Pain and Suffering in Heroes in Crisis #1
Published by DC Comics
Once upon a time, a hero never knew the meaning of suffering or pain because they were invincible. No matter what the odds, the situation, or the task, a hero always rose above adversity to defeat any who were against good. In Tom King’s newest series, Heroes in Crisis, many heroes are not as fortunate to come out of a demanding job with their soul intact. When an emergency call from a sanctuary for heroes, created by Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, is activated, all race to its location only to find a horrible crime scene. Elsewhere, Booster Gold and Harley Quinn have a short conversation that leaves a local diner in shambles and blood everywhere. With only the best intentions to have a place where superheroes can recover from their ailments and a chance for redemption, now looks to be an incentive for vengeance. The visiting hours are over. All visitors, please exit the facility as my review of Heroes in Crisis #1 is now.
In the DC Universe, one doesn’t take into account how being a superhero has some drawbacks. A facility, created by the Justice League, to nurture and rehabilitate fallen heroes through their own crisis, establish a remote sanctuary in the middle of farm country. There, three autonomous androids, all programmed with the determination of Batman, the compassion of Wonder Woman, and the honor of Superman is there to help heal rehabilitate fallen heroes, who are in emotional pain. But, as the panels slowly reveal itself, something went tragedy wrong. Left in a bloody wake, patients from the sanctuary are all dead. With many clues, but no suspects, the hope of having a hospital for superheroes turns out to be a place of horrors.
If you ever read the comic book, “Mr. Miracle” King uses the same writing style here, giving only just a little of what’s happening one moment. Then, when you think you know the plot, in one glancing blow, gives the reader something they had not suspected. Hero in Crisis is on a slow pace tale as to how this calamity was even started. For now, there are only assumptions as the two main characters in the story, come into the light to cause for concern. While sitting at a truck stop diner, Booster Gold’s uniform is ripped. He stares emotionless, looking disheveled drinking his coffee. Harley Quinn walks in with smears of blood tainted randomly throughout her torn clothing. As they sit at the counter, they know of something that leaves Booster Gold in a humorless mood while Harley makes light of the moment with comments of sarcasm. Could it be that a superhero may have crossed that forbidden line of killing?
Artwork / Coloring / Dialogue
The break in between the story is unique. Personal video recordings of heroes offering an introduction about themselves and about why they are staying in the sanctuary. Each dialogue, from the video, gives the reader a view of a tormented soul trapped inside superhero tights. There are moments in the storyline that the panels show a holocaust scene of death and destruction throughout the facility. The most striking item is the faces of Superman’s Earthly parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent on the bodies of the androids. Its panel is dark and disturbing. There’s also the feeling Clay wants readers to immerse himself in Americana innocent and patronage versus a purge-like society. Things like a typical highway truck diner having peach pie, seeing the full scope of the heartland of America with a simple country house. It’s surrounded by farmland and in it two compassionate people Clark Kent grew up with. Then, suddenly, everything goes to hell as wheat fields are tainted by the blood of slain heroes who lie motionless.
In summary, Heroes in Crisis is something that comic book readers were aware of, but was never spoken in public. Superheroes with social or mental anxieties are something taboo. They are the best of what they do. The spotlight that is constantly upon them burns slowly through their uniform until it hits a nerve and it is exposed, painfully. It seems the Justice League was aware of this problem and decided to establish a place of refuge and recuperation. Maybe the persona of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman just wasn’t enough to carry them throughout their career and needed a break from everything, but still be a superhero. Many who will read this issue may not understand this storyline. It might even be confusing. All I can say if you were a superhero who saw the evil in men and the society that tolerate injustice and the criminals go unpunished, how would you feel at the end of the day, at the end of the week, or month, or even the years of this neglect. It takes a toll and for some, the pain is irreversible.
The next issue of Heroes in Crisis will be available October 24th.
Heroes in Crisis is something that comic book readers were aware of, but was never spoken in public.