iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #234 – Identity Crisis

Show Notes

Love it or hate it, Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales’ Identity Crisis certainly shook up the world of DC Comics back in 2004. It told the story of the Justice League keeping some very big secrets, and how that was all brought to light with the actions of a very disturbed individual. The consequences were long ranging, both in the fictional DC Universe, and in the way comics were made after Identity Crisis.

It featured some very adult characters studies of beloved classic DC characters, which didn’t sit well with all the fans. It also introduced a new generation to wonderful characters like the Elongated Man, Atom, as well as villains like The Calculator and Dr. Light.

Just in time to coincide with DC’s release of Absolute Identity Crisis, Josh Flanagan, Ron Richards, and Conor Kilpatrick take you through everything there is to know about the story. Don’t answer the phone, and don’t let Batman find out.


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  1. Great ep lads, this is more like it! Keep up the good work! Maybe a whole show on Michael Turners art next time?

  2. Identity Crisis was one of the first things I read when I was getting into comics, and I loved it. May even give it a re-read now.

    Didn’t know Grant Morrison disliked it. He seemed to speak quite highly of it in Supergods.

  3. It cuts off rather abruptly but good show.

  4. Our friends over at Comics Alliance pretty well sum up my feelings:


    I hate Identity Crisis.

  5. I loved Identity Crisis. I think JSA was the only book that had a tiny Identity tie-in Crisis banner but EVERY book became linked after it. I remember buying almost every DC title from Identity Crisis until the end of Infinity crisis. Maybe that’s why Morrison wouldn’t like it, since no one else is able to follow up on his plot lines.

  6. great show. i like Ron’s shirt. thanks

  7. Good show, did identity crisis have any tie-ins? Cuz i don’t really remember any, which would make it unique for a “event” book.

    • I remember that Geoff Johns’ Flash tied-in really well. Aside from all the Captain Boomerang stuff, Wally turns his JLA beeper off to spend some time with Linda (thus why Batman cannot contact him during Jack Drake’s murder), and there is a “recovery” scene set immediately after the Deathstroke fight.

    • (These weren’t “offficial” tie-ins, though. They didn’t have a banner or anything.)

    • The only official tie-in I remember was one issue of JSA. Where Mr. Terrific and Dr. Midnite did the autopsy. It also featured alot of great vignettes like Power Girl and Supermans first meeting in along time and setting up Karen’s own identity problems. Other than that you weren’t really told to read anything else but Identity Crisis was going on in all the books,The Jason Rusch Firestorm series was a spin off that started before Idenitity Crisis but didn’t sync until Ronnie died around issue 5. I think Manhunter spun off with the trial of Shadow Thief for Firestorms murder… Man the continuity was tight back then

  8. Love the ep & love the subject.This for me was great because it gave Batman for more of a reason for not trusting anyone.More shows like this PLEASE.

  9. Another great book to look for is the Geoff Johns/ Allen Heinberg seguel to Identity Crisis, JLA: Crisis of Conscience. Despero gives the Secret Society their memory back and they come for revenge. Supes, Aquaman, and J’onn get to weigh in on what the League did and we find out why Batman is really so upset about what happened.

  10. Great show. Really makes me want to reread Identity Crisis.

    Identity Crisis was my first exposure to DC comics. I’d been a Marvel Zombie for a bit. I was floored. I had no problem understanding who anyone was or what was happening and it definitely made Deathstroke out to be a badass for a whole new slew of readers. This is the DC book I give to people that don’t read comics. It’s like my DC Y: The Last man.

  11. Yeah, guess Im a primary colors kind of guy. All the killing that happens in the crisis series’ to me is more sensationalism than story to me.

  12. this is my favorite JLA story. I primarily knew the DCU from Superfriends and JLU episodes, so to see the all the heroes working together to solve this mystery was really fun. who does the autopsy? Dr. Mid-Nite of course. who investigates how to break into the apartment? duh, Mister Miracle. obviously the pallbearers are going to be superheroes. this was a great way to dive in head first into the DCU.

  13. I started watching this episode, got to 6:18, shut it off, and read through my copy of Identity Crisis for the first time.

    Fucking awesome!

    I picked it up, at a huge discount, and hadn’t gotten around to reading it. Wow. Now I’m upset that the DCU rebooted. I had only just begun dabbling in DC and this brings a whole new dimension to the pre-New52 DCU.

    Really, really enjoyed this.

    Now I’m going to go buy Crisis of Conscience on Comixology.

    Thanks guys for finally getting me to read it!

  14. Ha. Josh said, “…that’s no small feet.” He didn’t even mean it as a pun.

    (Small foot prints is how the heroes discovered who the killer was.)

  15. Ah, Identity Crisis. Not only was it a truly horrible comic book in itself, it’s pretty much responsible for the grim and gritty revival that spoiled so much of DC’s (and Marvel’s – hello Civil War!) comics since then.

    It’s insane that it’s the work of an apparent “fan” of the Satellite era of the JLA. Not even Garth Ennis, with all his anti-superhero tendencies, has written so hateful a book about DC’s greatest heroes. Just take a look at the central idea behind the whole series. Not only was Sue Dibny murdered by an old friend but she was burned almost beyond recognition and – oh yeah – as if it wasn’t enough that they destroyed the happiest couple in DC and one of its most likeable and down to earth characters but she was also pregnant at the time. If this isn’t cheap, shocktastic writing, I don’t know what is. One issue later, we find out that this same awesome character that represents everything fun and optimistic about DC’s superheroes was raped by Dr FREAKIN’ Light before having this all wiped from her head by a trusted teammate. And things do not get better from there…

    It really doesn’t matter that Meltzer’s craft was strong throughout or that the art was genuinely beautiful, Identity Crisis was a mean-spirited, sensationalist piece of crap that set the tone for many, many comics to follow in all the wrong ways by basically solidifying the “uglification” of the superhero. Despite the fact that I can’t believe anyone would spend $100 on this awful, awful waste of paper and time, it would be interesting to read this and All Star Superman back to back. Arguable they are two of the most important superhero comics of the decade. As All Star Superman encapsulates everything great and noble about the superhero; Identity Crisis illustrates exactly just how much so-called realism could tarnish – if not flat out destroy – the very things that make superheroes great.

    Here’s hoping that the New 52 erased the entire series, as well as all of its fatally misjudged influences.

  16. Good show! Identity Crisis got me back into comic books.. i may have to pick up this Absolute Edition.

  17. Why don’t you guys do a Neil Gaiman Profile video. i mean you guys did on on Brian K Vaughn, Frank Frazetta, I mean clearly, he is one of the titan of comics and helped establish DC’s Vertigo. I would really like to see a video on Gaiman.

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