Truth in Advertising
(Soundtrack: Squadron Supreme Radio
–I’m not kiddin’!!!!)

Kudos to Greg at Dead Chicks and Mayhem for bringing us this delicious bit of self-analysis-cum-double-entendre:

Someone mentioned spoilers in the comments. I’m not going to put spoilers in every post, this whole site is a spoiler by nature.

Yes it is Greg. Yes it is….

Check it out–according to Greg, Identity Crisis poses a threat to our little sweetlings because, in the seven issue series:

the killer wasn’t evil and the heroes weren’t good. It was a giant sadistic story about nothing. To believe in everything is to believe in nothing and to believe in nothing is to believe in everything. That’s a terrible thing to push on a child whose main purpose at that stage in life is to be looking for something.

And here I thought the problem with Identity Crisis was that it was poorly written, advanced a reactionary notion of superheroes as the “Harlem Globetrotters of goodness” (complete with mindwiped New Jersey Supergenerals), and engineered the “character assassination” of one of the DC universe’s most interesting supporting cast members–Jean Loring! But I don’t suppose Greg would’ve minded that, if only Meltzer had made sure to drill into his readers’ heads that our antagonists are always “evil”, and that, oh yes, there is somethin’ to believe in out there kids, so just keep lookin’ until you find a “responsible” “grownup” who is eager to indoctrinate you!

Meanwhile, I haven’t stopped hating Identity Crisis, of course, and I thought I’d close this little post with a couple more scenes from Ray Palmer and Jean Loring’s pre-Meltzerian days–from Power of the Atom #9… (and no, despite what our pair of onlookers infer–the divorced couple are not getting back together here)


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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I wonder what Greg would make of this? Divorced people–behaving lovingly toward one another? Becoming friends!!!! The “cuckolded” Atom confiding his troubles to an “adulteress”? What has become of morality? Christ! Next we’ll be killing each other with boomerangs! That hurts…y’know?

Good Afternoon Friends!



  1. Well, I will say that it’s damn hard to reach that place in some extremes. Not that I give a rat’s ass about protecting the children from reality, but it isn’t always possible to be ‘mature’ about these things.

    You know, the Atom is one of the DC comics characters I’ve always thought could be the medium for some really trippy stuff: I mean, the man can shrink below the subatomic plane and enter whole new universes, explore the cellular, and harness the power of white dwarf star material. I’d love to see a story where Ray Palmer decides to explore ‘microspace’ in more detail, or gets involved in an adventure against a cancer invasion or something.

    Actually… hmm. Could one salvage Identity Crisis by having Ray take a trip into Jean’s brain to try and understand her, literally accessing her stored memories in some manner? (An Atom/Dr Mid-Nite crossover?) While the typical ‘Jean was really under the control of X’ storyline would be tepid here, maybe you could make a good story out of the futile quest to understand a person by literally depicting it in the quest through her brain…


    — Matt Rossi

  2. maybe…

    have you ever seen Unforgettable Matt? (John Dahl’s sci-noir follow-up to Red Rock West and <>The Last Seduction) Everyone seems to hate it, for some reason, but I remember loving it (might rent it again soon…)

    The film plunges into a vortex of detection, biochemistry, and memory that’s somewhat similar to what you’re proposing for Ray…well, not that similar, but your pitch made me think of the film, so there’s gotta be at least some connection!


  3. I’ve never heard of it: I’m film illiterate, I fear. I’ll see if I can find it and compare it.

    I want to stress that I would not want Ray to find an answer in his search. Although I would like it if he and Jean could find some way through this: that he wouldn’t abandon her, even if nothing can ever be the same again.

    — Matt

  4. I understand exactly what you mean, Matt! Makes sense to me! I think you’ll like Unforgettable (the objections that have been raised on the IMDB are not at all the kind of thing that I can picture you worrying about–most of them of the “this could never happen” or ‘brain fluid doesn’t look like that” variety), and it should be readily available! I remember being floored by it, at any rate, but, of course, I’m obsessed with time and memory, and will generally go see anything that explores these themes… You don’t know how hard I’ve struggled to resist the urge to rent The Butterfly Effect–and I know I’m going to lose this battle someday!

    I realize that it’s kind of stupid of me to be hyping a movie that I’ve only seen once (and eight years ago!), but what can I do?


  5. I thought they really missed the boat with the Atom when they de-aged him. I forget how it happened; I think it happened during Zero Hour. Regardless, that was a hell of an idea; to be 18 years old, with all the memories of your former life. What do you do differently? Do you even want to be a scientist this time around? Do you want to avoid becoming the man you used to be? But they never really dealt with it, just stuck him in the Teen Titans and re-aged him a couple years later.

    Unforgettable wasn’t bad. I seem to remember that the song was really getting on my nerves by the end, though.

  6. they pulled a Peggy Sue Got Married on the Atom? (speaking of time/memory-themed movies! surprise, surprise–it’s my favourite Coppola movie…) interesting… I missed that whole decade, so I have no opinion on this one!


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