Heroes In Crisis #8 – Review

I’ve been ignoring Heroes In Crisis. I’ve read the occasional review, but the gist I gathered was a bunch of D-List heroes and a few b-listers like Arsenal, Wally West and Poison Ivy were killed. The whole concept was that the heroes had created a place where they could talk through their problems and deal with them. To be honest, it didn’t appeal to me. However, the latest issue begged for my attention, and worked me up a little.

That’s right, it’s one of those reviews. Also, there’s spoilers ahead.

Heroes In Crisis #8

Writer: Tom King
Artists: Mitch Gerads and Travis Moore
Colorist: Travis Moore
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Travis Moore
Variant Cover: Ryan Sook

Synopsis:

You’ve seen all the clues. You’ve heard the testimony and eavesdropped on the secret confessions of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes. Now, with the killer revealed, it’s time to find out why. What could have driven a hero to the brink, to turn a savior into a murderer? Rifts will form between old allies, and the trinity of Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman will have their leadership challenged and will question their own judgment. Sanctuary has become something they never imagined…and it’s still potentially carrying on without them!

Review:

Wally West was a unique character in the DC Pantheon. He was the sidekick that successfully took over the legacy. He also gained a happy family with a supporting wife and two children he could teach to use their powers. Many fans loved this family and were appalled when the New 52 did away with all of them. Wally West returned with Rebirth, but that relationship with his wife Linda didn’t follow. The revelation that Wally West killed everyone in sanctuary just destroys a great hero that had already been treated horribly.

When a character is killed, it’s a sign that, even on a subconscious level, a writer believes that they can serve no further purpose. There may be a rare case where this is true, but for the most part, no character is ever useless. There are cases where a character was written off and a writer managed to find a way to make them interesting. Animal Man, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Squirrel Girl, Captain Atom and Deadshot are among those brought back from obscurity. Arguments could be made for a variety of characters over the decades, but it goes to show that somewhere out in the universe, someone may have an idea for Lagoon Boy floating around in the corners of their imagination.

However, the worst part isn’t killing characters that someone might be able to use in great stories. The problem comes in completely breaking down a character that fans love. Wally West was missed for five years, and that was after Barry Allen came back and took away what Wally West had made his. These fans were relieved that Wally was back, but Wally wasn’t complete. His wife didn’t remember him and his kids were never born. DC gave service to the fans, but still didn’t show faith in the character. In trying to tell a story about heroes dealing with stress and mental health issues, Tom King dealt the final blow to fans of Wally West. After accidentally killing several heroes, their hero covers it up and proceeds to commit suicide by way of homicide.

Heroes In Crisis is Tom King trying to tell a story that’s relatively limited, but apparently blown up by the promotion machine at DC to be a broader scope than that. Almost every issue has had something that upset fans. In this era when the fans are the only thing holding up the comic book industry, taking a fan favorite character and giving them an ending that completely destroys everything that made fans love them doesn’t seem wise. It almost smacks of contempt, but ultimately it’s a writer wanting to tell a story in the same way he has proven he can do before on a much more limited scale.

Final Rating: 3.0 (out of 10)