REVIEW: ‘Heroes in Crisis,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Heroes in Crisis #5 - But Why Tho?

Heroes In Crisis #5  from DC Comics, continues to reveal clues about who was responsible for the murder of many DC Heroes at Sanctuary, a hospital for superheroes suffering from PTSD. Booster Gold and his best-chum, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord,) team-up to find the murderer behind these horrific events, while the unlikely dynamic duo Harley Quinn and Batgirl search too. Heroes in Crisis #5 is written by Tom King, illustrated by Clay Mann, colors by Tomeu Morey, and letters by Clayton Cowles.

We’re just about half-way in this series and the mystery is starting to truly unravel, which Tom King clearly enjoys taking his time with. It’s a thrill to read this particular story because there’s truly never a dull moment, even when we’re shown interviews with heroes talking about the trauma they’ve experienced, it helps break up the key moments but also reinforcing the severity of what’s at stake here. 

One of the best parts of this particular issue is the famous pairing of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, who steal the show with their buddy-hijinks which provide some of the comic relief in the story. It’s clear that King loves these two characters and based on his use of the former character in his Batman run, it would be great to see a book about this particular duo at some point in the near future.

Speaking of team-ups, Batgirl and Harley Quinn make an interesting duo too, both working together to find out Booster’s location with Harley providing plenty of laughs. There are a few repetitive jokes that some might find slightly grating or cheesy? But I personally felt that they fit really with her character and it made me laugh at least.

While there is a lot of debate over the portrayal of certain trauma-related incidents in previous issues, which are valid and something that I think personally we should be discussing as a society, King spends this issue directly talking about mental health in general through Superman who gives an extremely moving speech.

As someone who personally suffers from my own mental health issues, I admit it was quite special to see these characters I adore open up their vulnerabilities to the world in a positive manner and relay them as such. I won’t spoil too much of the speech because it’s a fantastic moment and very thought-provoking. There is a sequence in the book which relates to a certain character and the abuse she had in a previous relationship. I won’t say I’m surprised this was included, but I wish there was a list of resources in these books too with advice/helplines for those who might be in a similar situation.

It’s quite fitting in an issue which features three distinct team-ups full of superheroes. We’re treated to another in the form of artist Clay Mann and colorist Tomeu Morey who have delivered some of the most beautiful pages I’ve seen in recent years. The opening of the book features one of the cleverest uses of implementing a title into a book and is quite remarkable to look at. The colors absolutely pop in every scene and help to push the emotional content that King has written.  The lettering also helps to accompany the story, with thought bubbles placed accurately throughout flashback scenes to help demonstrate how tough it is to talk about certain topics relating to mental health, especially personally. The slightly disjointed text also gives off a vibe that not everything is as it seems? Which certainly seems to tie into the mystery and reveals that the issue provides.

Overall, this is a fantastic issue that starts to really hit the nail on what the series was advertised as doing – speaking about mental health through the eyes of superheroes while also having an intriguing detective story to keep us intrigued too.

Heroes in Crisis #5
4

TL;DR

Overall, Heroes in Crisis #5 is a fantastic issue that starts to really hit the nail on what the series was advertised as doing – speaking about mental health through the eyes of superheroes while also having an intriguing detective story to keep us intrigued too.