Heroes In Crisis #3 is here, but before we dive in lets take a look at the covers for this issue. Artist Clay Mann has created a cover that in my opinion captures the true essence of the entire arc to date, that of a murder mystery and what better way to convey that than to feature the two most prominent detectives in the DC universe examining a key piece of evidence.
The variant cover for this issue is by Ryan Sook, and continues the theme of ‘case files’ which chronicle our heroes most harrowing ordeals. This particular variant highlights the death of Maxwell Lord at the hands of Wonder Woman. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these covers and the latest is no exception, as it perfectly highlights the fact that even the most godly and empowered of heroes are susceptible to trauma be it physically or mentally.
Heroes In Crisis #3 feels to me very much like an interlude issue, as the reader finds themselves in the not-so-distant past. In the issue we follow Booster Gold, Wally West and Lagoon Boy on their journey to closure and recovery as patients of Sanctuary. Through their eyes we learn about sanctuary’ functions and extent of the technology used to maintain and operate the facility, including what appears to be a virtual reality simulator via Kryptonian crystal tech that can create environments tailored to the individual patients needs and desires.
This issue is crucial for me as it really highlights and explores just how Sanctuary works and what role the Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman played in its creation. As the reader I love how we witness the extent of Wally West’ therapy in Sanctuary as this character is much beloved, as well as being a victim of the massacre that started this unfortunate chain of events. The fact that this issue chronicles the time leading directly up to that point makes the characters time as a patient all the more poignant.
For this issue, Regular series artist Clay Mann is joined by Lee Weeks who recently collaborated with series writer Tom King on Batman. These artists are very similar in style, which for me is great as the connectivity between their work in this issue is faultless. Lee Weeks is a master at capturing facial expressions and does a wonderful job of capturing a plethora of emotions in a very emotionally charged issue.
I thought it was a great idea to create an issue such as this that took time out of present day events to take a more personal and intimate look at the lives of the heroes that Sanctuary was built to help, certainly Lagoon Boy who’s story I thoroughly enjoyed. Tom King seems to be really dialed into the human aspect of our beloved heroes and what really makes them tick. This is really evident in this issue, certainly when dealing with Wally West who has suffered perhaps more than anyone in recent months.
Even though Heroes In Crisis #3 felt more like an interlude issue, I felt it was necessary as the reader gained access to the facility prior to the massacre. One thing I really appreciated was the fact that we learned the rational behind the gold mask that adorns the cover to this very issue. When I saw promo art for this series that became the cover to issue #1, I felt this mask may tie into Psycho Pirate. This may or may not come to play, so we shall just have to wait and see.