Heroes In Crisis #1 isn’t your average comic book tale of good vs. evil. Instead, it delves into the psyches of heroes who struggle to cope with the constant battles and what happens when the stress becomes too much. They might have started as colourful characters with powers, but many modern stories treat them as if they’re soldiers. Recognising this, the Justice League set up a secure place where heroes and (some) villains can seek help from specialised therapy, Sanctuary.
THERE IS A TRULY HEART-STOPPING MOMENT DURING THAT SUPERMAN IS CONFRONTED BY, AND IT’S AT THIS POINT THE ART FROM CLAY MANN WORKS PERFECTLY IN TANDEM WITH TOM KING’S WRITING.
The story is separated across two sets of characters. The unhinged Harley Quinn brawls with time traveller Booster Gold across small town America while the Justice League race towards Sanctuary to find a horrific discovery. Harley and Booster provide the action of the issue whereas the League have to deal with the monumental story beats that will undoubtedly have dramatic ramifications across the DC Universe. The shock reveals mid-way through the issue almost don’t feel real because they’re incredibly sudden. And as the death toll rises, Harley and Booster’s fight escalates.
Writer Tom King masterfully ramps up the suspense as their fight literally soars to new heights. And right down to the shocking cliffhanger, it’s obvious that Heroes In Crisis #1 is just a stepping stone in the metamorphosis of a number of characters. The issue plays with the generic idea of a hero vs. villain and flips it on its head by the last page. Without getting into spoilers, this issue will spill over into other titles. And while comic events do crossover with individual books in a bombastic nature, this one will do so with care and precision.
Halfway through the book there is a truly heart-stopping moment that Superman is confronted by, and it’s at this point the art from Clay Mann works perfectly in tandem with Tom King’s writing. And while Superman has never been afraid of showing his emotions, it’s the way that he has to compose himself while speaking to his teammates that’s equally shocking. The deaths in the issue are slightly problematic. It instantly raises questions about those characters’ places in other books. And obviously they’ll be addressed, but for a brief moment it pulls the reader out of the dramatic moment to consider DC continuity. It also has the potential to feel cheap, since we have to wonder how long it’ll be before those characters will be resurrected. The time-travelling Booster Gold is heavily involved here after-all…
Heroes In Crisis #1 is a dramatic tale that strives to examine how heroes view themselves while dealing with their own human flaws of self-doubt, panic, addiction and depression. It might not be the cheeriest issue you’l read all year, but it might be one of the most captivating.
Let us know what you thought of Heroes In Crisis #1 on Twitter @HeroesDirect!
Heroes In Crisis #1 ignores the spectacle of being a superhero and instead looks at how it affects the mental state of powered individuals in a careful way. With some deaths that may or may not stick, the issue is incredibly gripping.