Heroes In Crisis #4 Review: Overwhelming!

I really cannot believe we are only on issue #4 with this event. It seems like we have had so much more already, and this latest issue feels like its covering at least three issues in one. There is so much in this issue, all of it done to perfection, that it really is quite overwhelming.

When looking for a place to start with DC you can always begin with the covers. Crisis #4 represents one of the few instances where i actually enjoy the A-cover over the B-cover. Cover A is a great shot of Harley standing over a dead Wally as if she had killed him. In most comics, this would show us what is happening story wise. In the Heroes series, especially this issue, is it showing us the truth or misleading us?

Cover B is a beautifully illustrated rendition of Aquaman as he apparently holds his disintegrating hand. While it may be visually stunning, it has nothing to do with this issue.

The interview panels continue to be a great part of this series.  Not only is it showing us the incredible line up of heroes that have used Sanctuary, but each responds when it comes time to bare their souls.  This issue we get Donna Troy, Batgirl, Back Canary and Blue Beetle. 

Donna might as well be doing a dissertation on the city of Troy and whether it existed or not.  Batgirl’s confession is silent but speaks volumes.  She begins removing articles of her outfit.  About the time you start to wonder where this is going you get the emotional whammy.  Batgirl shows the bullet holes from when Joker shot her.  Black Canary lasts all of barely 3 frames before she says “Ah, $%@# this” and walks out.  Finally. Blue Beetle lays out his relationship with Booster.  Blue will do anything for the friend that is always there for him.  Each of these testimonies really lays out the personalities of the super heroes.

Batman is only in this issue for a few pages, but he shines every time he surfaces.  A simple discussion with Flash about the evidence and when it comes time to say who murdered Sanctuary, both Flash and Batman have a different name.  Of course, its Flash who admits defeat when he says “$%@*”.

So far, the killer seems to be either Booster or Harley.  We get a nice scene of Booster laying out his side of events at the end of Wonder Woman’s truth lasso. We would think that puts things to rest, but later in the issue Booster tells Blue that it only means BOOSTER believes it’s the truth, not that it is the truth, which puts us right back to square one.

We feel the weight of Booster’s testimony, so of course the following page has to be Lois Lane, pin-up model, as she stands before Kal in panties and a T-shirt.  Of course, then we get the gratuitous, equal rights follow-up, of Kal sprawled out in bed in nothing but his under wear.  I guess the Superman Boxers or briefs question has been definitively answered.

The short scene is actually quite warranted though.  It is a short discussion between the two about the confessional tapes that are being sent to Lois that aren’t supposed to exist.  Kal has no idea what to do.  If you are Kal talking to your reporter wife what would you tell her?  Do your job?  Don’t do your job?

Harley Gains an Ally

The following scene is perhaps my favorite of this issue.  Batgirl tracks down Harley in what looks to be a mirror fun house.  After a quick “Hey girlfriend” type greeting, they quickly commence to fighting each other.  Batgirl tries to explain why she is there, but Harley stays on the offensive and her “1. 2. Gonna get you.” Rhyming.

Batgirl finally manages to get her explanation out.  She is attempting to help Harley before Batman tracks her down and captures her, but amongst this is a confession from Batgirl that shows her pain.  Batgirl says she will see Harley as he sees Batgirl, a pitiful, broken mess, representing his failure.  Batgirl sees all that Harley could be with help instead of judgement.  What I really love about this fight scene is what comes next.  Instead of hands clenching each other in battle, they soften into hands that are clasping each other in friendship. Harley falls to the floor in Batgirl’s arms.  They again exchange greetings, this time softer hellos, and then Batgirl asks how Harley is really doing.

I found this to be a very touching scene between the two characters, but not only that – Isn’t Harley the bad guy?  Isn’t she the one that is supposed to have killed Sanctuary?  If she is the perpetrator of this heinous crime, why are we seeing such a soft side and the support of a superhero like Batgirl?! Again, we are left asking – WHO KILLED SANCTUARY??

The single page of Green Arrow seems a bit out of place, which means they are simply trying to show the attitudes of fellow heroes, or Arrow will have a roll to play in the near future.  Given his statement, it won’t be a positive involvement. 

The next in the multitude of scenes we are getting out of this issue is a fantastic scene with Booster and Blue.  It really shows their brotherhood.  Whatever goes down it is a safe bet Batgirl will be backing Harley and Blue will be backing Booster 100%.

Decisions of the Trinity

The next few pages with the Trinity were fantastic and continues to showcase their combined personalities.  I laughed when Diana grew angry and punched Batman’s giant Penny trophy, crushing the batmobile.  When Superman says there’s something else, Batman says he’ll “hide the dinosaur.”  When these three are together I think is the only time we see each of them truly relax and let their guards down somewhat (or as far as Batsy is able).  Even the insult when Batman calls Superman “corn-fed” was good.

Batman gets rightly pissed at Superman for not telling them about the tapes sooner.  I love the subtle nod that shows Kal supports what Lois is doing.  He doesn’t tell the others about them until Lois already goes public with them.

I really like how they ended the issue with the “dynamicker duo” as Harley put it.  The reaction of Batgirl shows the seriousness of this information reaching the public.  Batgirl also gives up the feeling that time is ticking, and they are running out of it fast.  Of course, Harley only sees it as a positive.  “&$@@ the world.  It needs changing.”

There is so much great art and story in this latest issue.  It covers a multitude of characters, many for only a page or two, but they add a lot to the ongoing story.  This series is also doing a great job of keeping us on our toes.  Every time we think we know who wiped out Sanctuary, we get a panel or page that makes us question everything we think we know.  Keep these great issues coming!

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