Thursday, March 02, 2006

Murder Mysteries Should Be Good (And Make A Modicum of Sense)

She brought along a flamethrower..."just in case."

The only way the motive makes any sense is if you presumed that the killer was irrational.

Lordy lord lord.


Anonymous SpiritGlyph said...

I've always been most annoyed that the plot also required a D-List supporting character who hadn't done much since the 80's to somehow be privy to everyone's secret identities. Good lord, Batman, what use is your nutty paranoia if even Atom's ex-wife knows your sidekick's secret identity?

3/02/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

That was the moment when I realized Identity Crisis was the dumbest comic ever written.

3/03/2006 12:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Typolad said...

Well, one thing that should be noted is that Jean Loring had a history of mental illness.

However, if we're going to keep continuity in mind so that the flamethrower thing makes sense, then the rest of her motive (to get them back together) makes no sense, since *she* is the one who broke up the marriage and Ray'd tried to reconcile numerous times, with her always shooting him down.

So yeah, it's a bit cherry-picked.

3/03/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Chuck T. said...

I know I complained about this with "Broken City," but I remember being completely excited to read the last part of Identity Crisis...and then just being burned. Not unlike with a flamethrower, really, leaving a little pile of soot and my confused, blinking eyes.
Also, Typolad, while I love "What were they thinking?" Jean's history of mental illness is no more or less an indicator of future actions then anyone else's in the DC universe! How many times have we seen Superman or Batman just crack? Remember Gangbuster? Or the Last Arkham? Those are just the first two examples off the top of my head, and if you go silver age on this, you'll have a hard time finding a story where they DON'T act insane.

3/03/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

It didn't seem that strange to me. I carry a flamethrower everywhere I go. Helps with those embarrassing mistakes and settle arguments.

Coworker: "Harvey, man, why didn't you clean out the coffeepot?"

Harvey: "Hm..."

[Sound of flamethrower]

Harvey: "What coffeepot?"

They're also useful for pet owners in cities with strict "pooper scooper" laws and in job interviews.

Plus, nothing keeps the neighbor kids off your damn lawn like the threat of nine thousand degrees of spraying napalm.

3/03/2006 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting synchronicity. I just finished reading IC in its entirety for the first time yesterday (library copy -- no way I'm paying for it). I dropped it when Deathstroke took on the League and they finally beat him by tackling him -- easily the stupidest fight scene I've ever seen in comics. Even as an 8-year-old playing with my Megos, it was obvious to me that normal guys fight a super-speedster by planting bombs across the city, forcing him to rescue innocents, rather than direct confrontation. And then the Green Lantern scene . . . but I digress.

My point is that having finished the entire story, I was embarrassed for having read it. I was embarrassed for Joss Whedon, who had to write the introduction. I was embarrassed for Meltzer, who had an interesting exercise in ret-conning in the back, when he explained the "reasoning" behind many of his decisions (alcohol wasn't mentioned, nor was "I didn't want to waste more than 15 minutes on this funnybook crap"). I was really, really embarrassed. And honestly, I can't think of a worse criticism than that.

Bryan Long

3/03/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

"I've always been most annoyed that the plot also required a D-List supporting character who hadn't done much since the 80's to somehow be privy to everyone's secret identities."

To illustrate Meltzer's main thesis: that sharing anything with women is BAD.

3/03/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Oh, Meltzer tries to explain himself? I may have to take a look at the hardcover after all.

3/03/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael, Meltzer offers some "explanations" in the context of his script directions to Morales. There are no big reveals, and I wouldn't want anybody to buy the hardcover thinking it will explain the mess. It won't.

In fact, since my wife runs the library that I borrowed this copy from, I'm encouraging her to return it. She bought it at a patron's request, and normally she checks with me first. This one slipped through the net.

Bryan Long

3/03/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


As the husband of a librarian I've got to take issue with why you'd ever encourage your wife to return a book that she ordered at the request of a patron? Whatever problems you or I may have with the story there's at least one person in your community who wants to read it, probably more. Its not up to you to decide what "graphic novels" are read by the community.

3/03/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

I thought the Deathstroke fight was cool.

And Jean Loring was basically a supervillain, and supervillains carry flamethrowers EVERYWHERE. Well known fact. Ask any neighborhood supervillain.

Those are the only two things that DIDN'T bother me about Identity Crisis.

3/03/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Chuck T. said...

It just occurred to me: who's flamethrower was that, Heat Wave's? And Jean Loring has killed more people with it? My "vacation" away from the DC Universe is going to get longer the more I think about this.

3/03/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I am in no way advocating depriving a library patron or censorship in any form. I regret not making that clear, and I can see how you could interpret my comments that way. In fact, the policy there is to obtain ANY book a patron requests, as is the case with most libraries.

What I suggested was that my wife use another alternative, such as inter-library loan or book lease, on this particular book if there are future requests for it, since I don't think it deserves a spot in the permanent collection. This particular copy is no longer new, since both the patron and I have read it, but I believe there are some credit/exchange policies that can be used to get rid of it or send it to a library that wants it. It's a small library with limited space, and I'd rather see the space used for a better graphic novel (and there are many).

Thank you for letting me make that clear.

Bryan Long

3/03/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

That's what I thought (hoped?) you meant, Bryan, and glad to see it cleared up.

I think I will go dig up the HC at the library and share the end bits with the folks here, if it is as amusing as you say!

3/04/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous budgie said...

I've never figured out why in the opening pages of the story, Firehawk was on stakeout.

Firehawk. Glowing golden sitting on the edge of the roof... because NO-ONE's going to spot a glowing golden woman on fire, are they?

3/08/2006 09:16:00 AM  

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