Heroes in Crisis #2 is here, but before we immerse ourselves in the mystery – lets check out the covers.
The regular cover for this issue is by interior artist Clay Mann. I am a huge fan of covers that capture the events of the interior and this cover does exactly that. Batman’s facial expression says it all.
Ryan Sook is the artist responsible for the ‘Case File’ variant for this issue, and I have to say I’m a huge fan of these very clever covers. Where the variant cover to issue one chronicled Superman’s biggest trauma (his death at the hands of Doomsday), issue two’s variant highlights Batman’s back being broken by Bane. These traumatic experiences tie in perfectly to the overall narrative of the story as a whole.
For fans of DC Comics, the word ‘Crisis’ has significant meaning. Crisis implies big changes are ahead and that lives will be forever altered. This has occurred numerous times in the past, from Crisis on Infinite Earths from 1985 to 2004’s Identity Crisis. These limited series were massive for DC Comics, featuring the biggest characters with events that would reverberate throughout continuity. Crisis on Infinite Earths along with Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis were highly anticipated stories that just felt big, that felt important and carried a certain gravitas about them, and in my opinion the same can certainly be said for Heroes in Crisis.
Heroes in Crisis #2 continues to reveal information about Sanctuary, and highlights Harley Quinn and Booster Gold’s journey from the Sanctuary to hopefully get the answers they desperately seek. All the while Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman continue to investigate the events that transpired in issue one. The dialogue in this issue is extremely dense and character driven with some great exchanges, especially between Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. In this issue, Batman really resorts to his stereotype in a big way whether he likes it or not. This was done in such a creative way and really highlights not only Batman’s thought process towards his more powerful allies but Harley’s fighting prowess. Another great pairing that benefits greatly from writer Tom King’s outstanding dialogue exchanges is Booster Gold and his buddy Skeets. The duo’s bickering and at times neurotic back and forth banter really convey’s a sense of not only the importance of a facility such as Sanctuary, but Boosters capricious mind.
Harley’s journey and encounter with The Trinity was perfectly executed, specifically her interaction with Diana. Wonder Woman being a member of the Justice league and Trinity is very much portrayed as a mother figure and Diana’s embracing of Harley in this issue emphasised that in a real heartfelt way. You can really see that Wonder Woman carries forgiveness in her heart and truly believes people – even Harley – can be redeemed.
The present day action is broken up by really human and honest ‘therapy sessions’ involving Poison Ivy, Diana, Bruce and Clark. These are very heartfelt and exposing ‘intermissions’ that shine a very revealing light on our heroes and even show their vulnerable side. These are captured in Tom King’s now familiar nine grid panel alignment and I have to say they are a joy to behold.
Speaking of panels, Clay Mann’s artwork in this issue is magnificent. Its the intricacies of the characters facial expressions that really tell the story and push the narrative forward especially in the aforementioned ‘therapy session’ sequences. But its not only quiet moments that benefit from Clay Mann’s excellence, the flight and in particular action sequences look incredible too.
At its core, Heroes in Crisis is a mystery, a ‘who done it’ and even though issue two doesn’t really get us any closer to the identity of the culprit, it does maneuver one of DC Comics most tenacious investigative reporters into the heart of the mystery. Lois Lane is on the case and she has a tip off, more than that, she has a clue.
I really enjoyed this issue. For all the dense dialogue and information relayed to the reader, issue #2 flowed really well. I’m truly invested in this series and I’m dying to piece together more of the puzzle with each issue to come. Clay Mann is becoming one of my favourite artists, and is doing a fantastic job of conveying the emotions of my beloved characters, especially Lois Lane. Trauma is an interesting avenue to travel down, its something we are all accustomed to, yet has very rarely been explored in comics certainly to this extent. Issue #3 can’t come quick enough for me.