HEROES IN CRISIS #8
Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerads, Travis Moore, and Clayton Cowles
Edited by Jamie S. Rich and Brittany Zolherr
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: April 24, 2018
This is it. The issue with all the answers to your burning questions. With issue eight of Heroes In Crisis, we will finally understand what happened at Sanctuary that started a DCU wide murder mystery and it’s a penultimate chapter that readers will both see coming and one with a lot of complications for the future of a titular character.
Since the beginning of Heroes In Crisis, murders, those that survived, and those that are trying to prevent further tragedy from happening have been the focus of the series. With eight, we’re treated to one voice throughout this issue to finally understand everything about the Sanctuary massacre and it takes all previous knowledge of Wally West’s return to the land of the living, his Rebirth status, and the very human pain that comes with dedicating one’s self by being a Superhero. This issue acts as Wally’s confessional, tying together the entire story of Heroes In Crisis into one long session with the fastest man alive about his history with Sanctuary and what led him to commit the murders we’ve seen in issue #1.
King’s initial point to this story is to delve into the emotional cost of being a superhero and we see that in full force here with Wally West. Some can make the argument that Wally’s treatment during his time in DC Rebirth has been amiss, especially with his knowledge that he has a family that he can’t possibly be with due to the larger universe complications preventing the revitalized universe from shining through. In the wake of Flash War, Wally goes to Sanctuary because of the realizations of what can be and what is proves too much for the fastest man alive.
Through King’s writing of Wally, we see that Sanctuary was helping him to a certain capacity but it isn’t the cure to the problem only a temporary solution. He felt alone, as we’ve seen in an earlier issue of the series. His feelings since returning to the DCU proper coming to the forefront when it comes to being a hopeful hero or having his family by his side. Wally’s mental state over his lack of family and treatment at the center leads him down a moment of weakness that spells doom for both himself and Sanctuary.
Gerards handling the bulk of the art and colors packs in all of the emotional beats that come with King’s script and the story itself. Moore lends his work to a speech riddled early set of pages as Wally’s words are spread out with other members of Sanctuary are seen doing what they came to Sanctuary to do. It’s a cold open given what we know will happen to these characters and with Wally’s confessional reflecting on both what he felt was happening to himself and what they all were they for.
It’s uncomfortable and personal as it solely focuses on Wally and the choices he makes attempting to find some warmth in what he assumes to be the lonely cold. Wally’s reasoning for going behind the scenes of Sanctuary to discover its wealth of data about all of the heroes is one made out of desperation and a need to know the truth despite not having any reason to doubt that Sanctuary is doing anything other than trying to help. It’s a turn that stems from honest pain about one Hero’s state and looking inside on the way superhero work and their reality can break them down. This is where the issue succeeds, finally giving answers on what happened and the reason behind it but, at the cost of Wally’s character and actions.
This will make the issue a cause of debate amongst fans because while King does understand and give Wally a mostly logical take and reason to do what he did, it feels out of character for the speedster to do. Gerards captures his solemn confessional as he speaks his truth about finally not feeling alone as he gains knowledge of all of the heroes that have gone to the center and not being able to cope with knowing that all the pain and hurt. The issue is quite beautiful as Wally is the centerpiece holding the scenes together whether he’s speeding outside of the center with his continuous light blue lightning and red costume with the golden backdrop of Sanctuary behind him. As an issue, the writing and artwork make a puzzling interpersonal at one Hero’s mistakes that started this whole thing. Gerards makes even the most brutal of pages, quite beautiful with his colors.
Deeper into Wally’s explanation on how he set up the events of the series before The Trinity got to Sanctuary, the framing of events is dipped in black and white as the red and blue blur that is Wally races around the center to set up the murder mystery that we’ve been following for several issues now. With issue eight, King has finally pulled back the veil of mystery on what really happened with Sanctuary and it’ll no doubt be another issue of conversation surrounding King’s characterization of characters and how he’s treated characters to justify the story about these men and women facing the emotional cost of being a Hero. With Heroes In Crisis ending in one issue, the penultimate is another muddled installment with both good and bad points giving people on either side of the story a lot to talk about to see where they stand on it.
The Verdict: 6.5/10