Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Heroes in Crisis #3 by Tom King - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: Tragedies deepen as more secrets behind the “superhero hospital” called Sanctuary are revealed! What compelled Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to create it in the first place? How was it built? And if the hospital truly is alive via A.I., who — or what — is the brain of “Sanctuary?” Another layer peeled back in the biggest mystery woven through the entire DC Universe. 

Heroes in Crisis #3 by Tom King peels back another layer of the murder mystery plaguing Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (none of whom make an appearance in this issue). Instead, King gives us a flashback to the day Booster Gold checked into Sanctuary, which just so happened to be the day of the murders.

Booster is struggling with something, and his entrance into Sanctuary reveals a little about how the whole thing works. Visitors wear masks and robes to conceal their identities, there is a common room and dining room, the confessional room, and something called the Chamber. The concept of the Chamber is pretty interesting, because it can create a simulation of whatever the client/patient/visitor (?) needs or wants to see and experience. Throughout this issue, we visit with and contrast the Sanctuary experiences of Lagoon Boy, Wally West (The Flash), and Booster Gold.

King is definitely slow playing this mystery, and I'm hooked. I couldn't believe how fast this issue read, and I'm already looking forward to the next issue. The suspects (Booster Gold, Harley Quinn) are interesting, and the concept of Sanctuary itself bears further exploration (counseling for heroes?). I'm also saddened by the death(s) of some of the heroes and villains, as a few were major players in the DC universe, while others seemed to be brought in as cannon fodder.

Tom King is becoming a major star in the comics world, if he isn't there already. His storylines and ideas are interesting, and he's been great with established characters like Batman and lesser known ones like Miracle Man. King's approach adds a depth to the characters that is often absent, and it adds gravitas to the proceedings. And while the individual issues are terrific, King's stories need to be read as collected editions to get the full effect. To that end, I would highly recommend Heroes in Crisis #3, but this isn't a good starting point (at this juncture, I don't believe any of the new issues will be). Regardless, I have a feeling that this series will be even better when it can be read straight through.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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