Identity Crisis: 9 Things It Got Right (And The 1 Big Thing It Didn't)

Identity Crisis introduced some divisive retcons, but it definitely got some things right...

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DC Comics / Michael Turner

Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales' polarizing Identity Crisis has come to be defined by a single scene: the gratuitous sexual assault of Sue Dibny. It's an unpleasant and largely unnecessary stain on an otherwise dark and adult take on DC's characters.

The premise is that someone is targeting the Justice League's loved ones - someone who knows their secret identities and is willing to kill to achieve their goal. Superman can pull the moon out of orbit, but can he protect Lois Lane when someone knows she is his wife? The event rippled through the DC universe at the time while tying into a lot of the rich history of the Justice League and its villains.

The ultimate tragedy of the whole thing is that, had it not been for the "women in refrigerators" moment, the book could've been taken from a dark footnote, to something ultimately more fondly remembered.

10. What It Got Right: Villains Updated

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DC Comics

While the heroes of the DC universe are a community, the company portrays its villains as disparate bands of scoundrels who would only ever join forces when and if the plot demanded it. In most instances it was either as part of the Suicide Squad or an incarnation of the Injustice League.

All it took to change this idea was for Brad Meltzer to dig up an obscure C-list Batman rogue called The Calculator and make him the fulcrum around which he would build DC comics' villainous community.

Instead of an oddball running around the streets of Gotham dressed as a calculator, complete with giant buttons, Meltzer created an evil version of the heroes' information broker, Oracle.

This "fix" was only the first of many that would take place during Identity Crisis. Meltzer would introduce a new version of Boomerang and turn Doctor Light from a small-time loser into a dangerous sociopath. The most significant overhaul would be Deathstroke, who goes from the star of his own failed book to taking down the Justice League single-handedly.


Kevin McHugh is a code-monkey by day and a purveyor of the unpleasant by night. Having had several comics published by Future Quake Press he is now moving into prose. An avid fan of punk rock, cheap horror movies and even cheaper fast-food Kevin can be found pontificating either on Twitter or over at WhatCulture Comics where he is a regular contributor. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters.