Heroes In Crisis
Publisher: DC Comics
No. of issues: 9 issue limited series
Writer: Tom King
Penciller(s): Clay Mann; Mitch Gerads
Review: Raphael Borg
I must admit that I started out reading through the first few issues of Tom King’s Heroes in Crisis with a very sour taste in my mouth since the starting gun was the death of two major characters in the DC pantheon and many others minor characters which litter the grounds of Sanctuary, which has been set up in various issues in main DC books as a place to help heroes face their daily traumatic lives and keep on ticking. While the concept was very poorly (and suddenly) set up in the main DC books, the effort was very noble; it gives the whole book a very human look at the people-on-the-pedestal we are usually familiar with in DC. It does not dethrone the characters, however, much to my surprise.
I was a very avid follower of Wally West since the latter half of Mark Waid’s run and part of Geoff Johns’, who made me fall in love with the world of the Flash as a whole. The story here is an extension of the trauma he suffered ever since those books – the suffering he endured to have children, especially after his wife miscarried them at the hands of Zoom, have them returned and suddenly grown into adulthood only to be erased along with him from existence and then only have him return without his marriage or his children to have ever existed…thanks to his beloved uncle and role model, presumably. While the choices of his twists and turns here where somewhat controversial, they were also a tearful reminder that even our heroes bear their scars, and try their utmost to keep on ticking. The artwork by Clay Mann and Mitch Gerads is gorgeous, and there is a reverence in the facial features drawn that are none too comical or severe, but above all else retain a sense of poignancy throughout.
I found it very hard to keep the tears back in the very last issue, particularly reading the testimonials which punctuate the story throughout, but however resonate with readers familiar with each character’s story and not. The only downside is the lack of clarity of when these where recorded, as the ones dedicated to the trinity somehow illustrate them as fairly recent and indicate a stagnation in their personality over issues they have supposedly moved on from years ago. However, this does not stop it from being a touching story that is telling of the way we look at those that look after us and the consequences of pressures put upon them, and also testament to whether awareness actually benefits or widens the cracks in their armor. I would suggest a thorough reading of it, but a careful reading of Wally West’s narrative at least from the beginning of DC’s rebirth would certainly enhance the experience.