Written by Tom King
Pencils and Inks by Clay Mann
Colored by Tomeu Morey
Before you start reading this review, I wanted to warn you that there will be many spoilers as we go over the events in this issue and further dissect what’s going on here.
We start this issue off with more video confessions from the patients of Sanctuary, a place where heroes and even some less violent villains can visit to seek mental help, and a place to talk out their feelings from the traumatic events they go through in their heroic lives. In the first confession we learn about another patient who was also at Sanctuary seeking to turn over a new leaf, Poison Ivy, and with her confession we learned that her presence there was the reason Harley Quinn was even there in the first place. We also learned that because Ivy was at Sanctuary that also means that she was amongst those who were killed there during the trauma event that we still know very little about what actually happened.
Throughout the issue we see that both Booster Gold and Harley Quinn are each separately looking for help and someone to talk to, to figure out what happened that night. Harley says she saw Booster do the killings, and Booster says he saw Harley do the crime. Both also have a lot of questions and even self doubt about what really happened. So far it’s hard to tell who may have committed the murder, which is good because if the mystery was so easily solvable in issue two, then the series would probably be less than it is now, which so far is a very interesting book to read.
Harley seems to be trying to hide away from facing what happened, and she fears that the Justice Leagues Trinity will assume that she killed everyone because of her criminal past. Plus the fact that Harley wasn’t even supposed to have been at Sanctuary. So Harley sought out the help from the Penguin to help her hide from the heroes.
Booster Gold contacts his trusty robot companion Skeets to help go over and learn more about what may have happened. Booster questions himself, thinking maybe he did go crazy like Harley suggests, and Skeets thinks it’s best that Booster turns himself in to let the Justice League find the true answer, even if that leads to Booster.
I feel like it was very powerful and important for this story to see that those who made Sanctuary, the Trinity themselves, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, have all visited and used Sanctuary, and all have sat down and confessed their thoughts, fears, doubts and feelings through the video confessions. We learned that Batman has used Sanctuary a number of times since its creation, as the dark knight has plenty of emotional baggage to vent out of his system and confess. We learn that Wonder Woman has nightmares and fears from her childhood that she still holds onto to this day, and that she is the type that prefers not to take this approach as she prefers to bite her lip and walk out on her confessional video.
The most interesting confessional to me is that of Superman as we get to see a weaker and more vulnerable side to the man of steel, we get to better understand how Superman sees himself, both of his lives and personalities. We see how he goes out of his way to make sure each of his personas stays separate and different. Clark is clumsy, and Superman is perfect, but which one is the real him, or maybe he’s neither. This is something that I truly felt and could personally relate with myself as I have at times lived a bit of a double life myself when I was balancing out my feminine and masculine sides of myself before I started my transition. So reading how Clark went out of his way to change things he does as each side of himself so other people won’t connect the dots that the two are actually the same person, was something that I understood and felt on an emotional level, which was great to read. It shows that Tom King gets it and is putting in the work to make sure we can all find something in this series that we can relate with and feel ourselves.
During the story the two prime culprits are both confronted and asked questions about that night, Harley is found hiding in Gotham by the Trinity, after they had discovered a set of chatting teeth inside the body of Commander Steel, which is a toy that is often associated and used by the Joker and Harley Quinn. So the league’s suspicion was on high alert here. Harley confesses everything she knows and tells them she saw Booster kill everyone, then she fights the Trinity and finds a way to escape as she still fears that they will think she did it either way.
On Booster Gold’s side of the story we see our favorite hero in blue and gold seek out the help of Barry Allen The Flash. When Booster asks Barry what he found out about the bodies from Sanctuary, Barry seems confused as he hasn’t yet been told what’s happened or about the death of The Flash Wally West, so Barry races off to find answers and he very quickly runs back to punch Booster in the face and ask Booster what he did. Could Barry have learned something we don’t yet know about what happened? I’m vested in finding out that answer, as this story is getting more complex and compelling as we dig deeper into it.
I think it was great to finally see a glimpse of how Barry Allen is reacting to learning about the death of his fellow Flash and best friend Wally West. This is something I know we’ve all wanted to see since the first issue of Heroes in Crisis when we saw Wally laying dead, and this topic hasn’t been handled yet in The Flash’s main book series yet, so I’m glad it was finally touched on here because we have already gotten reactions to Roy Harper’s death in both Green Arrow and Red Hood. I think we can expect Barry’s reaction to get expanded upon a lot more in the next issue of this series, so I can’t wait for that.
The last part I’d like to briefly touch on here is that Batman tells Superman and Wonder Woman that no information is gathered or stored about Sanctuary, so that it can stay anonymous and pure so those who visit it feel safe and can trust the healing process that Sanctuary offers. Yet later on in the issue we find out that someone has sent Lois Lane video recordings of the confessionals from inside Sanctuary, and the anonymous sender told Lois that our heroes have been hiding from us and that more truths will soon be revealed. They also told Lois that they call themselves the Puddlers, which was the name of the people who were running Sanctuary to help fix the heroes imperfections, but they were all killed, so who is this secret group or person calling themselves The Puddlers? That’s a mystery I can’t wait to find out in the next issue of Heroes in Crisis.
Overall I loved every panel and page of this issue, and this story truly excites me and really gets my mind thinking about the mystery. I find myself searching for answers and seeking any small clue wherever I can. I feel like Writer Tom King has a great understanding and ability to convey all these different and unique personal traumas and mental conditions these heroes are going through everyday, and the effects those things have on the superhero community as a whole. I also think this is being done in a very interesting and tasteful way and I enjoy being able to relate with these heroes more now and to better understand them as real people and not just as infallible gods. Once again, artist Clay Mann has knocked it way out of the park and words alone cannot express how much I as always truly enjoy seeing his art and how great he draws each character and brings it all to life in a very beautiful way. Heroes in Crisis is an excellent read that is well worth picking up and reading, and it will make you want to solve the mystery, seek out answers and connect with the heroes we all love on a new and personal level.
I give Heroes in Crisis #2 a 10 out of 10