Writer: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann (p.1-6,11,17-19,23-24)
Travis Moore (p. 8-10,13,14-16,20-21)
Jorge Fornes (p.7,12,22)
Cover: Mitch Gerads
Color: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Clayton Cowles
This is the issue I feel like most people have been waiting for. Heroes In Crisis covers a lot of ground at a fast pace. I look at it as a play with 2 acts and an intermission, whose acts just happen to coincide
ACT 1: Wally
The issue opens with Wally standing in a field of flowers reminiscing on his wedding with Linda. He starts by saying “I go back sometimes and watch her. Us. Up there. More than sometimes. She’s so beautiful.” King does an excellent job this issue of really exploring how “not ok” Wally is. We see more of his Sanctuary interviews, four to be exact, With each one, we see that Wally is moving closer to edge of snapping. On day one he is open and willing to work through his problems like any Flash would, Fast. One week in and we see Wally reciting the names of those who he lost due to Flashpoint and Rebirth. His wife Linda, and his kids Iris and Jai. In his second week Wally explains what he has learned so far. I found a few of the things Wally said to be very damning for his uncle and mentor Barry Allen. “We learned that I modeled my life on my beloved uncle Barry. “…Who died when he ran too fast to save the world. Leaving me alone.” “And as soon I accepted I was alone and could go on alone, he came back” “Oh, and I had this whole family and love and stuff. I keep talking about that. And they got crushed by a time crisis multi something. Which was caused by Barry.” Everything that Wally is currently experiencing in his mind can be traced back to the choice Barry made to alter the time-stream. Clearly Dr. Manhattan played a role in that as well, but this isn’t a review for Doomsday Clock. Wally is still standing in the field of flowers and he is planting the rose that Harley threw off the bridge in issue #2, which was her tribute to her lost friend Poison Ivy. He plants the rose while reciting a poem that Linda read at their wedding that is now lost to time. He snaps his fingers and lightning strikes the flower. He explains that Gnarrk explained the poem as meaning “Out of love, everything grows.” The flower grows and bursts open and we see a healthy Poison Ivy emerge. Wally apologizes to Ivy who is confused and thanking him for saving her. He then explains he’s sorry for what she is about to see. Lightning strikes and a second Wally West appears. Wally says “Death. You’ll see my Death.” King isn’t revealing all his cards yet, but we are getting much closer to finding out what happened that day at Sanctuary. The one thing we know for sure is that Wally has been time traveling…A lot. The issue ends with a final Wally Sanctuary interview. His head is buried in his hands and he exclaims “I can’t wait for week four”.
Intermission: The Batcave
Barry Allen wakes up after being knocked unconscious surprise attack by Booster Gold in issue #5. He rushes to the Batcave and explains what happened to Batman. Batman is already monitoring the situation (because of course he is). Throughout the issue Barry is running and checking other continents for the super fugitives. Batman explains that thanks to some help from Rip Hunter he already has some systems in place for tracking Booster. “They’re who they are. They’ll make a mistake”. All of Batman’s alarms go off and they get ready to confront the heroes. I love that DC is having Batman and The Flash team up more. Their dynamic is one I want to see more of.
ACT 2: Blue and Gold and The Dynamicker Duo!
Harley is swinging away at Booster Gold while Blue Beetle and Batgirl look on as watchful parents. They are both willing to let their “kids” play rough but will intervene before it goes too far. Both Harley and Booster think the other is the killer. We have seen both descriptions of their sequence of events at sanctuary. Beetle explains that Booster will be fine because he fixed his shield. The shield is tied to Beetles ship “The Bug”. This means that the shield will operate as long as he is conscious. Batgirl promptly knocks him out with ONE PUNCH. (The J.L.I. fans out there will understand that one) Batgirl tells Harley that Booster’s shield is down and to remember not to kill him. Harley picks up a sharp piece of her shattered hammer and get ready to end Booster. Booster then does something that I honestly didn’t expect him to do, He accepts his fate. He explains that Harley should kill him and that “I failed the future, I failed the past, I failed and failed and failed and failed!”. He tells her again to do it and that he’s ready. Harley lets out a yell and doesn’t kill Booster. They both share a nice moment where they explain that they both “aren’t very good at superheroeing.” The four heroes decide to work together to try and find Wally and help him. They know that time is running out and they need to move quickly. King really understands these characters and it shows in this issue. Booster explains that all the other heroes think their group is a bunch of nothings. That’s why they think Booster and Harley are guilty. Watch out evil because “Blue and Gold and The Dynamicker Duo” are on the case!
Tom King is taking his time and telling the story he wants to tell. This issue provides a lot of insight into where his story is headed. He’s taking heroes that are underappreciated and putting them in the spotlight. Booster and Harley have both been through a lot and I truly feel like King will have both of them coming out of this the better for it. Trauma and loss are difficult subjects for a comic to cover and King is doing an excellent job. Superheroes need help too. For now Wally West lives and I sure hope he stays that way.