Heroes in Crisis #7 is here and with only a few issues remaining the biggest question is – can our heroes finally begin to uncover the truth surrounding Sanctuary? Well, before we find out, lets take a look at the covers.
Straight off the bat I must say I was beyond excited to see the standard cover for this issue on the shelf by Mitch Gerads. Finally Superman is stepping in and leading by example, however like with a lot of covers these days it turns out this was somewhat of a misdirect as Superman doesn’t appear in this issue at all. This cover is very cool but unfortunately loses its impact due to the aforementioned fact.
The variant cover for this issue is created by Ryan Sook, and once again chronicles a terribly traumatic event within the DC Comics universe. This time around its the death of Kilowog at the Hands of Hal Jordan from the Emerald Twilight story arc. I fully geeked out seeing this cover and couldn’t stop chatting to people in the store about it. As a huge Green Lantern fan this story arc really impacted on me, and changed the course of the Green Lantern mythology that is felt to this very day. The death of Kilowog and downfall of Hal Jordan was just so tragic. Neither hero deserved their fate that had befallen them that day.
Upon first learning about Heroes in Crisis back in late 2018, I was beyond excited for this title. The subject matter and creative team had me counting down the days to its release, and those early issues really delivered on every level. But as of late I feel Heroes in Crisis has really started to slow down and lacks any kind of momentum. In my opinion this can certainly be said of HiC #6, and now sadly issue #7. To me it almost feels as though there is some kind of invisible hurdle this book doesn’t seem to be able to jump over.
Even though in my opinion HiC hasn’t been firing on all cylinders regarding the story, the art has always been on point and issue #7 is no exception. The issue opens up with a gorgeous, though somewhat out of context scene with Wally West in his Flash attire standing in a meadow fully in bloom. Inventively, the flowers surrounding the speedster are subtly spelling out the title of the book. I love this double page spread so much. Its so beautiful yet tinged with a real tangible sadness, as Wally recounts a poem that his wife Linda read at their wedding. If you are familiar with Tom King’s writing than you know the writer loves to incorporate poetry into his work. This just works so well in this scene as it adds a real sense of melancholy which is now embedded within the character. Artist Clay Mann in my opinion is synonymous with creative and inventive splash pages and this has to be one of his very best. The detail in these pages is incredible and must have taken hours to complete.
As HiC #7 moves forward this issue picks up a rather unfortunate trait from the last issue and becomes very choppy, as scenes featuring Harley Quinn and Booster Gold are intertwined with scenes featuring a rather humorous exchange between The Flash and Batman as they continue to search for Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. On top of this we get a rather poignant ‘Therapy Session’ with Wally West.
The scenes featuring Harley Quinn attacking Booster Gold, while Batgirl and Blue Beetle uncharacteristically look on are for the large part rather pointless. Don’t get me wrong, the artwork is stunning and the banter between the characters is very absorbing. It really is a fine examination of the individual characters psyche, and an illustration of how they see themselves, however I just feel we have covered this already in previous issues and that we are now retreading old ground. This fight takes up way to much time and really only leads to the four joining forces. For the life of me I’m not entirely sure why Booster Gold and Blue Beetle would want to team up with Harley Quinn and Batgirl. Especially as Harley has only just tried to kill Booster seconds prior. As the four join forces it seems that the emphasis of their mission is leaning more towards ‘rescuing’ Wally then discovering the actual identity of the murderer. The other victims of The Sanctuary massacre just seem like an after thought now.
The humorous exchange between Batman and Barry feels kind of like an intermission, a way of lightening up proceedings as the content upto this point is very dark indeed. More than anything its a reminder to the reader in my opinion that this is a crime still being investigated in the wider DC Universe. Wally West’s ‘Therapy Session’ sequence like all that have been peppered throughout the series drawn beautifully by Clay Mann, is just full of emotion conveyed through facial expressions and hand gestures. You can really feel the sadness radiate off of the character. This really is a character devoid of hope, a man without a future simply going through the motions of everyday life. To me this isn’t even a viable option of recovery for Wally. In the characters eyes there is no recovery. The hopelessness radiating of this character is just so palpable. Its so authentic and in my opinion the most well done thing in this series.
As the issue comes to a close, Heroes in Crisis goes from a murder mystery to pure Science Fiction, as Wally seemingly creates life in this ‘heaven’ like realm. Like the last issue and many before it, not one question has been answered. In fact by the end of this issue there are new questions! With only two issues remaining I have no idea what is coming next.
With the exception of the final few pages featuring Wally West, Heroes in Crisis #7 lacked any real momentum for me. It feels as though we are in the exact same place as where we left off at the end of issue #5, which for me was one of the strongest issues to date. The emphasis of what our characters want to achieve in this series seems to have drastically altered, certainly by this issue. Batman is now focusing predominantly on Booster Gold as opposed to continuing the investigation. Harley, Batgirl, Booster and Blue Beetle seem solely occupied on ‘rescuing’ Wally rather than clearing their names or uncovering the true culprit.
Most disappointing for me is how the other victims of Sanctuary seem almost forgotten about. All these elements are highlighted in this issue and for me the series just seems to have really veered off course. I thought this was going to be the Trinity coming together to investigate and solve the murders at the very facility they established. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Clark and Diana don’t appear anymore in the series. At one point Lois was receiving tips on Sanctuary that lead to her expose, that seems to be totally forgotten about. I just feel this series sometimes spends to much time on one thing and less to no time at all on something potentially more significant.
As a rule I’m not the biggest fan of multiple artists on a single issue. This issue was essentially divided into three mini arcs. With that said, the three artists work together perfectly and the standard of art is superb. Travis Moore’s art style is very similar to that of Clay Mann’s, and it is actually rather difficult to detect the differences. Both artists work flows beautifully and really compliments each other. Artist Jorge Fornes makes up the final third of artists completing art duties on this issue and who I was most excited for. Jorge Fornes’ art stylistically is the most different out of the three.His style is very reminiscent to that of artist David Mazzucchelli. Jorge Fornes’ art really adds a classic sensibility to the issue.
With just two issues left, we really need to start getting some answers and quickly. However with a huge question being asked in this very issue, I’m slightly concerned there may not be time.