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THE REPRESENTATION OF VIOLENCE, HEROISM AND GENDER IN IDENTITY CRISIS
Author: David Hernando Serrano
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

ABSTRACT

Superhero comic books reflect United States social history since 1938, when Superman was first [created]. Superheroes have been constructed according to what each decade has demanded – from World War II to the feminist movement or the race issue. Disguised as an action-oriented narrative, superhero comic books have become a genre within genres, e.g. SUPERMAN is science-fiction; BATMAN is detective stories; X-MEN is social marginalization, and so on. However, there are three main aspects that co-occur in all of them: violence, heroism and gender. They have been transformed and changed through the years, but their basis has not. IDENTITY CRISIS has become the most successful comic event of 2004 and it is of great importance to examine in what ways does it portray heroism in comparison with the kind of heroism presented in the late 1930s, as well as what kind of violence is represented and what is women’s role in comics nowadays.

INTRODUCTION

Violence, heroism and gender are three of the most important issues to be dealt with in graphic novels, and especially in the superhero genre. IDENDITY CRISIS seems to take one step further in the evolution of the narrative established within that field, yet it reinforces the traditional superhero values that were introduced in the 1930s and reinvented in the 1980s – male bonding, women’s passive role and violence as an essential aspect of the hero’s evolution.

In order to understand the analysis that will be featured in the following essay, the first section is a general overview of comic book history in terms of how women, heroes and violence have been represented since 1938, i.e., Superman’s first appearance. After that, the second part of the essay will analyze the representation of violence, heroism and gender only by looking at the contents of IC, but taking into account everything explained in the first section. This is so in order to emphasize how this graphic novel recaptures old traditional topics about women’s role in comic books and, at the same time, how it re-constructs and represents violence and heroism in a more human and darker tone.

COMIC BOOK HISTORY – GENERAL OVERVIEW

This historical overview is focused only on the superhero genre, thus it does not take into account any other field within graphic novels. In those terms, this overview must begin in June 1938 – when Action Comics #1 first appeared. It portrayed a character that changed the way heroes were featured for younger audiences: Superman. Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman (and his alter ego Clark Kent) embodied everything those two young boys felt when they were 19 years old.

Siegel felt he was different because he preferred reading instead of playing sports. He was afraid of women and he also was extremely shy about everything else. His only way to make people aware of who was he was by creating a new persona. “Superman” was, therefore, the way Siegel wanted everybody to see him, while “Clark Kent” was ‘the Siegel’ everybody get to see. He created a fantasy world where the girl, Lois Lane, was disgusted by Clark Kent’s mere presence, yet she didn’t know he was the man she loved (i.e. Superman).

The representation of Lois Lane as “damsel in distress” was quite effective for that period (1930s/1940s and part of the 1950s) as every month she was in danger only to be saved by Superman. This representation was applied to all superheroes that were born due to Superman’s success (e.g. Batman and Flash, among many others).

Thus, women were portrayed as mere objects whose function was to be saved by the hero. They were the reason for the heroes to show their powers. They were the object of desire, not only for heroes, but for readers too. There was a sense of identification with Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane in every reader’s mind, either from the 1930s or from nowadays. Readers related to that man (Clark Kent) who doesn’t get the girl as Clark – only as Superman.

This construction of women reflected, not a misogynistic point of view (as it could be argued that women were there waiting to be saved as passive objects instead of being part of the plot as active characters), but a lack of ‘women knowledge’ by the author’s part.

In 1954, psychiatrist Fredic Wertham published THE SEDUCTION OF THE INOCENT, a book where he accused comic books of being fascist, promoting homosexuality and serving as a very dangerous weapon for young audiences. This attack on the comic book industry caused the end of several publishing companies and the ones that survived, like DC Comics (the company where Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and others belong), kept publishing their comics by changing their tone into a campy and happy version of what they once were. Only three superheroes survived: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. All the rest were cancelled.

Once the superhero genre was reborn (in 1956 due to Julius Schwartz re-creation of Flash), the heroism and violence was presented in the same venue: heroes were God-like figures who achieved victory through violence. However, women’s role changed, as Peter Sanderson explains:

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, before the feminist revolution, Schwartz's leading ladies included a reporter (Iris West in The Flash), a lawyer (Jean Loring in The Atom), and even the head of an aircraft company (Carol Ferris in Green Lantern). Shiera Hall was merely a secretary at the Midway City Museum, but as Hawkgirl she was a police officer on her native planet Thanagar and an equal partner to her husband Hawkman (Carter Hall) in their superheroic exploits. Then there was Zatanna, bravely traversing the dimensions in her search for her missing father (as chronicled in the recent DC trade paperback Zatanna's Quest). Barbara Gordon initially conformed to hackneyed stereotypes as a dowdy librarian, but her transformation into Batgirl could be seen in retrospect as a symbol of the emerging female empowerment movement of the 1960s. (Moreover, by the 1970s Barbara had given herself a makeover even in her "civilian identity" and ran for Congress.) (January 07, 2005)

This transformation in the construction of women’s role within superhero comics may have been triggered by the feminist movements of that period, but it’s important to notice how female superheroes were fully accepted almost twenty years after male superheroes, despite exceptions like Wonder Woman. This substitution of male heroes by women heroines is also applicable to the real world of the late 20th century and women’s role during World War II, as Danny Fingeroth points out in the following quote:

It would be up to creators a few generations down the road to assimilate feminist attitudes into mainstream culture through the fact that both were so natural to them. Their mothers were doctors, their sisters, lawyers, their female cousins ran corporations. To this new generation, a woman could be in a position of power was not unusual or a “credit to her sex”, but just the way things were. These things had happened before, of course. During World War II, with many men off fighting, women took their places in all sorts of professions and jobs. But it was understood that when her fighting man came home, Rosie the Riveter would hand her riveting gun back over and pick up her frying pan and knitting needles again. (2004: 81-82)

Marvel Comics, a company that began publishing the comics it is most known of in 1961 (The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men, The Hulk – all of them created by Stan Lee), featured women as part of their superhero roster since the beginning, e.g. Jean Grey in X-Men and Susan Storm in The Fantastic Four. However, they were given the less action-oriented superpowers: Jean was a telepath and Susan was the Invisible Woman. Jean’s power was related to the mind (as if women couldn’t be connected with ‘body-action’) and Susan’s nickname is quite self-explanatory: her power was to become… invisible, i.e., non-existent in the battlefield. When violence was present, the best she could do was to disappear.

The 1970s comics were more focused on social problems like drugs, though women achieved more and more relevance in their roles as the hero’s love interest and also as superheroines. It’s important to take into account that until this decade, comic book history was divided into two periods: the “Golden Age” (1930s/1950s) and the “Silver Age” (1950s/1960s). The first one dates from Superman’s first appearance to Fredic Wertham’s book. The second one begins with Schwartz’s reinvention of The Flash and the whole new re-creation of the superhero genre. The 1970s were the beginning of the “Bronze Age,” with a more realistic approach to superhero stories. It began with Gwen Stacy’s death – Spider-Man’s girlfriend. The 1980s was the time when superheroes became darker and it is generally known as “grim and gritty”, i.e., a dark, violent world where superheroes are tough guys fighting for their own purposes rather than world peace. Frank Miller’s THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons’ WATCHMEN were the two graphic novels responsible for this change, as well as DC Comics’ CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. As Sanderson describes it:

CRISIS, however, represents a sharp break with the past. This series effectively declares war on the Golden and Silver Ages, killing off editor Julius Schwartz's Silver Age Flash (whose debut started the Silver Age) and Supergirl, who represents the Mort Weisinger's editorial reign on the Superman titles. CRISIS, also disposes of Schwartz's parallel world, Earth-2, on which Golden Age versions of characters (including the 1940s versions of Superman and Batman) existed. CRISIS, paved the way for DC's even more radical innovation: obliterating a character's past continuity altogether and "rebooting" his series. George Perez's Wonder Woman reboot was set up in Crisis, but John Byrne's Man of Steel reboot was not tied into past Superman continuity: the past was consigned to oblivion, and the Superman saga started over from scratch. (October 15, 2004)

Today, superheroes are treated in a more complex way. Superman was a hero who saved the girl and punished the criminals, but after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Superman was re-envisioned from an angle that focused what he thought about his alien condition and about his relationship with Lois Lane. Even his “Clark Kent” persona was empowered, challenging the “mild-mannered” attitude he was better known of. Therefore, heroism is represented in a realistic and naturalistic approach where heroes are no longer God-like figures, but human beings with extraordinary abilities.

Violence is still present in the superhero genre, but it is not only represented as the medium through which “good” overcomes “evil”, but as an inner battle within the superhero himself. Violence can affect him personally and that kind of violence turns out as a more dangerous threat than the physical one, e.g. by killing off secondary characters (usually the hero’s girlfriend), highlighting how women are still portrayed in archaic ways within some superhero comics.

This general overview of comic books history focused only on superhero comics and on the three main issues discussed in this essay (violence, heroism and gender). It serves as introduction to the following analysis of IDENDITY CRISIS. As violence, heroism and gender are very much interconnected when talking about superheroes, there will not be any specific structural division within the analysis.

VIOLENCE, HEROISM AND GENDER

IDENDTITY CRISIS is a graphic novel serialized as a seven issue miniseries and published in 2004 by DC Comics. Written by Brad Meltzer and penciled by Rags Morales, IC seems to recreate CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS through an intimate angle rather than a cosmic one.

At the same time, it seems to develop the superhero genre into a more mature kind of narrative by introducing elements of rape, murder and treason, i.e., it connects with the “grim and gritty” period of the 1980s, as Sanderson describes it:

There appear to be two competing points of view in today's superhero comics. There is the "Neo-Silver" movement, which attempts to revivify the spirit of earlier comics within a contemporary context. And then there is an intensification of the "grim and gritty" movement of the 1980s, paired with an arguably even more severe attack on past comics continuity. IDENTITY CRISIS, whose own "catalyst" is the rape and murder of Sue Dibny, the wife of the Elongated Man, the "Stretchable Sleuth" of Julie Schwartz's Silver Age DC Comics, is the most prominent current example of this latter mode. (October 15, 2004)

This would alienate IDENTITY CRISIS from the stereotype of “hero gets girl and saves the day” as it is replaced by a darker approach to the same type of material. However, when analyzing this miniseries in depth, a conservative reading arises where old traditional values are reinforced and sustained disguised as a naturalistic and realistic treatment. As Sanderson points out:

The opening statement of I>IDENTITY CRISIS evokes … there is no mystery; everything ends in death. Death is indeed inevitable in real life; this is no surprise. In other modes the heroes' deaths can be ignored, as in comedy, where they "live happily ever after." A tragic or romantic hero's death may nevertheless be triumphant: Hamlet dies, but in doing so he succeeds in avenging his father's murder. For the religious, the hero's death is not the end, and can even be the means of achieving his ultimate reward. Or death can be depicted as the natural, proper end to a long, fulfilling life.

But the Elongated Man's simple statement that the only mystery about death is "when" establishes a bleak tone to the series from the outset. It's like a technical treatment of death: the only question the Elongated Man has is at what specific time non-existence will begin. His rejection of the notion that life has "mystery" may imply that there is no spiritual dimension to existence, or even anything remarkable about it. You're alive and then you're not. Whereas the superhero genre works through metaphors for the heroic, transcendent potential of the human being, IDENTITY CRISIS begins with an ironic reduction of life to the drab, distinctly un-mysterious passage of time to an inescapable endpoint. There's no hope from the start. (October 08, 2004)

Thus, IDENTITY CRISIS distances itself from the old notion of the superhero as an everlasting symbol capable of saving us all – s/he becomes nothing more than an ordinary human being of flesh and blood that will die as if s/he was one of us. In this sense, IDENTITY CRISIS evokes a different kind of heroism as the one already discussed in the historical overview. God-like figures no more: superheroes become characters to who readers can relate to.

If a sense of identification must surface between reader and hero, then the hero must suffer what real people suffer. This “hero’s suffering” is embodied by one character in IDENTITY CRISIS: Sue Dibny – she was raped in the past and she is murdered in the present and, curiously enough, she is not a superhero.

Before going into her analysis in IDENTITY CRISIS, it is worth of highlighting Sue Dibny’s role in the 1960s, when she was created along the rest of female characters that were portrayed as relevant social workers, like lawyers or reporters. In Sanderson words:

The wealthy Sue Dibny, the wife of Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, was not a career woman, but she proved to be a role model in a different way. Hawkman, Hawkgirl and the Elongated Man were the first married superheroes, and Schwartz and writer Gardner Fox portrayed the Dibnys and the Halls' marriages in a positive light. This was unusual in the comics of that time. Lois Lane, Lana Lang, and Vicki Vale were nuisances, attempting to expose the heroes' secret identities. Most superhero series subliminally conveyed the message that men should keep free of romantic entanglements and that women could not be trusted. Presumably, since superhero comics then were aimed at children, editors and writers thought that young boys wouldn't want to read about married couples, who might remind them of their parents. Through the Halls and the Dibnys, Schwartz and Fox countered the implicit misogyny of these early superhero series and helped the genre grow up. (January 07, 2005)

Her characterization in IDENTITY CRISIS is non-existent and she serves one specific purpose: to be the catalyst of an identity crisis for male superheroes and, moreover, for the whole superhero genre. When IDENTITY CRISIS #2 reveals Dr. Light’s mindwipe, it transforms the general representation of superheroes. They were constructed and represented for the last seven decades as flawless heroes. At least, they could have one flaw, but it wasn’t an ‘ordinary human being flaw’, e.g. Superman’s kryptonite.

In IDENTITY CRISIS, superheroes are constructed as ordinary human beings with special powers that they do not hesitate to use when they feel threatened – just what every other human being would do. Superheroes are supposed to be above the ordinary population and they have to overcome those situations that would be impossible for us to overcome. Thus, they have to be an example of what we should be. However, they become a reflection of what we are. Superheroes are no longer gods among humans, but humans acting as gods. As Sanderson puts it, “The Justice League, these icons of heroism, severely compromised their own ideals in retaliating against the rapist.” (October 08, 2004).

This humanization of superheroes is emphasized by the way they refer to each other, highlighting another identity crisis within, as Sanderson explains in the following quote:

Significantly, in Identity Crisis the superheroes usually refer to each other by their first names. That's realistic, but it also subliminally denies their superhuman identities: even in costume, Batman is still only "Bruce" to his colleagues. At one point in issue one, commenting on Batman, Green Arrow says, "It's Bruce's biggest flaw. I don't care how good he is. I don't care how well-trained. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, like me and my son, like so many of us, he's only human." That "only" demonstrates the strategy of this series: the superheroes are no better than anyone else. (October 08, 2004)

As they are no better than anyone else, they must suffer as anyone else would suffer: by seeing their loved ones dead. That’s what happens to Ralph and Sue Dibny. He is the superhero, yet she is the one who suffers physically in order to see him suffer psychologically. This situation evokes the end of the Silver Age with Gwen Stacy’s death (Spider-Man’s girlfriend) in the mid-1970s, as Sanderson points out:

The death of Gwen marked the unmistakable end of the Silver Age. Unfortunately, it now also seems to have provided the model for a whole series of stories of superhero stories in which leading female characters become sacrificial victims, of which Sue Dibny's demise is the latest and one of the most disturbing examples. (October 08, 2004)

Sue Dibny’s brutal death (her body is beaten and burned) reinforces the male bonding in which superhero teams are based on. The Justice League, in this case formed by The Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Atom, Elongated Man, Batman and Zatanna, is affected by Sue’s death because it triggers the downfall of the superheroes as we know them. The best example of this situation is IDENTITY CRISIS #2 (p.17) where we get to see the member whose vote decides the final fate of Dr. Light: Barry Allen, The Flash, the hero who did reborn superheroes in 1956. He began the Silver Age and he ends it with that decision, throwing all superheroes into a “grim and gritty” world of violence – the same violence that affects them so deeply that changes their identities. E.g. Robin becomes orphan at the end of the series because of the violence that surrounds his world. Heroes are no longer unaffected by violence, it shapes and controls their world.

It’s important to notice how all of the members of the Justice League vote whether mindwiping Dr Light or not, but the one who does it is Zatanna, the only female member of the group. Thus, she is the guilty one who does what men tell her to do. This, along with Sue’s murder, has been read as a misogynistic issue in the whole series. As Sanderson notes in the following quote:

In its own report on Identity Crisis, The New York Times (Sept. 15, 2004) stated that its writer, Brad Meltzer, had been accused by some readers of "misogyny." Well, Meltzer and DC would surely argue that Sue's character is presented very positively (in Ralph's reminiscences), and that they are merely introducing a greater degree of realism into the DC Universe, that women do get raped and murdered in real life, and that IDENTITY CRISIS takes the appropriate attitude of horror and sadness over Sue's fate. (October 15, 2004)

So just why is IDENTITY CRISIS supposedly so revolutionary in having Sue Dibny raped and killed? Leading ladies in comics have been regularly consigned to brutal fates for over thirty years. It's as if every handful of years some writer feels he has to reaffirm the seriousness of the genre by brutally killing someone, usually a woman. And this is basically the excuse that Identity Crisis is using now. Just what is really going on with this recurring motif of the sacrificial woman victim? It used to be that superhero comics voiced misogyny by having Superman foiling yet another of Lois Lane's snoopy attempts to prove he was Clark Kent. Jules Feiffer contended in The Great Comic Book Heroes (see "Comics in Context" #26), Superman disdained women and, in his heroic identity, was not really interested in Lois. Hence they would never get married. Now heroes' romances are often doomed because the writers kill off the women in question. Oh, the heroes mourn the dead women, and so do the writers. But are the stories really conveying a contempt for women, whatever the writers' conscious intent? (October 15, 2004)

The murder of Sue generates a whole debate among the male superhero community where male bonding is challenged. IDENTITY CRISIS does not reflect Sue’s feelings when she is raped. Readers get to see only how the men in the superhero community react to that horrible act. Sue is raped and, after that, she is removed from the main picture to become, again, a secondary and voiceless character.

We only have access to her through the way men construct her in their minds, especially her husband Ralph. This is so because her reaction to the rape of her body is not relevant. Her feelings are obscured because she is an excuse to explore male relationships within a strong and violent patriarchal structure as the superhero genre is. Sanderson supports this argument in the following quote:

Notice that Sue mostly appears in IDENTITY CRISIS either as a corpse (on an autopsy table or concealed within a coffin), or in flashbacks. There are only a few scenes with a living Sue in the "present," and, of course, in one of these she is a victim of a murderer. In the longest of her flashbacks, she is a victim, too, this time of rape. In other flashbacks, she is portrayed through Ralph's point of view: happy, beautiful, and idealized.

But Sue is not allowed to make much of an impression through her own efforts. Either she is viewed by Ralph (and the reader) as the Ideal Woman, or she is the victim of brutal men. (Her unknown murderer is apparently male.)

IDENTITY CRISIS is more about the reactions of Ralph and other characters to Sue's death than it is about Sue. She's almost treated as a Hitchcockian McGuffin in this story: the catalyst that is of no real importance. She is a "minor" character in the tale turning on her own rape and death! Her husband's grief seems to be of more dramatic importance than her life and her suffering. Sue is treated as an extension of a man's grief (and of other men's hatred) more than as a person in her own right. (October 08, 2004)

This misogynistic angle is emphasised when reading IDENTITY CRISIS #7, with the revelation of Sue Dibny’s murderer: Jean Loring, the Atom’s wife. Her confession reveals she wanted her husband to pay attention to her. The problem is that there is no closure in that story because the murderer’s identity has no sense at all. There is no plausible reason for Jean to kill Sue, despite what she confesses.

Is women’s fate in superhero comics to be just a passive role, an object for the hero to be saved? That’s what IDENTITY CRISIS seems to establish because when women are presented as active characters (a murderer in this case) her reasons are no other than a will for male attention. That sounds more misogynistic than the traditional representation of women in comic books since the 1930s.

As Sanderson notes:

In IDENTITY CRISIS #7 comes the grand revelation that the murderer of one Schwartz heroine, Sue Dibny, is none other than another Schwartz heroine, Jean Loring. In the past I've heard comedians joke that the typically obtuse male reaction when a guy and his girlfriend break up is that "She went nuts!" So, many years ago Jean had married Ray Palmer, the Atom, and subsequently it was decided to have them divorce. Now, in Identity Crisis, it turns out that Jean is insane. Having decided she wants Ray back, Jean decided to endanger Sue so that all the superheroes, including Ray, would react by drawing closer to their loved ones. It's like one of Lois Lane's harebrained schemes from the 1950s and early 1960s, when she often seemed like Lucy Ricardo transplanted into Metropolis, gone horribly wrong. (Jean's plot entailed using the Atom's costume to shrink herself to microscopic size. This might confuse old-time readers, who will recall that in the Silver Age if Ray Palmer tried to use the white dwarf star matter to shrink and re-enlarge anything but himself, the thing would blow up.) Jean claims that she didn't intend for Sue to die, or, for that matter, the father of Tim Drake, the current Robin: this seems an odd argument for a highly accomplished lawyer to make. Just how did the rational Ms. Loring come to lose her mind? There is no explanation … IDENTITY CRISIS has been accused of misogyny. In my past reviews of the series, I've been willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. But now it's clear that, intentionally or not, IDENTITY CRISIS is indeed disturbingly misogynistic. (January 07, 2004)

IDENTITY CRISIS is seen as a step backwards in the evolution of women’s role in the superhero genre because powerful women was a label only evil characters could achieve (e.g. Catwoman), while good women were those women who didn’t hesitate and waited patiently the hero’s arrival. This representation was challenged in the 1960s/1970s, as it has been already discussed, and therefore Jean Loring’s attitude is of no use for nowadays women portrayal, as Fingeroth recalls:

Women now have cultural “permission” to be angry and violent without having to be evil. It took several generations of modern popular culture to arrive here. Our society is at a place in history where young girls don’t have to hesitate to fulfil their dreams and ambitions. Or, at least, they don’t have to hesitate any more than young boys do. Girls’ and boys’, men’s and women’s, human potential is seen as equal, at least in the ideal view. (2004: 95)

In the ideal view it works perfectly, but when putting it into practice, it does not work as it can be demonstrated by looking at IDENTITY CRISIS’s representation of women’s role within the superhero genre – a genre fulfilled with violence and male heroism that has been transformed generation after generation and yet, it remains unchanged.

CONCLUSION

Is IDENTITY CRISIS really taking the superhero genre into a new, more sophisticated direction, reenergizing it for a new generation, as DC claims? Or is it a sign that superhero comics are now dominated by writers, artists and editors who have read superhero comics their whole lives, grown tired of it, grown jaded, and are subverting the genre with their own pessimistic view of life, which is not necessarily any truer than the sunny optimism of early superhero stories. (Sanderson, October 15 2004)

While early superhero stories are not so “sunny” optimistic as Sanderson describes them, it is true that Identity Crisis is not really a “new, more sophisticated direction” in the superhero genre. It embodies every aspect that made it what it is today, i.e., violence, heroism and gender questions.

Perhaps violence and heroism are the most updated issues, while gender seems to be in the same place as it was once before. If violence was the means to fight injustice in early superhero comic books, today violence may affect either the villain or the hero himself. This is due to the new heroism that has arisen through the last decades and one IDENTITY CRISIS ultimately portrays. The hero as a human being more aware of their loved ones than which villain he has to fight against.

This humanization brings a new representation of the superhero genre where violence gets personal, it increases therefore its relevancy, and male bonding becomes essential in the survival of the superhero society. As it has been discussed previously, the only issue yet to be polished is the gender one because women still play non-relevant roles in a world dominated by male superheroes with their own set of rules.

Despite IDENTITY CRISIS is presented as an example of this kind of gender treatment, it’s important to notice other comic book works (like Greg Rucka’s DETECTIVE or GOTHAM CENTRAL stories) where it is highlighted the importance of the feminine figure in a male-dominated world. Therefore, comic books keep constructing and representing United States social history within its pages, as it has done since 1938 and it will continue doing for the years to come, as Fingeroth notes: “There is a need for superheroes, that someone, who is essentially a good-hearted cop, must always intervene in the domestic and global squabbles that comprise human existence. We can’t do it on our own.” (2004: 155-156)

WORKS CITED:

Fingeroth, Danny. 2004. uperman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us about Ourselves and Our Society.
New York and London: Continuum.

Sanderson, Peter. October 08, 2004. "As Grim as It Gets. Peter tears into DC’s Identity Crisis."
"Comics in Context." IGN FILMFORCE Access Date: 04/12/2004

Sanderson, Peter. October 15, 2004. "Crisis of Conscience. Peter wraps-up his decimation of Identity Crisis."
"Comics in Context." IGN FILMFORCE Access Date: 04/12/2004

Sanderson, Peter. January 7, 2005. "Catch as Cats Can. Gaiman and a Goodbye to Identity Crisis."
"Comics in Context." IGN FILMFORCE Access Date: 4/15/2005

Writer David Hernando Serrano is a contributor to both BATMAN ON FILM and BATMAN IN COMICS.

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