Written by Tom King
Art by Mitch Gerads
This Review Contains Major Spoilers for this story as the Sanctuary killer and his motives are the entire focus of this story.
What do you do when everything hits you in an instant? When you’re shown the pain and suffering of every Hero in Crisis all at once? When you lose control of your life and everything starts slipping away and you struggle to put the pieces back together as fast as you can? What happens when the blood spills and the ink dries and you look back at what you’ve done and you realize it was all your fault because you lost control, you lost hope. Chapter 8 in the Heroes in Crisis series serves as the confession tape of the Sanctuary killer Wally West The Flash The Fastest Man Alive and this is his story.
Issue 8 is by far the most important and game changing chapter in the entire series as all of our questions and concerns are answered and confirmed, and we are given the face of the killer and his tell all story about the moment he lost control and what he was willing to do to make things right.
From the beginning, Heroes in Crisis was said to be a series that would focus on the emotional toll and the mental side effects that exposure to traumatic events can have on anyone, and it was here in this series where we would see an unseen world. We’d see our heroes weak, vulnerable and suffering to cope with what they’ve been through, and I personally feel like it’s within the pages of Heroes in Crisis 8 that this subject matter has best been put on display.
When I was reading through this issue a lot of things struck a chord with me on a personal level which further made the book a more interesting read to me. As Wally explained his pain and his hurt and when he put his feelings out there openly for all to see, it struck a chord with me. Wally expresses the feeling of being alone which is something I’m sure we all felt at some point, but he is also racing so fast in his mind that everything hits him all at once and it becomes an overwhelming pain that can be hard to control. He starts to think that this all must be for him, that no one else could be going through this hurt, and so he falls even lower into a feeling of being alone and lost. When I read this issue I felt Wally’s hurt as it reflected upon feelings I’ve felt myself and so this story to me feels real. It feels special. It captures something that affects so many that isn’t often talked about openly enough and so I’d like to thank Tom King for tackling this story and making it feel real as well as sending a message that we should be open and willing to express our feelings so we, like the heroes in this story, can try to heal.
Mitch Gerads and Travis Moore handle the artwork throughout this issue with Mitch inking pages 1, 6-20 while Travis drew pages 2-5 and Mitch Gerads provides the colors in this issue. I must say that while the drawings themselves are beautiful, it was the coloring that made this issue stand out in a very artsy kind of way that added in an extra layer of emotion to it. The grayed out panels where few colors popped out helped give these moments more impact and thus gave this book more heart.
Ultimately I loved this issue as a great story that focuses on a sensitive topic that isn’t often enough discussed, and I feel it handled this subject matter in a meaningful way that will have a major impact on The DC Comics Universe of stories. I do think this issue and the killer’s reveal of being Wally West will hit most DC fans hard and will take time to accept and understand why this happened. But in time all wounds can be healed and sins can be forgiven, and I think if you look at Wally’s journey throughout Rebirth, this loss of control made sense and him being the hero going through this hurt highlights how any of us can feel this pain, any hero can fall to crisis even the symbol of hope, even the fastest man alive, so it’s important to take the proper time to heal, don’t rush things, every moment is a gift.
I give Heroes in Crisis #8 a 10 out of 10 but I’m big sad about Wally being the killer as a fan.