The Investigation is well underway regarding Sanctuary, but before we dive in lets checkout the covers to this issue.
Trevor Hairsine and Rain Beredo have created a very eye catching cover with a very menacing looking Harley Quinn standing over a prone Wally West. This cover really captures the unhinged side of Harley that hasn’t really been seen for a while in my humble opinion. Her portrayal within the pages of Suicide Squad is definitely more in line with that of Margot Robbie’s more cerebral take on the character. For me this cover is somewhat of a mystery. It doesn’t quite relate to events that have transpired in this particular issue and that smoking gun doesn’t appear to be used on The Flash. Could it have been used on someone else? And that speech balloon, is she really referring to Wally West? This cover is the best kind. Those types that make you ask all sorts of questions and keeps you guessing.
Ryan Sook continues to deliver in regard to the ‘case file’ variants for this series particularly issue 4 highlighting the harrowing event that was Arthur Curry losing a hand. These harrowing yet iconic moments in time are great for knitting together the past and present of DC Comics lore.
Heroes in Crisis #4 is an issue that really examines the bonds and relationships between the characters of the DC Universe, which are specifically effected by the tragic events that took place within Sanctuary. Grief, loyalty, betrayal and compassion are just some of the emotions displayed in this emotionally charged issue. Heroes in Crisis #4 opens up with grief taking centre stage as a Titan mourns the loss of a friend and brother in arms. For me, this was a perfect start to the issue as it really reminds the reader that we lost lives with links and loves across the DC Universe, not just team mates but family and friends. It just makes proceedings all the more poignant and personal and that the risks are as high as ever when you decide to don the mask.
Batman, The Flash and Wonder Woman continue to conduct their investigation. Lois and Clark share a really honest heart to heart with the ramifications of said discussion more than capable of causing a rift within the trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman at the worst possible time. With the Trinity determined to solve this case with steely uncompromising determination, Batgirl and Ted Kord AKA Blue Beetle decide to tackle the situation not from an analytical mind set but with heart, compassion and loyalty dictating their actions.
Booster Gold and Ted Kord’ interactions in this issue coupled up with Ted’s ‘therapy session’ interview are easily highlights of not only this series but that of the Rebirth and now DC Universe era of DCComics. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, particularly their friendship really encapsulate the fact that these people who defend us from evil are only human. Human’s with feelings and emotions who need the same things that we all need to thrive in life. The loyalty that Blue Beetle shows his friend in this issue brought a tear to my eye in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Never has a fist bump felt so meaningful.
As this issue comes to a close that potential rift, I spoke about earlier certainly comes home to roost as the Trinity’ secret Sanctuary and its recent downfall become public domain in the form of an article written by none other than Lois Lane. The tension between Clark, Diana and Bruce is palpable. Just who is feeding the Daily Planet’ star reporter these seemingly impossible to find ‘confessions’? And the tension it caused, could that be the desired effect or an added bonus?
The artwork in this issue by Clay Mann really is on another level. The confrontation between Harley and Batgirl is full of heart and expression which is a feat unto itself as it was told predominantly through the characters hands and the way they interact with each other. Every page in this issue is glorious, nobody draws Lois quite like Clay Mann in my humble opinion. The addition of the Sanctuary ‘confessionals’ peppered throughout this issue feature wonderful insight into what our heroes truly go through and how it effects them moving forward. Writer Tom King really has a wonderful understanding of how to showcase the idea of dissecting and analysing Human Psychology within the superhero community. The human traits and emotions found within these pages are real and authentic and can be found in every walk of life. Exploring the psyche of our beloved heroes is no easy feat, but Tom King makes it look so easy and of course entertaining which of course is crucial.