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Comic Book Review: Heroes in Crisis #1

Heroes in Crisis #1
DC Comics

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann

So the big DC crossover event of the year is Heroes In crisis, a 9 issue series by Tom (Yawn) King and Clay Mann. The first issue has been eagerly anticipated by some, and not so much by others who have found that Tom King pulled the rug from under our feet in Batman #50, and has slowly allowed Mister Miracle to grind to a halt. Something that many people thought would be impossible, considering the rich tapestry of mythology that he had to play with.

First things first, the logo for this series is terrible. It looks cheap and rushed, and definitely not befitting of a major comic event. I know they have the whole “Crisis” thing they have to do at DC, but honestly, look at that logo. It’s so plain and uninspired and lacks any sense of drama. It’s a shame, because the cover is awesome. It’s by Clay and Tomeu Morey, and despite it’s generic heroes in solemn pose looking deflated, it’s very well done.

Now onto the story. We start with Booster Gold in a diner, and in walks Harley Quinn. She orders pudding, obviously and a fight breaks out. Meanwhile, we get asides of various characters in a vox pop situation, at The Sanctuary, a clinic for super people that have PTSD. However something has gone horribly wrong at the refuge, and we spend the rest of the issue watching Superman arrive and do a quick count of all the dead bodies strewn willy-nilly across the landscape. Yes, in true desperate sales tactic style, Heroes In Crisis kills a lot of super people with very little fan fair and to be perfectly honest, it’s all a bit hollow. I don’t want to spoil everything here, but there are perhaps two deaths here of characters that will surprise readers, in a really bad way – the rest are pretty much z listers that most of you won’t have heard of or care about.

The bodies are littered about in true – crime scene style panels, and much like previous shocker Identity crisis, this comes across as cheap thrills for teen age fans that will be awed by the sheer brutality of the images on show. The whole package is a soul less and bitter attack at the DC Universe, and honestly I’m not sure how well this will go down. Everything is nasty and twisted, Harley and Booster have a terrible violent fight, and the DC trinity can only pose in the shadows and bow their heads in shame. Sure, there’s a mystery here, but it’s a mystery that will probably leave a lot of readers rolling their eyes and heavily sighing.

The horror is that I don’t think King is finished with the body count either. I’m sure that there will be more nastiness in store. On the plus side, the art here is just fantastic. Mann can capture these images well, but will someone tell King that nine panels of the same character facing front and spouting dialogue is getting very old. There must be a more imaginative way of getting this information across and Mann is wasted here, and there’s 5 pages of that. 5 pages of talking heads in a 24 page book, and that also includes the blandest 2 page title spread you’ve ever seen.

Now I will probably continue to pick this title up, but honestly, if things don’t improve in the next two issues, i’m done with it. I’m still on board with Doomsday Clock, but the slow scheduling has just killed this book, and I’m praying that Mister Miracle will just stop. In an era with comic book sales slumping, comic book shops closing and an industry that seems intent on eating itself, it will take more than this toxic empty Grindhouse style of story to save the industry.

Give me the JLA and JSA team up to fight The Demons Three any day!

Rating: 4 out of 10