Heroes in Crisis #1 [of 9]
Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 26, 2018
Cover date: November 2018
“I’m Just Warming Up”
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
Cover: Clay Mann
Variant Covers: J.G. Jones, Mark Brooks, Francesco Mattina
Reviewed by: Keith Samra
Our story begins with Booster Gold sitting in a diner in Nebraska, ordering coffee. He is then joined by Harley Quinn, who orders a whipped cream pie. The diner waitress senses trouble and asks Booster if they are going to fight, to which he replies “Yes”. Harley attacks Booster, as a battle ensues.
Elsewhere we see Superman fly across the mid-west, down to what looks like a farm, where Sanctuary is located. He is shocked at the sight that he sees, and is in communication with both Batman and Wonder Woman.
Booster takes the battle to the skies, as Harley continues her attack on him, and tries to mortally wound him.
In the mid-west, Batman tells Superman to wait until he gets there, and not to disturb the crime scene. Superman using his telescopic vision confirms the death of many of the heroes that were being treated at Sanctuary, including the likes of Commander Steel, Lagoon Boy, (Roy Harper) Arsenal and (Wally West) Flash.
We end with Harley and Booster crash landing in a creek on a farm, Booster tells Harley that he saw her hurt and murder the rest of the heroes at Sanctuary, only for Harley to reply, that it was she that saw him to what he accused her of.
“It means what we already know it means… What it always means… Our hope for redemption… Is now another hunt for vengeance…” – Batman.
To be continued…
Story – 5: There was a real feeling of déjà vu when I read this, as it feels a lot like Identity Crisis did, back in the mid-2000’s. Which is appropriate, as this story seems like it focuses on the hero community, much like Identity Crisis did.
Tom King can be hit or miss with me at times, though I have enjoyed his run on Batman since ‘Rebirth’ began, at times his stories can be a little farfetched… And yes I know I just used that word to describe a story in a comic book about superheroes.
King has a style that is rarely linear, but he manages to tell a compelling story from start to end. In the case of this issue, I really enjoyed the way we got to see different heroes being treated at Sanctuary for their mental trauma. What I found even more compelling was Superman’s reaction to the horrors he finds as he closes in on Sanctuary. This is a hero that has all the powers in the world, yet is still moved to tears when he sees what man can do to one another. In my book, King managed to capture key aspects Superman in these scenes, which makes me look forward to the rest of this series, and Superman’s part in it.
Being a writer on Batman, King wrote him spot on, as a calculating detective, detached from emotion regarding the crime scene.
The fight between Harley and Booster was compelling, but not more so than the outcome at the end, as Harley revealed that she saw Booster kill everyone, whilst we all suspected her, being that she is a member of the villain community. It appears that a major deceit is in place, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.
One of the biggest shockers was the dead bodies of many heroes, particularly Wally and Roy. I sincerely doubt that DC would let two of their most popular legacy heroes just die in the first issue of a series such as this, even though they did say heroes will die in the marketing of this series.
My guess is, since Booster is a key player, there could be some time travel involved, to bring back certain characters, especially Wally. So for now, I guess we just need to watch this space.
All in all, a good first issue, which left me wanting more, and left plenty of questions unanswered. I’m anticipating the next chapter, and hope that it’s as magnetic as this issue was in terms of keeping the interest high.
Art – 5: What can I say about Clay Mann’s work, that you haven’t already thought of yourself, save that the man is an absolute genius in this medium.
From the broad wide-shots to the way he lays out a page, without missing any detail, is a feat of absolute mastery in visual storytelling. Just take a look at the first and third page, as Booster sits in the diner, and is joined by Harley. This plays out almost cinematically, one can forget that they are still images on a page.
Aside from his page layouts and compositions, what I adore about Mann’s art is the contemporary look he gives the characters, by making them resemble their most famous counterparts on the big screen. His Superman bears a striking resemblance to Henry Cavill, as does his Wonder Woman to Gal Gadot, and even Harley looks like Margot Robbie. Are they exact feature for feature, or traces of the actor’s faces… No, but they share enough likeness to make them recognizable. Let’s not forget Batman either, a healthy cross between Ben Affleck and Jim Lee’s Batman from Hush.
Really love the cross hatch detail in the characters as well as the detail in the backgrounds. Loved that the android minders in Sanctuary resembled Ma and Pa Kent, In fact, Sanctuary looks as if it’s set on the Kent farm. The house looks just like the Kent house from the DCEU films.
And the nine panel grid layouts of the interviews of the heroes that were being treated at Sanctuary, is a trademark trope of a Tom King comic, and Clay Mann manages to render these scenes like a seasoned professional.
Lastly the colors are quite muted, but they seem to fit the tone of the story, so big props to Tomeu Morey for his work his choice on the palette.
Cover Art – 5: This cover was revealed months ago, but it’s still very compelling to look at. I love these types of covers that feature multiple heroes and just a sombre feeling of “What just happened”. Love Clay Mann’s work.
Adam Hughes Variant Cover Art – 5: Adam Hughes take on the Death of Superman is absolutely amazing. I have loved his work for many years, and never had I thought he could make such an iconic moment in comics history look so awesome and tragic at the same time.
JG Jones Variant Cover Art – 4: JG Jones managed to snapshot the events of this book really well, and I love the perspective of it.
Mark Brooks Trinity Variant Cover Art – 3: The Trinity cover by Mark Brooks, a mainstay of Marvel for many years, is as fantastic as his work in the past for the completion. Love the painted look.
Harley Quinn Variant Cover Art – 3: Harley wearing booster’s goggles is good, but this looks more like a poster for a horror movie, than a cover for a comic event.
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