First, I must give many thanks to LurkerWithout, who provided me with the full plot to the Identity Crisis graphic novel! Now that I know the full plot, I must admit that I would no longer recommend the series. I believe that many consumers would find reading a tale featuring both mature themes and the innocent icons from their youth to be an unpleasant experience. Simply put, there are just some stories that cannot be told using childhood icons. Well, they can be told, but I highly doubt they would be well received.
I assume that a reader’s reaction to Identity Crisis would be similar to the unbridled outrage that occurred over Janet Jackson’s exposed breast during her Superbowl halftime performance. Men who had probably spent many a night searching for illicit photos of Jackson were now seething because she had essentially given them what they wanted—at the wrong time. I’m still stunned that the usually shrewd Jackson could make such a monumentally careless career move. Any person who has spent even a small amount of time in the United States knows that Americans don’t want sex mixed in with their conservative American events—not publicly where others can see them enjoy it, anyway.
Are readers so fragile that they cannot handle stories featuring gruesome crimes such as rape and murder? Hell, no. You’ll pry my DVDs of The Wire out of my cold, dead fingers. Are readers so fragile that they cannot handle stories featuring gruesome crimes such as rape and murder that star childhood icons? Sadly, I’ve seen some stomach-turning, yet popular fan fiction and fan art that says otherwise. Are readers so fragile that they cannot handle stories featuring gruesome crimes such a rape and murder starring childhood icons that are published by Marvel and DC?
Yes. Yes, they are.
How can I explain it? People are just strange. And they will cheer some nameless person on the Internet who has drawn a disturbing picture of Batman molesting a bound Robin, but rage at DC over the horrific fate of Sue Dibny. You see, companies simply should not be seen as condoning this material—those that handle childhood icons, anyway.
On a lighter note, I wanted to include that when I visited my local comic shop for Free Comic Book Day, all of the customers present were women. Pretty neat, huh? Sadly, my local comic shop isn’t really all that local and is a thirty-minute drive away, which means I don’t visit that often. I feel guilty for buying things on Amazon when shops and bookstores are struggling, but Amazon is so much cheaper and delivers right to my door. Although, when there’s a one-shot floppy I have to have, I’m grateful that there’s a shop I can go to in order to get a copy.