Heroes in Crisis #2 Raises More Troubling Questions Than Just Whodunit

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Heroes in Crisis

For the most part, Tom King does a fantastic job delving deeper into the mystery of HEROES IN CRISIS, leaving us with more clues but coming no closer to the truth of who massacred all the heroes (and villains) who were being treated at Sanctuary, the pscyho-therapy institute created by Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman for super-people to come to deal with their post-traumatic stress.

A crucial clue to the mystery is discovered during an autopsy conducted on Commander Steel by the Trinity. Batman extracts an object (that apparently Superman couldn't detect with his x-ray vision) that would almost clearly indicate Harley Quinn commited the crime. But when they close in on her, she maintains her claim that it was actually fellow patient Booster Gold who did the deed -- and she gets away after casting serious suspicion on Batman that the other two cannot ignore.

But could the time-traveling Booster Gold truly be responsible? One wouldn't want to think so, but he certainly isn't acting himself. Rather than turn himself in to help figure out what really happened, he decides to investigate the mystery himself. But even in his somewhat irrational state, he knows he has no idea how to perform detective work. So he goes to seek help from The Flash, as Barry Allen is a police CSI. There's only one problem here. Flash is, as yet, unaware of the tragedy at Sanctuary -- which means he's also unaware that Wally West is one of the casualties. (Nice of the Trinity to not spread panic by, you know, alerting next of kin.)

Like the previous issue of HEROES IN CRISIS, the issue is punctuated with single-page therapy sessions, featuring Poison Ivy, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman. Of these, only the Superman one had any real interest to it, because he does have such a dichotomy of secret identities. As he states it, he has to make Clark less, and Superman more, and they both move away in opposite directions from his central, true personality. The rest of them, however... Well, we don't learn why Poison Ivy is there, because Harley Quinn interrupts the private session for nonsense. Wonder Woman had a bad dream as a little girl and saw her mom get injured so bad dreams aren't as bad as that and she holds them in now -- because someone raised for centuries in a warrior culture is sensitive.

And Batman?

Batman's makes the least sense of all. You might think by the alternative cover that Batman's issue might stem from having had his back broken by Bane. But no. Batman's issues come from recruiting partners to help him fight crime, and watching so many of them die. Except... none of them have. Sure, you and I remember Jason Todd being killed by the Joker. And, yeah, it wasn't that long ago that Damian Wayne was killed fighting his mother. But they're all fine now, all alive. So unless there's some interesting continuity we haven't seen yet, every partner Batman's had, from Richard Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne, are all alive and well. So who has he seen die in that role? From my count, nobody.

The artwork is absolutely outstanding. I'm a bit concerned that Clay Mann got an assist from Travis Moore on three pages; I hope that's not indicative of scheduling problems with the workload. I'm definitely into this series for the long haul, but I think the real questions raised about Sanctuary will end up going forever unanswered: Why it was thought to be a good idea in the first place?

4.0 / 5.0