I can’t remember the last time a debut series opened up with such controversy. Even though I might agree with how certain aspects of Heroes In Crisis played out I can’t deny that I want to see how the series will play out. Perhaps my emotional investment with this story is amplified by my personal long term investment with these characters, rather than what’s being said withing the actual pages of the comic book. So let’s see where Tom King and Clay Mann take us this time. Warning they’re will be spoilers going forward. You have been warned.
One of the dangers of writing a story as grim as Heroes In Crisis, is that a lesser storyteller will make the story one type of tone. Unrelenting on the reader, not allowing them to take in the events they read. For every dark depressing moment in a comic, you need the levity to counter that darkness. This isn’t the 1980’s anymore after all. While said moments of levity are few within this chapter, it’s enough to break the depressing atmosphere, a small glimpse of sunshine in a overcast day. To certain readers, any kinda humor will feel unwarranted, given the path that Heroes in Crisis I’m glad it’s there.
If Tom King’s goal is to make me despise Booster Gold, then he’s well on his way to doing so. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Booster, a character that randomly shows up when time travel is required. Seeing Booster constantly ignore advice that is critical to whether or not he’s the actual murderer is absolutely both infuriating and heartbreaking. Clearly Booster has snapped in some fashion, but having no context for said snap, it just makes Booster look like an imbecile. More than likely, Booster’s mental state will be revealed as this series goes on, King wants to keep readers questioning why certain characters acting the way are, misdirecting them to hide the true intent of Heroes In Crisis. The same can be said for Harley Quinn, something although readers are actually given a small glimpse into what may have caused her to invade Sanctuary. We’re still in the setup game so far, but King is playing into the mystery thriller deeply with this issue.
Writing Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in the same title can be intimidating prospect, and while the focus of this issue isn’t mainly on the trinity I did enjoy their scenes together. King has a understanding of how their relationships work, but more importantly their interviews is where King shines. It’s only three pages, but within those three pages readers get to see the trinity more vulnerable than I can recall. While these set of interviews are not the tearjerkers that helped the first issue, they do bring the gods down to Earth.
The true hero of this series is still Clay Mann, while the mystery of this series is compelling my personal reasoning for reading this series is to see Clay Mann’s beautiful pencils. One page from this issue will haunt me for quite sometime. Seeing how Barry reacts to realizing that Wally is dead after Booster tells him and personally confirming it. The pain and anger of a man who’s lost a dear loved one. The best art is capturing humanity’s pain and Clay Mann captures Barry’s pain with perfection. One detail that I loved is during Superman’s interview, while Wonder Woman and Batman both have their brief moments of relief, Superman is constantly stoic, only the removing of his glasses and the minor detail of the S curl drop is what changes. It speaks volumes that even in times of relief or distress, Clark needs to be one that people can rely on and others might not look up to a crying Superman.
Even though this issue left us with more questions than answers, the emotional moments are what continues to drive this series forward. While the intensity has been drawn back a bit with this issue, the final page will want hook you enough to continue on. Clay Mann is doing the work of his career and thankfully it’s on a stage where potential readership is at it’s highest.
Heroes In Crisis #2 earns a 4/5