really do not thing anybody guessed that Ozymandias did it, especially since he does not appear to have any motive (a tip of my hat to anybody who guessed the giant squid attack to end all wars) and he alibied out halfway through by being personally attacked. In Watchmen, like in Identity Crisis, the murder mystery is just a pretext.

The point is Green Arrow’s soliloquy on secret identities, the superheroes as a community in the real world and their responsibility to their close ones. I do not understand how a lot of people do not see that. To me, it even seemed overly didactic. The book starts with it, ends with it and in the middle, the protagonist stops to explain to the reader what is meant in this book in case you did not understand it already.

Gonzo said...

What ISN'T wrong with Identity Crisis? I admire you for being so respectful of the people who actually like this series. If it were me, I would have been screaming bloody murder from the word go--I hate this thing with a passion. (There really wasn't the slightest bit of security on the Satellite to prevent Light from breaking in? REALLY???)

I agree with all fifteen points you made (some of which I never thought of before, so thanks for pointing them out). Though the thing that bugged me most about Jack Drake's death wasn't so much the loss of the character in and of himself (never read anything with him before), but rather Tim's response. Tim *knows* there is a killer out there targeting the heroes' loved ones... but the most he does is tell his dad to keep the door shut before leaving him alone and defenseless? *After* it's been established that the killer doesn't even need the door to get in? Why on earth wouldn't you stay home to protect him like Superman did with Lois? I had zero sympathy for the guy when his dad was popped off, I really didn't.

Have to disagree with you on Rags Morales--parts of his art looked okay, but overall, it kind of scared me. Especially the way the eyes were drawn. Gah.

The ONLY thing I like about Identity Crisis was the early portrayal of the Dibnys. The first time I read this, I knew next to nothing about them, but by the end of the first issue, I was madly in love with the both of them and even more upset/angry when Sue was killed. So props to Meltzer for really making me feel their love for each other... and nothing else.

In short: nice job. It would have been nice to see you tear the thing a new one in your normal review style, but this was informative and entertaining (if that's the right word) too.

CaptainCalvinCat said...

Linkara?
Thank you.
Over the last few episodes of AT4W, I thought: "Okay, either I have no taste, or ... well I have no taste."
But this time, I see it clearly - yeap, that comic would suck, if I would have read it.

By the way, is that Captain Boomerang the same one, that should throw the Boomerang at the female Dove, only to be rescued by Boston BRand in "brightest day"?

Oh, that would be worth an episode, too. Brightest Day and Darkest night.

The problem with "love letters" are, that those full-flavoured promises always end in catastrophes.
I don`t know, if you are familiar to the Stargate-Series? There is an episode, called "Heroes" in it. The producers said, that it would be a harmless, nice, fun little episode... which ended in the death of Janet Fraiser.
Stargate-Atlantis - same thing.
The episode "Sunday" should cover ... just an ordinary Sunday. It ended in the near death of Teyla Emmagan, the death of one of her friends and the death in Doctor Carson Beckett - for no apparent reason.

So, I am extremely cautious, when people say "this story is just great" or "this is a love letter to all those old stories" or some stuff like that - because that is just public-relations-talk.
Probably, they mean: "I have no frakking Idea, who the characters are and I will do with them, as I please Muahahahaha."

By the way, I liked the Retcon-Idea for the Miller-Time-Watch.

And I have the feeling that "Identity Crisis" is pivitol to read "Blackest Night", right, because there this Jean-girl shows up as a zombie.

Greets

Cal

deuxhero said...

Loved the stinger there.

Gives me one question: Your thoughts on the "mindwipes for secret identities" part of the mindwipes?

Arnoldoaad said...

as someone whose first comic book event was Identity Crisis and actually likes the story i think you were more fair than i expected on this review
but i will do refute on 2 points

8- the firestorm "death", i dont know if have read that volume of firestorm which came out of it but on it, it is retcon that Ronnie didnt actually died on it when he exploded, the firestorm matrix bonded with jason and ronnie end up in a kind of limbo, he dies later on the firestorm book with a hero´s death
his death has kind of an impact on the story, it does sets some tone of it
that sometimes heroes/villains die and they never know when, that they can die on any moment and it also instill this feeling of fear on the heroes of DC, which leads me to the next point

13- the captain boomerang story, it has nothing to do with about villains or even about the capt, it was about his son and is part of the theme over the all miniseries, which is the connection to the family

after the death of sue and then firestorm a lot of heroes start to be scared, for their own lives and their loves ones, but such scare also makes them look closer on how lucky they are to have a family
there are scenes like Green Arrow spending more time with his son, the re-encounter of Jean and Ray(for better or worse) comes out of this among others
in essence thats the main topic of the story
how is that their superhero lives affect their civilian loved ones, which is why the story is named Identity Crisis

and this is also why it is put together with the Tim Drake subplot, at the end the death of Jack Drake(a civilian) is complemented with the death of of Capt Boomerang(a villain)
and we see how is that a civilian deals with the death of a super-familiar(for lack of a better term) and a super-familiar deals with the death of a family civilian who on both cases Had nothing to do with anything
they were both senseless deaths but the point is how this ppl deal with a senseless death

though i do agree with your point on which how the Death of Jack was unnecessary for many reasons, i will do say that its how all those pieces fit together that actually counts
and the picture that comes of it is not that bad

also Capt boomerang Jr is awesome, at least until Blackest night

I agree with a lot of your other points and i do think its kind of a flawed story but its not as bad and i still like it a lot

BTW, the fight with deathstoke, sucked but it was still better than the fight with Prometheus

Anonymous said...

I'd been waiting for this one.

I remember reading an interview with Brad Meltzer in Wizard Magazine when Identity Crisis was about to be released and his views on some of the characters that would be playing a role. I remember thinking-This guy clearly hasn't been reading the comics recently because he's going on a lot of outdated information.

As fort the artist, Rags Morales, he's fine except when it comes to close-ups, in my opinion. It's the hatching he does on the eyes. It just doesn't look right.

FugueforFrog said...

Sex, eugenics and AIDS...oh how I missed you, New Guardians!

Oh...as for Identity Crisis...never will read it but I think you got the point on why it sucked. Heck, the weird thing about Dr. Light is I was watching the TT animated series when they suddenly decided to make him "dark and edgy"...something tells me the writer was watching that show and thought he was a buffoon instead of doing his comic book research. Bottom line: you can tell a good story without shock value, but people want shock value to bring in customers, therefore no one wins. If you want to be shocking to prove a point, make it work instead of just doing it to make it "adult". Sometimes the most adult things probably have the simplest stories and aren't just random blood and guts and stupid stuff.

Matt said...

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Linkara, I've been waiting for this review for a LOOOOOOOONG time, and now that it's out, it's even better than I'd hoped.

I'm a bit of a self-admitted 90s apologist; I like Liefeld's art, I think the 90s X-Men is the best iteration of the franchise, Kyle Rayner is a much better character than Hal Jordan, Death and Return of Superman is THE best Superman story, the Clone Saga (and especially Ben Reilly) are ideas with tons of potential, etc.

So as you can imagine, I deal with a lot of hate towards the stuff I love. Hey, everybody's got a right to their opinion, right? But it doesn't change the fact that I still get a lot of joy out of the fact that this story exists. Why? Because of the combined facts: 1. that it's a critically acclaimed, hugely popular story that's cited as an example of what's so great about modern comics by 90s haters, and 2. it's a terrible story filled with a lot of the stuff that people cite as being typical mostly of 90s comics.

People love to point out how bad Rob Liefeld is when it comes to drawing women and perpetuating the bimbo stereotype in comics, but this story has to be a thousand times more insensitive to women than any cover of Glory.

Then there's the pointless deaths of longstanding characters that contributes nothing to the story but shock-factor. It seem like this started the popular mid-to-late 2000s trend where this kind of death was confused with adding maturity and depth to the stories, making them more "realistic" just because they were senseless. Say what you will about Onslaught, but at least the sacrifice of the heroes was intrinsic to defeating the villain, and led to said characters getting high-profile relaunches of their books the following month(and in the case of Iron Man, the reboot material was vastly superior to the preceding material).

Finally, you have the Mike Turner covers which helped usher back in the era of gimmick covers; in the 90s it was holofoil, in the 2000s it was 20 different variants for the same issue by high-profile artists. I'm sure there's someone with statistics showing this era has more variants than the 90s at their peak, and we all have Identity Crisis to thank for it. Although I still love Mike's work and may he rest in peace lol

Tyvadi said...

Having just recently watched your reviews of Actions Comics 593 & 594, I've got to wonder: are there are any comics you'd recommend that actually treat rape with the seriousness and maturity it deserves? As someone interested in writing, it'd be nice to have a good example.

johnboy3434 said...

Linkara,

This isn't related to the review (capsule opinion: it's awesome), but rather to a question asked at MAGFest a year ago. Someone asked you about the worst comic you've ever read but have not reviewed (by extension, I'm guessing that means the worst comic you've ever read, unless you've already reviewed it). You kept coy about it, but said it was an Image comic.

Okay, might as well be straightforward about it: is the comic in question Objective Five? It's been somewhere in every iteration of your theme song, and you reacted violently to the prospect of reviewing it in the finale to the Missingno. arc. I haven't been able to find any in-depth reviews for it, so I don't really know how awful it is.

If I have guessed correctly, do you ever plan on reviewing it, even if you have no definite date attached to it?

wEREwOLF said...

While I still enjoy Identity Crisis, you mad very valid points. The story is very flawed and if you look deeply into it you will be disappointed. Very disappointed.

However, something you said (or at least how I interrupted what you said) bugs me. Yes, rape as a plot point was used wrongly her, however I feel you were implying that rape should never be used and if it is it should focus on that fact. I can't help but feel that by the reasons you said (sorry don't remember them word for word and am not re-watching just to find them) murder and any other form of a violent crime should be the same. All crimes should be examined in superhero comics, in my humble opinion, and the reader is to see why they are wrong.

Anyway great vid. Also will you ever do a vid on the 1 year later story lines and how the either helped or hurt the series. I feel the Teen Titans was harmed by it and took a while to get back to its previous level.

wolf6015 said...

i like identity crisis sure there are flaws but ithas a good mature feel to it more better than most book i`ve read recently from dc and i fucking hate those kinda heroes...

except Lobo and the new Red Hood series.

WHY THE FUCK DIDNT DC released a Lobo series

altough the best moment of Batman paranoia should be Babel Tower

Barachiel said...

While I've been reading comics since the early 80s, "Identity Crisis" was what brought me *back* to DC after many years away. (I'd hit a rough patch, was pairing down my expenses and had to choose between my Batman/GL Habit and my X-Verse habit. The latter won. Ironically a couple years later, I'd get so furious at Marvel I'd stop reading superhero comics entirely for nearly half a decade).

While I disagree with several of your points, you do raise some good issues, especially from the perspective of a longtime reader and fan. However, I would like to offer a couple counterpoints for your consideration.

1) Jean Loring's insanity. Insanity does not necessarily mean manic or careless. The old cliche about genius and madness exists for a reason. While I will admit, it was freakin' loopy to do things the way she did, to an insane person, these things seem logical. This does not prevent her from being methodical, careful, and crazy-prepared. I'm not excusing the rest of the weirdness with it, just that point.

2) The Point of the Story. Identity Crisis was not just a stand-alone story. It was clear that this was the Big Event that was going to be the foundation for the new direction DC was going, love it or hate it. Firestorm's death, the thing with Tim Drake and his father, the son becoming the new Captain Booomerang, those were all supposed to be lead-ins to get readers to see where it was going elsewhere. it tied it into the larger universe. I'd argue it was never intended to be a *purely* standalone story. This takes place in a shared universe after all.

3) The Memory Wipe Retcons. you pointed out repeatedly that these retcons were inserted, and because of the distant nature, it was never really touched on again. Not... entirely. if you catch the right bits of dialogue, it was also there to explain all those stories where villains should have logically figured out the heroes identities (like the body swapping story they actually referenced) and why it was never brought up a again. It's clearly stated that they've done this not just that one time, but *whenever* their identities are compromised. Are there stories that contradict taht assertion? Almost certainly. But remember, this is the DCU. it's been rebooted REPEATEDLY. This event may not have happened until the last timeline tweaking crisis, which takes place *after* the original stories you reference are told. This is what gives DC the leeway to make such sweeping retcons, for good or for ill. (usually ill, but hey, sometimes they have good ideas)

4) The Rape. Okay, I've saved this for last, because I'm going to express a rather incendiary view. Rape is a *horrible* crime, that can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, and creed.

Are the ramifications of what happened to Sue brushed over? yes. However.... superhero comics frequently do this with murder (attempted in the case of survivors), kidnapping, hostage situations. These are incredibly traumatic experiences that leave lasting harm. yet for the sake of the narrative, its rarely touched on, to keep pace, and because the story is not about following the psychological trauma of the victim (usually). While i respect your opinion a great deal, this story was *not* about Sue Dibney's rape. It was about her murder, and the revelations it set off. Yes, the rape was a plot device. However given how most comics treat most horrible, traumatic crimes, I cannot use that as a strike against this story. My concern would be if it trivialized it, and in my eyes, it did not. It was the catalyst that prompted people of sound moral character to do something morally questionable to prevent it from happening again.

Dave said...

On the Firestorm death... it's just part of a bigger problem with DC Comics. They have so many white male heroes that they get the idea to increase diversity through killing them, and giving the legacy to a minority character. When a legacy transfer is done well (Barry Allen to Wally West, or Question to Renee Montoya), it really works.

Most of the time it's done poorly, and it turns fans of the original character against the new character because there's the perception that the original guy they liked died just because of wanting someone new (or when it's for ethnicity reasons, because the original had the wrong skin color). This, to my mind, remains a big reason why Jaime Reyes failed, even though I liked the character.

Also, the reboot does clear up one nagging point for me. One of the bits of fallout from Identity Crisis is we got to see Shadow Thief on trial for murdering Firestorm, and in the trial, Ronnie Raymond was outed as being Firestorm. When he was resurrected in Blackest Night, that public knowledge goes away. I think a very similar thing happened to Hank Hall as well.

Peteman said...

Missed opportunity: to complete the Rock and Roll scene, you should have started singing in your Batman Voice "I Love Rock And Roll!" by Arrows.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

I see we have the same reasons for preferring DC over Marvel and what makes them different. I haven't read Identity Crisis mostly because it was the start of the "dark age" of DC. I want my heroes to be actual heroes and I see nothing wrong with that.

Rowdy C said...

Is it possible that Brad Meltzer just isn't a good comic book writer? I only say this because, according to a colleague of mine, he also wrote the issues of the Buffy Season 8 comics that are not looked on fondly by many readers.

Random Man said...

That point about characters being killed off in team stories and not in their own series? Yeah, that's why I read Deadpool. To my knowledge, he isn't part of any team, and no team would be stupid enough to let him join (X-Men notwithstanding, as I heard they let him in once). Granted, I just started reading comics, and Deadpool's where I started (got the idea from your review of an old Liefeld book, can't remember which one, but you mentioned 'Pool).

Thoom said...

I appreciate that you respected the opinions of the people who like "Identity Crisis", ad the beginning of your video.

1. Nitpicking
2. Deathstroke's fight. He's always been pushed as this invincible fighter. He even whooped Wolverine's ass in the Titans/A-Men crossover. And come on man, he didn't "override" Kyle's ring. Kyle had a moment of doubt when facing a skilled fighter who he just saw whoop on his friends, who are some of the most powerful people he knows. Deathstroke took adantage of that.

8.) Light bolted because was in shock, probably had to get his thoughts together. If you just found out several years of your life were erased and you were living a lie, would you feel like fighting? Besides, Superman was coming.

5.) They didn't find clues? They found the footprints on Sue's brain.

4) The Death of Robin's dad. Characters die in comics all of the time. Also, I never ever saw Tim become more like Bruce.

10) The implications of the retcon and dishonesty among friends: This is you not wanting to face reality. People lie to their 'friends' about heinous shit all the time. What is so hard to believe here? Imagine how the BTK serial killer's wife felt when she found out her husband of over 25 years was a serial killer. And I bet she had no clue. he probably was nice to her much of the time. Now to know what he doing all this time? It's devastating, and it is sometimes real. That is what makes the story good and the DCU more complex.

15. What does this story accomplish? What does any story "accomplish" except to entertain or make you think, or both. And this story made readers think about methods of rehabilitation of criminals, this story added nuance and depth to the DCU.

I concede all other points. But most speculative fiction stories have plot holes. All in all, good show. I enjoyed it.

RJ Hammer wrote:

>>DC continues to fail it's readers and even economy was better fans won't come back to this crap because it's CRAP! >>

Compelling argument there. it was so eloquently written and thorough.

>>Identity Crisis and Avengers Disambled will go down to what may kill the industry. Why? Cause fans that don't death/destruction for sake of it that started with it won't come back as long you keep messing up the characters people care about. >>

You're grammar is immaculate. Did you go to an Ivy League school? And you are right. IC and 'Avengers disassembled' were terrible failures. That is why they both ushered in a new age at their respective companies and Brian Bendis became a major star and architect of the MU. And more "dissassembled" titles followed AD.


>>Reboot is suppose to be something different and that didn't bring enough fans back.>>

COUGH!. Is that why previously disgruntled comic shop owners were jumping for joy and claiming they seeing more business in general, and DC went from #2 to #1 comics publisher by a healthy margin? The 'reboot' was a FAILURE? Is that why DCU titles were going into 3rd and 4th printings? Is that why they only cancelled 6 titles after 4 months?


>>What would have worked is a reboot that went back to the way characters are like pre things like indentiy crisis.>>

Yes, that is why they changed things in the first place..because DC comics were selling so well before. Just because you supposedly loved how things were in the DCU ten years ago, doesn't mean comic readers in general did. And you weren't looking at the sale. WB was going to shut down the publishing pf month to month comics at DC, until they saw Disney buy Marvel. Then they changed their minds.

eldersprig said...

Despite the author's intent or stated purpose to make an "homage to the silver age", it seems he actually did a deconstruction of the characters. And it was done poorly to boot.

I remember reading this at one point, and thinking "this is shit." I had absolutely no idea that this was an event comic. I think that this was the kind of nonsense that led me to read independents instead of the mainstream comics.

Jarl said...

Firestorm wouldn't blow up if stabbed like that. I'm pretty sure that was established in an earlier story. Neither would a nuclear reactor in general.

Of course, the most important factor to remember regarding that death scene is that this is the exact scenario that set up Kingdom Come, and it was kinda a big deal!

taichara said...

Firestorm's death (well, the exploding part; a sword through the chest can be pretty lethal I admit) was not only a completely pointless slaughtering of a character, it doesn't even make sense.

Firestorm's the "Nuclear Man" because of his transmutation power. He's not Captain Atom for frag's sake -- which seems to be who Meltzer confused him with.

*sighs*

DMaster said...

Gods I've been waiting sooo long for this one.

My favorite part of this review was the dissection of the notion of retcons, and just why bad ones are as bad as they are. Say, Linkara...if you wouldn't mind...perhaps you could post that part of the review or maybe just that part of the script somewhere? Some people don't seem to quite get my objections to retcons that outright change details, and considering how well-written your dissection of the concept was, I'd love to use it as a reference.

luxshine said...

Actually, and although I hate Identity Crisis, I figured out Jean was the killer in issue 3, due to the panel where she's getting gagged. The hands are drawn as if she was tying herself, as opposed as if someone was gagging her. One good point for the art, but the rest is just a mess.

Scott Tibbs said...

I agree on one point: I hated Loring's motivation. For crying our loud, she could have simply asked Ray Palmer to come back and he would have. He's clearly still in love with her.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"-it was a haunted house movie. The demon was possessing the HOUSE, he was NOT possessing Katie"

Ummm, actually, it was established that it WAS haunting her. She mentioned an incident when she was 12 years old involving strange things happening to her.

The retcon was actually that Micah had found that footage online of a similar demonic haunting and possession from the 60s and it was impleid that it was the same demon that was haunting them and was actually going after her thinking she was the same woman from the 60s in some kind of curse or the like.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"The magic gun being powered by the soul of a little girl IS an unnecessary retcon that contradicts past Linkara videos, and that unnecessarily changes the tones of those videos."

How does it contradict past videos? All I've said on the matter before then was "it's magic, I don't have to explain it." And as I've said before, one line that I wanted to say in the buildup for that storyline but I cut was "It's magic, I don't have to explain it... but I will anyway."

Dave said...

The magic gun contradicts the theme song. You didn't purchase it anywhere. ;)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Hey, weird question: You said you did three crossovers at MagFest, right? Well, I couldn't help but notice that only two of them have been posted on the blog here: The Wonder Woman pilot review, and that Dracula anime thing. Has the other one been released elsewhere, or have you not finished making it yet?"

Still not done making it. It's a big one and the voiceover script isn't completed yet.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"The thing that bothers me the most, and this might be just because I'm a huge fan of Green Arrow's, is that there's no way Oliver Queen would ever agree to mindraping someone. Out of all the people on the Justice League, you had HIM give the deciding vote? How could you ever get him so wrong?"

Oh, he didn't and he voted against it. Barry Allen was the deciding vote and it was justified that he had just lost his wife so was in mourning for a lost loved one.

biznizz said...

@RJHammer:

1. Jason Rusch isn't that bad. Heck, I've actually enjoyed his & Ronnie's plotlines in Blackest Night/Brightest Day & the new book.

2. Identity Crisis happened years ago, just like Avengers Disassembled. If they could have honestly killed the ENTIRE industry, it would have happened years ago. And it hasn't, so your hyperbole is really unfounded. (Your opinions on the two stories, I'll let you have).

3. Sorry that the relaunch messed up how YOU like certain characters. I miss the old Superboy too, I was really getting into his character after he returned in Legion of Three Worlds. BUT, I am really enjoying the new Superboy & Teen Titans books AND the new Wonder Woman. And a lot of people are as well. How dare you say that these characters are irreverobly messed up forever when people are enjoying them. Just say that you, as one person, aren't a fan and leave it at that, don't speak as if you are stating a fact. THAT IS AN OPINION. It is yours and that is fine, but it is not a fact.

4. Actually, the reboot is bringing in a big number of sales. Not as many as it was in the first couple of months, but it is still respectable.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "And sorry "dating sims" fans, getting someone tipsy and having her say "yes" still counts as date rape."

As a woman, I find it really insulting that you think that if I'm a little bit tipsy, I'm incapable of giving consent, or that I'm so feeble-minded I can't own up to making dumb choices. You might as well say that I can't give consent if I'm really angry or excited. You would NOT say the same thing for a man who's a bit tipsy having sex with a sober woman.

Actually shit-faced drunk is another matter *entirely*, and one that is especially horrifically prevalent in colleges and high school parties, and definitely does need more awareness because a lot of people seem to just not be able to get it through their goddamn heads. Just don't tell ME that I've been raped if I, as an adult over 21, go out, down a few beers, and summon up the courage to hook up with a guy if I want to.

Of course, if by "tipsy" you actually did mean totally drunk, I apologize.

TimeTravelerJessica said...

I was arguing with a friend about the whole Dr. Light thing. He said Meltzer shouldn't be blamed for what other writers did, but that's bunk, IMHO. If he hadn't retconned him into a rapist, other writers wouldn't have turned him into Rape-Man, further cheapening the crime. Maybe it's not entirely fair to hold him fully accountable for that, but still, he opened the door, he deserves at least a tiny bit of the blame for that.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Gives me one question: Your thoughts on the "mindwipes for secret identities" part of the mindwipes?"

See, to me, that's not really a mindwipe. A mindwipe would be a complete personality overhaul. I don't mind them doing it to protect secret identities - blocking off a secret or the like is the same as destroying, say, a tape of a hero changing into their costume and flying off.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Is it possible that Brad Meltzer just isn't a good comic book writer? I only say this because, according to a colleague of mine, he also wrote the issues of the Buffy Season 8 comics that are not looked on fondly by many readers."

If I recall correctly, he wrote the issues of the revelation of Twilight's identity and the insane crap about the world of magic needing to be reborn through Angel and Buffy screwing or some such nonsense - it's confusing and lame, which is why NOBODY could have made that story good.

However, he did write the follow-up to Kevin Smith's excellent Green Arrow run and IIRC, I actually rather liked that and thought it was good. His Justice League stories, though... bleh.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"The magic gun contradicts the theme song. You didn't purchase it anywhere. ;)"

Sure I did!

...out-of-character. >.>

Detective Redfield said...

Wait, you pointed an actual (toy) gun at your head! What happened to the magic gun in that scene?

Anonymous said...

Ive never read identity crisis before, but from what ive seen and heard of it, i have to say that the comic definately has some major issues.

Now one of the biggest problems that I see with this comics is the way it potrays women, and that is strange coming from someone like me who is by no stretch of the imagination a feminist, no offense linkara i just dont believe that women have as many problems as people make it out to believe, although im not a woman so what would i know.

First of all the main "villian" of the story, Iean Loring is portrayed as a mentally unstable and irrational women due to the fact that she broke up with her husband and goes to absurd lenghts of violence in order to get him to come back to her, as oppossed to just talking to him about it like you said in your video.

The victim of the story, Sue Dibny, is also a woman who is violently killed and has her body mutilated at the begining of the story and it is later revealed that she was raped by Dr. Lite for the sole excuse of providing a red hearing to the story which is, as you said, pretty low.

Also, and this is just my opinion, i dont really see why they didnt just inform the other Justice League members about what had happened and had Dr Lite locked away in a prison facility somewhere that he couldnt easily escape from, if such a place even exists in the world of comics.

Also, while I do believe that deathstroke can be a pretty awesome character by the looks of him, I dont believe that he could take out all of the members of the justice Leage single handedly without working his ass off and putting everything that he has into the fight, as opposed to just standing in one place and swinging his sword around.

Anyway, thats all I had to say so Ill just shut up now and let you read somone elses comment. Kidos Linkara.

BTW: what do you think is the best title in the dc reboot now that its been a couple of months into it.

Gabknight2005 said...

I think you're going easy on Infinite Crisis : the "You care, we kill" applies more to it than on Amazons attack (which is more about character assassination)

I agree with the first comment, Identity Crisis marked the end of fun in the DC Universe. It started the relentless slaughter and character derailment of any fun and light character : The Bwa-ha-ha JLI and JLE or the Young Justice characters ended killed (Blue Beetle, Superboy) or derailed (see Max Lord and Captain Atom from the Top 15 worst heroes becoming villains, or the angst Robin and Wonder Girl are going to go through after Identity and Infinite Crises.) Bonus for Bart Allen, fun personified, going through both.

The Exiled One said...

"I disagree with you on the investigation. Look you would not check the phone records as she was burnt. As far as I know noi fire based villian nor hero has the power to travel down the phone lines."

Check the phone records for PHONECALLS, you idiot. See who called at Sue Dibny's house in order to gather suspects and trace those numbers. It has NOTHING to do with human beings travelling through phone lines. Read less comics and watch more "CSI".

"(yes, HIMself, the character is a male in my story)."

That makes your argument invalid. Males don't experience rape the same way women do. If you don't put yourself in a woman's place, you'll never understand why rape is such a delicate issue.

"Why not have a pasedophile supervillain while you're at it."

DC already has one: The Mad Hatter.


"I am sick of Darker and Gritter. I'm bored of it, it's clichéd and more often or not they lack subtlety or imagination. It will take me away from the story. I don't think it's the magic tool to make a story brilliant.


My problem with going darker and grittier is everyone is doing it and I think it prevents natural writing. It results in having to justify the criteria that's been imposed.

If you take the Joker, him using water balloons to terrorise people is as ridiculous as him going just as far in the opposite direction by having him force feed pregnant women thalidomide. The former is too tame and confusing and the latter is overly sadistic and cheap. Stuff like that does a disservice.


If you want to go with a different tone fine, make sure it will work."

QUOTED FOR TRUTH.

I'm also sick and tired of everyone wanting to "darken" works that don't need to be darkened. The biggest victim of this atrocious mentality is my favorite book, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". The original book was funny, lighthearted and actually quite smart, all this "darkening" does is dumb down the source material and ruin a perfectly good book.

"In prison he shuns his fellow Neo-Nazis and as payback, they gang up on him in the shower and rape him.

I bring this up, because it took this act to shake the character out of his life. It took a violation, by the people he most identified with to make him rethink his life of hating minorities and other religious groups. The act makes sense in the story to get the character to move beyond what he currently believes. It simply breaks him, when he tells his younger brother, he took to heart what happened. His older brother's violation, effects him."

Again, bad example, since it's male-on-male rape.

Does anybody has an example of rape in a story done right where the victim is female?

Or is the message here that rape can only be written right when the victim is male?

"Firestorm's death, the thing with Tim Drake and his father, the son becoming the new Captain Booomerang, those were all supposed to be lead-ins to get readers to see where it was going elsewhere"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't "Infinte Crisis" about Superboy Prime, Alexander Luthor Jr. and Pre-Crisis Superman wanting to destroy Post-Crisis Earth because they wanted the old Pre-Crisis Earth back?

Sooo...how the hell does "Identity Crisis" tie in with that? Alexander Luthor Jr./Superboy-Prime had NOTHING to do with Sue Dibny's death or Doctor Light's mindwipe.

"Ummm, actually, it was established that it WAS haunting her. She mentioned an incident when she was 12 years old involving strange things happening to her."

I'm talking about genre, about the way the movie is filmed. Demon possession movies and haunted house movies are filmed and scripted in very different ways. Regardless of what ONE scene said, the first "Paranormal Activity" was written, shot and scripted as a haunted house movie.

Lord You Know Who said...

"How does it contradict past videos? All I've said on the matter before then was "it's magic, I don't have to explain it." And as I've said before, one line that I wanted to say in the buildup for that storyline but I cut was "It's magic, I don't have to explain it... but I will anyway."

It changes the TONE of them. Originally, the magic gun was another goofy element of a goofy show, but with the new "darker" retcon, we can no longer enjoy the goofyness of those moments since we have that fact hovering on our heads.

"Wait, you pointed an actual (toy) gun at your head! What happened to the magic gun in that scene?"

And this is a good example of what I'm talking about.

Back in the original run of the show, this moment would have a goofy explanation, or no explanation at all (ie. it's just a silly and funny moment).

But now, we have to deal with a "darker" explanation like "the little girl wouldn't let Linkara die".

Linkara, since you are a Troper, check out "Cerebus Retcon" to see why I have an issue with it.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

""(yes, HIMself, the character is a male in my story)."

That makes your argument invalid. Males don't experience rape the same way women do. If you don't put yourself in a woman's place, you'll never understand why rape is such a delicate issue."

Um... NO.

Rape is rape is rape. The problem regarding rape and gender is that women experience it in far larger statistics than men and society at large views male rape as either funny or impossible.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"It changes the TONE of them. Originally, the magic gun was another goofy element of a goofy show, but with the new "darker" retcon, we can no longer enjoy the goofyness of those moments since we have that fact hovering on our heads."

You remind me of someone on the TGWTG forums who made the same argument about the magic gun.

The truth is that I ALWAYS had intentions of the magic gun having a darker origin behind it. EXACT details I worked out later, but the truth is that there weren't all that many "goofy" moments involving the gun and the spirit of the girl within the gun is pretty much at peace with her current situation despite the circumstances that lead to it.

""Wait, you pointed an actual (toy) gun at your head! What happened to the magic gun in that scene?"

And this is a good example of what I'm talking about.

Back in the original run of the show, this moment would have a goofy explanation, or no explanation at all (ie. it's just a silly and funny moment).

But now, we have to deal with a "darker" explanation like "the little girl wouldn't let Linkara die".

Linkara, since you are a Troper, check out "Cerebus Retcon" to see why I have an issue with it."

First of all, people have ascribed the term 'troper' to me before, but I don't think that actually applies to me unless it also refers to people who only READ TVTropes.

Secondly, the joke in this episode had nothing to do with "the girl wouldn't let Linkara die," the joke was about writers who are incapable of writing characters unless they've got angst and dead loved ones.

Third, any sanity slippage moments where I point the gun at my head is meant to be taken with a grain of salt as it is, since obviously Linkara is never going to kill himself over a friggin' comic book and that applies to me outside the character, too.

The reason I went with the normal gun instead of the magic gun for that scene was because the aforementioned hypothetical writer that can't write characters without dead loved ones wouldn't have a magic gun at their disposal and thus it made more sense for it to be a normal handgun.

Anonymous said...

@RJHammer
You'r just saying it because he's black

Ozaline said...

I wanna say great review, I'm going to be watching this one on Wendesday with a friend, because she's really into IC and I think it'll spark an interesting debate, I'd love to hear what she has to think about this.


But I also wanna just briefly touch on a theory of mine and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. You tangently mentioned the Silver Age and how what he was really talking about were Bronze Age stories.

I have a different opinion of when the Silver Age ends then most people... the common drawing line is Amazing Spider-man #122 the Death of Gwen Stacy.. many see this as the end of the Silver Age because it marks the first time that a hero majorly failed and a move from light hearted stories to more serious fair.

However, if you look at the source for where we get the terms Gold, Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and Iron Ages (that's another thing the arguement that the Iron Age of comics would come before the Heroic Age)... is from the works of the Greek Poet and mythologer Hessiod.

In his Works and Days, he describes the Silver Age or Silver Race thusly:

"then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far. It was like the golden race neither in body nor in spirit. A child was brought up at his good mother's side an hundred years, an utter simpleton, playing childishly in his own home. But when they were full grown and were come to the full measure of their prime, they lived only a little time in sorrow because of their foolishness, for they could not keep from sinning and from wronging one another, nor would they serve the immortals, nor sacrifice on the holy altars of the blessed ones as it is right for men to do wherever they dwell. Then Zeus the son of Cronos was angry and put them away, because they would not give honour to the blessed gods who live on Olympus. "


So if we follow the greek method, the Silver Age should be silly and childish for most of it's length and then have a brief dark patch at the end before people get sick of it and have a do over.

So for me the Silver Age ends with Crisis on Infinite Earths. ASM set the done for both Marvel and DC. With DC upping the stakes on their own stories... see: My Ward is a Junkie???

And I think Crisis represents the cleansing, at the end of the "adult silver age" as opposed to the "long childhood silver age".

What do you think of that theory?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Not a bad theory, actually. I'm not sure I ENTIRELY agree with it, but it's certainly an interesting concept in the idea of the Silver Age itself maturing and changing by the end of its run. I think my primary problem with it is just the characteristic of the age itself - it's much easier to define and date certain eras if we go by general characteristics of it, and having a rapidly evolving age with different sorts of stories during one segment of it vs. another kind of puts a crimp on that idea, which is why it's easier to classify those more "Adult" years as the Bronze Age.

And actually it's still difficult to identify the age after the bronze one. ^_~ We've got everything from Iron to Dark to Modern without all sources agreeing on that, so that'll still be some years.

Ozaline said...

Okay sorry for the second post here, trying to get better about doing multiple points at the same time... but everyone who is complaining about the magic gun retcon?

It's different. Full Stop

I'm going to point to a comic pro Larry Hama who often uses retroactive continuity (he even admits he has a rather loose view of continuity and doesn't let it get in the way)...


I'll give two kinds of examples here in a later issue of GI Joe, it's revealed that Cobra Commander had Dr. Mindbender implant devices in the brains of Zartan and Destro that would make them loyal to Cobra Commander if he ever showed them his true face. This kind of retcon brings in questions about why Cobra Commander never took advantage of this earlier... it's still not a bad retcon because, you can come up with reasons for it.

Another retcon is the famous Silent issue where for the first time it's revealed that Snake-eyes and Storm Shadow have matching tattoos. This retcon is like Linkara's gun... because there's no reason for the members of the GI Joe team to know about the tattoos, because we never see Snake-eyes forearm before this... And he's a private person (and mute) so he naturally doesn't talk about it.

Here it doesn't bring into question any of Linkara's previous actions because he had no knowledge of the gun's origin. It's magic... he didn't need an explanation, it was just a useful tool and a cool item. So the lack of Linkara's knowledge about gun's origin means we don't have to look at his actions differently, because there's nothing about the gun being a sacrificed girl that informs his earlier chocies.


That's the difference between two types of retcons, that both open up story vistas. One where it does color readings of the character (but that's okay), and one where it doesn't because that info is private from most of the cast.

Ozaline said...

"it's much easier to define and date certain eras if we go by general characteristics of it, and having a rapidly evolving age with different sorts of stories during one segment of it vs. another kind of puts a crimp on that idea, which is why it's easier to classify those more "Adult" years as the Bronze Age."

I agree there... but since I'm a DC fangirl and so many of my comics rely on the pre-crisis/post-crisis distinction... and I can make a supporting arguement using Hesiod's text, I just rather like to think of it that way. It also makes things easier because then we have say three distinct Superman characters.

Earth-2 (Golden Age)
Earth-1 (Silver Age)
and
Post Crisis (Bronze Age)

In that sense I think it makes things a little clearer to organize. I find it personally much easier to think of everything up to Whatever Happened To... as the actions of "Silver Age Superman". Plus I just get a chuckle out of applying serious mythological study to comics, something I love doing on university papers.

Not really expecting to redifine the study of comics, but for me it works.

CaptainCalvinCat said...

Earth-2 (Golden Age)
Earth-1 (Silver Age)
and
Post Crisis (Bronze Age)


In which Age did he die by the hand of Doomsday?
I have a novellization of those events (bought it for 10 Mark - round about 5 Euro - back in '95.) - and today I bought a comic-book, which seems to be a cintinuation of those events - "Reign of the Doomsdays" - does that ring a bell to anyone?

Review-wise I`d like to point out, that I agree with Barachiel, when he/she pointed out, that to even, if a person is (as you put it:) "cookoo for coco-puffs" it does not necessarily mean, that that person is as crazy as the Doctors Insano and Linksano, cackling and speaking in high-pitched voices - by the way: compliments to you and Noah, you played the insanes extremely good. And from an insane perspective, I think, that some of the points actually made sense.

Not the thingie about the flame-thrower and other shrunken objects. - by the way: Shrunken objects? What - are her clothes based on magic? What comes next? A pocket, which has time-lord-technology?

But of course, you are right, when you say, that the entire situation could have been avoided, if she had just picked up the frakking telephone and called Ray Palmer.

Greets

Cal

CaptainCalvinCat said...

Sorry to double-post, but it just hit me.

By the way - CSI was around since 2000, and when the comic is from 2005, even NCIS was around for 2 years. That means, that such things as forensic evidences should have been long common police-work, so either is Jean Lo... Lo.... Jean whatshername a criminological genius, with getting rid of ALL evidences in the room, but even Then, AND ESPECIALLY then, the bright people (I look at you, Bruce) should have noticed something.

I mean - I dont pretend to know stuff about criminology, I just enjoy the work of sexy Ziva and happy head-slapping Gibbs, as well as cool Kensy and Callen from NCIS and NCIS LA. But, when they didnt find evidences, does that mean, they didnt find ANYTHING? Because if they didn`t find ANYTHING, then it would have been time to say "just a second. One cannot find NOTHING." Or did Jean Grey... erm... Loring just wipe out HER traces? Even that I cannot believe, because either one misses something (e.g. scurfs) or one takes away way to much stuff.

Even if they didn't bother to check with the telephone-company, to see if there was a phone call, small things, like scurfs or things like that would be found.

Greets

Cal

Bellarius said...

There are two things which do come to mind in your points, one is already brought up by Gyre. Isn’t Arkham Asylum one of the best locations to deal with superpowered criminals or ones with high tech equipment? Wouldn’t it make sense to send Sue there if she did know how to use the same size changing abilities as the Atom?
Perhaps it was some sort of karma tic retribution for trying to pin her actions on insanity “Oh, you’re blaming all this on craziness are you? Tell that to the Joker!”

Also, what Doctor Light did is actually somewhat smart. He knows the Justice League can do and has lost several years from his life, they could do it again. Better to run, keep your mind intact and survive than try to take on several of the most powerful justice enforcing beings on the planet.

No defences come to mind for the other parts though. Out of interest though, if the DCU hadn't become darker and edgier, does anyone think Blackest Night would have still happened?

starofjustice said...

Ah yes, casually including rape and dark material automatically makes stories better, right?

It reminds me of when I reviewed the miniseries from the 80's based on the Champions RPG and toward the end one of the heroines is captured by the bad guys, and apparently beaten and raped. This traumatic experience has the life-altering effect of her having short hair for a few issues. And later on they do it again, with as much of a noticeable impact.

That's the problem with a lot of bad writers. The think they can just throw things like abuse into a story to make it darker, and not have to address the horrible consequences those acts have. Finding out a loved one got raped or murdered isn't something you just get over like that. They certainly aren't things the victim just puts behind them, especially murder...

Jamescush said...

One thing that annoyed me about the series was it seems that no one told Brad Meltzer that Jack Drake had a wife. She's no where in this book and as a reader of the Robin series at the time it left me scratching my head. "Hey editors did you forget about Tim's step-mom???"

Jarkes said...

"It didn't work for Sonic, it didn't work for Super Mario, and it certainly didn't work for the DC comics."

Wait, when did Super Mario have a "darker and edgier" relaunch? I mean, I know Super Paper Mario was darker than the first two Paper Mario games, but it didn't really affect the ENTIRE Super Mario series. Plus, Mario has never really had an ongoing comic series.

BIGMercenary said...

I'm going to nitpick and say "zoom in on yourself a little." The wide shots where its just you are bland, or find some posters to put on the wall behind you. Either way would be a bit more appealing.

Gonzo said...

@SchweitzerMan

"Hell, wasn't Tim Drake almost the victim of female rape near the end of Red Robin and one of the writers said that it wasn't rape, just "non-consensual", or am I thinking of something else?"

Close--that's Nightwing #93. In short, Nightwing was raped by wannabe vigilante Tarnatula and, like in IC, the rape is never dealt with or mentioned by anyone ever again. And yeah, the author did an interview afterward that is filled to the brim with insensitive, idiotic comments.

Although, I think there was a more recent comic where some woman nearly raped Red Robin, but I didn't pay much attention.

Kalos said...

You should really consider doing this format more often for your reviews, at least for comics that you dislike without them wholly godawful. I know the whole "go through the entire plot and mock as-needed" approach is the TGWTG signature style, but I really feel like this sort of thing works well when looking at something that spans multiple books.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"You should really consider doing this format more often for your reviews, at least for comics that you dislike without them wholly godawful. I know the whole "go through the entire plot and mock as-needed" approach is the TGWTG signature style, but I really feel like this sort of thing works well when looking at something that spans multiple books."

Books like Ultimatum require a detailed look at how the stupid evolves from issue 1 until the end. Books like Identity Crisis which are seriously flawed, but lack individual flaws in almost every sentence really can't be looked over in the same style, especially when it's something like Identity Crisis where there are a lot of people who are fans of it.

Anonymous said...

Any advice/information for an individual considering a similar line of work? And how did you get into this? There's a difference between wanting to make satirical videos as a profession and actually being capable of doing it.

You made a video that was a brief intro to who 'Linkara' is and what he does but it would be useful if there was a more detailed history of how you went from an anonymous guy to having a website and being featured on TGWTG. Even if it is just a list of bullet points it would be a worthwhile piece of writing to read.

Thank you.

Gareth said...

I was just wishing the other day that you would explain why you didn't like Identity Crisis.

This was because the guy who runs the comic book shop I order comics from absolutely loves this story, and he wrote a whole essay on why he loved it.

I've never read it myself so I was hoping you could explain the problems so I could get to hear both sides of the arguments.

I think I'll give this a miss. Thanks for the help.

Jack Bennett said...

Excellent points, Lewis. I personally consider Identity Crisis the most-overrated comic of the modern age (at least people recognize Amazons Attack and Countdown sucked - but IC still has defenders). Identity Crisis is not that ages well and as the harbinger of the Didio era which brought us things like "Black" Mary Marvel and the WonderTwins getting mauled by the WonderDog in Teen Titans and was a sign of what turned out to be the Dark Age in DC Comics (in my opinion).

One nitpick: I think Jean knowing Jack Drake's relationship to Robin was the plothole to end all plotholes and was one of the reasons the "mystery" didn't work. Jean was divorced from Ray for YEARS (during which time Ray married the Princess of the little people and was widowed) during the time Tim became Robin. I can see her knowing Dick was Robin or even Jason's name but Tim's? He didn't even tell his Young Justice teammates or his girlfriend (Spoiler) his real name. Yet the Atom's ex-wife knew it? Not buying. And yet an entire part of the plot (and Jean's planning) turned on this knowledge.

Also the worst part is how it effected the DC heroes involved AFTER this story.

Aside from the Dibnys (no accident they killed off Ralph in 52, without Sue, his character had no purpose and wasn't different enough from Plastic Man) no DC hero was more effected than Zatanna, now the mind-wipes became a part of her character for other writers. They used it and brang it up again and again, they even used it in Catwoman to say that she mind-wiped Selina to make her "good" thus doing away with years of character development in one shot. And we were supposed to feel Zatanna was very, very, very sorry for what she had done and she apologized all over the place EXCEPT...until the conspirators were exposed by Wally in Identity Crisis none of them had seemed to look or act guilty about what they had done at all for YEARS. It made them look even worse.

Take Black Canary, who voted for the mind-wipe of Batman and then went to LIVE in Gotham, to become BFFs with the former Batgirl, to regularly interact with the Bat-Crew and yet never felt any guilt over what she had done to their father/mentor/teammate even when she came face to face with Bruce. We still never knew if Oracle EVER found out about it and we never saw any tension in the Babs/Dinah relationship to hint that she did. So Dinah kept lying to her best friend. And then you have that moment in Birds of Prey where Gail Simone has Dinah give a rousing "Hell Yeah" speech to Batman about how he better lay off Huntress and Babs or he'll lose her respect and he just stands there and take it. At first glance, you're rooting for Dinah but then you realize this takes place post-Identity Crisis and Bruce is standing there being lectured to by one of the people who mind-wiped him and all of a sudden Black Canary looks kinda horrible since at that point she really has no right to his "respect".

Another thing to think about is what was really done to Sue (not by Dr. Light). Unless you think she was hunky-dory with her rapist being let go scott-free (even being mind-wiped) and the decision what to do with him decided FOR her and that she had all this therapy or whatever to get over the rape (since obviously she was her normal cheery self in every story about her prior to this even ones where she's on the Satellite) that we never saw, the other option is that conspirators - including Ralph - mind-wiped SUE as well to make her forget any of it happened (which seems completely plausible to me given how Meltzer wrote them), in addition to what they did to Batman. Which means that just like Batman and Dr. Light, one day Sue too would have remembered what was done to her out of the blue, have to relive that pain and have to realize what her husband and people she considered friends did to her. Which is a HORRIBLE thought.

Some "love letter".

Gabknight2005 said...

Ah, the negation of character developments. I agree with the Catwoman example. It even lacked originalty, since her previous series ended with a run which focused on a split personnality caused by Scarecrow brainwashing her.

Also, the Rogues. Even handled by Geoff Johns, I found it annoying for Trickster, who had an entire crossover (Underworld) culminating in his "heel face turn".

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Linkara.

Despite liking this story, I thought your countdown was well done. Points I’d like to add:

1. The rape. Out of curiosity, what did you think of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 2” where (spoiler) Mr. Hyde rapes the Invisible Man to death?

2. Firestorm’s death. Did Firestorm explode in the sky, or in space? I recall Alan Moore once saying that somebody showed him Season 1 of the TV show Heroes, where a superhero was taken into the sky to explode like Firestorm. Mr. Moore hated it because aerial detonations of nuclear bombs are worse than ground-detonations, since they can more widely disperse the radioactive materials released by the bomb. Same applies to chemical and biological weapons. It looked like Firestorm exploded in the sky, so I thought I’d ask for clarification.

3. The Deathstroke battle. Why did Green Lantern try to punch Deathstroke in the face, thus allowing for the finger-breaking thing? Couldn’t he just attack Deathstroke at a distance? I could maybe accept Green Arrow not staying away from him, because it looked like Deathstroke hopped around a bit. So maybe he closed the difference between himself and Green Arrow, allowing him to chop the ends off the arrows. But Green Lantern starts the fight several yards away, IN THE AIR. Dude, they’re called “evasive maneuvers”.

4. Mindwiping Batman. Is it possible that the mindwiping of Batman was meant to show that the wipers were indeed wrong, rather than keeping the question open for the audience to decide? It’s just that I’m reminded of Kingdom Come, which starts in a similar way, with a controversial tactic being employed by a superhero (killing). But in the end, it’s shown to be wrong because, if you keep using this tactic against villains long enough, eventually you won’t be able to tell friend from foe. And then you use the controversial tactic on your friends.

I don’t know enough about Mr. Meltzer to know if he was trying to end the comic ambiguously, like the ending Watchmen. To me, it seemed like it started there, but wasn’t meant to end there.

Okay, I’m done. Sorry for adding to the avalanche of comments you’ve got to read/approve.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"1. The rape. Out of curiosity, what did you think of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 2” where (spoiler) Mr. Hyde rapes the Invisible Man to death?"

I'm not fond of it.

Joethecondor said...

I've been a long time fan of your videos, but this is the first one I've ever been compelled to comment on. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking Identity Crisis apart. No disrespect to anyone who likes the book, but I hate, hate, hate, hate, this comic with a fiery passion. I tried, oh how I tried to stick with the series, but every issue made my teeth grind. The pointless deaths, the rape scene, the overall misguided attempt to turn the DCU into a grim "serious" place. Superhero stories are first and foremost fantasy, they are meant to be escapism. Putting such real world issues such as rape into a fantasy setting with aliens, giant robots, and other fantastic phenomenon seems rather crass to me. Don't get me wrong, real world topics can be handled well in superhero comics (Denny O’Neal’s Green Lantern/Green Arrow comes to mind), but you need a good writer who can balance both the fantastic and the real, and Brad Meltzer just isn't that writer. Identity Crisis is indicative of the overall attitude that seems to be prevailing in comics these days. I suspect that adults are a little ashamed that they read a genre of books that have always been classified as children’s literature, so now we are seeing misguided attempts to “grow” our heroes up and make them less “childish”. I personally love superhero comics because they are fantastic, and goofy and a little childish, that’s what makes them such a joy to read. Now there are many injustices in this world that we all dream about fixing, and the superhero genre is one cathartic way to realize that dream; in this regard real world issues can actually work in a superhero comic. But Identity Crisis did not use real world issues in this manner, nor did the dark tone of the story say anything meaningful about the human existence. Instead Identity Crisis used shock value for the sole purpose of making superheroes more adult, and that just made it more juvenile as a result.

wEREwOLF said...

Hi Linkara me again. Why do you hate the idea of Tim Drake being more like Batman? I personally think he is the best choice to succeed Bruce Wayne. Dick Grayson is Nightwing and I was mad when he was chosen for Batman after Battle for the Cowl. DO I even need to say why Jason Todd should be out? Stephanie Brown is too happy to be Batman (or Batwoman in her case.) Last Damian....He is too much of an entitled spoiled rich kid who thinks he should get everything he wants.

Pat said...

While you certainly make a lot of good points, Linkara, I think you are missing the point of the story.

It's not about Sue Dibny's murder.

Identity Crisis is about the heroes and villains of the DC Universe and how they deal with the loved ones in their lives. How they react when those loved ones are put in jeopardy. How they turn back to those loved ones when their cape-wearing days feel like their dwindling.

Looking at the story through this theme shows how the "pointless" sub-plots actually matter. Even if they are only tangentially connected to Sue Dibny, they are still about a particular character and their family.

Another complaint is that I think you're not really thinking through Jean Loring's motivation. Yes, she could have just sat down and talked to Ray about getting back together, but A) She had no way of knowing how he felt B) She probably didn't want to seem like she had come crawling back, and C) She probably wanted Ray to not take her for granted. Sometimes people are manipulative in relationships because they want to retain power in it and they want to know how their partner feels. It's not logical, but that's relationships for you. Yes, the manner in which she went about her plan was nonsensical, but it's not crazy for her to want to get Ray to come back to her without her just asking him to.

My only other criticism is how you claim that rape could have been substituted by basically anything else. While I agree that rape shouldn't have been used, since it basically had to be used as a plot device, I don't think kidnapping or attempted murder would have accomplished the same thing from a plot stand-point.

Dr. Light needed to do something worse than the usual damsel in distress stuff, because that sort of thing happens every week. He needed to cross a line that would cause the Justice League to believably want to wipe his mind.

There were certainly other things they could have done. For example, Dr. Light could have found some way of learning all of their secret identities, causing them to wipe his mind like they revealed that they had for previous villains in the past. It's certainly more complicated and difficult to explain than rape, but it also would have saved the story a lot of poor taste and offended readers.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering Mr. Lovhaug in previous videos you have praised James Robinson work on Starman. During his run he had two superheroes raped. Early on Jack was drugged and raped by the new Mist, and even though the son that resulted from it became a part of the story I do not remember them talking about how he was conceived afterwards. The other one happened to Mikaal in a flashbacks ware he spent time as a sex slave, again this is rarely mentioned.

What is your opinion of these rapes? do you think there were handeled well or is it that an otherwise strong story can overcome the lead having non-conceptual sex .

Gabknight2005 said...

Just a few thoughts on some of the comments.
@wEREwOLF : As it was already pointed out, Tim Drake was one of the few bat-character who didn't have daddy issues (with Oracle), and became a hero out of pure idealism. Plus, killing a character in order to make another more interesting is just lame.
I think I remember an issue of Teen Titans where Tim Drake mused whether or not he wanted to become Batman and what other options he had, and the future timeline where he was confronted to a futur self who did become a violent Batman. The comparison between the 2 characters doesn't have to be shoehorned like it's the case here.
@Pat : In my opinion, the use of rape is less aggravating than the treatement (or lack thereof) of the characters involved.
To take another controversial example, Green Arrow: The Longbow hunters featured an infamous scene where Black Canary is tortured (not sexually raped though.) Whatever you may think of the scene, it was taken into account in the subsequent Green Arrow series and both Green Arrow and Black Canary went through therapy to deal with it.
In Identity Crisis, only the reaction of the other characters are dealt with. The scene is gratuitous and pure shock value : it doesn't add anything to Sue Dibny.
(PS : since I don't speak english fluently, I tend to borrow idioms from others, e.g. from Linkara's reviews. Sorry about that)

DarthShap said...

Actually, most of your criticism could be redirected at Watchmen.

For instance, the battle with Deathstroke. In Watchmen, the heroes get their ***** handed to them by the "villain" Ozymandias.

The murder story is just a pretext and could in no way be guessed, especially considering the idiotic and convoluted motive to end all wars through the attack of a giant squid.

Rape is used as a plot device to convey the idea that reality and the golden and silver age do not add up. There is no real follow-up and no real need for it. On the contrary, the conclusions depicts the rapist as a deeply flawed man with redeeming qualities. At least, IC does not treat Light this way.

Deaths of characters, check! Are they useless? no. In Watchmen, they signify the end of an era while in IC, they show how human the superheroes and supervillains communities are and how they behave faced with the horrors of reality.

Why do people love Watchmen? Not because it is a good mystery story. Because of what it does to the superhero genre, how human it makes them. How reflective it is of comic book history. How it manages to have the superheroes of old meet their biggest threat ever, reality.

Anonymous said...

A lot of comments seem to say that darker and edgier is bad, or deconstructions are bad, but they're not. Deconstruction is why Batman works, he's flawed in many ways and the best batman stories are the ones that exploit his flaws properly.

The problem isn't that people try to be darker, it's that nobody knows what that means. Darker is not 'more sex' 'more blood', darker is the way it impacts people. It is possible to make a whole series of comics or cartoons as dark as any Batman comic without using any adult themes. Infact, they have DONE that in the Batman Animated Series.

PopCultureOtaku said...

Thoom wrote:


>>Identity Crisis and Avengers Disambled will go down to what may kill the industry. Why? Cause fans that don't death/destruction for sake of it that started with it won't come back as long you keep messing up the characters people care about. >>

You're grammar is immaculate. Did you go to an Ivy League school? And you are right. IC and 'Avengers disassembled' were terrible failures. That is why they both ushered in a new age at their respective companies and Brian Bendis became a major star and architect of the MU. And more "dissassembled" titles followed AD.>>

Yes I got to better proof read it. I have said this before. Yeah made bendis a star but it destroyed the Avengers and run done nothing but spit on what came before in my mind. I rather have She-Hulk or Scarlet Witch or Wonder Man in avengers then Storm or Red Hulk or captain marvel wannabe of the week.

>>Reboot is suppose to be something different and that didn't bring enough fans back.

COUGH!. Is that why previously disgruntled comic shop owners were jumping for joy and claiming they seeing more business in general, and DC went from #2 to #1 comics publisher by a healthy margin? The 'reboot' was a FAILURE? Is that why DCU titles were going into 3rd and 4th printings? Is that why they only cancelled 6 titles after 4 months?>>

I think they only canceled 6 titles because they didn't want to look bad. There are several books you could have canceled. If this reboot was a success then why did it boost it to numbers of best 2 of 3 years ago. All it did was bandage on the giant would of the industry. Once hype start to dye down how many of those stick around? Did this just keep stores in business couple extra months? I can tell I know didn't help a friend of mine store he goes or struggle going on at the one I go too.

>>What would have worked is a reboot that went back to the way characters are like pre things like indentiy crisis.>>

Yes, that is why they changed things in the first place..because DC comics were selling so well before. Just because you supposedly loved how things were in the DCU ten years ago, doesn't mean comic readers in general did. And you weren't looking at the sale. WB was going to shut down the publishing pf month to month comics at DC, until they saw Disney buy Marvel. Then they changed their minds.>.

Because all the dark stuff, crossover after crossover (or event after event as they call it now) really left the industry in good shape. To me it was this crap that made people want to leave even before the economy sucked.

Darthshap said...

"A lot of comments seem to say that darker and edgier is bad, or deconstructions are bad, but they're not. Deconstruction is why Batman works, he's flawed in many ways and the best batman stories are the ones that exploit his flaws properly.

The problem isn't that people try to be darker, it's that nobody knows what that means. Darker is not 'more sex' 'more blood', darker is the way it impacts people. It is possible to make a whole series of comics or cartoons as dark as any Batman comic without using any adult themes. Infact, they have DONE that in the Batman Animated Series."

I completely agree with that quote. The best comics Batman are not from the golden, silver or bronze ages.
Year One, Absolution, the Dark Knight Returns, the Killing Joke, Ego, the Long Halloween, Dark Knight Dark City, Prey, Blood Secrets, Blind Justice, Arkham Asylum, Morrison's run, the current Snyder run. All of them are dark and violent, filled with murders, sexual crimes and terrorism. None of them focus on the victims and they are not supposed to. The CRIMEs are a plot device used to make the protagonist, Batman, a CRIMEfighter, react to them.
What is interesting about these stories is how they treat Batman, how they explore his mind.

Inquisitor D. said...

Ok, I've noted a common thread amongst those who defend this book. The claim that the focus of the story wasn't really on the death of Sue Dibney, but on the heroes, their secret identities (hence the title) and the lines they're willing to cross.

It's an interesting thought, when looking at this book. It explains some of the flaws too, those areas weren't what the writer was focusing on. Like Dough Mohinck before him, he wanted the characters to get to a certain place. The difference being that this guy got the actions that would be needed to get them there mostly right, he just didn't handle their execution very well.

But that does make some of the sections a little better to my mind, a little more interesting.

However...

Even if we accept that this stuff was supposed to be the focus (and I do respect that viewpoint) the murder and rape of Sue Dibney still predominate, still colour the book. They make the good stuff stand out less, because the murder mystery repeatedly comes across as the driving force, both for the mind wiping subplot, and the main plot with Jean Lauring.

To my mind, neither murder or rape is necessary. The rape not being needed should be fairly self-explanatory, it could've just as easily been a serious physical attack, something that hurt her, left her scared... but she's Sue Dibney. her recovering from that is believable, and the danger still remains in that instant, because of Doctor Light threatening the same for the loved ones of other heroes. You wouldn't have to change the rest of the mind-wipe stuff, the rape's just an attempted shock moment that falls all too flat

But on the question of the murder, the event that kicks off the main plot of this story, I'll go one further. Not only is it non-essential, Identity Crisis itself shows us an alternate path

Remember that end-monologue by Jene? How she'd intended to scare people, make them think a killer was on the loose, targeting their friends and loved ones? When Linkara was talking us through that scene, I ended up thinking 'Why didn't the writer try this?' It creates pretty much the same result, the locked room mystery, simply shifting it from a once off event to a definitely on going problem. You might have to actually write something from Sue's perspective, instead of leaving her as a throwaway character, but it'd shift the emphasis from the specific (vengeance for Sue) to the general (We need to protect those we care about). That would have fit the book's main theme so much more closely!

Plus, it just would step pretty much everything up. Tie ins would've been stronger, with heroes worrying, re-evaluating their relationships with those around them. Hells, it'd make Jack Drake's death at least have a bit of a point. Under that storyline, he's the result of the scheme going too far, the first real casualty, and what makes Jene's crimes pass from serious to unforgivable.

*pauses* Anyone else get what I'm saying here?

Ozaline said...

Something I just thought of: alot of complaints are, "subplot A which kills character b, leads to event/miniseries c; which has nothing to do with this story."

Is this 100% always a bad thing? If the subplot works well enough in the confinds of the story?

I'm thinking of another example, in Superman/Batman Public Enemies, (the comic and not the DCAU movie which was a horrible adaptation). Captain Atom's subplot revolves around him feeling uncomfortable with following Lex Luthor's orders to bring in Superman, feeling there's a chance Luthor might be the bad guy (well, duh!), but doing his duty as a good soldier. This causes the death of Major Force (well by New Krypton he was back anyway), and utlimatly his own apparant death when he takes Superman's place to pilot the rocket that will destroy the Kryptonite Meteor... (instead of dying it flung him into the Wildstorm Universe, which was pretty awesome but set up his return as Monarch in Countdown which was considerably less awesome).


The point is that Captain Atom's subplot wasn't really neccesary to the story at hand... The story is about Superman and Batman figuring out how to stop the meteor while avoiding goons sent by Lex Luthor.

There's no reason to have Atom quesioning his convictions to service and all that... and the story could have been resolved without him. And in the end his arc resulted in one character death and was positioned for the purpose of creating a run-off miniseries.

And yet it worked, the subplot enriched the main plot, and Mafor Force's death was neccesary for three inplot reasons: to finally push Captain Atom into action, to fling him forward in time to find out what to do, and to establish the time/dimension travel side-effect of his powers that would send him to Wildstorm...

The IC subplots don't work, but it can be done right.

The Exiled One said...

"Um... NO.

Rape is rape is rape. The problem regarding rape and gender is that women experience it in far larger statistics than men and society at large views male rape as either funny or impossible."

It's not that it's funny or impossible, it's just that men experience it differently that women. It hits women harder than it hits men. It's more brutal, shocking and life-changing when it happens to a woman than when it happens to a man. Unless, of course, we are talking children, in which case it's brutal and life-changing regardless of the gender of the child.

Ozaline:

the whole "X Age of Comics Books" is pretty vague and nobody has a consensus on when each "Age" begins and when it ends.

As far as I'm concerned, the Silver Age ended in 1969, the Bronze Age ended in 1989, and the Modern Age is stll ongoing.

And I don't believe in a "Dark Age". Even the 80s and 90s had great things about them.

CaptainCalvinCat:

I have zero interest in NCIS (which I always saw as incompetent and selfish), so my comment about CSI is more directed at either Grissom's show or Horatio's show.

And yes, I do believe either Horatio's team or Grissom's team could have solved this in minute, especially if Horatio/Grissom is familiarized with DC's technology.

"and the WonderTwins getting mauled by the WonderDog"

Those would be Wendy and Marvin. The Wonder Twins are Zan and Jayna, who never got mauled by Wonder Dog. In fact, DC pretty much forgot about the Wonder Twins after "Extreme Justice".

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing Justice League Unlimited was still on the air during this time, otherwise I would have given up on DC.

soundout12 said...

The real love letter to the silver age: Batman the Brave and the Bold

DJ1107 said...

You know what after watching this video I can agree on certain things listed on this episode and yet I still love the book. One thing I will agree on is that why is this book listed with the other crisis series? Those books all had to do with the end of the universe but this is just a murder mystery. huh. Still happy to see you're open thoughts about the book now that I can understand why you don't like it now I need to see a reason why you like Zero Hour, because to me that series was just too short and had to much going on i.e. tie in stories like Amazon attack such as the time misplaced Robin.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque said...

1: Arkham. I agree. The only thing I can think is that she's insane, and committed crimes, so she's sent to the hospital for the criminally insane? Regardless, just one of many dumb ideas in Identity Crisis. Also, supposedly other comics showed that, yes, Jean went through the criminal justice process, but since it didn't happen IN Identity Crisis, Identity Crisis doesn't get the credit for it, since it didn't. Happen. In. The. Story.
2: Fight With Deathstroke. Again, I agree. Deathstroke might--MIGHT--be unbeatable, but not in the way that he can't even be harmed without protecting himself. Finally, if Kyle and Deathstroke got into a battle of wills, Deathstroke might--MIGHT--win . . . but it would not be easy. Seriously. Kyle shouldn't have lost as easily as that.
3: Dr. Light's Epiphany. I have nothing more to add, other than to agree.
4: Mindwipe Batman. Bull. Crap. Batman's the World's Greatest Detective, he would never stop picking at the missing time. Also, you're right, the "heroes" lost all sympathy once they turn on their good friend Batman.
5: The Motivation. Ugh. She could have just asked him out. Sheesh. While this does make the heroes appreciate their loved ones more . . . did they NEED to? I mean, isn't that the POINT OF LOVED ONES?
6: The Investigation. The idea behind this should be the way ALL cross-overs work in the future. They're the best heroes in the world! They should be able to put aside their differences work together when the stakes are high. And then the comic screws that up. What they DO find doesn't lead them to figure out it's a damn flamethrower? Until almost the end? Balls!
7: Jack Drake. Again, turning Tim into Bruce-lite is so wrongheaded I can't even articulate it properly. Dick is boisterous, fun-loving one. Jason is the rebellious prodigal son. Tim is the fanboy. Steph is the well-meaning, naive engenue. Damien is the bad son trying to be the good son. Also, fat Captain Boomerang is so goddamn stupid I can't even see straight. He's a FLASH villain. He's supposed to be freaking fit and quick. Gah!
8: Firestorm's Death. It could be argued that Jack Drake's death fits in with the . . . theme? of Identity Crisis, having heroes' loved ones put in danger. But this is just crapping on a character who hasn't had his own title in too long and will be replaced by a legacy character (which never managed to get much narrative traction until almost the end of HIS series). And he goes out even more like a punk than the guys who went up against Deathstroke!
9: The Mystery: There ARE mystery genres that don't let the reader figure out the crime before the detective does it, but even then, this doesn't fit that, either. And the footsteps on the brain? What kind of footprints would be left behind on the somewhat spongey human brain? I get that the Atom's size-changing belt doesn't adjust the wearer's weight (which is problematic, but hey, comic books).
10: Retcons. I dislike retcons on principle, nowadays, but these are so fundamental to the breaking of the heroic characters of the DCU from BEING heroes anymore, and I LOVE the DCU heroes, so making them involved in a terrible conspiracy to protect themselves from investigating their unilaterally mindwiping and altering Dr. Light's personality. Because . . . mindwipin' NNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR happened before! Ugh. Also, this implies that Superman is totally fine with everything that happened. No. You can't have it both ways, comic. Screw you.
11: Rape. There are hundreds of other ways to give characters false drama. Rape is not only overused, it's badly used. It's rarely dealt with, just as something terrible that happens. It's practically just code for "TRAUMA!" which also denigrates when it happens to real people. Rape CAN be used as a plot point . . . but if so, it needs to be treated much better than it has been in comics.

Aaron "The Mad Whitaker" Bourque said...

Cont'd

12: Love Letter. If this is a love letter, I can only tremble in fear about what that means about Brad Meltzer's definition of love.
13: Captain Boomerang. It's just another case of the misuse of the villains in this story, really.
14: Dr. Light's Buffoonery. He was more buffoonish in the Teen Titans cartoon, but that has nothing to do with how he really was in the comics. I mean, just because the general public things Aquaman is a joke, and useless member of the League when they're not near water DOESN'T MAKE IT SO. And again, it's another misuse of villains in this story. If Light had come back at the end to try to do something against the heroes, that could work.
15: Accomplish. It accomplishes heartache in the reader, longing for the days of fun and heroics, adventure and excitement. Especially those readers who actually know about the stories that are darkened by this claptrap. In the end, it started the major feelings of ill will in the minds of comic book readers against the creators and editorial staff at DC comics. Like you said in your review of Cry for Justice, it makes the reader angry at the creators for feeding us malarky.

Psychotime said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Tibbs said...

society at large views male rape as either funny or impossible.

And in the case of prison rape, "deserved." The lack of respect for basic human rights is depraved.

Anonymous said...

Underneath your love of stories lies moral commitment, a sense of right and wrong. You laugh at a stupid story, but you detest a BAD story.
Lewis, I'm going to give you quite a compliment here: you remind me of the great Rod Serling.

Alex Stritar said...

"*pauses* Anyone else get what I'm saying here? "

You're right. Taking out the unnessisary dark stuff, you do have a ligitimitly good story about the fear of the loss of family and an examination of why superheros need secret identities. If only they had gone that route, maybe the next couple of years in the DCU wouldn't be so overly dark.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"From the FBI's own database, the rate for 2010 is 54.2 out of every 100,000 women, which converts into 0.0542%

It's a horrible crime nonetheless, but I absolutely despise self righteous people who feel justified in spreading grossly exaggerated information, which they at best never bothered to actually READ UP on, or at worse completely make up.

Nothing justifies lies, and it's even worse when they are about a subject this serious."

Aaaactually the problem with the statistics there is that it only covers REPORTED and CONFIRMED rapes. A good chunk of rapes don't get reported for one reason or another, and even then not all of those go to trial.

Enigma_2099 said...

Linkara: ...AND THEY DON'T FIND A DAMN THING!!!!


Heh heh heh... awesome.

PopCultureOtaku said...

"A lot of comments seem to say that darker and edgier is bad, or deconstructions are bad, but they're not. Deconstruction is why Batman works, he's flawed in many ways and the best batman stories are the ones that exploit his flaws properly.

The problem isn't that people try to be darker, it's that nobody knows what that means. Darker is not 'more sex' 'more blood', darker is the way it impacts people. It is possible to make a whole series of comics or cartoons as dark as any Batman comic without using any adult themes. Infact, they have DONE that in the Batman Animated Series."

It is true to have darker edger stuff with certain characters isn't bad but when you radical change a character into doesn't work. For every batman there are ones that don't. Darker/edgier characters aren't bad. I like Spawn and Punisher for a long time. Authority too. Death has it's place in comics too but the problem is when you have whole sale death/destruction for events so you can have it. Characters dying or being ruined just because it's a event/crossover and dc felt they need. There was a lot of it in both good ones and bad. Countdown, Infinite Crisis, 52, Amazons Attack, Final Crisis etc. There was deaths that didn't matter to the story as Linkara mention about Firestorms. I will even mean jack drake's death too. What was the point? Oh that is right needless messing up Tim Drake. Death has become a joke in these events and pointless anymore. Rarely anyone stays dead anymore. Unless your name is Jack Drake or Ted Kord or Uncle Ben or Sue Dibney. So there not even shock value anymore.

YhuntressE said...

Did anyone else think that having Sue die just as she was about to reveal that she was pregnant with her and Ralph's first child was rather mean-spirited? As if it was just an attempt to even add more shock and angst upon the reader.

Combining the pregnancy with a less-is-more approach would've worked better (having Sue be injured and/or kidnapped) since the fact that having an extra life in danger could add to the tension of the story. Not to mention open-up new plot possibilities.

MIng said...

This is a break from your "mock the bad comic" review. You've made some very good points about Identity Crisis, particularly the pointless flashback for the rape and mindwipe and the pointless deaths that have occurred. I suppose there could be a story about the rape of Sue Dibny and subsequent mindwipe of Dr. Light without the murder, a good story that focuses on psychological consequences, instead of a murder mystery with rape as a plot point that is never brought up again.

Also, why did it call itself a love letter to the Silver Age? When I think of love letter to the Silver Age, I usually think of Astro City, Alan Moore's run on Supreme, and All Star Superman. From the tone of this book, I think it might as well be a love letter to the Dark Age of Comics.

Looking back at this, I think this is the moment where things really started going wrong with the DCU. I'm not saying everything after Identity Crisis was bad -- we have good stories like Infinite Crisis, 52, Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes, Sinestro Corps War, and Blackest Night/Brightest Day. Still, this is a foreshadowing of bad things that will happen -- shock deaths of lesser-known heroes and loved ones, unnecessary darkening of heroes (not that I'm against dark stories), and of course bad crossovers that drag down other series into their storylines. I think Flashpoint has officially removed Identity Crisis from canon, but I don't know . . .

Anyway, I enjoyed this analysis episode and hope to see next week's review

CaptainCalvinCat said...

@ The Exiled one

“It's not that it's funny or impossible, it's just that men experience it differently that women. It hits women harder than it hits men. It's more brutal, shocking and life-changing when it happens to a woman than when it happens to a man. Unless, of course, we are talking children, in which case it's brutal and life-changing regardless of the gender of the child.”

I think, it is as awful and life-changing, regardless to whom it happens – either if it happens to an adult or a child.
Think about it.
For a mature woman, it is hard enough to say, that she has been raped, without getting all this emotional turmoil again. For the man, there is this emotional turmoil, PLUS the fact, that – say – a majority of his male friends would say: “What, there was a beautiful woman, who had to RAPE you, in order to have sex with you?”. Furthermore there is the fact, that oneself (in especially, if one sees himself as a male man – one, who does not really have problems… a macho, if you want to say it) thinks about it, too. So – it is for any person a traumatic experience, or at least for the majority.


“I have zero interest in NCIS (which I always saw as incompetent and selfish), so my comment about CSI is more directed at either Grissom's show or Horatio's show.

And yes, I do believe either Horatio's team or Grissom's team could have solved this in minute, especially if Horatio/Grissom is familiarized with DC's technology.”
Erm… maybe if Horatio would have put on his sunglasses more than once in a minute.
NCIS is incompetent? I find them rather good – okay, they don’t show in all the little details, how a atery is ripped and so on, but, to be honest, that is something, I find rather gross over at CSI.
But that’s true, Horatio and Grissom (maybe the both of them together in a big crossover) would have solved that crime… maybe not in minutes, but in a matter of hours.

Who are the Wonder Twins and why does the majority hate them?
Are they as bad as Thea Gardner from Yu-Gi-Oh, always talking about “Friendship” and stuff?

Greets

Cal

Malken said...

There's one problem that Linkara hasn't addressed in the review which really annoyed me when I first read this story.

So after making it such an issue that heroes sometimes have to go to great lengths to protect their secret ID at all cost, and that their loved ones are always at risk of reprisals...Ray Palmer just dumps Jean Loring (who was shown to know the true ID of several of the major hitters in the hero community) in Arkham, the gathering ground of some of the most twisted and sadistic villains in the DCU.

Maybe it was mentionned in later stories, but there's nothing in Identity Crisis that suggests that Jean was mindwiped before getting commited. So shouldn't Ray's action be a huge liability for all the heroes and their loved ones?

Neotag said...

My biggest Problem with this series Is firestorms death. I love Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein What this series ended up doing to these two people I can Never forgive. And sorry there no way to say it and not come off as racist but this change really feels like DC was under pressure to get more "ethic" super heroes and they need to convert some of the mainstay heroes, but in this case it Just doesn't work. There was no reason to get rid of Ronnie his death was meaningless and it lead to a worse version of the hero. Jason Rusch did not work out well and to me came off as Shallow attempt to get inner city kids to read the series, And it failed Which is why they Keep removing Jason as the focus. Instead they brought back Ronnie as a stunt to try and up sells then "killed" him off again. Then went through several people to make the 2nd half of firestorm Mick Wong, Stine, Firehawk, Gehenna, ect. They couldn't find a new team to fit Firestorm after they killed Ronnie because they Fundamental changed who firestorm was from a happy go lucky Naive man who needs help from others. To a angst filled teenager with a chip on his holder leaving a trail of bodies.

Firestorm was turned into a joke and a mess because of the casual death given him and what I assume was Editorial mandates to get "urban Youth" to read the book.

Before you assume I just hate "ethic" superheroeses I loved what they did with Blubeetlele Kord Got a proper death and showed how smart and important he was, Jamie Reyes was a wonderful Blubeetle who took the hero to new and grand heights, And quite frank My favorite blue beetle(don't fuck him up in the "NEW" DC I'm watching you).

DarthShap said...

@Inquisitor
This is not just a "viewpoint". The story is called "Identity Crisis", a reference to both the dilemmas the heroes and villains have to face and their life outside of crimefighting, their secret "identity".

The rape was not supposed to be shock moment for the reader. It was supposed to be a new type of danger to the silver-bronze heroes. It was supposed to trigger their "identity crisis" and only rape could because they had faced kidnapping and violence in the past.

It might colour the book in your mind but personally that is not at all why I remember IC. It is indeed the catalyst for change, just like rape and murder are catalysts for change in Watchmen. I hope you do not remember Watchmen for those two scenes or love it for its murder mystery otherwise you are missing a lot of things.

And no, Identity Crisis was from the heroes viewpoints. It makes sense because it is their Identity Crisis, their responsability towards their loved ones.

Darth Shap said...

@ PopCultureOtaku

There are two types of deaths. The Firestorm death was useless indeed. It was probably an editorial mandate to diversify the DCU roster. The death of Jack Drake however is spot on.
IC is not really a mystery story, it is about dilemmas when faced with reality and secret identities. Superheroes and supervillains are shown as communities, not just gathering for big crossovers but spending time as friends and having a responsibility to their loved ones.

Again, the Green Arrow soliloquy is almost too didactic.
He literally explains what the story is trying to tell.

DarthShao said...

I rewatched the videos and Linkara does not even mention the point of the story.

It would be like explaining the plot of Watchmen like that:
"basically, a former superhero is killed, a lot of patting for the ten following chapters and finally in the end, we get the answer to the mystery, which is the most convoluted plan in History, involving a giant squid to unite the human race once and for all."

Pff...stupid comic.

DarthShap said...

Another great example showing how off the controversy surrounding the issue of rape is:
The Killing Joke is arguably one of the most perfect comic books in history, yet it features the torture and sexual aggressions of both Barbara and James Gordon. The story is not about them or how they got over it, it actually focuses on the Joker and Batman. Is it a bad comic book because of it? No, because it serves the story and it was necessary to the demonstration. The whole point was that Batman and the Joker were both crazy but in different ways. Tortures and sexual aggressions not only shows how vicious the Joker can be, it also goes to show how weak both Batman and the Joker are. What the Joker was trying to prove was that anyone after one bad day can lose it but as stressed by Batman, neither Babs nor Jim went crazy after all they have been through. The reason why this violence was necessary is that it demonstrates that Batman’s obsession and determination actually is proof of his weakness, his failure to let go of his parents. Should the story have focused on the psychological consequences to the Gordons? No, because it was not the point of the story.

The same goes with IC, violence in all its forms, acts as a catalyst and it is not necessarily bad writing because of it. You could argue that IC is badly written but this particular argument does not hold up. What you have to ask yourself is what a book called “Identity Crisis” was trying to say.

Alex Stritar said...

But Barbra and James weren't raped. Alan Moore said so himself.

DarthShap said...

"But Barbra and James weren't raped. Alan Moore said so himself."

I really do not want to talk about it but the only difference between "rape" and "sexual assault" is penetration. It depends on the person of course but the two can be as traumatic, especially in the conditions shown in the Killing Joke, so I do not think there is much of a difference to be made here.

And again, The Killing Joke is just one example out of many stories that are good despite the fact that the focus is not on the victim, proving how false this general principle is.

Of course, I am not arguing that it makes the story better. One of my favourite comic book is All Star Superman, far away from all of that. I also think that the Image 90's and most of the "edgy" stuff is awful but it does not mean that good stories cannot be made using what is awful in our reality and not focusing on the victims but on the crimefighters.

Anonymous said...

There was implied rape but it was only implied.

He's right in that the story isn't about them because they are the ones who withstand the torture just fine. The Gordons are simply there to contrast Batman and Joker by standing up, dusting themselves off, and carrying on.

Nobody stands up, dust themselves off, and carries on after the rape. Mindwipes, massive coverups, this is a big event that impacted all of the heroes and yet none of the impact is properly explored! It's an accessory to Doctor Bright's sideplot that doesn't go anywhere, and that's just insulting.

Gerardo said...

Hello! This is the first video I see, and while I dont like the condesenting tone (Like my preacher said "Is not that Im saying beign Gay is bad, Is just It sucks and you are walking a path to hell") I felt sad because I thought Identity Crisis was Awsome, after this I just think is very good, hahaha.

I see like 13 of your points and I see how that can affect an old fan, but for someone new and not biased is a great introduction despite the woman in refrigerators (Besides 52 gave us the ghost detective dibnys!) Other than that we have the same tastes!

Have you done a review of World of New Krypton, the James Robinson run of superman before Didio told him to kill the kryptonians in War of the Supermen. (flashfact: Didio hates Robinson, he also told him to kill all generic cities and kill mia dearden)

You rock linkara! 90% of the time!

Radical Raven said...

Writing this before I watch the review:

I think the biggest problem with Identity Crisis was that it was trying to deal with big, philosophical question about the very NATURE of superheroes, and the writer and artist just weren't up to the task. It reminds me a little of Marvel's Civil War crossover that way, athough that story fared a little better since the Marvel characters are darker by default - the stretchy cola powered guy is harder to put in a story like this than, say, Spider-Man. (Not saying it COULDN'T be done, mind you - but it's harder.)

That's why Sue Dibny's rape scene didn't work. The scene was technically well done, but as part of a story it seemed nonsensical, sort of silly, and, yes, vagely shock value-ish and disrespectful.

One particular thing I thought was mishandled was the outrage at Light's "lobotomy". es - lobotmizing or trying to erase someones personality is HORRIBLE and Batman should have been pissed. But the book made it seem like even erasing MEMORIES was an awful crime, which I really don't buy.

Gerardo said...

Also this was the series that make me interested on Tim Drake and lead me to the first 30 numbers of Johns's Titans (the best numbers of the entire run, even if fan favourites Zachary Zatara, Miss Martian, Red Devil and Rose Wilson only apeared after 31#)

And then to the cool Red Robin series. With Identity Crisis I regain the interest I lost in th 90 and started reading Johns's JSA (the first 50 numbers that were the 1999-2003 run, the Johns went down mediocre) and Gail Simone's Birds of Prey, then 52, New Krypton, Morrison's Batman & the fine Siniestro Corps War without mentionimg the masterwork Batwoman:Elegy.

All because of Robin, all because of Identity Crisis, so people on the comments, just because you dont like It or because is not good enough It doesnt make It a BAD series. If you want to talk about bad then talk about Infinite Crisis, the worst thing Johns have produced close to flahspoint bad, Countdown bad for what It did to DC Universe and for beign the launch of the Didio Era.

So please be gentler, this isnt Countdown or Cry For Justice, Linkara explicitly said that many people got in comics with this, so the whole "since here we go down" or "this is retarded/for retarded" cant be true (exept if you are willingly to dismiss a lot of people).

Identity Crisis brougth a lot people into comics, It was one of the best things for the industry sale wise, DC was in the spotlight. If linkara can be nicer despise all the hate he exudes on the video why cant you be as well?

Reepicheep-chan said...

To be completely fair, Dr. Light did not have his ass kicked by the Titans, he got defeated eventually after every single hero who ever was in the Titans all ganged up on him at once. Since his goal was basically to prove that he was a legit villain and not a joke, I think that story played out pretty well.

Ok, I admit it, I mostly just thought the idea of the grown-up heroes brainwashing a villain and him then becoming a punching bag for the teen hero was funny as hell :3

I agree with everything else you said, though. I was all kinds of upset at Robin's dad getting the ax, capes with living parents seem to be a bit of a minority in the DC-verse.

Matt said...

Another thing this series did that was very similar to the 90s was get rid of an existing character to make room for a newer analogue version despite the fact that there was nothing wrong with the original. It made it into a trend again.

Look at the new Firestorm and Blue Beetle. Were they bad? NO, but there was nothing wrong with the originals. Ted Kord didn't have to die to make room for Jaime Reyes. Seriously, you could have just called him the Scarab. Done deal.

Then there's the retcons thrown in just to make things seem darker than they actually were, like that suddenly makes it deeper. They used to do it all the time with the X-Men, where every member of the team seemed to have some secret connection to Gambit from prior to when both of them joined the team, and it was always something too dark to speak of again. At least then it served the purpose of making him a more mysterious and conflicted character, which was his shtick.

"You remember those bright, fun Silver Age stories? Well guess what, some major messed up shit was going actually going down that you never saw!"

I get it, I know what he was going for. Look at all the nostalgia people have for the squeaky clean 50s and 60s, and now people tell stories about the secret shit that went down behind the scenes. It's shocking and seems a lot more realistic than what happened in an episode of Father Knows Best.

But we're not talking about the real world, we're talking about comics. And with DC especially, thanks to all their Crisis reboots, those stories didn't need to be made more realistic. Who's to say how those stories were affected by the revamps? It doesn't matter that those old Silver Age stories were goofy, because most of them didn't even count after 1985, and the ones that did, it was implied things went down a lot differently than they did in their original form.

Like someone else said, the "Dark Ages" of comics don't exist and it's a term I hate because it's so mean spirited and FALSE. This comic, as Linkara pointed out, set up more bad stories than good, it wasn't worth what it destroyed. People seem to only remember the successes of this decade, while those of the past decade are glossed over in favor of Badrock jokes.

And I'd like to end on by dispelling a common myth about the 90s, that of the Image style of art. Based of Linkara's reviews, you'd think all of the 90s were dominated by Liefeld impersonatots.

But as Kendall from Not Blog X (the best blog out there for critical analysis of 90s comics and especially the X-Men)points out, the Image style of art fell out of favor pretty quickly, so that by the end of 1994, it was pretty much gone within the mainstream books. A lot of this had to do with the rising popularity of Joe Mad on Uncanny X-Men, which led to a lot of his own imitators (like Roger Cruz, Jeff Matsuda, Ed Mcguiness, etc.) X-Treme art did live on, but in a altered form that incorporated the rising popularity of manga inspired artists.

Actually, you can draw a lot of comparisons to the popular music of the time - grunge exploded in the early 90s, was pretty much dead by 94 and ended up finishing out the decade in a very different yet similar form as post-grunge. Yet when people look back on any point in the 90s, all they seem to remember is grunge.

I know this went off topic a bit, but since I was on the topic of the 90s and how this decade isn't better/ the 90s were worse, I though I might as well get this off my chest.

Radical Raven said...

OK: I watched it. GREAT review/list, first of all - Pretty much a perfect, funny, logical takedown of the book. Best video in a while, five stars, blah blah blah.

Now, as for the Meltzer quote about the story being a "love-letter to the Silver Age", I think that one is explained by the sentence directly after the part you highlighted: "In my own selfish way, I want them back". Sounds to me like a writer trying to force his favorite characters to grow up with him - which, as we know, is ALWAYS a great idea.

Here's an idea: After Dr. Light regains his memories he goes on a rampage, becoming the ACTUAL threat Loring intended to be. Loring stops him, sacrificing herself in the process. Better ending?

Though, that would deny us Eclipso!Loring, one of the things to come out of this book I didn't disapprove of.

MattComix said...

Loved this review. I know you won't say that Identity Crisis is completely worthless. But I will.

Identity Crisis is completely bygod friggin worthless! It accomplishes nothing but the same tired "darker is always better" shtick comics have been stuck in forever and a day now.

..and DC is still on it. It's gotten to the point where a lot of their titles are little more than horror movies in superhero drag. I wish they'd just buy the Saw license and it get it out of their system that way instead of in the superhero line.

Craig said...

I just thought of something that's even more stupid about the mind wipes. In addition to Dr. Light it was revealed that villains like Catwoman, Trickster, Heatwave and Pied Piper were also mind wiped.

So the League goes on a mind wiping spree and DOESN'T take down big name villains like Luthor or R'as al Ghul? Genuine big threats to humanity go unwiped?

This not only makes the "heroes" villainous for doing the mindwiping in the first place, it also makes them monumentally stupid!

Jarkes said...

"Have you done a review of World of New Krypton, the James Robinson run of superman before Didio told him to kill the kryptonians in War of the Supermen. (flashfact: Didio hates Robinson, he also told him to kill all generic cities and kill mia dearden)"

I was wondering when someone was going to mention that. Yes, as monumentally idiotic as wiping out Star City and killing Lian Harper was, Cry for Justice could've been a lot worse, and Robinson actually did his best to blunt (not soften) the blow.

Nitz the Bloody said...

My response, with plenty of rage;


http://nitzthebloody.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-do-superhero-fans-fear-drama.html

Spokavriel ( Daniel Thomas Stack ) said...

. . . . Sex eugenics and Aids. . . .
Who in the world wrote a comic for Planned Parenthood featuring the real life activities of Margret Sanger?

You know the Founder of Planned Parenthood who went to KKK Rallies as a featured speaker and is known as a Mother of not just the Feminist Movement but also Eugenics. She was also one person known to have brought the concept of Eugenics to Germany and taught them the concept of a Master Race between WWI and WWII.

I don't have any idea what comic company would have been well... Historically truthful/honest enough to publish anything like that.

Spokavriel ( Daniel Thomas Stack ) said...

Oops, forgot to include this. I know you have an accent you cannot get over. But for future Reference Nevada is pronounced with the a sounds in cat not the a sounds in car.

Its a tiny thing but one of my personal pet peves. And it irks me every time I hear it. Its not like Missouri where its spoken both ways in state.

The Exiled One said...

Craig:

But, of course, DC would never do that, since that would prevent DC from writing good stories about them. And is unlikely that they'll bring the mindwiping in the new post-Relaunch universe.

Though the mindwipe COULD have been used to remove some of the lesser-used villain like Doctor Psycho, the Prankster, Killer Croc or Firefly

Malken:

Jean Loring was possessed by Eclipso before that could happen. And Eclipso had no desire to screw with the loved ones of the heroes.

CaptainCalvinCat:

The Wonder Twins are Zan and Jayna, two character from the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon "Superfriends". By bumping their fists together and yelling "WONDER TWINS POWER, ACTIVATE!", Zan could turn into anything made of water, provided he said "Form of (whatever thing made of water he wanted to turn into)!", and Jayna could turn into any animal, provided she said "Form of (whatever animal she wanted to turn into)!"

People may hate them (althought they are not as hated as Wendy and Marvin, which is why they had Wndy and Marvin mauled by Wonder Dog) because they are kid-appeal characters created specifically for the cartoon show. They never talked about friendship THAT much, but they had a chipper, cheerful attitude and they were always smiling. Picture superhero versions of Obscurus Lupa.

DC introduced them into the comics during "Extreme Justice"...and promptly forgot about them.

They DID appear in an episode of "Smallville", though. David Gallagher played Zan and Allison Scagliotti played Jayna.

Also, Downpour and Shifter from "Justice League Unlimited" are supposed to be that show's version of Zan and Jayna.

Oh, and they had a blue monkey called Gleek.

And my impression of the NCIS team is that they are a bunch of sociopaths that couldn't care less about stopping crime and protecting the innocent. They always seem bored with detective work, and they joke around too much in crime scenes.

Horatio and Grissom (and, by proxy, their respective teams) seem to have stronger morals and more commited to protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. One of them (I don't remember if it was someone on Horatio's team or on Grissom's team) even said that his fantasy was that people stopped killing each other.

As for all the IC defenders going on and on about symbolism and deth, look up "Everyone is Jesus in Purgatory" on TV Tropes. Or remember Freud's quote:

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

And just like Freud's cigar was just a cigar, IC is just a tie-in to "Infinite Crisis". Nothing more, nothing less. It didn't set to do anything other than lead up to "Infinite Crisis". That means that all the symbolism and deep messages that you talk about just aren't there. This ISN'T "Watchmen" or "The Killing Joke", this is just an "Infinite Crisis" tie-in.

CaptainCalvinCat said...

@ The Exiled one

Superhero versions of Obscurus Lupa? Cute. ^^
I like her. ^^

Allison Scagliotti? The girl that starred in Warehouse 13?

@ the thing with the NCIS-team…
Okay – how many episodes did you watch?
Probably as much as me watching CSI, because all I see, is Horatio putting his sunglasses up and down.

In reality, he does a lot more than that, and Gibbs and his colleagues are really trying, solving the crime.

MattComix said...

@Nitz the Bloody

(from the article) "Fun is part of life; it is not all of life."

Neither is darkness and death.

Trike said...

I like a good rant as much as the next guy, but isn't this shooting fish in a barrel? I mean, Meltzer is a shit writer, so what did anyone expect? All the stuff wrong with Identity Crisis is wrong with his novels.

Also, it's DC. It doesn't matter what you think of the characters and their legacy, DC has a decades-long history of publishing incredibly stupid comics and making idiotic decisions. (Recent reboot included.) The reason they're getting their asses handed to them is because they don't put out good books.

DarthShap said...

"As for all the IC defenders going on and on about symbolism and deth, look up "Everyone is Jesus in Purgatory" on TV Tropes. Or remember Freud's quote:

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

And just like Freud's cigar was just a cigar, IC is just a tie-in to "Infinite Crisis". Nothing more, nothing less. It didn't set to do anything other than lead up to "Infinite Crisis". That means that all the symbolism and deep messages that you talk about just aren't there. This ISN'T "Watchmen" or "The Killing Joke", this is just an "Infinite Crisis" tie-in."

First, it cannot be a tie-in since it was published more than a year before.
Second, I am going to answer full geek on with a Small Soldiers quote : "Just because you can't see something, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist."
I am not saying that this of the same quality as Watchmen. For a start, it did not revolutionize comics. However, it is not because it was not written by Moore, Morrison or Gaiman that it cannot have a point.
As I said before, it also seems too didactic to me in Green Arrow's soliloquy. Kind of like Cooke's Batman Ego, a character literally explains what the book is trying to say. "Show, don't tell" is one of the most important rules of writing but apparently even with Meltzer showing, you did not get it.
I do not even know what you mean. To you, is it just a mystery story with a multiplicity of unconnected subplots? Can't you see patterns, arcs liking all those scenes? The very reason why the series is called "Identity Crisis"?

You remind me of all the critics of Grant Morrison's. Even worst because you will never find the meaning being showed to you in his books, again unlike IC where GA literally explains it all.

The Exiled One said...

"To you, is it just a mystery story with a multiplicity of unconnected subplots?"

No, I can't. I happen to agree with everything Linkara said.

And "Infinite Crisis" was planned a year in advance. So yes, this was supposed to be the lead-in to "Infinite Crisis", much like "Amazons Attacks" was a lead-in to "Countdown", and "Countdown" was a lead-in to "Final Crisis". These "event comics" take at least a year to thik up in advance, which is why the lead-ins are written and released first.

And it's called "Identity Crisis" because it was a "crisis crossover", and because the heroes were worried about their secret identities being compromised.

And Grant Morrison is just...weird. Too weird for my taste. He just confuses me, he's just too weird. However, I DO like "Flex Mentallo", if only because it's another example of a genuine love letter to the Silver Age.

You know what Trike said? THAT is my opinion on IC: Meltzer is a shit writing, and this book shits on the legacy of DC heroes for the sake of a lead-in to an "event comic". It's like finding symbolism in "The Room" or "Battlefield Earth": even if you DO find it, the movies are still crap.

By the way: I also don't like "NCIS" because they ONLY solve crimes that relate to the Navy, while Horatio's team/Grissom's team protect everyone.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"And "Infinite Crisis" was planned a year in advance. So yes, this was supposed to be the lead-in to "Infinite Crisis", much like "Amazons Attacks" was a lead-in to "Countdown", and "Countdown" was a lead-in to "Final Crisis". These "event comics" take at least a year to thik up in advance, which is why the lead-ins are written and released first."

Erm, to clarify - Amazons Attack was NOT a lead-in to Countdown. Amazons Attack happened SIMULTANEOUSLY with Countdown. Countdown started, then Amazons Attack started later.

CaptainCalvinCat said...

@ TEO: “By the way: I also don't like "NCIS" because they ONLY solve crimes that relate to the Navy, while Horatio's team/Grissom's team protect everyone.”

That might have something to do with the fact, that they are the – you might call it: Navy Police. The N in NCIS is a clear sign for that. Naval criminal investigative Service.

@ Linkara
“Erm, to clarify - Amazons Attack was NOT a lead-in to Countdown. Amazons Attack happened SIMULTANEOUSLY with Countdown. Countdown started, then Amazons Attack started later.”

By the way, are there Wonder Woman comics out there, which are decent and buyable – I mean: Amazons Attack was NOT decent and not buyable. I have “rise of the olympian” and feel entertained by it, but … are there other ones, one would say “If you see that at the supermarket or bookstore or trainstation… buy it in any case.”?

Greets

Cal

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Okay, I actually screwed up - the first issue of Amazons Attack hit about two weeks before Countdown started.

However, it's still not a "lead-in" because they were taking place at the same time.

DarthShap said...

@ the Exiled One:
I understand, it is your opinion. The thing is, I feel like IC is not properly understood by a lot of readers. There is a reason why a lot of people like it, why for instance IGN listed it as one of the best comic book events in History.
"Identity Crisis checked the knock-down, drag-out superhero fisticuffs at the door to instead focus on a touching tale about the cost of being a masked (or caped) vigilante."
I am just saying that maybe this is what is being remembered because it was the real focus of the story, not the murder mystery.

Le Messor said...

It's weird how tastes work out.
I agree with Linkara about his 'background' points here - that turning comics dark, depressing, and morose is really bad. I don't like it.
And wayyyy too serious.
My favourite period is the Bronze age - when comics were sophisticated, without being too serious, and everything in them had to be put through a peer-reviewed scientific journal first. Like now.
They were fun, without being OTT goofy, like the Silver Age (which I would rather read than a lot of serious current stuff, btw).

But I don't mind this series at all.
That said, I don't really know the characters involved or their previous stories.
(I'm not going to defend IC, just say I don't mind it.)

Thing is, I dislike 52 for being too shockingly violent (among other things); but Linkara likes it. I loathe Alan Moore for the same dark, too-serious, throw a rape in every comic (The Killing Joke mentioned rape by saying specifically that it didn't happen - so why bring it up?) that Linkara hates this for. And yet, Linkara likes Moore.
NB: I *can* and do appreciate the man's talent and skill.
Note to other posters: please don't suggest I read Tom Strong or Tomorrow Stories. I don't like Alan Moore, I don't want to like Alan Moore, I don't need a gateway drug, and I owe it to precisely nobody to like him.
Yes, I am aware there is an unwritten rule written down somewhere that all comics readers must be Moore fanboys; I just don't care.

Anonymous said...

So Linkara, what do you think of males as sex objects in stories?
http://www.comicbookresources.com/assets/images/articles/1327699519.jpg

:P

CaptainCalvinCat said...

While talking about Alan Moore: I originally liked the League of extraordinary Gentlemen comics... they were not great drafted, but had some fun moments... but then... not only the rape-scene between Hyde and Skinner, but... the whole "Mina is weak"-thingie - I liked her better in the movie, although it was quite unfaithful to the source-material.

And - I watched the movie first, and read the comic later... that is why I like both - the comic (minus the Mina is weak-thing) and the movie, where Mina is kick-ass.

Greets

Cal

jetstream said...

"So Linkara, what do you think of males as sex objects in stories?
http://www.comicbookresources.com/assets/images/articles/1327699519.jpg

:P"


Is it just me, or does his butt look weird?

Gerardo said...

I think everyone have reasons to hate It or Love It, but if Linkara is beign nice at the begining even when the whole review is about how he hate Identity Crisis, because this is not Cry for Justice, is not Watchmen either.

Identity Crisis brought a lot of readers into DC, if DC went into a killing spree and dark and griter later is maybe because Identity Crisis SUCCES but Identity Crisis is inocent of recent mistakes, this was around 2003-2004!

And Identity Crisis didnt exactly change the status quo like Civil War or Infinite Crisis

PopCultureOtaku said...

Another thing about firestorm not really mention and I didn't mention here he had a pretty good run as solo star. If they hadn't change stein into fire elemental it may have gone a little longer. I honestly don't remember how stein stopped being that how or Jason got his powers back. To me why the new was never excepted. A character that was well established as JLA member and even was on one super power cartoons.

The Exiled One said...

Ok, just replace "lead-in" with "tie-in".

Same concept, really.

My points is that all lead-ins/tie-ins/whatever set out to do is compliment a big "crisis crossover". It's like looking for symbolism in "Secrets of House of M": all it's meant to do is tie in with "House of M".

"It's not properly understood". There's nothing to "understand". All that it matters is that the story connects to "Infinite Crisis". That's ALL it sets out to do.

CaptainCalvinCat:

The reason you liked the movie is because it's more faithful to the REAL source material: the original books where those characters come from.

Moore threw his usual dark deconstruction stuff at those characters, deconstructing them in dark and horrific ways.

The movie, on the other hand, portrayed Mina exactly as Bram Stoker wrote her, Quatermain exactly as H. Rider Haggard wrote him, Nemo exactly as Jules Verne wrote him, Mr. Hyde exactly as Robert Louis Stevenson wrote him, Dorian Gray exactly as Oscar Wilde wrote him and Moriarty exactly as Arthur Conan Doyle wrote him.

It's like comparing the 1999 Hallmark version of "Alice in Wonderland" with the Jan Svanmaker version: the 1999 version (like the LXG movie) is a more-or-less faithful adaptation of the original book, while the Jan Svanmaker version (like the LXG comic) is a dark deconstruction of the book.

Le Messor:

Have you ever read Alan Moore's run on "Supreme"?

"Supreme" is the only Alan Moore work that is NOT dark. It's a cheerful, upbeat celebration of superheroes and the Silve Age, as well as the great homage to Superman ever.

Gerardo:

Identity Crisis changed the status quo as much as Infinite Crisis since Identity Crisis is supposed to be a tie-in/lead-in to Infinite Crisis, therefore Identity Crisis IS INfinite Crisis. You can't separate one from the other, and it's pointless to pretend that Identity Crisis did its own thing.

And even if you DO pretend that Identity Crisis is its own thing, it STILL changed the status quo. Sue Dibny is dead, the original Firestorm is dead, Captain Boomerang is dead, Jack Drake is dead, Tim Drake is now an orphan, Doctor Light is now a serious threat, Zatanna uses her magic to mindwipe everyone she wants to mindwipe, Jean Loring is an insane murderer, and Doctor Light is a rapist. How is all of that NOT changing the status quo?

spritle911 said...

i surprised you didn't mention the completely pointless subplot involving lex luthor's powersuit.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

""Supreme" is the only Alan Moore work that is NOT dark."

Clesrly you have never read Tom Strong.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"i surprised you didn't mention the completely pointless subplot involving lex luthor's powersuit."

I was originally going to, but then I realized it's not really a subplot - it's brought up only in the first issue and then NEVER mentioned again. It's only there to have a tie-in with Teen Titans later, otherwise it's not a subplot as much as a "behold this DCU reference!"

Darth Shap said...

"My points is that all lead-ins/tie-ins/whatever set out to do is compliment a big "crisis crossover". It's like looking for symbolism in "Secrets of House of M": all it's meant to do is tie in with "House of M"."
"Identity Crisis changed the status quo as much as Infinite Crisis since Identity Crisis is supposed to be a tie-in/lead-in to Infinite Crisis, therefore Identity Crisis IS INfinite Crisis. You can't separate one from the other, and it's pointless to pretend that Identity Crisis did its own thing."
But every comic book leads to another. Except for rare exceptions such as Sandman or Starman in which the main character dies or retires, you will never get a definitive ending, especially for crossover events. That being said, how does it contradict that a writer at some point would like to tell a story about what it would be like for a person with friends and family to be a superhero in our reality?
You are just telling me how it fits in continuity, and it does by a year indeed, but this is not really an argument.

Spokavriel ( Daniel Thomas Stack ) said...

Now if only there were some way to adapt Big Lipped Alligator Moment for comics. After all that Armor on Luthor is far from the only time something flashy and potentially impressive goes no where and contributes nothing to the plot.

Anonymous said...

Say Linkara, What do you think are the top 5 best imprints of the DC Relaunch?

Please respond soon.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Say Linkara, What do you think are the top 5 best imprints of the DC Relaunch?

Please respond soon."

Well, if you were following "That's All I'm Saying," I would often talk about what I thought were good books.

1. Scott Snyder's Batman
2. Justice League International
3. Green Lantern
4. Batwoman
5. Batgirl

Although those are off the top of my head.

Le Messor said...

Exiled One:

Le Messor: 'Have you ever read Alan Moore's run on "Supreme"?'

I have not.
But, as Linkara has mentioned, he's written other non-dark things (namely Tom Strong and Tomorrow Stories). Which I haven't read.
I HAVE read The Killing Joke (which I like), Watchmen, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Miracleman, Captain Britain, and possibly other things that are slipping my mind at the moment.

They are enough to make me decide that, while he is very skilled at his craft, I don't want anything to do with him.

Anonymous said...

What about Demon Knights, or has it gotten less in quality since it's start?

Same guy asking by the way.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"What about Demon Knights, or has it gotten less in quality since it's start?

Same guy asking by the way."

Almost forgot about Demon Knights! Nope, it hasn't. Read it. Buy it.

CaptainCalvinCat said...

Linkara, just a question, that popped into my head - what do you think of the "Darkest night/Brightest Day" event-comics?

Greets

Cal

Anonymous said...

You're right about Demon Knights, Vandal Savage is hilarious in it.

"This is an inn! I want to be in an inn!"

SMASH

Anonymous said...

Hello Linkara,

First off I wanna say that I enjoyed your Identity Crisis "review".

However there's a comment you made in it that even after a week still bothers me the comment about Turner's cover's. Your entitled your your opinion, if your not a fan than your not a fan. I want to make it clear that I'm not berating you for speaking ill of the dead, for all I know you didn't know that. I just found the comment rather tasteless in both wording and display.

" He only knows how to draw two faces male and Female."-Linkara

Well Linkara, when you are drawing human beings that's generally how you draw them.

I know you meant; "he can only draw one type of female face, and one type of male face, but that's not what you said. I would also direct you to a lot of art using the same face, but "pallet swapping" the hair, eyes and clothing, hell that's 90% of the anime industry.

Point is you weren't talking about the covers, but the art of the book, it was not necessary for you to be talking about one artist, and talking a stab at another, unless you were directly talking about the covers.

It would be like me reviewing you, talking about how I enjoy your enthusiasm, and than flash in text across the screen trash talk about The Last Angry Geek because he's monotone.

Its just out of place and really had no point in the review, if you had something to say about the cover's it should have been in your review to begin with since that's not something too uncommon for you to talk about.

Again I'm sure you don't care, you have your opinion and your welcome to it. I'm just letting you know I found it rather tasteless in presentation, Turner's cover's deserve the same respect or lack-there-of that you have shown to any other comic on this show, and not just a flash of text. He was one of the best pencilers in the industry, over came a lot, he deserves that much.

-- Criss

The Exiled One said...

My point is the writer DIDN'T think "I want to tell a story about what it would be like for a person with friends and family to be a superhero in our reality." He thought "I want to write a comic that ties-in with Infinite Crisis."

That is ALL that went throught his head, and the heads of everyone involved: creating something that ties-in with Infinite Crisis.

All that deep message and symbolism is NOT what the writer intended to do, not by a long shot.

Also: why are so many people ragging on Blackest Night? i find the concept of every single dead DC character coming back as a superpowered zombie to wreck havoc among the living to be awesome. Sure, some heroes got killed in the process, but most of them got revived by the power of the White Lantern, so it's OK.

My only beef with it is that, despite Nekron weilding the power of death itself, Death of the Endless never appears to kick Nekron's ass. I know that Death of the Endless is supposed to be chipper and cheerful (again, much like Obscurus Lupa), but even she wouldn't tolerate Nekron stepping on her turf. But even said that, "Blackest Night" is still awesome.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

You are of course free to have your opinion on that.

However, while I have nothing but sympathy for the people who knew and loved Michael Turner, I will not change my opinion of his artwork just because of his very tragic passing a few years ago.

In my opinion, while he had a good eye for composition and layout (which is more than can be said for a lot of artists), in my opinion his artwork was TERRIBLE. Character faces all had the exact same structure but with different hair and eye color and his superheroes usually followed two rigid body types: stick-figure women and over-muscled men. The eyes that he drew always looked bizarre to me, containing a kind of soulless quality to them and again, on women, they always seemed to have three layers of eyeliner on them.

Was it like that on EVERY SINGLE image he ever pencilled? No, and in fact I can pick out a few covers here and there that I actually think look pretty decent, but it's what I noticed about the vast majority of his work. If you liked his art, that's fine - like with Identity Crisis, this show is an expression of my own opinion and you do not have to automatically agree with me.

DarthShap said...

"My point is the writer DIDN'T think "I want to tell a story about what it would be like for a person with friends and family to be a superhero in our reality." He thought "I want to write a comic that ties-in with Infinite Crisis."

That is ALL that went throught his head, and the heads of everyone involved: creating something that ties-in with Infinite Crisis.

All that deep message and symbolism is NOT what the writer intended to do, not by a long shot."

So what you meant was that it was editorially mandated. Well, I have news for you: every story is editorially mandated. The writers are assigned a series, a goal and limits. The fact that it is a lead-in or a tie-in is irrelevant. A serious writer with an idea in mind will be able to do something within those limits while others will just write mechanically to get from point A to point B, with a villain in the way. How can you claim to know what Meltzer was thinking when his footnotes say the exact opposite?

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