The strengths of HEROES IN CRISIS -- or maybe not

Yea, so I still haven’t bothered with HEROES IN CRISIS issue number four.

As far as this series goes, well, actually, probably any mainline DC COMICS series, torture porn and super-heroics really just don’t go together. Wow, too strong you say? But no, it’s not strong enough. But maybe HEROES IN CRISIS, so far, isn’t like torture porn. No, it’s more like a mocumentary snuff film paced like a 1950’s soap opera. That’s just strong enough.

Seriously, after four issues out of nine, do the readers even have the slightest idea how many characters, big and small, have actually been lambed to the slaughter?

I know this started out a good idea, and I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, here-- I know this started out as something else, sort of a reversal on the WATCHMAN motif. “No, no,” exclaimed someone high-up at DC COMICS, “We won’t use original characters!! We’ll use the existing DC pantheon!”

Original characters would works so much better for this drama. That way, no one could ever cry you killed off their favorite, and future and current comic creators could not plot out in their heads the triumphant return of said favorite character until such time as somebody actually pulls it off. Welcome to comics.

“But this time it’s permanent!” someone high up at DC comics yells. “This time we’re going to give you closure!!”

Don’t be silly. Again, this is comics. More specifically, this is super-hero. Nobody WANTS closure on their favorite costumed icon.

And yea, I know. Controversy makes money, and this could all be a long-range plan to go Rebirth, and then really, really dark, and then more like Rebirth, and then really really dark every few years to build interest in the comics industry.

Controversy doesn’t always make art, though. Just sayin’.

Worst of all, though, is the most likely outcome of HEROES IN CRISIS. The killer will turn out to be one of the heroes, iconic or otherwise. He/she snapped under the pressure and stress of being a defender of humanity, and lost their own. “It happens in real life,” someone at DC COMICS says, to heroes both in and out of uniform. It’s happened in comics, too-- both to the heroes, and their supporting cast. The HAL JORDAN GREEN LANTERN snapped. Yea, that didn’t last. The ATOM’s wife, JEAN LORING, snapped. I don’t think that story is part of NEW 52 or REBIRTH continuity. "This time, " that higher-up at DC COMICS exclaims, “it’s going to stand!!”

Please see the sentence above about future and current comics creators.

If super-heroes are a form of modern mythology, and arguably, that’s exactly what they are-- they can’t die. Not permanently. Myths can only change for the times, sometimes into something quite new, sometimes back into something surprisingly like their original form.

But snuff films aren’t drama. You can try to sell me on otherwise.

But I ain’t buying it.


As far as I can tell, the writer, Tom King, never planned on using original characters. The original story was going to be a slightly shorter series called Sanctuary that would have a heavier focus on DC Comics characters dealing with the psychological effects of being superheroes.

In all the interviews and articles I’ve read and seen, nobody at DC has actually made the claim that any character deaths or changes will be permanent. The most they’ve said is that the story will have a “lasting impact” (no specifics given), which is the same vague statement DC uses to market every story they’ve every published.

From reading it, I feel like the villain will actually turn out to be Sanctuary itself and the whole thing was an holographic illusion. I hope I’m wrong, because that would be kind of stupid. I’m not a fan of “it was all a dream” stories.

The violent and shocking deaths characters is meant to be shocking and disturbing to add emotional weight to the topics the story explores. That being said, it is a bit cheap of Tom King.

Overall, the story has exceeded my expectations (which isn’t saying much, since my expectations going in were about as low as possible because of Tom King’s run on Batman, which, in my opinion, is awful).


As far as “a lasting impact” goes…
In the middle of Red Hood Outlaw #27, Bruce meets Jason in a Diner to tell him Roy Harper is dead.
To me…
That’s pretty permanent.

As far as the book itself goes…
I’m absolutely LOVING the idea!!!

I read to be told a story, and the story I’m being told here is that heroes are fallible; that heroes are vulnerable.

To me, this is about as real as comics get.
It doesn’t get much more real than death. Maybe a bit more real for me as a long time Red Hood fan, but still real none the less.

I agree in a way that it’s probably just the Ghost In the Machine, but that doesn’t change the fact that Arsenal is dead.

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Interesting. I’m getting told it’s all just fantasy in one thread, and that comics need to be more real in another.

I think the whole theme in Heroes in Crisis is recovery from PTSD, somewhat similar to what Tom King’s theme in the Mister Miracle reboot. Remember that Tom King’s previous career was a CIA operative (There’s an article from October, 2017 where the Wall Street Journal interviewed him.), so I think a lot of his themes revolve around characters recovering from traumatic events.
As far as characters “dying” in comics, I always take that with a grain of salt. If DC wants them back, they will find a way to bring them back.


That’s probably just a personal prefrence and could be why some people aren’t enjoying the story…maybe it’s too real???

That last comment was meant for MisfitHighlander

Wjccpamst.1292 – “Dead” characters cannot recover from PSTD. Only the killer can recover from post traumatic stress. But with all these dead characters, iconic and incidental-- and I swear I heard someone lamenting Bluejay after issue 1, so who can say what characters in an overall story that’s been running since 1939 are incidental? The creators are more transitory than the characters, here-- the story becomes about the failure of mental health efforts-- a valid story, but maybe not here.

hashtag-goodtobejo – So far, reading and talking to other readers, there are two kinds of people who like this story-- a broad statement that needs that proverbial grain of salt, because despite all efforts to tell us otherwise, there are never only two kinds of people-- those who want to sound more intellectual than those who don’t like it, and those who are truly finding good storytelling in trying to inject real world stakes into super-heroics. But the only ‘real’ in any story is in what it makes you feel, how it makes you feel, or think, and why you-- each of us being ourselves-- feels that way.

Hashtag - someone tells another character an individual is dead in a comic and you are citing this as… proof of permanence? You will come to discover that is hardly true.

My opinion of HiC: with respect, creators shouldn’t put their own hangups and issues into characters where it doesn’t fit. It should be the opposite

I’m enjoying the story.

I think it’s being told well and I appreciate the looks into the “interview” room where we get a look at the softer side of heroes.

Maybe one tie in on a single page of a Red Hood comic isn’t much, but we’ll see more in a few issues of Flash & Batman.

Of coarse we would like more information from the creators but no one likes spoilers and let’s face it…we live in a hyper-sensitive world full of people who like to type tons and tons of words when all I’m here for is to read comic books and chat with cool people.

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Read comic books? I think I’ll go do just that.

hashtag-goodtobejo - Can I recommend Aquaman (2011), Suicide Squad (1987), snd Batgirl (2000)?

Awesome! I’ll look into Suicide Squad (1987)… I didn’t know the story was that old…

I’m not familiar with the DCU library, so I’ll recomend:

The new Catwoman run. She’s left Gotham and is doing her own thing independantly. It’s a monthly, so not “Big Name” enough for bi-weekly but I’m liking it so far.

For non DC related adventuring, everyone needs to read Stabbity Ever After. #1 was just released last week or the week before…

Debth and meaning are relative, but characters like Stabbity Rabbit are truely what comics are all about.

I just finished American Carnage #3.
You should totally read American Carnage!

I am going to have to look up Stabbity Ever After on the title alone. Well, it’s not on comixology. Google!! OMG that sweet little Bunny has a knife!!!

I have considered American Carnage. That is on comixology.

Oh, I will get to Catwoman, but I’m only on issue 14 of rebirth Batman. I’m a little behind.

Hey, Hashtaggoodtobejo–

If you’re still around, and if you aren’t adverse to my asking, how do you pick your books to read? You mentioned Red Hood, Catwoman, Vertigo, and an indy comic about a Bunny with a knife. What pulls you in?

Click the “new comics” icon at the top and it gives you a list of every comic for the week…

As far as what draws me in goes… I’m really just all over the place.

I like my DC Superheroes. I’m loyal. I just like Jason Todd’s expansive backstory and I like that he’s 0utside the law; an outlaw.

I like violence. Silly comic book violence is real cool. (Look up “Ralph Snart” and “Boris the Bear.” That’s what they were putting out when I was in High School.) That’s where Stabbity comes from.

And I’m a man. A man wholeheartedly appreciates the exaggerated form of the woman’s body in comic books.

There’s something for every mood…

And as far as getting a look at comics you can’t find elsewhere, try:

I really encourage you to play with the leagueofcomicgeeks site.

Especially when you’re going through the weekly list and clicking “pull.” When you click “pull” you het a pop-up and in the lower left corner of the pop-up you’ll have another clicky to pull all future comics as well. I only look to see new comics I may be interested in. My regular Pull List is automatically generated now.

And American Carnage #3 was one of the books I took camping this weekend.

It’s a super good book!!!