Twas the day after Christmas, and the DCU was stirring. Because when I think of the holidays, I want to dive deep into the trauma’s of my favorite heroes. Now that we know the identity of who attacked and committed the murders at Sanctuary, Heroes In Crisis is a interesting state. While I’ve had problems with certain narrative choices that Tom King has made, it can be argued of how compelling he’s making this story. So put away your Christmas gifts, it’s time to stuff your stocking with some good ole tragedy. The’re will be spoilers, you’ve been warned.
I need to jump ahead of this before I get into anything else. When you’re reading a comic, there’s always a suspension of disbelief that comes along with reading comic books. One decision that will make fans talk, is Lois Lane releasing the videos from Sanctuary. Obviously this decision by Lois is part of the grander scheme, but I just don’t feel like Lois would release a video that contains superheroes in a vulnerable state. Tom King uses Superman to point that she’s a reporter and that she couldn’t sit on this story for long, and I agree on that notion. However Lois releasing the videos before any of the heroes have a chance to brace themselves. I’m honestly surprised that Clark himself doesn’t do more than shrug his shoulders at the notion of what Lois’s action will cause.
Despite my reservations about what Lois Lane has done, the most beautiful moment in this comic is Harley Quinn confronting Batgirl. When reading superhero comics, it’s only expected for our heroes to clash, in sometimes a convoluted fashion that can leave a sour taste in readers mouths. I love that King take’s the trope and applies it to Harley and Batgirl, but instead of continuing the fight it becomes about Batgirl reaching out to help Harley. If the point of Sanctuary was to heal our heroes who’ve dealt with terrible trauma, this page is the best example of showing any kind of healing. Ask anyone who’s had to deal with a difficult life altering problem and it’s usually that one person who reaches down to pick you up, is the initial step you need. In the hands of any other writer, the theme of Sanctuary would be prominent in the first issue, but then dropped in favor of big pointless fight scenes. Now that isn’t to say that our heroes won’t clash before this is over, but the fact that Batgirl reaches out to Harley to begin with says volumes about kinda story King wants to tell.
Clay Mann continues to be absolute monster on pencils. While I praised King’s writing for Barbara reaching out, it’s Mann’s pencils that pushes the emotions forwards. What’s even more spectacular is that, the calming down of Harley isn’t done with facial expressions but with hand motions. It’s only hands, but the progression between each set of hand is nothing but short of mastery in comics storytelling. Plus it does a phenomenal job of building up to the splash of Harley embracing Barbara, while surrounded by glass. The entire issue of Heroes In Crisis is beautifully drawn, but these pages will be the one’s I will remember forever.
While I admire the art and craft that both King and Mann are creating within this series, certain writing choices still don’t ring true for me. I’m willing to follow King where he goes because I’m sure he has a solid conclusion but it’s difficult to see at this juncture. Heroes In Crisis continues to be perplexing, yet compelling. Another amazing issue.
Heroes In Crisis #4 earns a 4/5