Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Heroes in Crisis #3 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Never-Never Land of Make Believe

Writer: Tom King 
Artists: Clay Mann & Lee Weeks 
Colorist: Tomeu Morey 
Letters: Clayton Cowles 
Cover By: Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey 
Variant Covers By: Ryan Sook 
Associate Editor: Brittany Holzherr 
Editor: Jamie S. Rich 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: November 28, 2018


Did Booster dunnit? Did Harley dunnit? Who the heck dunnit?? I have a feeling we’re not going to find out the full story this soon, but we might get some answers in Heroes in Crisis #3. Read my review, I’ll let you know the scoop!

Explain It!

Making your way in the world today takes ev’rything you’ve got/ Getting away from all your worries sure would help a lot/ …Sometimes you wanna go/ Where everybody knows your name/ But they pretend like you’re anonymous/ You wanna be where you get filmed/ And wear an optional mask/ You wanna go where everybody knows your name. 
Here’s what we know about Sanctuary: It’s a refuge for worn-out superheroes to undergo Gestalt therapy at their will, run by Kryptonian robots made to look like Ma and Pa Kent, and Lana Lang. Attendance at Sanctuary is supposed to be anonymous, yet patients can film self-conducted interviews like the confession booth on MTV’s The Real World or something, wherein they can reveal their innermost anxieties, or just goof off like a kid in the Audio-Visual Squad in the eighth grade. This footage is meant to be erased immediately, per Batman’s super-strict and idiotic anonymity protocols, but folks can still remain super-anonymous by wearing a golden mask to protect their identities. Let me state that again more plainly: Residents of Sanctuary wishing to remain anonymous, while filming their confessionals that will be destroyed anyway, can choose to wear a golden mask that will hide their true selves. Did no one read this story before it was drawn and inked? 
There is plenty to like in this issue, chiefly the terrific and highly-readable work by Lee Weeks and Clay Mann. And there are cool moments as well, like Wally West using Sanctuary’s Danger Room to relive moments with his lost family. But these moments are strung together by things that strain the credulity of the whole enterprise. For one thing, in this issue we learn Sanctuary has a Danger Room, a “holodeck” where residents can conjure whatever they like as part of their therapy. Lagoon Boy uses it to relive his greatest failure, getting blasted over and over by some laser shaft. Wally uses it to hang out with his future kids and wife Iris. It comes across as a convenient gimmick to have more flashbacks-within-flashbacks that have dubious sets of stakes. 
And then there’s Booster Gold. I’m not usually one to cry “that’s not my superhero!” when I think a writer isn’t getting the right voice for a character. I understand that there are lots of different takes on these iconic, decades-old intellectual properties, and to expect a cohesive set of characteristics across so many changing hands is unfair. That being said, I don’t know what Booster Gold Tom King was reading that made him write the guy like this. He’s not like he was in the 1980s, he’s not like he was in JLI, he doesn’t even resemble the character on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. He’s like some kind of game show host or 1950s suburban dad most of the time, and seems clueless about everything all of the time. There’s this whole scene where he talks to the holodeck about what he can conjure up during his time, and it’s so inane…you’re from the future, man, you hang out with a floating supercomputer! Is this basic science-fiction technology really that far out of your grasp? 
And when he does activate the wishin’ room, Booster Gold winds up hanging out with an earlier version of himself, in his original costume. The problem is that they both sound like total assholes resembling nothing of Booster Gold. Frankly, it’s embarrassing to read. They break out into a fight, and it’s during that time that the other heroes are seemingly slaughtered—implying that Booster had nothing to do with it. It’s also implied that Harley did. But is that the whole story? Probably not. And I didn’t expect to get the answer to every mystery at this stage. But I sure didn’t want to see Booster acting like a petulant child and the Flash wallowing in his inter-dimensional losses years after the fact. At the end, we get a roster of other heroes interred at Sanctuary, including Poison Ivy, and one of the heroes is the Protector. That gave me a little chortle.

Bits and Pieces:

Learning more about the inner-workings of Sanctuary serves to show how silly they are. Nice and easy to read, though, thanks to the polished work of Weeks and Mann.



  1. Great review. This miniseries is starting to make my head hurt. Im starting to think that they probably should have made two miniseries, one establishing the characters and the rules of sanctuary and another with the murder mystery. The reason I'm saying this is because there are too much contradiction s when it comes to how Sanctuary works and don't even get started among the continuity issues. So....is titans east in continuity now?

    1. It seems! And the Keebler promo comic with Protector. And Solstice back on Earth. And...the list goes on and on

  2. Heres a robe and a mask, make yourself at home. No thanks I’m out!

  3. Tomeu Morey and Lee Weeks should always work together. This issue looked fantastic.

  4. Iris is Wally's aunt, NOT his wife. That would be Linda. You might want to fix that in the article.