Heroes in Crisis #9 (of 9) The Price of Misery is 3.99
• Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey (Cover Artists) • DC Comics (Publisher)
• Ryan Sook (Variant) • Get it Now (Dont)
Heroes in Crisis is finally over an what are we left with? What was the point of it all?
I've reviewed all 9 issues of the series and my enthusiasm for the event and conclusion had all but waned. Likewise, my reverence for Tom King and his writing has been replaced with open skepticism.
Tom King was in the news a lot this week. First, he was dropped as lead writer of Batman. It was then announced that he would be getting a new series featuring Batman & Catwoman. This gesture is presumably a courtesy to the creator and a way for him to finish his long-running story although he will not be writing the flagship Batman title anymore.
The biggest news for Tom King this week was that he would be Co-Writing a "New Gods" movie with Ava DuVernay of Selma and A Wrinkle in time. This is either a good idea or a Bad one depending on who you talk to.
All of these announcements are worthy of attention in their own right and I only mention the timeline to say that whether you're a fan of Tom King or not, he's not going anywhere.
Heroes in Crisis isn't even an uneven series. At best it's mildly interesting at worse its unreadable. There are large segments of this issue that are simply terrible. It got so bad that I had to put the book down and come back to it.
The Flash situation resolves itself as our team of heroes (Harley Quinn, Booster Gold, Batgirl, and Blue Beetle) finally catch up with Wally West before he kills himself. The comic resolves itself with an intervention for Wally.
The barebones premise of the series and this issue is solid but the execution of the script and plot is rough. The tone is all over the place ranging from cutesy to deadly serious over the span of a few pages. In this issue particularly, It seems that all of the heroes have the same voice. The voice I feel hanging most heavily isTom Kings and less the voice of our heroes and Tom's voice seems bored and disinterested during these segments.
There is a heartfelt undercurrent to the issue but the script feels like it needed another draft or another editor to pull the threads together.
Heroes in Crisis is sad because if the story had been condensed by about four issues and the Focus had been on Flash and less about the murder mystery we probably would have had a compelling and memorable event. What we ended up is a bloated mess of an event that leaves a dark mark on Tom King's legacy and will forever be remembered as "That Story" if at all.
The issue does have some positive aspects of Heroes in Crisis. My favorite part of the event has been the Polaroid Variant covers by Ryan Sook. They all highlight a traumatic flashpoint in DC history, framing them as a Sanctuary casefile. Who the hell took the pictures? In all seriousness, the covers are just cool and are a nice Easter Egg for long-time fans.
Another positive is the overall art direction for the issue. Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey have crafted a thing of beauty here with this issue. If you're an art snob the issue may be worth it alone for the art. The art has been the strongest art of the event despite the story constantly letting them down. I can't wait to see Clay on another series that lives up to his talent level he's one of the best artists working today and should be acknowledged as such.
Despite my praise, for the artistic side of the issue, I'm glad this event is over.
I started this blog a little less than a year ago and I've been marking each month with an issue of Heroes in Crisis followed immediately by a book that has been a lot better. To be perfectly honest I feel like I've given this series and Tom King more attention than they deserve.
Heroes in Crisis also highlights a growing problem with the overall direction of DC comics. The books being promoted all seem to be dark, pessimistic and overall villain-centric. I know we're in the middle of DC's Year of the Villain event but what should be a fun reading experience has become oppressively cynical. As a fan, it's hard to get excited when my heroes are constantly being traumatized, beaten and deconstructed.
Series Rating: D
I mentioned earlier that I've been reviewing Heroes in Crisis for 9 months now. The series is bad, Rainbow Brite bad.
Here are some suggestions for you as alternatives if you're interested in picking up a series or trade that doesn't have the baggage of being a product of its creator's mental health situation.
I read/reviewed Heroes in Crisis so you didn't have to.
1. Go-Bots by Tom Scioli (IDW)
2. Unnatural by Mirka Andolfo (Image)
3. Blood Realm by Robert Geronimo (Alternacomics)
4. The Lone Ranger by Mark Russell & Bob Q (Dynamite)
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Macro Series by Various (IDW)