Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Heroes in Crisis #9 by Tom King - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: The most-talked-about miniseries of the year reaches its stunning finale! The mystery behind the murders at Sanctuary is solved, but the mind behind it is one the heroes never expected. With their deepest secrets exposed, the Trinity has to consider how to carry on. Should the tragedy cause them to redouble their efforts to help their hurting comrades, or will they need to close up shop? The answers will be found in the ashes of this final showdown, and the fates of Booster Gold, Harley Quinn and the rest hang in the balance.

Heroes in Crisis #9 wraps up Tom King's look at what happens when superheroes need mental health help and something goes wrong. It's a different type of story than the usual "crisis" heroes face, as it focuses on a crisis on a much smaller and personal scale.

Wally West, the Flash (or at least one of them), was responsible for the deaths of multiple heroes. In a moment of weakness, he lost control, and now his solution to the problem is to travel forward in time and take the life of his future self, in order to cover things up and make amends for his wrongs. Anyway, the plan makes sense, but what he didn't count on was a group of colleagues (sort of?) time traveling to stop him. All of that makes this seem like a very action packed issue, but the real heroism is in the help Booster Gold and Harley Quinn give Wally, particularly in sharing their failures and mistakes and encouraging Wally to persevere. They come up with a solution that works, and everybody begins the long journey forward. In addition, Sanctuary is reopened and legitimized thanks to its exposure earlier in the series.

I think the most interesting consequence of this book is what happens to Wally going forward. I'm not sure anyone was more affected by the events of DC's various reboots over the years than Wally West. He has lost so much, including his own existence, that there has to be trauma to be dealt with. Additionally, much like Dick Grayson/Nightwing, Wally has always been a symbol of hope, often having funny quips when he is fighting villains. I can't really see that happening going forward. Wally is also a major part of the Doomsday Clock series, yet another event that seeks to explain the events of DC's last two resets, The New 52 and Rebirth. I'm curious to see how this affects him as well.

I liked Heroes in Crisis. It was an emotional series, and the personal nature of the story was a change from the normal big events. It reminded me a bit of the famous Astro City # 1/2 from Kurt Busiek. It's nice to see stories touch on the emotional effects of all the superheroing from time to time. It grounds the more fantastic elements of these stories and adds some gravitas to characters and situations that sometimes seem to lack it. King has shown an ability to write these kinds of stories well.

I would highly recommend Heroes in Crisis by Tom King. This is a wonderful, impactful story and would probably be even better when it is collected and can be read in one sitting. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.

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

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