Thursday, January 12, 2017

Is this a mockbuster, then?


There are few comics that burned as much goodwill with me as DC's Identity Crisis, which ran from August 2004 to February 2005. But right next to it on the racks was today's book, from August to December 2004: Marvel's Identity Disc. Specifically, we've got #2, written by Rob Rodi, pencils by John Higgins, inks by Sandu Florea.

There's a pretty good recap page: claiming to work for fabled super-criminal mastermind Tristram Silver, mystery woman Valeria Merrick brings together Sabretooth, Sandman, Juggernaut, Deadpool, Bullseye, and the Vulture. Using blackmail and threats, she wants them to help her get the fabled Identity Disc, which supposedly contains the secrets of every hero in America. Sandman doesn't buy it, and chafes at the threat to his mom; and Valeria kills him. (Yeah, like Sandman doesn't die every third appearance.) The bulk of this issue is not unlike a typical caper story, with Sabretooth and Vulture doing a smaller job for intel against A.I.M, while Deadpool and Bullseye hit a computer lab for a special decryption key, and Juggernaut watches an A.I.M. installation.

I kind of suspect both Pool and Bullseye are lying here, about their "blackmail stories." It's a little stalker-y even for Deadpool, while I can't imagine Bullseye caring if a dozen syndicates were after him: that's just more targets for him. And is it feasible to blackmail someone with no shame or fear of consequence? Bullseye tries to do a little research on Merrick, but after they hear a Tristram Silver story from a bartender, Bullseye decides he's out, double-crossing the others on his way by stealing the key. And finding pretty quickly he bit off more than he could chew, as Juggernaut and Sabretooth demolish him. (With Pool delivering a kick or three while he's down.) Merrick arrives before any permanent damage is done, taking the key and telling the team the timetable has been moved up...

We've mentioned "mockbusters" before: they usually mean the knock-off films meant to capitalize on a blockbuster film, like Trans-Morphers. Was Identity Disc intended as such, getting sales by confused comic buyers? This is a trifle compared to Identity Crisis, but at least it doesn't try to be more than it is. Namely, a riff on a modern classic crime movie, the name of which I won't mention since it could be considered a spoiler! Although, I think this post on one issue is longer than the Wikipedia entry for the entire series. And even more oddly, the disc was apparently legit! I was betting it was horsecrap at this point.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Wow, did the writer just pick random names out of a hat for this? As you pointed out most of these guys here really weren't all that blackmail-able, and really wouldn't care, so yeah, good motivation but wrong crew. Someone like Scott Lang, the Beetle, guys who were former cons but trying to stay straight would've been better choices.

Major cash grab on Marvel's part? You're goddamn right it was. Smart, but also a very dick move by Marvel.

And you're saying it turned out that it was legit? Wow....