Review: HEROES IN CRISIS #8 and the Confession of a Killer

FIRST IMPRESSION

This is it. The moment readers have been waiting for since the first issue of Heroes in Crisis hit the shelves back in September. Though the big revelation should be the apex of this issue, it's the character study - nay, deconstruction - that drives the book, and the series as a whole.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Ink
Colors
Lettering
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Tom King and company has baited readers since September of 2018 with the clues and misdirection that fill the pages of Heroes in Crisis. Who had committed these heinous acts of murder, and why?

With the eighth of nine books that make up this story hitting shelves today, those questions have (most likely) been answered. A confession has been given, and its ramifications will be felt throughout the entire DC Universe.

** Major Spoilers Below **

Heroes in Crisis #8 Cover

Story

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You’ve seen all the clues. You’ve heard the testimony and eavesdropped on the secret confessions of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes. Now, with the killer revealed, it’s time to find out why. What could have driven a hero to the brink, to turn a savior into a murderer? Rifts will form between old allies, and the trinity of Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman will have their leadership challenged and will question their own judgment. Sanctuary has become something they never imagined…and it’s still potentially carrying on without them!

Poor Wally West. Pushed aside as the prime Flash in The Flash: Rebirth in 2009. Erased from memory in the New 52 reboot. Forgotten of in a post-Rebirth world, including by his fellow Titans and wife. Also, his children were also wiped from existence, and he briefly died from running too much. It’s no wonder that he was in need of some serious superhero therapy.

Now, as revealed in the latest pages of Heroes in Crisis, Wally’s emotions and curiosity have gotten the better of him. Because of such, As a result, he has been revealed as the culprit of the killings at the Sanctuary.

Writing

This issue is all about the confession of Wally West, and it feels like it is one for Tom King as well. King has sprinkled clues throughout the previous issues of the series, and uses the entirety of this issue to divulge the who, how, and why.

King’s best work is in character studies. Just look at his takes on The Vision and Mister Miracle. Where Heroes in Crisis shines is in the confessionals. King takes a deep dive into the tortured and conflicted minds of the lesser known and unheard of DC Universe heroes. Those moments of tragedy and emotion are much more compelling than the murder mystery. Furthermore, though this book finally sheds light on the mystery, it’s Wally’s inner turmoil, and Tom King’s dialogue, that drives the story.

Perhaps, a focus on Wally West would have better suited this series, much like King’s work on Vision and Mister Miracle. A Flash who feels he doesn’t belong in this timeline, who is dealing with the emotional strife of living in a world where he is forgotten by his friends, his wife, and where his children have never existed.

Heroes in Crisis #8 Page Sample

Art

Mitch Gerads takes over the artwork for the majority of this issue of Heroes in Crisis. Gerads showcases some major talent in each panel of this issue. As Wally speeds through, cleaning up his mess, Gerads evokes the hurriedness of the situation through chaotic bursts of speed and lightning. And readers are sure to feel just as charged to flip through the pages to the end.

What Gerads does best in this book is evoke the rage and despair that Wally West endures. His facial expressions and his posture make the character come to life on the page. The penciled scratches etched on Flash’s face and costume suggests a worn and battered hero. One who has reached a breaking point.

Conclusion

With the big answers revealed, it will be very interesting to see how Heroes in Crisis concludes, and how the revelations of this issue will affect the entire DC continuity from here on out. Perhaps The Flash will undo everything he has done with time travel, as Flashs’ tend to do. Regardless, the strongest aspects of this series have been the character studies. It’s the look at the flawed people under the masks, as opposed to the murder mystery, that sell the story.

Are you surprised at who the killer is in Heroes in Crisis? How do you think the series will conclude? Let us know in the comments!

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Michael Frommhttps://www.michaelefromm.com/
Michael E. Fromm is an all-around scrivener, writing screenplays (short and feature), short stories, novels, poetry, blogs, articles, and press releases. Since first learning to hold a pen, he has done little but read, watch, and write about characters and worlds of fantasy. It would be very difficult to find him without a pen in hand and an idea in mind, which is problematic for anyone wanting to have a conversation with him. Michael graduated from Rowan University, primarily focusing on improving his skills as a filmmaker and screenwriter. After said schooling, he joined an elite force of Rowan grads who also had the notion of becoming filmmakers. This group, known as Justice Productions, call on him every so often to write short films. And, until this whole writing thing pays off, Michael currently does development & marketing communication (writing, graphic & publication design, social media and website upkeep, etc.) for a web development company in Central New Jersey, where he currently resides.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Tom King needs to stop. His pseudo-psychological garbage is superficially well written. But character-wise it reads as if it should be a super pretentious Elseworlds. It’s as if he’s never read any comic starring Wally West, but was just handed some bullet points on the characters current status. His Batman isn’t much better, long drawn out psychobabble. His Mr. Miracle was over stylized, nearly incomprehensible BS. His Vision, while more comprehensible also showed a complete lack of understanding of the character.

    Wally West spent nearly his entire history as the The Flash completely overshadowing Barry Allen’s version. He was vastly more popular. His book completely outsold his predecessors book, which had been cancelled prior to Crisis due to poor sales. It’s why Barry Allen died in Crisis. Even in the comics he has long been more powerful than Barry. His treatment was the greatest fan outrage of the New 52 debacle. And while, people cheered his return, they botched it by basically treating the character like a second rate afterthought. In fact, his treatment leads me to suspect that he was brought back for this specific purpose. Which is even more creatively bankrupt. I will add to this, that King seems to completely not get Booster Gold as well. Having written him like a brain addled idiot in Batman and now here. Which completely disregarded all of Booster actually character development. Hell, they literally had him stopping Superman from making horrible time travel mistakes, only to immediately follow it up with the completely out of character King Batman storyline.

    This series is an expensive waste of paper. We don’t need story after story of horrific things happening to heroes, little less constant stories portraying them as less the actual hero they have always been. While I’m at it, I’d like to see some storytelling that doesn’t revolve around killing off long standing characters. It’s comics, so we know someone will eventually bring them back, so it deadens the affect immediately. It is also happening constantly anymore, which takes away any impact it could possibly have. t’s see these current writers flex their creative muscles by coming up with storylines not involving Fridging supporting characters. How about a no death mandate. A year of comics where storylines don’t constantly involve murdering long standing characters.

  2. So no talk of the inconsistencies throughout the series and the fact that the “mystery” was never there to solve? A character study???? Tom king doesnt come close to showing he knows Wally west at all

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