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 **
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.
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.
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.
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.