REVIEW: Heroes In Crisis #6
Heroes in Crisis #6 is upon us, and series regulars Tom King and Clay Mann are joined by Eisner Award winning artist – Mitch Gerads. Just what exactly do these creative powerhouses have in store for us? Before we delve further into the mystery surrounding Sanctuary, let’s check out those covers for Heroes in Crisis #6.
For the regular cover, Mitch Gerads has created a rather thought-provoking composition using Harley Quinn. Straight away my eyes are drawn to the shadow above Harley. Just who exactly could this be? Booster Gold perhaps? Maybe someone different entirely. The fact that Harley is back at Sanctuary surrounded by blood splatter, while somewhat playfully holding a Sanctuary mask used to conceal the identities of its residents leads me to believe that this very well could be an issue set in the past. I have to say, even though that period of time is still very much shrouded in mystery, I really don’t want to spend any more time there, when we have so few issues remaining with even fewer questions being answered.
The variant cover for this issue is by Ryan Sook and continues this series tradition of chronicling extremely physical, psychological and catastrophic events that have occurred throughout the history of the DC Universe. This time – the loss of Barry Allen during Crisis on Infinite Earths. These covers have been incredible and this one is no exception. Wally’ facial expression as his mentor is pulled into the speed force really says it all. The use of the word ‘Loss’ on this cover really coveys a sense of tragedy. That this man touched many people’s lives and that the universe would become that little bit darker without him.
Heroes in Crisis has been one of my most highly anticipated books to get my hands on each month. The previous issue to this, issue #5 was fantastic and in my opinion the highest point so far of the entire series, however this very issue in my opinion is probably the weakest. Heroes in Crisis #6 spent the entirety of the issue back in the past during the final moments leading up to the fatal events discovered in issue one. For me it is rather disjointed and doesn’t push the narrative forward at all. This issue really has slowed momentum down almost to a standstill and I feel we are no closer to uncovering the truth behind this mystery.
Heroes in Crisis #6 spotlights the characters Gnarrk and Wally West along with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Each character is getting their most inner turmoil’s and trauma broken down expertly by Tom King via the Virtual Reality simulator housed within Sanctuary. Wally really is suffering from the loss of his wife and children due to the universe altering event known as ‘The Flashpoint’. These pages of Wally surrounded by friends, are heartbreaking as we know the characters very own heart is broken. My heart truly breaks for Wally in this issue. The character really is in utter despair. You can tell by the way he is laying on the bed that he is at the end of the line, his eyes haunted by his loss. Unfortunately these powerful sequences are rather fractured as they are broken up rather abruptly between Harley and Gnarrks’ own ‘therapy sessions’. The issue opens up with Gnarrk, a very unfamiliar character to me reminiscing about life before being ‘frozen’. I really enjoyed Gnarrk’ use of quoting philosophers to help convey his feelings and help accompany his contrasting of the past with the present. Specifically the social restraints placed on one such as he who has more than a passing familiarity with the true meaning of freedom. This is very fascinating to me as more and more of us feel bound by outdated convention.
Harley’s relationships with Ivy and The Joker are also flushed out here. The relationship between Harley and Ivy is depicted as a real thing of beauty. It’s so tender, caring and loving. It really adds so much depth to both characters. Harley is often depicted so erratic and craze, so it’s nice to see her slightly toned down and that she is actually capable of rational thinking and emotion. Without these qualities it’s hard to really push a character in a new direction. Ivy’s hatred of The Joker is also a joy to see. In real life, loyalty between friends comes into play almost every day obviously not as exaggerated as it is here. But it’s a real life custom that I’m pleased to see showcased here, certainly between these two who have a lot of history together including their time as the Gotham City Sirens.
As our story comes to a close, these ‘therapy sessions’ are abruptly halted by the Sanctuary alarm which leads right up to where we began way back in issue one. Again, all these scenes become very choppy and abrupt, which eventually culminate in somewhat of a slightly underwhelming cliffhanger. Heroes in Crisis #6 has some really heart wrenching moments specifically involving Wally, his dialogue while cradling Roy in his arms is heartbreaking. Not wanting to be alone is a fear most of us will feel or have felt in our lives. Featuring content this relatable is a great way to make the reader invested this can certainly be said for myself. I need to know what becomes of this character and his family.
Mitch Gerad’s artwork in this issue is stunning, specifically the almost heavenly take on Wally West. For me it’s totally out of context, but it looks great none the less. This issue is extremely choppy and doesn’t really fill the reader in on anything we don’t already know. Tom King is a superb writer and extremely proficient in breaking down characters and stripping them of their powers to reveal the vulnerable human at the core. This has been accomplished more than once in this series, however I just feel this issue was lacking direction.
With only a few issues left to go, hopefully Heroes in Crisis will begin to answer some of our questions! But I guess we will have to wait a little longer before we see who the culprit is.