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01/14/2005 Archived Entry: "Spoilers Galore!"
Posted by CKL @ 05:52 PM PST

WARNING: The article linked below contains gi-normous spoilers for the DC Comics mini-series Identity Crisis.

"Comics historian" Peter Sanderson had this to say about the ending of Identity Crisis:

One of the underappreciated virtues of the great Silver Age DC comics edited by the late Julius Schwartz was their treatment of women...

So, now in Identity Crisis #7 comes the grand revelation that the murderer of one Schwartz heroine... is none other than another Schwartz heroine...

Identity Crisis has been accused of misogyny. In my past reviews of the series, I've been willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. But now it's clear that, intentionally or not, "Identity Crisis" is indeed disturbingly misogynistic.

-- Comics in Context #67: Catch As Cats Can

I have to agree with several of his points. It was odd, in this era of not-unwelcome girl power and sexual equality, to see not a single strong female character (other than the murderer) driving the story. And the ending was quite a letdown, with certain consequences hinted at but nothing truly resolved. Was the DC universe "changed forever," as the ads promised? Sure, but that happens every other week nowadays. Did the characters or readers learn anything new? Yes, but only in the form of loose ends yet to be tied up.

Maybe it's a brilliant marketing scheme to get us to buy more comics. Or not so brilliant, since I don't plan to buy many more comics, and certainly don't intend to get sucked into the weekly wallet-emptying comic shop visits I indulged in high school. I find that I'm agreeing with DeeAnn's philosophy of comic book consumption: don't bother subscribing to monthly titles; just wait for the trade paperback collection, and then you can read an entire arc at once. In fact, this is almost essential for Fables and Astonishing X-Men. The only trick is you can't always count on the publishers to put out those editions regularly, or sometimes at all.

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