Heroes in Crisis #7 – Tom King, Writer; Clay Mann, Travis Moore, Jorge Fornes, Artists; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Wally West Fans, Hide Your Eyes
Ray: Heroes in Crisis continues to be one of the most frustrating series in the DC stable, because even when I disagree massively with the direction it’s taking with characters, I still have to admire the quality of storytelling. The identity of the culprit has been an open secret since #5, when Wally West’s death was revealed to be not all that it appeared, so this issue is largely an extended confession.
The first-person interviews are usually split between a number of characters, but this issue is devoted entirely to Wally as he gives his weekly testimonials. What becomes clear is that while all the heroes at Sanctuary have trauma, Wally was bringing in a level of pain and anger that the facility was not equipped to handle. The combination of the raw pain he feels over the loss of his family combined with the resentment he feels towards Barry was a recipe for disaster – one that exploded all over Sanctuary.
The reveal of who he’s talking to in the mysterious field as he prepares to set up his own death will please a lot of readers who were probably worried about that character being gone for good, but the coloration hints that some dark times might still be ahead for her. Amid the pain of these segments are a surprising number of lighter segments. I really enjoyed the bizarre battle between Booster and Harley and Ted Kord and Batgirl alternately tried to mediate and to give an edge to their friend. This bizarre team-up detective squad has been a highlight of the series, even if it seems they mostly stumble into answers for their questions at random. The segments involving Batman and Flash were a little more puzzling – is this after “The Price of Justice”? They feel far too chummy for that, but it’s hard to believe it’s before because the truth about Wally’s involvement wasn’t out there yet and it seems to be getting close. With only two issues left, there’s still a LOT of mystery to be revealed, but this issue did a good job of explaining the culprit’s mindset and moving the plot forward.
Corrina: I hated the extended battle between Booster/Harley/Ted/Batgirl. I don’t know about the rest but Barbara Gordon seems wildly out of character, while Harley has devolved into a one-note “I want to kill someone” crazy. It’s kinda disturbing that the “death” of Poison Ivy (so far as Harley and the reader know so far), is basically being played for comedy. I think dark humor has a huge place in grieving. But this is laughing at Harley, not empathizing with her.
As for Wally’s confessional, I was once again distracted by the fact that the heroes seemed to have dumped Wally in Sanctuary, left him entirely to his own devices, and didn’t seem to check on him once. Because a depressed, traumatized person needs to be left alone, without outside contact, using virtual reality without supervision, will inevitably be cured, right? In story, it baffles the mind as to why any hero thought Sanctuary as presented was a good idea, which makes Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (who’s been barely in this), look horrible.
Out-of-story, it’s simply a poor concept, poorly executed, and it indulges over and over in showing people in desperate need of help who are given none and most of them die. Or, in Wally’s case, maybe become the killer.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.