I just spent the last hour or so writing up my latest theory on Identity Crisis, and then the power kicked off again for a minute, and the entire post was converted back to random electrons. My battery back up appears to be toast, because there was zero grace period before the machine shut down. Now that I think of it, it's at least five years old, so it's probably past due for replacement. Bother. So, now to reconstruct my post while saving often.
So, Identity Crisis...
Here's the problem. We're heading into the final issue of DC's big event of the year, and we still haven't had a hint of one of the major big bads being involved. No Luthor. No Joker. No Grodd. All we've seen are minor league villains. If a minor leaguer is behind it all, there's just not enough impact on a dramatic level. The reveal in the biggest series of the year has to be a bombshell, not a firecracker. If it were the Legion, I'd be expecting Mordru or Darkseid after all the build up. If it's not a big bad, then it has to be someone completely unexpected. A hero. That doesn't necessarily mean it's Ray Palmer.
Batman posed the question. Who benefits? If it's a hero, which hero benefits most from the deaths of Sue and Jack, and the near death of Jean? Does Ray benefit? He's back together with Jean, which is probably his greatest desire. It seems a weak ass motive for three murders, though. It can also be applied to Jean, but it's even weaker, because she knows Ray still loves her. She wouldn't have to murder anyone to get him back.
Who else benefits? You can almost never go wrong following the money, which in this case leads to Ralph Dibny. The thing is, he has a perfect alibi for the time of Sue's death, plus there's the tiny footprints in Sue's brain.
What if it's more than one person involved? What if it's Ralph and Jean? Let's do some speculating. We know Jean broke up with her old boyfriend. Maybe she ran into Ralph somewhere, and things clicked. Ralph decides to leave Sue, but then finds out she's pregnant (he is the second best detective on the planet), so divorce would be messy. He and Jean decide to kill Sue. Jean kills Sue using Atom tech, then burns her with Dr. Light's gun. They know that as soon as Ralph mentions Dr. Light, the people involved in the mind wipe will all jump to the same conclusion. Ralph is the one who "attacks" Jean, and they make damn sure Ray will get there in the nick of time. Later they arrange for someone to take the fall, arranging the hit on Jack Drake with Calculator. Given that they've warned him and even sent him a weapon, they probably figure he'll even survive the attack. Meanwhile, Jean is doing her best to keep the guy most likely to find the tiny footprints occupied. Later, after things have calmed down, she can cool things off with Ray again, and hook up with Ralph after a decent period of mourning.
- Sue's family had a "significant insurance policy" for her. Ralph stands to inherit a large sum.
- Ralph's performance at Sue's funeral seemed so tremendously over the top, especially for someone who is generally pretty calm, that it's suspicious. People react to grief differently, but it didn't seem in character. Not really evidence, but something to think about.
- Jean had access to Atom tech. In fact, she had to be wearing a shrink suit or device when Ray comes to sign the legal papers, because as soon as Ray gets the call about Sue, they both immediately shrink down to take the phone line to the Dibnys' apartment. This is only an hour after Sue was killed. It's possible that the signing over of the patents was another ploy to distract Ray.
- Somebody told Calculator that Ralph and the JLA were looking for Dr. Light. Light had no reason to think he'd be a suspect until Calculator told him the League was looking for him. He didn't remember what he'd done to Sue until after the fight with the League cleared out the mind wipe. Ralph was the person who sent the League haring off after Light in the first place. Calculator was also involved in setting up the job that gave Ralph his alibi, as well as the locating of the fall guy.
- When Ollie visits Hal Jordan, and asks who killed Sue and who attacked Jean, Hal won't tell him, even though he knows. What Hal does say is "Do me a favor, Ollie, make them pay when you find them." (Emphasis mine.)
- Jean is not a scientist, nor is she as experienced as Ray in shrinking. That being the case, why devise such a complicated murder that requires detailed knowledge of human anatomy? That really applies to whoever the killer is. Why not just kill her with Light's gun in the first place? The only thing I can think of is that by doing it stealthily with the tiny footprints, they made absolutely sure Sue couldn't fight back or escape.
I dunno. Given how long Ralph and Sue were together, I'm not sure I buy it either, but until Darkseid suddenly pops out of a boom tube on page 1 of issue #7, or some similar revelation occurs, it'll have to do. Unless there's a revenge motive I'm missing, the money is the strongest motive left.
In other news, I hauled out the breadmaker for the first time in a while, and made my famous maple-oatmeal bread. It came out great. Woo hoo! Fresh bread!