Wonder Woman versus…Booster Gold?! Diana finds out the hard way that Booster can be a formidable opponent when his back’s against the wall. Of course, being the prime suspect in a superhero massacre and exposing a secret trauma hospital for metahumans will do just that. Meanwhile, Batman and the Flash combine their detective skills to investigate what went awry at Sanctuary and uncover a serious glitch in the system—not to mention an explosive, spoiler-ific secret!
Like all great stories Heroes in Crisis is proving to be incredibly polarising with readers. This fourth issue, released only yesterday as I write this, has overwhelmed my Twitter feed with equal parts acclaim and vitriol. It makes me wonder how Crisis on Infinite Earths or Final Crisis were received when they were being released.
This latest issue, which opens with a beautiful image of the Teen Titans as graffiti art, is certainly pulling no punches.
Tom King is keeping this story at a slow pace. Whilst we’re no further forwards in knowing just who murdered many of Sanctuary’s residents we do understand a lot more about why this story is important.
Firstly this issue presents several more key “confessional” videos from patients of Sanctuary. We see three of the DC Universe’s most prominent female characters: Donna Troy, Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance. Each shows another angle of how the hero life impacts on mental health.
Whilst Donna seems the most cohesive there’s a nervous edge to her character we’ve rarely seen before. Barbara is near silent, instead choosing to show off the scars of her bullet wound. It’s an emotionally resonating moment for the character, one of two she has in this book.
Dinah is very much herself. Led by her anger. From her sequence it’s easy to surmise that maybe Oliver convinced her to take a trip to Sanctuary only for her to decide she didn’t want to undergo therapy. It’s very in character for her but still sad to see her unable to open up.
I certainly feel that after four issues we’re seeing something subtle heartbreaking unfold in the story. There’s glimpses of these mental health issues suffered by the heroes purely for doing their job. Then there’s this hopeful notion that Sanctuary is (or was) somewhere for them to deal with their issues.
With Sanctuary defiled, for want of a better word, we’re presented with the DC Comics Trinity in broken form. King writes Diana, Bruce and Clark as fractured, cold versions of themselves. They’re not functioning as a unit but trying to maintain status quo and contain the situation.
The scene in the Batcave where Diana punches the penny and Bruce faces down Clark is intense. Easily the best scene in this series to date.
In issue #2 (reviewed here) we saw Clark and Diana upset with Bruce for lying about carrying Kryptonite. Batman has notoriously been outed for his secrets in every DC Crisis story. But here it’s Clark who has the Earth shattering secret. Hearing him talk to his two closest allies about siding with Lois over the story will have serious ramifications on their relationship. That scene will stick with me for some time.
There’s also a beautiful scene between Barbara and Harley Quinn. It plays out like Batgirl is the first to catch up with Harley following her earlier escape. But by the scenes end it turns in to something much more emotional for both characters. It’s empowering and heart breaking at the same time.
If it should transpire that Harley committed the murders we could see a vengeful Batgirl on the loose by issue #9.
There’s very little for Booster Gold to do in this issue. But fans of his friendship with Blue Beetle will find this issue very satisfying. Their short time together will certainly play in to the next issue in the series in a big way.
I’m a little concerned that Booster is away he may have convinced himself he didn’t murder anyone. In discussing that he may in fact be the murderer he incredibly nonchalant on the subject. There’s no remorse of his potential actions. Heroes In Crisis could be the undoing of his character.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it… Clay Mann’s artwork is stunning. Nuff said.
Heroes In Crisis fourth issue is as polarising as it is enthralling. A serious page turner in all the right ways. Built on enough shock and awe to make this one of DC Comics most compelling event stories.
Heroes In Crisis #3 is written by Tom King with artwork by Clay Mann and colours by Tomeu Morey. The cover is by Rainier Beredo and Trevor Hairsine
You can pickup your copy of Heroes In Crisis #3 now where all good comics are sold!