If you’ve read IC #6 already you’ll be away of the latest great big stocking twist, if you haven’t read it yet and intend to then DO NOT READ NEWSGROUPS, MESSAGE BOARDS OR MAILING LISTS until afterwards. I know this from experience because I logged into one group this morning only to have some git posting up the twist as the subject to a thread. One was not amused.
It is interesting to see fan reaction to the various twists and turns of the first six issues. It’s also slightly disheartening to see that so many people are ignorant of the conventions and formulas of mystery writing. I’m not that well read myself, but I’m a fan of the adaptations – Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Inspector Morse, Columbo, and even CSI. It’s a genre that we’ve become detached from in the superhero world.
Oh sure, we have the excellent GOTHAM CENTRAL and it’s ilk, but they’re more cop show that classic Holmesian mystery. In fact the last really good comic book mystery I read was a story in DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #2 (1989) by Mark Waid and Bryan Augustyn. The reason that many comicbook mysteries don’t make the cut is that too many were/are fond of the Adam West Batmanesque logic leap where the fictional detective makes a quantum leap in deduction based on evidence and facts that have not previously been presented to the reader.
This is were Brad Meltzer’s IDENTITY CRISIS is different. This is a real classic murder mystery, yet even it breaks the formula by using a set of characters who existed before the story and will have a life after it ends. In this it is almost unique — the only compariable case I can think of being “Who Shot JR?” on Dallas. Each issue of IC has rolled out clues, twists, more than one read herring, yet has brought a large and varied group of characters onto the game board. I also get the feeling that there is nothing in this series, be it in the script or the art, that isn’t there for a reason. One thing is for sure… this mystery isn’t over yet!