HEROES IN CRISIS #3
Written by Tom King
Art by Clay Mann, Lee Weeks, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles
Edited by Jamie S. Rich and Brittany Zolherr
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: November 28, 2018
(SPOILER FREE REVIEW)
The Sanctuary Center is finally revealed in full with issue three of the series that doubles down on the main purpose of the book while finally pulling back the curtain on those that were there during that fateful day at Sanctuary.
The nine-inch panels that have been used to tell the confessionals of the Heroes are used a little bit differently for this issue. The issue follows three Heroes at Sanctuary: Lagoon Boy, Wally West, and Booster Gold spending time with the three of them to see how the center is doing for them. Dividing the issue into three different accounts on what the Superhero Life means for your mental health becomes apparent as Mann and Weeks rotate each page to focus on a different Hero and their specific plights. This is where King shines as he dives into PTSD and Superheroes in a way that could easily stand as a book in itself. Lagoon Boy, Wally, and Booster are all suffering that calls upon either their lower moments or flaws that King wants to highlight that amplifies why they need to be here. Each character’s journey in Sanctuary is heartbreaking in it’s on way.
Weeks taking up the majority of the issue’s art and it blends well with Mann’s art on the beginning and ending pages. Weeks and Morey build on the shadows, inking, and stark imagery of Lagoon Boy and his “training” or Wally relaxing in his room with the therapeutic although fairly Psycho Pirate reminiscent mask. Weeks art throughout each sequence keeps it tightly set on the character that page is dependent on. The coloring from Morey is layered and rich across the entire book. From the outside woods of the Center to the insides with Booster and Wally combating their personal demons in their rooms. There’s a combination of darkness and light in the pages as King speaks to each character and their issues speaking to the continuity and deeper issues that house some actual great Segways into conversations about what these stories mean for characters and how events don’t just end for them but stay with them, even years after the fact. Lagoon Boy’s story is the example of this with his trauma dating back to the Titans East Special, not only bringing back this story but gives it added depth by having Lagoon Boy combat his rooted issues as he explains what the situation has done to him. This is where King hits when it comes to Heroes in Crisis. Speaking about events and characters in a realistic approach is positive but not everything hits the mark.
At the heart of Heroes in Crisis is a murder mystery of what happened at the Sanctuary Center. As the issue races to its conclusion through three different Heroes, it comes with heartbreak and a questionable moment or two…with superb art covering it from all sides. Weeks and Morey have their specific sections down pact whether it’s showing Wally racing into action in the halls when danger is afoot or the sunlight steps of the Center even with bodies of dead heroes littering the ground. It gives us framing for what Sanctuary was like before the investigation started and how the Center operated to suit the different needs of its Heroes. Taking a break from the ongoing murder mystery to spend time with both lower tier and characters prominent in the present to see what Sanctuary was like before everything went wrong is a good breather for the series that’s filled with well-known characters being put up against a different type of challenge.
It’s a dire issue that has heroes at their lowest showing what trauma does to a person with the clean, sleek, and expression full artwork of weeks showing the emotions of our heroes and the moments of sadness, remembrance, and despair in the wake of trying to pull themselves back from the brink. Heroes in Crisis continues to have inklings of good storytelling through the despair and violence of the event that’s about Superheroes coming back from a murder by one of their own? Or something else?
The Verdict: 7.0/10