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Marvel: Identity Disc
Reported: 29/03/2004 Source: Newsarama


Thanks to its name, it’s already got some controversy (or notoriety, thanks to a switch from Sinister Six to Identity Disc, which is close to DC’s Identity Crisis, debuting the same month)) attached to it, but still, Marvel’s Identity Disc has a compelling through line – take six of the roughest, more street-level super-powered thugs (or worse) the Marvel Universe has to offer, and set them on a mission together. Their target – a disc at the core of Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM)’s most secure headquarters that has all the heroes’ secrets.

The six bad guys: Deadpool, Juggernaut, the Vulture, Sandman, Bullseye and Sabretooth. The writer: Robert Rodi.

First off, sure, there are six, for lack of a better word, convicts on what’s clearly a suicide run, but there’s no Lee Marvin to bring them together. So don’t call it the Dirty Half-Dozen. Rodi has his own comparison. “It’s more like a Usual Suspects setup, in that the six criminals are recruited by a shadowy uber-criminal for the job,” the writer said. “Or so it seems. Not everyone is convinced that they’re not being played. But they learn pretty quickly -- in the first issue, in fact -- that refusing to play along is a very, very deadly mistake.”

Their target, as revealed in the solicitations is the goldmine for anyone who’s had the crap kicked out of them by Spider-Man, or any other costumed hero in the Marvel Universe. It’s a database of secret identities, home addresses, known relative, medical histories, and even credit records of every costumed operative in America. Bookstore purchases are probably on there too…just figure out how much any Joe Blow on the can find out about you with an Internet hookup, and you get the idea.

Yeah, yeah…we here you – “but if this disc does exist, why haven’t we heard of it before, or, at the very least, why hasn’t AIM used it to benefit themselves…or at least get better uniforms?

“We establish that the existence of the disc has been rumored for decades,” Rodi said. “A lot of people in the criminal community accordingly think it’s just an urban legend - a kind of bad guys’ Holy Grail, something that’s just too good to be true. Some of our six villains still have their doubts, even as they’re working to steal the thing. As for AIM not having used it yet, we’re told that they’ve just obtained it. How, and from whom, we don’t know.”

Sure – if a thing like this did exist, every bad guy would want it, but no one would want to go after it. Goofy bucket-headed costumes aside, AIM has the reputation of being about as friendly and accommodating as a cobra in a woven basket. So – as the mysterious puppetmaster opts – send some folks in to get what you want, preferably folks that you won’t mind too much if they buy it along the way.

“We wanted a roster of A-list villains -- or rather, A-list villains of a certain street-level type,” Rodi said. “You can’t realistically put Magneto or Dr. Doom into a story like this, so popularity was certainly one of the things driving our choices. And it’s funny how many of the really hot villains are certifiable sociopaths. But it’s even funnier how there are degrees of sociopathy. I mean, Bullseye’s as crazy as a rat in a coffee tin, but when you pair him up with Deadpool, he seems almost laid back. So it was enjoyable seeing how these guys’ various pathologies interacted.

[Image: Identity_disk_1_t.jpg]“Surprisingly, one thing they all have in common is utter disdain for the Vulture, whom they see as an arthritic old geezer. Sandman excepted; he sort of stands up for Vulture, ‘cause they have a history from their Sinister Six days.”

So the six are blackmailed into doing their master’s bidding. And yes – you can blackmail someone like Deadpool, or even the Vulture.

“Everybody is blackmailable,” Rodi said. “If there isn’t something terrible in their past, or some looming indiscretion in their present, you can always invent something and threaten to make it public as if it were real. And of course, there’s always family, which makes anyone vulnerable - ‘Do as I say or I’ll shoot your dog.’ This is a disparate group of criminals, so all of the above methods have to be called into play. And of course, the criminals themselves don’t take kindly to being threatened - some less well than others.”

From the first pages of issue #1, Rodi said, it’s set out to be very clear that the six are in waaaaay over their heads, both with the nature of the mission (where stealth might be better than say, any movement the Juggernaut makes), and the disposition of the teammates.

“You’ve got a criminal mastermind who may or may not exist, blackmailing six criminals with secrets that may or may not be true, to steal an Identity Disc that may or may not exist, from a terrorist organization that may or may not have it,” Rodi said. “But we anchor all the ambiguity with lots of good, solid battles, brawls, and explosions - plus a couple of mind-blowing revelations at the end. It’ll be a fun ride.”

Identity Disc #1 ships in June.

Is anyone else looking forward to this? It has the potential to be either a real firecracker of a book, or it could end up a damp squib. Fingers crossed some of our favourite marvel villains are done justice. (pun intended :p)
It does sound very intriguing, and I certainly hope for the best from this book. But, all too many times in the past, great villan based premises such as this fall on their face. I am apprehensive, but definately look forward to finding out for myself. Because a bigger Deadpool fan you will not find.

So far, Issue #1 hasn't dissapointed, but as Thor said, ideas like this have a way of flopping. I patiently await #2 to see a story that is (hopefully) continually good.
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
Have to agree, I enjoyed the first book and hope the second keeps up the quality. The art is a bit rough for my taste but it grows on me. I want to know what it is they used to blackmail Sabretooth! heh heh
Just read issue #2 and it was also pretty good. Deadpool got to have a few spotlight moments that were classic Deadpool, and there was an ending that left you saying OH CRAP!

[spoiler]Bullseye got his ASS KICKED! HE NEVER STOOD A CHANCE![/spoiler]
When life hands you lemons, you gotta squirt lemon juice and life's eye and make it your B!TCH
Ok, since I am not reading this series, please fill me in on all the spoilery details. I would love to know [spoiler]who kicked Bullseye's ass, and why?[/spoiler]

So please, use those spoiler tags and spill the bloody details.
The first issue showed promise, I thought, but each one after it got worse and worse. What a waste of time and money. A shame from Robert Rodi.

Glenn Walker

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