Heroes In Crisis #3 is written by Tom King with artwork by Clay Mann and Lee Weeks and colours by Tomeu Morey.
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Tragedies deepen as more secrets behind the “superhero hospital” called Sanctuary are revealed! What compelled Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to create it in the first place? How was it built? And if the hospital truly is alive via A.I., who — or what — is the brain of “Sanctuary?” Another layer peeled back in the biggest mystery woven through the entire DC Universe.
Heroes in Crisis #2 (reviewed here) furthered the mystery of DC’s latest Crisis event by flipping the events of the first issue on its head. Is Booster Gold really to blame for the massacre at Santuary? Or is Harley playing him for a fool?
Don’t expect definitive answers to either of those questions in this third issue. Instead writer Tom King takes a breather to instead give us more of an insight into Santuary and its reasons for being.
We learn that the facility was setup with its own A.I. system built by Batman, based on Superman’s technology but with Wonder Woman’s compassion. A facility built on the understanding that it could help heroes in crisis.
Through the eyes of Lagoon Boy, Wally West and Booster Gold we learn how the facility works. Cleverly each character has been at the facility for a different length of time allowing for various pieces of exposition to be covered off at ease.
Lagoon boy has been there the longest, struggling with events of Titans. He uses Santuary tech to repeat a specific moment over and over. Searching for a way to move beyond his PTSD. His story is the most tragic. Fixated on an moment of death and destruction and unable to move on before he is killed.
Wally has been in the facility for a little while but struggles with the anonymity of wearing the Santuary mask (more on that in a mo). Through him we learn more about how the A.I. system works. As he recreates his missing children, lost to the Speed Force, the system counsels him on why his now non-existent children are a source of emotional upset for him.
Booster has just arrived at the facility when we meet him in this issue. Through him we learn how the system functions. We also learn about the steps Santuary takes to keep its patients anonymous. We also get a great insight into a slightly more unhinged side of the character which may have led to the massacre which took place in issue #1.
But it’s not only these three who are spotlighted in this issue. We’are also given brief glimpses of many of the other Santuary residents who are caught up in the trouble. In particular Poison Ivy, Commander Steel, Gunfire, Tattooed Man, Soltice, Gnarrk, Protector, Red Devil and Nemesis are all shown prior to their potential deaths.
It’s a brilliant move by King to take us away from the Trinity for a breath. We know following the last issue they are about to come in to conflict. Not only does issue #3 capitalise on the anticipation of what comes next by side-stepping it, it also amps up the emotional impact on the characters but showing us the inside of this tragedy.
Of course we get to see the deaths of Wally and Lagoon Boy plus several characters associated with them. You will need the tissues nearby for the moment when Wally discovers Roy’s lifeless body. But also be ready to scratch your head.
The pendulum has swung once again and it would be appear that Harley is far less innocent than she appeared to be. Could she be the killer after all?
Three issues in there’s very little left to say about Clay Mann’s artwork. This is another beautifully drawn issue. The colour pallette is excellent, props to Tomeu Morey for keeping this book consistently well coloured. This issue also features artwork by Lee Weeks. The pair seamlessly integrate their art styles so as to make sure the book never feels disjointed.
It was lacking slightly in a memorably sprawling splash page like issues #1 and #2. But to continue repeating this each issue may have become tired.
Roll on next month!
Heroes In Crisis third issue brings us to the real emotional core of the story. It sheds some light on events which triggered the series whilst also helping us as an audience to understand why the DC Trinity setup Santuary in the first place.