Heroes in Crisis #1
Reviewed by: Robbie Rowe
Rating: 7 out of 8
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
Tom King doesn’t always tell his stories in a usual, or expected, way. That’s not
necessarily a bad, but because of it, like here, it can be hard to figure out exactly
what to make of some of his comics. That can happen with his Batman sometimes and it happens a bit here as well.
It’s an admirably new idea being done here, with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman helping to form a brand new sanctuary for heroes, villains and those in between who have undergone different kinds of trauma. Honestly, I’m surprised, however angry or cruel Batman can get, that he accepts Arkham Asylum as a nearly always temporary prison for mentally ill criminals.
The place doesn’t seem to ultimately help these people and if it’s about keeping
dangerous criminals away from those they might hurt, that doesn’t work either,
especially with the amount of times Joker, Poison Ivy, or Two-Face have gotten
out – or how little help Jeremiah Arkham ultimately offers. Maybe even worse,
one of the most unpredictable, morally flexible people came from there – Harley Quinn.
Here, she and Booster Gold feature very prominently, intercut with a number of confessionals from people like Booster, Harley, shrinking superhero Blue Jay,
archer Roy Harper/Arsenal and superhero Hot Spot. The one with Hot Spot didn’t quite work for me and though I’m also unfamiliar with Blue Jay, his lamentations about how overwhelming shrinking can be really worked – as did Roy’s about his drug addiction, which I really sound sad.
Aside from those, or Harley and Booster, we also see Superman, Batman and
Wonder Woman investigating multiple tragedies in and around Sanctuary and I’m not really sure that at least one death is as it appears, though others seem more likely. If it is what it appears, I hope upcoming issues show their death, as I feel they deserve better than dying off page.
The whole issue was drawn beautifully, with some really beautiful women, a fairly scary Harley, along with other well drawn images. Also, a very sad, sobering realization by Batman about Sanctuary. I’m intrigued to see where the rest of the series will go and whether it’ll ultimately be more of a murder mystery, a story about whether we can truly recover from trauma, or a mixture of both.