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Identity Crisis Hardcover – October 1, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This seven-issue miniseries by bestselling author Meltzer (The Zero Game) was both wildly popular and reviled, and the collection shows that both views have merit. It does knock the rust off scores of DC characters while opening avenues to explore post-9/11 morality. On the other hand, it trashes the roles of characters whom readers have come to consider old friends and tampers outrageously with years' worth of continuity. The story begins shockingly when the wife of the minor super hero Elongated Man is brutally murdered. Things get increasingly serious as other members of the Justice League of America find that their loved ones are targets. The super villains are a lot nastier than they used to be; the heroes, meanwhile, are forced to admit that they could have been responsible for some of what's gone wrong when they started tampering with the minds of villains who deserved it or even fellow heroes who merely disapproved of the idea. This makes familiar heroes more morally ambiguous;more human;and the old, easy trust is lost, with long-term consequences still to be revealed in future DC story lines. In the meantime, Meltzer's script and Bair's inking of Morales's penciled art serves the realistic aspect of the characters very well, making this book a genuine comics landmark. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–After the tragic death of Sue Debny, the wife of the Elongated Man, the members of the Justice League of America and most of the DC superheroes are brought together to investigate. Sues murder is unsettling for a couple of reasons: she was a friend, and whoever committed the crime knew enough personal information to be able to sneak past security. Even more troubling are the letters that the family members of other heroes receive, indicating that they are the next targets. The superheroes split into teams to follow the leads that they are most suited to solve. The novel asks: how far do you go to protect your loved ones? What if everything you stand for goes against your need to protect your family? The story moves quickly and the full-color artwork is splendid. Morales captures human emotion in such a way that he breathes life and authenticity into the characters. The coloring job is superb: the dark, somber tones perfectly set the mood. Some of the action occurs offscreen, such as the flashback to Sues rape, making what happens even more dramatic and powerful. Featuring a good mystery, great fight scenes, and good writing, Identity Crisis is an exciting read for fans of the DC universe.–Erin Dennington, Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (September 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401206883
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401206888
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephanie Crawford VINE VOICE on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Up until recently I've been a very casual comic book reader. After reading various comics published by DC that mentioned "Identity Crisis" and finding it hard to avoid "spoilers" everywhere on the web I picked this up the day it was released to get caught up and find out what all the fuss was about. After closing the book, I was shocked about how much a "superhero book" could affect me emotionally. I had lost a very beloved family member a few days before reading this, and I'll admit it did affect the way I viewed this book. But in looking back at it "cold", I believe it stands incredibly well as a graphic novel, a tragic love story and a mystery.

The plot has already been gone over well, so I won't go there. Basically, it's what would be a fairly standard mystery except for that it surrounds the murder of the wife of someone named "The Elongated Man", has Wonder Woman deliver the eulogy, and a perplexing question is how a murderer could get around technology from places including Krypton. Typing it, it does sound like the book could have been a huge joke and misstep for DC- but in my opinion it was very effective.

I was not familiar with Sue Dibny, but I cried when her husband held her dead body in his arms (and saw the surprise present she gave him for his birthday) and the scenes at her funeral. My heart went out when another character lost a very close loved one, and I really felt the tension when the Justice League were at moral odds with one another. I will admit I was very unhappy when we were shown that Sue had been attacked before- by being raped by someone usually referred to as a fairly silly villian. This scene was the hardest for me to read.
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Format: Paperback
I used to be a DC comic addict, and in the mid-'80s spent more than I should have buying issue after issue of all that DC and First Comics could put out. As I got older, I stopped buying the mags (I was spending my money on dates, then marriage, now kids...) and lost touch with the genre. But sometimes, while browsing in a book store, my legs would take me to the graphic novel section. My eyes would scan the titles, and from time-to-time I'd let temptation get the better of me. The Ultimate Spider-Man for instance,and the new JLA comics in particular caught my eye.

And just last month, I bought this book. I was attracted by Brad Meltzer's name on the spine. I like the guy's thrillers. They're usually mindless fun, perfect for a quick read. I thumbed through the book and liked what I saw of the art. I bought it.

And I'm glad I did.

This is one of the best graphic novels I have ever read, and it will hold a place of honor on my bookshelf, next to my Dark Knight Returns and Ultimate Spider-Man collection. This will be reread time and time again, and I'm glad I got around my aversion to buying comics again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an amazing story! I used to mainly read Marvel Comics bcuz quite frankly DC is so very hard to just jump right into...however this collection had everything I wanted and more! Definitely worth it...my only complaint is that I wish DC would digitize more of their collections! Come on guys! I would probably spend over 200.00 a month in DC comics if I could find them on amazon or Comixology!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This storyline came out during the height of my comic reading days but, aside from Batman and Swamp Thing, I was more of a Marvel guy. I have since become more steeped in DC's universe of heroes and have been reading a lot of the older stories that I missed back then. For whatever reason, I stayed away from Identity Crisis for quite some time. I'd read the reviews (good and bad) and, even after I decided to pick it up, it took me the better part of a year to finally read it.

I'm so glad I finally did.

I still read comics but very seldom do I find stories that thrill me like they used to. Things have gotten so grim now in the DC books that many of the tales have no hope...even after the hero wins. This book is definitely grim, but grim with a purpose. The characters have a humanity. The pain is real. Death has consequence. Choices have consequences. These are the characters I've come to know grappling with real emotions. This is great storytelling. It is true to the characters and celebrates them even as it deconstructs them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, after ten years (2004-2014), I finally read "Identity Crisis". I'm pleased to report it was indeed well worth the wait (and, in retrospect, was an outstanding Christmas gift). I'd been out of the comic mode almost entirely for more than the past decade, and IC is my first venture back into DC. If it's any sign of what DC is like these days, I'm very much looking forward to more. If you haven't read IC, you might want to check it out. In my opinion, it's a great way to spend an evening. :-)

PS...Brad Meltzer also wrote a great novel re: the U.S. Supreme Court called "The Tenth Justice".
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Format: Hardcover
I put off reading this book for the longest time. Some people loved and others hated it. I figured, why not just read it and see what it's all about? It turned out that by the end of the book, it instantly became one of my favorite graphic novels. I'm a DC fan through and through, and while I can understand why some people hated to see their heroes portrayed this way, I thought it was absolutely fantastic. This book poses some serious questions. When are heroes the most vulnerable? What will they do to protect their loved one? When families are at risk that entails making some tough choices and Brad Meltzer handled this sensitive material very well.

5/5
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