Home > DC Comics > Identity Crisis #3

Identity Crisis #3

August 13, 2004

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Serial Killer

The Justice League fights Deathstroke – and more answers are found.

Writer: Brad Meltzer
Pencils: Rags Morales
Inks: Michael Bair
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Kenny Lopez
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Art: Michael Turner
Publisher: DC Comics

One of the greatest mysteries ever to hit the DC Universe continues as the members of the satellite-era Justice League try to bring in the man they believe murdered Sue Dibney. But Dr. Light has hired some muscle of his own… Deathstroke.

The fight with Deathstroke is pretty intense, and will most certainly serve as fodder for arena debates for years to come, but that isn’t nearly as great as what comes afterwards. Green Arrow, apparently our viewpoint character for much of this series, explains to the younger heroes the lengths the old guard went to in order to protect their identities and, by proxy, their loved ones… and what made Dr. Light’s case so unique. We also spend a little time with a washed up supervillain and the family and friends of some of our heroes, capping off the book with and ending that left my jaw on the floor.

This issue, while still a fantastic mystery, wasn’t quite flawless – we get another focus on Tim Drake and his father which, like the segment in issue #1, does not fit anywhere in continuity with the current state of the Batman titles. (And before anyone starts espousing that this may be a clue of some sort, Robin writer Bill Willingham has already stated on his website that this is an editorial blunder). The scene is just two pages long, but it’s so starkly different from the “real” timeline it gets distracting to those of us who are following the regular Robin series.

Rags Morales steps up to the plate again with this issue – he does a fantastic fight scene between Deathstroke and the JLA, including some pretty brutal, violent images. This is definitely a grown-up superhero book, not something you’re going to want to show the kiddies… of course, it appeals mostly to long-time fans anyway.

If there’s any flaw in Morales’s artwork, it’s that he honestly doesn’t do a very good Superman. It isn’t terrible, but there’s something off about his face, something very distracting. Fortunately, big blue is just a peripheral character in this series (so far, at least), and it doesn’t distract you for very long.

Minor flaws aside, the impact of each issue of this title builds exponentially. It just gets better and better as the full impact of what we’re reading starts to hit us. As intense as the first issue was, there was much more to the story than met the eye. And it’s not even half over yet.

Rating: 9/10

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