Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Heroes in Crisis #5 by Tom King - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: The secrets of the DC Universe are hacked! Sanctuary wasn’t supposed to keep records, but now that the A.I. is compromised, superhero secrets are leaking all over the ’Net. Booster and Harley set aside their differences to focus on who they believe is the real killer (assuming one of them isn’t lying, that is). Meanwhile, Batman and the Flash continue to investigate the mysterious murderer. The answer can be found in Sanctuary…but is it safe to go digging in the crime scene?

Heroes in Crisis #5 by Tom King is the halfway point in this mini-series, and things are ramping up. In this issue, Superman and Wonder Woman make a public statement about Sanctuary and the tragedy that happened there. It is a deep and heartfelt explanation of the trauma heroes can and do go through, and how they can get help. Booster and Blue Beetle come up with a plan to find out who the "real" killer is, in a fashion only they can. Finally, Batgirl gets a crack at finding out what Skeets remembers, and has a surprise companion in the endeavor.

So, I really like this series. The mystery is engaging and is unlike anything I've read (at least from the major publishers). It reminds me of Brad Meltzer's run on Justice League, when Sue Dibney is murdered, and as the investigation goes on, some morally questionable actions from heroes come out. Like that Justice League story, Heroes in Crisis has put some iconic characters in a more real-life type situation, where punching, teamwork, and clever quips aren't the answer. It's a different view of these characters, and King adds another layer with his examination of PTSD and the affects of trauma on superheroes. Superman and Wonder Woman display an openness and honesty about trauma that you wouldn't expect in a traditional comic.

As they have been since the first issue, the scenes with the "confessions" of the heroes during their stays at Sanctuary are a highlight for me. Spotlighting a variety of characters and struggles, these pages can be heartbreaking if you take the time to really understand what the characters are saying and feeling. I also think King may be placing some clues in them; I guess that remains to be seen.

Overall, I continue to think highly of Heroes in Crisis, and issue #5 does nothing to change that. This is definitely the type of book that would appeal to readers who don't normally read comics, and to fans of superhero comics in general. However, it is not always a lighthearted and easy read, so be prepared.

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

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