Tom King’s PTSD masterpiece marches on with Heroes In Crisis #2. There’s a heavy emotional weight to DC’s latest event story.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Booster Gold and Harley Quinn go their separate ways to spread confusion across the land about who killed everybody at Sanctuary. Booster is in denial while Harley flirts with a little bit of suicide? Tom King turns up the gravity and emotion for Heroes In Crisis, but not by diving too deep into the dark.
As far as plot devices go, these confessional tapes might be one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. It’s been used in superhero comics in the vein of reality tv, but never like this. Tom King and Clay Mann have used every one of these to peel back the surface of these characters and show us something different.
The intimacy of these confessions are unnerving. These moments really are like nothing else we’ve seen in superhero comics all this time. Batman’s turn to face the camera is easily the most striking so far.
The simple fact that Batman was even at Sanctuary is a huge revelation. Then to actually have him open up about his surrogate sons over the years, watching them die, it’s an emotional moment that will be etched into the brain of every DC fan for years to come.
Giving us a peak at the fragility Batman is capable of after all makes the other moments of weakness hit even harder. His refusal to let go of the case he can’t solve goes from being an act of stubborness to a desperate attempt at getting a “win” for someone on the edge.
One thing that Heroes In Crisis suffers from is a constant throughout most DC books that feature Harley Quinn. Out of sheer convenience to the plot, Harley can outsmart the trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The three greatest superheroes in all of DC continuity and she bends them over a barrel with her unmatched superpower of crazy!
Having her be a central character to this story meant there was an inevitability to one of these scenarios. We just have to accept it and move on, like we’ve grown accustomed to in other DC works. That being said, it’s satisfying to see her use the Lasso of Truth on Batman.
Tom King decided to use Wonder Woman’s confessional to strengthen her character rather than expose a weakness. Her moment firmly solidifies everything we know and love about Diana, the strongest female hero there ever was. She’s better than all of us and King has no shyness about reminding the reader.
Booster’s handling of the situation is a show of great characterization. He’s in denial but it makes for some great comedy bits. His interaction with Flash is wonderful, as is the steadily declining percentage in which he is confident that his actions reflect “what Batman would do.”
The Flash and Booster Bold scene has a lot of development at lightning fast speed (duh). Clay Mann’s motion for Flash during their fight/talk is stupendous. The timing and layouts for the scene in which Barry learns of Wally’s fate, checks for himself, and confronts Booster is exactly what we read comic books for.
Just like Heroes In Crisis #1, Clay Mann puts on an absolutely stunning show. There’s a huge serving of diverse emotions on display that are spot-on. He uses a lot of facial expressions you don’t tend to see often in comics, but see in your every day life.
The final confession we see is Superman himself. We got all three of the trinity in this issue, but Clark was the biggest surprise. Who would’ve expected him to be the reluctant one? Batman bares his soul and Superman is the one worried that this could get out. King laid these three confessionals out perfectly and will catch readers off guard.
All in all, Heroes In Crisis #2 is another strong showing of emotional comic book crafting. There’s not a lot of action, but there’s no shortage of memorable scenes either. The pace may challenge more impatient readers, but we all knew what we were getting into.
There are a few minor annoyances but the sentiment is still there in full force. Heroes In Crisis is still very much a mystery that we’re to solve along with the characters. It’s going to be a journey with plenty of emotional bumps and memorable moments.