Heroes in Crisis #2
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann, Travis Moore
Colors by: Tomeu Morey
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Last month, the first issue in the much anticipated Heroes in Crisis mini-series arrived to a great deal of fanfare. I found the first issue promising and mysterious, if a bit ponderous. The second issue maintains its sense of mystery while ramping up the action to make for an exciting issue.
The nine-panel confessionals continue as the issue is bookended with confessionals from Poison Ivy and Superman. Confessionals from Batman and Wonder Woman break up the action in the middle of the issue. In particular, Ivy’s confessional is poignant and sweet as we get a brief glimpse into her relationship with Ivy. Light-hearted moments are hard to find in a series that is about solving the murder of heroes, so this opening page is welcome.
Unfortunately, the rest of the confessionals don’t work quite as well. Batman’s in particular does not quit, in particular,e gravitas it tries for. This is in part due to the fact that King’s Batman run delves into Batman’s mental health and trauma in a much more extensive and nuanced way. Nine panels cannot hope to capture the same thing King has captured in his lengthy Batman run.
If a few of the confessionals are a little disappointing in their execution, the action in the present story more than makes up for it. The issue sees both Harley Quinn and Booster Gold dealing with the fallout of their fight from the first issue. Harley still believes that Booster Gold is responsible for the murders of the heroes at Sanctuary. As such, she engineers a confrontation with Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman in an effort to make sure they hold him accountable.
The Harley sections are some of the best in the issue. She consistently outsmarts the heroes chasing her all while dealing with her own grief and trauma at losing her lover. For me, the Booster Gold sections of the issue did not work as well. Booster comes across as insufferable and his unwillingness to listen to reason wore on me as the issue progressed.
Thankfully, whatever you feel about the characters and the story, the art from Clay Mann (and guest artist Travis Moore) remains impeccable. Their attention to detail is astonishing and significant for those looking to collect clues regarding the unknown killer. It is no small task to draw Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn in a single comic-run much less a single issue. Mann is more than up to the task in capturing their distinct personas, costumes, and traumas through his art.
This issue ramps up the pace and moves the story forward in interesting ways. The killer remains a mystery, but King leaves plenty clues for observant readers to pick up on. The excellent action, in-depth mystery, and beautiful art have left me theorizing endlessly and eagerly anticipating the next entry in this run.