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Identity Crisis

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The most talked-about and successful miniseries of 2004 — the story that has created ripple effects throughout the DC Universe for many years to come — is now available in a stunning hardcover volume! New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer (GREEN ARROW) teams with artists Rags Morales & Michael Bair (WONDER WOMAN) and cover artist Michael Turner (SUPERMAN/BATMAN) to deliver an all-too-human look into the lives of super-heroes, and the terrible price they pay for ...
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The most talked-about and successful miniseries of 2004 — the story that has created ripple effects throughout the DC Universe for many years to come — is now available in a stunning hardcover volume! New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer (GREEN ARROW) teams with artists Rags Morales & Michael Bair (WONDER WOMAN) and cover artist Michael Turner (SUPERMAN/BATMAN) to deliver an all-too-human look into the lives of super-heroes, and the terrible price they pay for doing good.

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.

Bonus features include extended commentary by Meltzer and Morales, the rest of the creative team talking about their favorite moments, a look at Morales's sketchbook and more!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The publication in 2004 of Brad Meltzer's DC superheroes miniseries was, in the words of The New York Times, "the biggest comic-book event of the year." This stunning full-color hardcover edition will enable fans to judge for themselves whether thriller novelist Brad Meltzer has tampered with tradition or morphed the Justice League of America for a post-September 11th world.
Publishers Weekly
This seven-issue miniseries by bestselling author Meltzer (The Zero Game) was both wildly popular and reviled, and the collection shows that both views have merit. It does knock the rust off scores of DC characters while opening avenues to explore post-9/11 morality. On the other hand, it trashes the roles of characters whom readers have come to consider old friends and tampers outrageously with years' worth of continuity. The story begins shockingly when the wife of the minor super hero Elongated Man is brutally murdered. Things get increasingly serious as other members of the Justice League of America find that their loved ones are targets. The super villains are a lot nastier than they used to be; the heroes, meanwhile, are forced to admit that they could have been responsible for some of what's gone wrong when they started tampering with the minds of villains who deserved it or even fellow heroes who merely disapproved of the idea. This makes familiar heroes more morally ambiguous-more human-and the old, easy trust is lost, with long-term consequences still to be revealed in future DC story lines. In the meantime, Meltzer's script and Bair's inking of Morales's penciled art serves the realistic aspect of the characters very well, making this book a genuine comics landmark. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This top-selling, expertly written and drawn mystery has become a flashpoint for superhero fans. When Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man, is brutally murdered, the world's heroes-Superman, Batman, Nightwing, and many others-head out to find the killer, hoping that their own loved ones won't be next. But Flash and Green Lantern uncover a secret in the past of Sue and the Justice League-a secret which, had it not been hidden, would have torn the super-group apart, and which still might do so. Meltzer, author of popular prose thrillers such as The Zero Game, is a long-standing superhero fan, and the dialog and interaction he writes for the heroes is excellent. Penciller Morales, inked by Bair, does strong work in the traditional idealized realism of superhero comics, with an extra measure of grit and emotion added. But long-time fans are liable to balk at the book's revelation, feeling that it badly taints favorite characters and fondly remembered stories. Still, this story has had great impact on DC's current output, making it a must-read for many. Recommended for all collections, but with a rape scene (depicted without nudity), it's for mid-teens and up. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401204587
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 8/16/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 58,240
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 10.13 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Meltzer
Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Fate, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, and The Book of Lies.

He is also one of the co-creators of the TV Show, "Jack & Bobby" – and is the Eisner Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed comic book, Justice League of America.

His first non-fiction book, Heroes for My Son, is a collection of heroes – from Jim Henson to Rosa Parks – that he'd been working on since the day his son was born. This December, he'll be launching "Brad Meltzer's Decoded" on the History Channel. And his newest thriller, The Inner Circle, will be released on January 11, 2011.

Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. The Tenth Justice was his first published work and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Dead Even followed a year later and also hit the New York Times bestseller list, as have all six of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which is about a White House lawyer dating the President's daughter; then The Millionaires, which is about two brothers who steal money and go on the run. The Zero Game is about two Congressional staffers who are – literally – gambling on Congress. The Book of Fate is about a young Presidential aide, a crazed assassin, and the 200-year-old code created by Thomas Jefferson that times them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate was researched with the help of two former Presidents, Clinton and Bush. His last book, The Book of Lies, is about the missing murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, as well as the unsolved murder of Superman creator Jerry Siegel's father. Brad is one of the only people to interview Jerry Siegel's family about the murder and, with his charitable site,, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.

His books have spent over ten months on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig." In the Hebrew translation, it became: "Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse." We're not sure if it's a Kosher thing or what!

Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's "Celebrity," co-wrote the swearing-in oath for AmeriCorps, the national service program, and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko's.

Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who's also an attorney.


Brad Meltzer didn't hope all his life to become a novelist. He came to it by chance, after a job at Games magazine didn't pan out. "I had no idea what to do," he says. "So I did what all of us would do in that situation. I said, 'I'm gonna write a novel.'" After one false start, a book called Fraternity that 24 publishers rejected, Meltzer hit his stride. In 1997, The Tenth Justice (which earned him extra credit as a student at Columbia Law School) was picked up by Morrow and hit The New York Times bestseller list. A year later, he repeated the performance with Dead Even. He's been writing bestselling legal thrillers ever since.

Critics like Meltzer's fast pace and nifty plots (Kirkus called The Tenth Justice "a mean, paranoid fantasy that'll have you turning pages in a frenzy," and USA Today said it "reads fast, rings true, and refreshingly breaks the mold of legal thrillers"), but it's the details that distinguish his novels from most legal fiction. The key, he says, is "Research, research, research," a task that can consume two to six months of his year-long writing schedule.

In addition to his thrillers, Meltzer is a bestselling author of critically acclaimed comic book series like Identity Crisis, Green Arrow, and Justice League. He has also written short stories, television scripts and nonfiction articles, including reviews of The Sopranos, the multiple Emmy Award-winning TV show.

Good To Know

Meltzer played himself as an extra in Woody Allen's Celebrity.

He lives in Florida with his wife, a high-school sweetheart to whom he devotes a lengthy essay on his web site.

With his friend Steve Cohen, Meltzer conceived Jack and Bobby, a critically acclaimed television program about two young brothers (not the Kennedys), one of whom grows up to be President of the United States. Cohen and Meltzer wrote all 22 episodes of the show, which was cancelled after one season. Widely considered a premier example of intelligent, high-quality TV, the series has since become a cult favorite.

Meltzer spoke with former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in order to accrue authentic details for his 2006 novel The Book of Fate, a thriller set in the world of White House politics.

A major plot element in The Book of Lies (2008) is the unsolved murder in 1932 of Mitchell Siegel, whose son Jerry created the iconic comic book hero Superman. Meltzer, himself a rabid comics fan, interviewed the Siegel family to research the murder.

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    1. Hometown:
    1. Date of Birth:
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Michigan; J.D., Columbia University
    2. Website:

Interviews & Essays

An Interview With Brad Meltzer Barnes & Identity Crisis is being released as a DC Comics hardcover graphic novel. When you wrote IC, did you have any idea how big an event it would turn out to be in the comics world?Brad Meltzer: Even fanboy can dream -- and so can every egomaniac -- but I never could've predicted the response we got, or the impact it would have on my favorite characters. B& How long did it take you to write the story?BM: A few months just to write it, but then Rags and I would debate and talk about particular scenes -- like Sue Dibny's death scene -- and that easily added more time to it. But c'mon, anyone who bitches about that is a yutz.B& What's the key theme of Identity Crisis?BM: It's about the cost of being a hero. The cost to yourself, to your teammates, and of course, to your family and friends. In the end, it's a reexamination of the consequences of putting on a cape. If you can stand all that, well...that's what makes a hero.B& Is writing a comic story "more fun" than writing one of your prose thrillers?BM: More fun for the superhero part of my brain. Just as the novels are more fun for the part of me that appreciates painting with just words. It really is a different skill set for both, but in the end, it's the same goal: tell a good story about the human condition.B& What comics do you read?BM: Teen Titans, Green Arrow, Daredevil, Ex Machina, 7 Soldiers, Young Avengers, Astonishing X-Men, She-Hulk, plenty more.B& Who are your favorite Justice Leaguers, and why?BM: Batman and Green Arrow. They've just always been the characters I could enter the League with. The humans among the gods. Even today, they're the real access point for me.B& Is there a lot of crossover between your comics fans and the fans of your prose books?BM: I'll tell you when the next novel comes out. But my web site's gotten tons of emails from people saying, "I never read novels, but after Identity Crisis, I picked up The First Counsel or The Tenth Justice -- thanks for bringing me back to reading." That just humbles me.B& How much leeway did DC Comics give you with their iconic characters? Was there anything they wouldn't let you do?BM: Nope. They were amazing. In fact, if it weren't for that artistic freedom, Identity Crisis never would've happened. I owe them forever for that.B& Think you'll ever do a sequel?BM: Except for The Empire Strikes Back, Superman II, and Toy Story II, all sequels fall short. So, no. Unless I really need an ego stroke.
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Customer Reviews

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( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Comic Book writing at its finest

    I have always been in love with the DC characters that we all grew up on but one of the problems is that many of the stories have already been done. Identity Crisis takes the classic 'who dun it' mystery and gives it a modern and super-hero twist. I have never read a story (in a comic book) that is so touching and personal to the point that you could relate to the character and even almost cry. This is an important story line for the DC universe and should not be missed. On a side note I do believe that DC and all comic book companies should put warnings on their covers. This story has some very adult themes and situations that I really don't think children under the age of 14-15 should read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Excellent book

    I have heard about this story recently and saw it became available for the nook and purchased it. What a story! I never knew the DC characters could get so dark. I am glad that DC has opened up their library to almost all platforms now. Dont miss this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An amazing run through the DC Universe in shades of grey!

    Brad Meltzer, who is one of my favorite authors, pens a fantastic murder mystery that flashes back to untold parts of JLA history and hits like a punch to the gut. I think his version of both Ollie and Wally were spot on and the shocks and reveals were astounding here. Rags Morales did an outstanding job on pencils. He makes each character identifiable whether in costume or out. Overall, whether you are a DC fan or not, this is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006


    The monumental seven issue limited series 'Identity Crisis' is finally collected into one large hardcover volume and loaded with extras. This series, which sparked controversy among long time fans of the Justice League, casts the moralistic league in a new, and rather dark light. In many ways Identity Crisis serves to out do Marvel Comics at its own game of showing the frailty of superheroes, long their trademark. As the story unfolds, Sue Dibney, the wife of the Elongated Man has been murdered, and her body badly burned. The Didney's home was outfitted with the most advanced security systems available and yet the killer got in and left without a single clue. Even the combined abilities of Mister Miracle, The Atom, The Ray, The Metal Men, and Animal Man cannot find even the slightest trace of a clue. After the funeral, attended by most of the heroes of the DC universe, teams are formed to track down villains who use fire as a power and soon the Teen Titans, The Outsiders, The JSA, the old JLI, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, and others are hot on the trail of the suspects. But another group meets in secret...a group including Green Arrow, Hawkman, Black Canary, Zatanna, Atom, and the Elongated Man. When The Flash sneaks in on the meeting he learns of a startling revelation. Years earlier, in the League's satellite headquarters, Sue Dibney was alone stargazing when she was attacked and sexually assaulted by Doctor Light. The maniacal Light then threatened the wives of the other members so this group, without the knowledge of Superman or Batman, had Zatanna perform a magical lobotomy on Doctor Light, but only after a divided vote among the members with The Flash (Barry Allen) providing the deciding vote. The Flash is outraged but reluctantly joins the group in their search for Light. Meanwhile Jean Loring, the ex-wife of Ray Palmer (The Atom) is attacked and hung but survives. Again no clues can be found. Now all of the heroes with family are on edge. Someone is targeting their loved ones. Is it Doctor Light, or another villain? Identity Crisis presents a divided league and one were not uses to seeing. Wally cannot believe that Barry Allen would have voted to mess with Light's mind. What's interesting is how the members are more afraid of Batman finding out about what they did than Superman. Some fans may look at this as tainting the reputation of the JLA but on the other hand this is not the 1960's anymore. It's a harsh world we live in and writer Brad Meltzer has reflected this among the JLA members. The art by Rags Morales and Michael Bair is just gorgeous. The battle with Deathstroke was among the most dynamic I've seen in years. Bair has been a favorite of mine since his days on the Young All-Stars. He's an extremely underrated talent. The book features an introduction by Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and also features commentary by Meltzer and Morales on specific scenes such as why Batman was not in attendance at Sues funeral, the seating arrangement of the heroes at the funeral, and the science involved in the battle with Deathstroke. They also discuss the scene where Sue is sexually assaulted by Doctor Light and how the colors by Alex Sinclair show the cold tragedy of the scene. This commentary truly helps the reader understand the story in greater depth. Finally there's also a cover gallery of the various variant covers that were produced. Identity Crisis in many ways is an even more important series than the namesake Crisis on Infinite Earths from the 1980's. While that series ultimately generated little change to the DC universe outside of the Death of Barry Allen, Identity Crisis is a story that could have lingering effects for years to come. Reviewed by Tim Janson

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    One of the best storylines in comic history

    This was easily one of the greatest stories the DC universe has ever told. The death of a major character and the unvailing of the dark secrets of DC's greatest hereos. From Dr. Light to Deathstroke, the villians steal the show in this masterpiece. The issue were Deathstroke takes apart the JLA one by one is one of the best issues ever written. If you enjoy comics and great stories pick up this graphic novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    Great Buy!

    This was a great graphic novel. I used to love comics when I was a kid but have not picked one up in years. This book was better than anything I remember as a kid. I was excited to discover that the author used complex themes and situations that the 'superheroes' encounter on a personal level. You are totally hooked on the story once you read the words and see the beautiful drawings and ink work. You really get involved with the characters.. you are rooting for the superheroes on a personal level and forget the whole saving the world angle. Great Buy!

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