Identity Crisis #4
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Very Good
Sue Dibney… Jean Loring… who’s next?
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
This issue of Identity Crisis gives us a little bit of downtime. It’s mostly a building issue, centered on the least exciting but most important part of any mystery – gathering the clues and examining the suspects. Atom stumbles onto the scene of the latest attack, on his ex-wife Jean Loring. With the realization that the murder of Sue Dibney wasn’t an isolated incident, the heroes go into overdrive to trace down the clues and find the killer before he… or she… or they… strike again.
Although Green Arrow remains our viewpoint character for much of this issue, as he usually has in this series, we get to spend more time with the rest of our cast. Superman and Batman each get more “screentime,” Green Arrow pays a visit to an old friend, and we get more about the strange home life of Captain Boomerang. That’s probably the most telling scene in the issue – you’d have to be a dunce not to expect Boomerang to become vitally important by the time this series ends, because there’s simply no other explanation for spending so much time on him.
Perhaps the most effective scene is a simple interrogation where Ollie and Wonder Woman pay a visit to a b-list villain who may have answers. What makes it so effective, though, is that Diana is never fully seen in the issue – just bits and pieces of her. It makes her more imposing, more threatening, and that’s what she needs to be here.
Whether that’s a writer’s decision or an artistic choice I don’t know, but either way it works big time, as does the rest of Rags Morales’s art. My only real complaint earlier is Morales’s portrayal of Superman. It’s still uneven, but some scenes are quite good.
I suspect, as relatively quiet as this issue is, it will probe to be the most important to unraveling the secret of this mystery. The story goes everywhere and a real ton of information is imparted – plus it sheds light on many, many members of our cast. And the kicker is the last page, another shocker which may not be as immediate as the last few issues, but nevertheless sends the stakes much, much higher.
At seven issues, this issue marks the halfway point of this crossover. And I’m already prepared to call it the best crossover DC has done since the original Crisis on Infinite Earths.