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

8. Grown Up Storytelling

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DC Comics

While the Marvel universe heroes mainly dealt in shades of grey, you could not always say the same for their counterparts at DC.

The biggest strength of Identity Crisis is there are no simple answers. Heroes and villains act in the grey areas between morality. The League alter minds and personalities for "The Greater Good", and Calculator helps Captain Boomerang forge a relationship with his estranged son. Even with the killer's reveal, their motives stem from a good, if misguided, place.

This more nuanced storytelling style gives characters stronger motivations for actions that might have otherwise seemed questionable to readers. It also shows heroes and villains in a new light and sows the seeds of doubt in a reader's mind when trying to uncover the identity of the killer.

While the idea of looking at the relationship between Batman and Superman is nothing new, it had been far less common for writers to focus on the one between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. This story went beyond the idea of Barry Allen as the Flash’s alter ego, instead treating him as a man who had so recently lost his wife and sense of place in the world.

Meltzer creatively saying these characters may be “super” but they are still “men” at heart is a strong central theme of Identity Crisis.


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.