Listeners play a huge role in the Major Spoilers Podcast. Whether it is clarifying points, providing content for the show, or just making a suggestion for a topic discussion, we love each and everyone of you.  This week on the show, the Major Spoilers Crew is taking a suggestion from one of the Major Spoilers Legion and reviewing Brad Meltzer’s Identity Crisis from DC Comics.

When the spouse of a JLA member is brutally murdered, the entire super-hero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets! But before the mystery is fully solved, a number of long-buried secrets rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice.

As always,  the Major Spoilers Podcast is nothing without comments from great readers and listeners like you.  You can use the comment section below, drop us a voice mail by calling (785) 727-1939, or record your comments and send it as an MP3 file in an email to

Here’s your chance to be heard on the show!  Give us your thoughts on the series that kicked off the new wave of crises for the DCU, or if you  want to share your thoughts on the state of the comic book industry, or anything else that might be on your mind drop us a line.  Only the most awesome comments (good or bad) make it on the show, so get your stuff to us right away!

We record the new show Tuesday night, so make sure you have your contribution to us by 5:00 PM CST Tuesday evening.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. mosdef
    April 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    Whats up Stephen, this was actually the first DC trade i bought. Ive been on MJ for awhile and somebody mentioned it and i decided to get it. My thoughts on it after reading it were how different the villains are from Marvel Villains. You had Dr. Light rape Sue Dibny, and Deathstroke kicking Justice League ass. The raping of Sue was…..pretty hard for me to read because i had never encountered anything like that in a comic before, but it made the story that much better. Usually when i read a comic i suspend disbelief, but that made the comic almost too real.

    It also showed a different side to superheroes that i hadnt seen since Spider-Man when Gwen Stacy died. The emotions in the scenes of Sue’s funeral, and Robins(cant remember which ones)fathers death had me captivated. Before i had never seen Batman as anything other than a crime fighter(i dont read batman)but that scene made me see that he is a mentor and a father of sorts to these various Robins. The scenes involving various heroes trying to find out who did it brought a sense of teamwork to the series. Having never read Justice League i didnt know much about the characters.

    The decision to erase the memory of Dr. Light and Batman would have been easy for me. Kill Dr. Light and still erase Batmans memory.(thats why im not a superhero) I guess thats why they are who they are, they have to make the tough decisions and it really increased Batmans bad-assary(???) they were so scared to think that Batman found out what they did to him. My only flaw with the series was the end, The Atoms wife? Really?? It made sense to me, but i was dissappointed.

    IMO Great trade, i recommend it to anyone for the fantastic art and the outstanding story.

  2. April 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm — Reply

    Matthew has to hate this. Or at least, the snark level will be turned to 11

  3. Roy
    April 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    I loved Identity Crisis.

    Don’t get me wrong – the rape was disturbing, especially considering who it happened to and who the rapist was, but I don’t think it was senseless in the context of the story. If anything, it made the story more powerful and made you feel for the characters even more. I don’t like something like rape being glorified, or plugged into a story to sell issues, and in this case, I don’t think it was. It was a legitimate plot device (IMO) and in the context of the story served a purpose.

    The rape aside, this book changed the way I looked at A LOT of the characters. Superman’s selective hearing, Zatanna’s (and others’) choices, etc. – it cast a different light on the DC heroes, at least for me. This may have been one of the first trades I read after beginning to read comics again, and was actually one of the things (in a rather roundabout way) that led me to this site.

  4. Ricco
    April 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm — Reply

    The words “hits the fan” come to mind, I loved Identity Crisis as a stand alone “Crisis”, but the fact Brother Eye and other plot-lines spawned from what they did to Bruce (among other things) and how it lead to all the following crisis sorta cheapens what was otherwhise a great comic on humain suffering.

    For me the most interesting storyline was the Father son dinamics and not the murder mystery, be it withTim and his dad or the Boomers. I actually felt worse for Captain Boomerang’s death then Tim’s Dad. Tim had: Bruce, Barbara, Dick, his best friend Conner, the Teen Titans, etc. and what did Bommer had? The Rogues as a pseudo familly that eventually left him high and dry when he needed them…

    Gotta love Hawkman’s “what with the debate? I’ll just kill Dr.Light and then problem solved!” attitude

  5. Roy
    April 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm — Reply

    I can see what you’re saying about tying Identity in with Infinite detracting from the story, but to be completely honest, I have to disagree. I think that Brother Eye, Batman’s paranoia, etc. all spawning out of the events of Identity Crisis are part of what makes Identity one of the better “crisises”. I like the fact that Identity had such far reaching effects…although to be fair, since then we’ve had Infinite Crisis, 52, OYL, and Final Crisis – so are the events of Identity Crisis even still “in continuity”?

  6. Kirby
    April 6, 2009 at 5:54 pm — Reply

    I have a wird love-hate relationship with this title. First off I did like the fact it brought my favorite DC character Elongated Man up again. However, I don’t feel the use of ‘Woman in Refrigerator’ Syndrome was well warranted, it put a very heartbreaking dynamic on what was once DC’s most stable and happy couple. The way Deathstroke brought down the Justice League seemed somewhat false, because no matter how fast you are, you aren’t fast enough to stab the Flash. The CSI’ing of the Sue’s murder mystery seemed interesting, particullarly in how it shows how the superheroes and normal police force interact.

    Elongated Man said something to the effect of being around for twenty years, and the art doesn’t seem to convey that most of the heroes are in their forties. But during the dialogue with Flamebird Elongated Man has one of the best lines in DCU history “Green Arrow has a bald spot. That’s why he wears the cap.”

    So even with the problems I have with the series, I’d say it’s worth reading.

    LONG LIVE THE DIBNYS! (Yes I know I have an almost irrational love for the characters)

  7. Dan Hunter
    April 6, 2009 at 6:05 pm — Reply

    With Identity Crisis, the era of four colour innocence was well and truly mind wiped from continuity.
    The stand out points to me are:

    The mind wipe itself – the solution that prevents rouges from remembering secret identities, past victories. A logical solution once the execute the bad guy option has been dropped. The debate to mind wipe added the human element to our mythical heroes and painted the silver age era with a somewhat bleaker palette.

    Zatanna – To me a character of days gone by, where Superman hawking Twinkies was common place as ordering X-ray glasses from the pages of the latest funny book. Here was a magician that spoke backwards to make her (in my mind – silly) spells work. Meltzer brings the character up-to-date and to me (with no history to the character) made her relevant.

    All the villains’ portrayals are superb. For years Superheroes have been written as fully fleshed three dimensional characters,. In this book , the villains are also given that courtesy.
    One of the stand out characters for me was Deathstroke. Up until Identity Crisis I’d never been enamoured with the Terminator, until he takes out the JLA. Knowing what the character is capable of makes him truly menacing

    It was the first time that I can remember noticing Rag’s Moralez’s art. His facial renderings during the emotional moments really hit a nerve. Finding Sue’s body, the funeral, Ralph after the funeral and Tim Drake in the embrace of the Batman are all outstanding moments. A+.

    What I truly remember from this book, was wanting to read more DC after the event – I wanted to explorer the repercussions.
    Dr Light now remembers what was taken from him.
    So does the batman, how will he react? How has his relationship with the others been affected?
    Where does the Atom takes himself out of the picture.

    It was a crisis of faith and of character. Not a cosmic event but an event that takes place and affects all the players personally. It may not be to everybody’s taste..
    It was I feel it left the DC universe in an exciting place – it’s a pity that DC ruined it with future Crisis’ (is that apostrophe in the right place?).

  8. Callum
    April 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    Wow you guys are quick!!

    Hopefully I will be able to grab this (from the library again!) this afternoon, so I can read it before the podcast!

    In any case, I came into this book with very little knowledge of the DCU and the JLA/JSA etc. So I found it a really good introduction to a number of different characters.

    I didn’t expect the ending but was not unhappy with it.

    I agree with Joss Whedon’s introduction, he says that Ralph Dibney has been around for a long time, but there are probably few people that would say he is their favourite character. Joss goes on to say that this all changes by half way through the first issue as we follow Ralph dealing with the death of his wife. As a result I voted for Ralph in this weeks poll!

    I really loved the book, and I am really, really , looking forward to gaining more insight about it for you review this week!!

    Thanks guys!!


  9. Callum
    April 6, 2009 at 6:32 pm — Reply

    I really loved the book, and I am really, really , looking forward to gaining more insight about it FROM your review this week!! (Sorry.)


  10. April 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm — Reply

    It was CRIMINAL to not give Rags Morales the covers. I would have probably hated this book if Turner had drawn it. They did it with the action figures too! I would have totally bought a Rags Morales Elongated Man figure if they had made one!

  11. April 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm — Reply

    Oh yeah… I really dig the book too.

  12. Kirby
    April 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm — Reply

    Can I add that while Ralph became a shell of his former self, he was redemmed in the ending of 52 where he and Sue were back to their oldselves just as ghosts. I swear, I still swell up at that reveal.

  13. MaximusRift
    April 6, 2009 at 8:44 pm — Reply

    Only thing I have to say about Identity Crisis is that it humanized a lot of the heroes DC and made Dr. Light a really sick bastard. The scene with the heroes deciding to lobotomize Light and and erase Bat’s memory really hit home. The fallout was also awesome as the villains realized that you might get FUBAR’ed by the heroes if you go “too far”.

    I also wanna say that this Crisis kicks Morrison’s Crisis in the testees and makes it call it awesome. ;p

  14. mosdef
    April 6, 2009 at 10:35 pm — Reply

    ^^^this!!! lol but Matthew or Stephen this is off topic, but i request a review of Messiah War(any of them) or Iron Man Dark Reign. I just want you guys thought on it

  15. Salieri
    April 7, 2009 at 8:09 am — Reply

    The story is really trying to do an awful lot, and as a result it angers plenty of people. In some ways, it’s an attempt to integrate Watchmen into the regular DCU; in others, it contains an awful lot of rather transparent Editorial changes – such the death of Jack Drake, which (according to interviews) the editors had been crowing for in the regular ‘Robin’ series for a long time, or the sudden switch of culprits. I have no idea who they originally intended it to be, but it’s obvious they changed it from Ray Palmer following the release of the penultimate issue – the footprints were too small? Your suspect is the man whose one power is size-change, and the footprints were too small? – and it was obvious that originally the character who killed Sue had flame-generation powers. Even now, the line “I Brought A Flame-Thrower With Me…Just In Case” is hilariously silly.

    Overall, the art holds up much better than the writing. I’m pretty liberal about characterisation, but even I have to admit that the story really only works if you’ve never encountered several of these characters before, and don’t want to again. Quite a few characters appear who were later retconned away, such as the original Shining Knight or Guardian, quite a lot of characters get dragged in the dirt, and we have Ollie falling for that old “Humans Only Use 10% Of The Brain” legend (where the hell did that one COME from?). But the art by Rags Morales – wow. He really got the characters exactly right – it’s not often you feel sympathy for characters based purely on the art – and then there’s that fantastic splash page with Batman hugging Tim Drake as if about to devour him.

  16. Salieri
    April 7, 2009 at 8:15 am — Reply

    Also, I have to say that given what a good job they did in rehabilitating Dr. Light with the series, it really reflects poorly on following writers with what they did following that. That last shot of Light, musing to himself, with King-Lear-esque pose and those “I Can Seee You” eyes, I thought he’d be rising up to near Doctor-Doom level of gentleman villainery…but, nope, turns out that they just keep his previous characterisation and just have him go on about raping women every other sentence. When Rucka did away with him in FC: Revelations, it was almost a sort of mercy killing.

  17. April 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm — Reply


    I agree, Morales should have had the cover honors with this series. Turner while I enjoyed his art, I usually found it to be distracting.

    As a whole I think that Identity Crisis is a pretty decent miniseries, and that’s a lot coming from someone who never read DCU or even cared about any of the characters.

  18. Ed
    April 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm — Reply

    This was the series that got me back into reading comics. I really got till I liked the characters more, and the fact that they utilized the lesser characters.

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