REVIEW: Heroes in Crisis #5

Heroes In Crisis #5 is here and the boys are back in town! We demanded it and DC Comics have delivered. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are back together again. What kind of trouble could these two get into? Every kind! But before we check that out, let’s take a look at the covers for Heroes in Crisis #5

The regular cover for this issue is created by Trevor Hairsine and features a very serious man of steel hovering above the people he has sworn to protect. What really captured my eye is the fact that the sky depicted on the cover is grey, and that very much matches the mood of the story line. However, this appearance of Superman also brings that gorgeous ray of sun breaking through the clouds. This really is a perfect visual metaphor for what Superman represents and brings to the masses.

heroes in crisis #5

Artist Ryan Sook continues to bring the trauma of past events to the present in the form of the established ‘case file’ variants. This time around we are reminded of perhaps one of DC Comics most brutal moments of all time, the disturbing death of Jason Todd. Now they say less is more and it’s what you can’t see that scares you the most, well the use of the Jokers shadow on this cover gives the reader a real sense of dread and inevitability to one of comics most harrowing ordeals. Robin’ facial expression really does say it all.

heroes in crisis #5 variant cover

Heroes in Crisis #5 kicks off with arguably one of the most creative yet masterfully understated splash pages you’re likely to see. After Booster Gold’ dramatic escape from the Hall of Justice, aided by his buddy Blue Beetle, the boys are in deep contemplation. The pair are aided with Beer and Pizza as they muse and mull over their options for moving forward in regard to clearing Booster’ name. I love the pairs banter and rationale when coming up with ideas. I feel that this portrayal of them is very relatable, and is something a lot of readers, myself included tend to do. Tom King’s dialogue really translates on paper the same way a conversation would eb and flow vocally. This trait is once again evident during the exchanges between Batgirl and Batman and soon after, the conversation had between Batgirl, Harley and Skeets.

In regard to conversations had by our characters, none are more emotional than the one between Clark and Lois. Sanctuary is out in the open and the public’s perception of our heroes is in flux. I love how once again Clark takes the weight of a situation on his shoulders. Sanctuary feels crucial and immensely important to Clark and the pressure of this situation really radiates off our beloved Man Of Steel in this sequence. The weight of the world really does feel like it is bearing down on Clark.

As the issue progresses, we see Booster Gold and Blue Beetle AKA Ted Kord put their plan into action, or at the very least a semblance of a plan which surprisingly worked. The pair soon begin to dissect the evidence they have retrieved and discover a fact that could very well alter the course of the investigation. In this issue I love how Ted Kord’s presence automatically stabalises Booster’s somewhat erratic behavior. Any great relationship works especially well when both parties bring something unique and different to proceedings. This is represented so well with these two characters. The fact that they have both at times been somewhat underestimated makes this win all the more sweeter. I for one would love to see a ‘Blue and Gold’ book published by DC Comics once this run has ended.

This issue is peppered throughout with very heartfelt, emotional and honest ‘Therapy Session’ interviews, that once again reiterate just how important a facility like Sanctuary is and the scars our heroes carry and live with. None however are in my opinion more harrowing than Harley’ seen on the very last page of this issue. This book has done such an incredible job of stripping away the powers and costumes of the characters, and really highlight the fact they are no different from any other person who is susceptible to physical and mental anguish. Even addiction is touched upon.

This issue is stacked with high points, but none more so than Clark’ emotional stirring speech to the world regarding The Sanctuary and the fears of the public. This whole sequence from Clark being flanked by Diana, to the heroic montage that plays out to Clark’ powerful words is breathtaking. I needed to talk to my friends about this speech. It encapsulates everything that is synonymous with Superman. Inspiring, honest, hopeful and optimistic are just a few words I would use to describe how I felt. This really is Superman at his best, and a great representation that his words alone can be just as powerful as his fists.

This issue signifies the halfway point for this series and thanks to Booster Gold and Blue Beetle I feel we are really picking up the pace, and that the investigation has shed a secret that could lead anywhere. Clay Mann really is reaching new heights in regard to the artwork. In my opinion his take on each and every character is becoming the new standard. Superman by Clay Mann is exactly what Superman should look like. Batman by Clay Mann is exactly what Batman should look like… I could go on. The creative team of Tom King and Clay Mann just works so, so well. King really allows Mann’s facial expressions to tell the story and to let the reader know just how each character is feeling. Emotions truly run high in this issue and everyone is feeling it, even the reader.

Heroes in Crisis #5 threw up some interesting scenarios and I cannot wait to see where it goes next.

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