HEROES IN CRISIS #2
Written by Tom King
Art by Clay Mann, Travis Moore, Tomeu Morey, Arif Prianto, and Clayton Cowles
Edited by Jamie S. Rich and Brittany Zolherr
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: October 31, 2018
(SPOILER FREE REVIEW)
The murder-mystery that’s set to take the DC Universe by storm continues onward with issue two following The Trinity’s stake in the investigation and we see the ramifications of how the two suspects in the Sanctuary Massacre, Harley Quinn and Booster Gold, to see how they pick up the pieces and combat what’s next. (It’s not going well for either of them)
The testimonials of the characters that will be a frequent break in the story open the issue. The opening testimonial from the character adds to a passing piece of dialogue and delivers on what was said in a previous arc of Batman and it’s a strong push for the character. It’s a heart-warming page that’s soon followed by grave reminders of what happened at Sanctuary. Issue Two continues to be an intimate affair of a Superhero Investigation with King only handling a handful of characters for the second chapter. Heroes In Crisis remains firmly rooted in the story of Harley and Booster Gold here, bouncing back and forth between the two suspects with the Trinity in between.
Mann illustrates the opening splash page with gorgeous, down to the smallest details with Harley and a waddle of penguins. Each character is handling the aftermath of the event in their own way and King has a distinct voice for his two misfit characters that are at the center of Heroes In Crisis. His Harley is confident, cunning, and is ready to play dirty so she doesn’t go down as the culprit of what happened at the center…but is running away making things better in her favor? Mann’s art is very realistic, and it works for a series of HiC nature. This is a story about people picking up the pieces after a tragedy and looking to get better while being dressed in a murder mystery is off-putting for sure, there is some light as King tackles Harley with Booster being written truly weird. Morey and Prianto’s colors work in favor of the character’s that may need something different for their section. Harley’s pages are darker and only use lighting through the crashed entrance the Trinity are standing behind, while Booster Gold’s is a ray of sunshine and hopefulness, despite Booster himself quite possibly being crazy due to the events of Sanctuary.
The issue gets the Trinity involved and we’re shown small steps into discovering what happened at Sanctuary and it’s a true whodunnit as an interesting clue is discovered. King has a handle on the Trinity as they dig into the autopsy of a Hero and later in the issue, go into battle. The dialogue in Heroes in Crisis #2 is the type that can be seen throughout King-related projects in certain parts. There’s a push and pull to it that allows for characters to bounce off of one another, make a joke that will come back into play, and continue the parallelism that’s already prevalent. Making conversations short and more of a back and forth for the characters. Booster remains an interesting figure from a written standpoint, as Mann’s art renders him in great effect with all the small touches like yawning, cleaning his visor while flying with King’s writing has him running down what he’s setting out to do next with Skeets along for the ride.
Mann’s art combined with Morey and Prianto’s colors are a match that illuminates the darker moments with realistic tones and inking. The panels from Mann range not just in point of view but with how he displays the action. It builds on the smaller, more intimate state of the investigation because of the small number of characters that are on the table as it stands. Moore is tasked with doing three pages and it fits right in with Mann’s art, so much that it’s a natural fit for the book and doesn’t disrupt anything that comes before or after. One of the best sections actually comes from Moore with Booster talking to The Flash as he dismantles foes at lightning speed and…well you’ll have to read the book to see how the conversation goes.
Heroes in Crisis #2 is a step in the right direction for the event series but the writing could use a step up for the DC Heroes if it’s going to match the art output. The twist and turns of the story are enough to keep eyes surrounding the book, the realistic, ground level feel of the DC Universe separates the title from other DC titles and with it’s smaller cast slowly being more spread out amongst key players, HiC could quickly have more story to follow if the second to last page is to be read and believed. A confirmation on the fate of another character’s status, it could be another issue that has more fan outrage on the horizon.
Hereos in Crisis has aspects working for and against it, the storytelling is a mixed bag with King playing on Booster’s insanity for better or worse and the curious case of Harley Quinn who seems to have a few plans of her own. The art remains top-notch from everyone on board and with issue two, things get a little worse for our Heroes but the road ahead seems to have interesting paths to travel.
The Verdict: 7.0/10