Saturday, July 10, 2004

Identity Crisis #1(of 7)

writer: Brad Meltzer
artist: Rags Morales
published by DC Comics

Yeah, I know the book's been out for damn near a month. Yeah, I know everyone and their mother's reviewed it. But...DAMN.
I've never read any of Meltzer's thrillers in mere text form, but I might consider it after just this first issue. I can already tell that this miniseries is going to have an impact on me as a reader.
The story starts off with old school JLAer Ralph Dibny, aka Elongated Man, on a stakeout. He's one of the few superheroes who's abandoned a secret identity and operates in public. Elongated Man's an affable guy with a wife who loves him and a love for mysteries.
His wife is actually planning a surprise party for his birthday and usually sets up a mystery for him to solve.
The story cuts periodically to many of the major players in the DC Comics stable as they receive news that instantly makes them rush off from their normal activities. Something terrible has happened. From the cover, you know someone's gonna die. That big coffin under all of the somber looking superheroes is kind of a giveaway.
The story is big and epic (just about everything with the JLA in it is big and epic), but it's also one of the most personal stories I've read in comics. You mourn with these titans as one of their own is laid to rest. But...there's a secret some of them are keeping from the rest. Hawkman, Green Arrow, Zatanna, Black Canary and Atom know who committed the murder, and from the last two pages of the book...the perpetrator's gonna regret it...
Great stuff. The writing is taut and fast-paced. I don't know that Brad Meltzer has done comics work before, but he shows great knowledge and love for the characters of the DCU. I'd be interested in seeing where this story goes, because so far it's a doozy. Add to that the solid pencils of Rags Morales, and you have a great book on your hands. Great, great stuff.

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