HEROES IN CRISIS #2 by Tom King, Clay Mann, Travis Moore, Tomeu Morey, Arif Prianto, and Clayton Cowles
While the plot in HEROES IN CRISIS #2 is only thickening, the character work and art is impeccable. Tom King has a better handle on some of the characters in this issue than he did in the last, and the art team knocks every page out of the park.
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So Who Dunnit?

As you’d expect from a second issue, HEROES IN CRISIS #2 raises many more questions than it answers. While Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman try to solve multiple murders, both Harley Quinn and Booster Gold try to prove their innocence. Of course, none of these five people do a very good job with either task.

It seems as though the creative team here is working toward something interesting, and we’re all just on the precipice.

Warning, potential spoilers for HEROES IN CRISIS #2 are below!

HEROES IN CRISIS #2 Gets Intense

Knowing full-well that Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman will be after her, Harley flees the scene of the Sanctuary murders. For some unknown reason, she turns to the Penguin. The Trinity then finds her playing Go Fish with an actual penguin and attack.

HEROES IN CRISIS #2 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Harley fights back, trying to explain that she isn’t the murderer and that Booster Gold is the guilty party. She even nabs Wonder Woman’s Golden Perfect, then wraps it around Batman’s neck to make him reveal his Kryptonite stash. With Superman down, she escapes. Why on Earth she wouldn’t just wrap it around her own wrist and explain what happened with Sanctuary is beyond me. That is, unless Harley is actually guilty.

Meanwhile, Booster Gold is also trying to get a member of the Justice League to see his side of the story. While his trusty sidekick, Skeetz, implores him to simply turn himself in, Booster goes to Barry Allen for help. He assumes that Barry can help him find evidence of his innocence quickly. However, what Barry finds seems to do the opposite. The Flash comes back swinging at Booster with full-force.

As the Trinity spots Barry pummeling Booster, Lois Lane receives a mysterious video file and Harley says goodbye to Poison Ivy, apologizing for sending her to Sanctuary. These last few moments might be the key to HEROES IN CRISIS #2.

The Emotional Core

The character work in HEROES IN CRISIS #2 is very strong. While I had some reservations about writer Tom King’s treatment of Harley in the last issue, he seems to have a much better handle on her here. We can see that from the first page, when she interrupts Ivy’s interview in Sanctuary. King also doesn’t shy away from Harley and Ivy’s romantic relationship, which is extremely important when writing these two characters.

The other Sanctuary interview pages in this issue are just as important. We see Batman weep for this adopted sons, Wonder Woman recall her mother’s pain and her own fear, and Superman doubt absolutely everything about himself and his identity. These are sides of these monumental characters we rarely, if ever, get to see.

HEROES IN CRISIS #2 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

King has a way of bringing a human, emotional center to everything he writes. Whether you like his choices or not, he strives to find something new to say about these characters we’ve been reading for years. When he presents them in a new light, it’s truly striking. So I think it’s worth acknowledging that skill on display in HEROES IN CRISIS #2.

Come On, Mann

Clay Mann is freaking excellent at his job. There’s just no way around it. His art in this issue is truly striking, as is the work of fellow artists Travis Moore, Tomeu Morey, Arif Prianto, and Clayton Cowles. The team comes together in some glorious ways in HEROES IN CRISIS #2.

The Sanctuary interview pages are particularly impressive because of the acting work Mann does with each character. But these are not the only pages in which those acting skills have to shine. Harley’s goodbye to Ivy as she drops a single rose into water will probably haunt me for days. It’s truly moving.

The full page in which Barry strikes Booster after seeing what’s left of the Sanctuary site is also incredibly effective and emotional. On the other end of the spectrum, Harley playing Go Fish with a penguin is absolutely hysterical and skillful. It’s just the right tone that the issue needs at that moment.

HEROES IN CRISIS #2 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

No matter what emotion this incredible art team is going for, they make it come across on the page together. That’s the mark of a well-done comic book.

So What’s Next?

I truly don’t know where this story is going, and I adore that. King likes to layer his narratives in twists and turns, so the only thing we can expect is that we have no idea where this train is taking us. So, after HEROES IN CRISIS #2, I think we can be sure it’s leading somewhere worthwhile!

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