Friday, June 11, 2004

Quick comic reviews! Some good stuff this week, and here's one of the highlights:
Identity Crisis #1
This DC miniseries has been hyped to hell and back, a murder mystery that incorporates the entire DC universe of heroes and villains. But if you discount the hype (and the ridiculous attempts to compare it to "Watchmen") and inevitable fanboy bitching online about it all, it's pretty darn good so far. Mystery novelist Brad Meltzer, who did a decent run on "Green Arrow" a while back, makes this a story about character rather than the huge cosmos-shaking nonsense that makes most crossovers in the past 10 years repetitve, cluttered numbness ("JLA/Avengers," anyone?).
I don't want to give away "who dies" this issue, although I'll note it's someone most people will never have heard of except for longtime comics fans, and it's hardly a marquee name. Yet that's not really the point. You know they aren't going to kill off Batman. The death here is real, as a comics death can be, and has a genuine effect on the Justice League and other heroes shown.
I've always had a fondness for the late '70s/early 1980s "satellite" era Justice League, and from the looks of it, the Green Arrow, Black Canary, Hawkman, Atom and Elongated Man combo will be the main part of this series. Meltzer knows that a good line of dialogue or a telling gesture matters more than seeing universes juggled about, and it's a very solid first issue, well written with great art by Rags Morales, and more importantly, the death is just part of what appears to be an even larger puzzle. If the next 6 issues can keep up the pace, this will be one of the best crossovers in a long time. It's good superhero comics, to be sure. Grade: A-

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