In which I point out the one and only problem with Identity Crisis.

§ June 10th, 2004 § Filed under this week's comics Comments Off on In which I point out the one and only problem with Identity Crisis.

So, anyway….

I haven’t had a chance to read all my new comics swag for the day…did get through Bone #55, the last issue of the series. It wraps things up quite nicely, I think, and interestingly it reprints a four-page Bone Christmas story from (I believe) a long ago issue of Disney Adventures, which does appear to fit into continuity between the two chapters of this issue. Neat. Now we can look forward to Jeff Smith’s Shazam! mini-series…he’s probably one of the few creators out there who can manage the right balance of seriousness and whimsy necessary for the original Captain Marvel.

Ever read a comic, and, not even after you’ve read it, but while you’re reading it, you wonder just what the heck it is you’re reading? I mean, nothing just really registers with you. I had that experience with Incredible Hulk #73. It might have been my fault, as I was trying to read it while I was fairly distracted…but it looks like it was a whole lot of stuff happening, to no purpose. And it’s another Hulk-free issue of the Hulk again…an interesting approach to the title at first, but three years or so on (and, inexcusably, during the release of the Hulk movie) it’s getting a little tired now.

And then there’s this week’s bull in the china shop: Identity Crisis #1. Well, I think it’s a pretty compelling beginning to this series, which established a high level of dread and anticipation right from the beginning of the book. You know something horrible is going to happen, and you almost don’t want to turn the page in case that horrible-something is waiting for you there. There’s also a nice bit of self-aware commentary at the very beginning, noting the safety (and lack thereof) of main characters in novels (read: comics) as opposed to “real life.” Plus, a throwaway reference to a character’s tenure as a superhero establishes the current DC superhero universe as being around for nearly 20 years…quite a jump from the 12-year (or so) span established in some of the most recent Secret Files.

Two asides: First, as I was pulling copies of Identity Crisis for subscribers, every time I looked at the Michael Turner cover, I kept thinking of the phrase “bad art makes Superman cry.” I could have sworn it was pal Dorian who first said this to me, but he told me that he believed that I was the one who said it, though I know I didn’t come up with it. I must have read it online somewhere, or maybe even a customer said it to me. At any rate, it’s hardly fair, as this cover isn’t that bad…it’s not quite as…anatomically adventurous…as most Turner efforts, and it’s a striking image.

Second, concerning a story element present at the very beginning of the book: if you’re gonna pick two superheroes to do a late-night stakeout on an illicit transaction, why would you use Firehawk, who emits bright-blue glowing flames from various places on her body at all times? This is a character that doesn’t exactly have a stealth mode. Ah, well…the old Firestorm fan in me was glad to see her, anyway.

I would have also like to have commented on the new Global Frequency, but, as pal Dorian has noted, our distributor saw fit not to send copies of this comic (among others) to us this week. For the last several weeks, we’ve been completely shorted of one title or another (usually a DC), only to get it a week later. Actually, we were completely shorted the new Y The Last Man last week, and we were just told our copies will be arriving next week. Sigh. I guess we’ll just have to go to a different distribu…oh, right.

Other funnybooks this week: Street Angel #2 (love the faux-Dan Clowes back cover!), World’s Best Comics Silver Age Archive Sampler (only 99 cents for three great stories, even though this is like the 10th reprint of the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes that I have), Demo #7 (all issues available from Diamond, so you have no excuse. Larry – the AiT/Planetlar reviews will resume soon, I promise!), Love & Rockets #10 (new squarebound format! Special bonus: lists of Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario’s favorite comics!), Fallen Angel #12 (good stuff…read it, you), Fables #26 (includes a preview of The Witching, which does nothing for me), and a couple more books, but I’ve gone on enough to no good end.

Also, I’ve bought my very first issue of Toyfare magazine, for the complete photo guide to the DC Direct action figures. I’m a sad old fanboy.

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