HEROES IN CRISIS #3 by Tom King, Lee Weeks, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles, and Clay Mann
Though this issue gives us a little backstory and context, HEROES IN CRISIS #3 is more character-driven than plot-based. Yet that character work is excellent and probably propels the overall arc forward in ways readers can't fully see yet. The art team for this issue is slightly different than in the past, but the quality doesn't suffer for it.
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A Character Story

After two issues that posed a plethora of questions, HEROES IN CRISIS #3 starts to give readers a few answers!

As Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman try to unravel the mystery of the murders at the Sanctuary base, Booster Gold and Harley Quinn are both trying to clear their names. So this issue takes a brief reprieve from that action in order to give us some background.

In HEROES IN CRISIS #3, we find out what therapy and recovery looks like for the heroes (and villains) in this program. We even get a glimpse at the massacre itself. So let’s dive in and discuss the next chapter in HEROES IN CRISIS!

Warning, potential spoilers for HEROES IN CRISIS #3 are below!

The Heroes Face Themselves

In HEROES IN CRISIS #3, writer Tom King mainly focuses on the treatment of Lagoon Boy, Wally West, and Booster Gold. Each character receives their own version of therapy from Sanctuary. All three of them confront their issues in unique ways.

HEROES IN CRISIS #3 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Lagoon Boy is hit by a laser over and over again, hoping he’ll build up an immunity to his fears. Wally confronts memories of his family, raising existential questions about his relationships with them. Meanwhile, Booster Gold just yells at himself in an interrogation room.

Each of these scenarios end as an alarm sounds. The heroes leave their simulations, finding themselves in the massacre. Lagoon Boy dies rather quickly. Booster watches as Wally is attacked by a familiar face — Harley Quinn!

Though we see Harley with her bloody mallet, there are still too many variables (and quite frankly, too many issues left in the series) to be completely sure that she’s the one who killed everyone in Sanctuary. And even if she is the murderer, we aren’t yet sure of her motives. There are still a lot of questions remaining.

HEROES IN CRISIS #3 is All About Character

The events of HEROES IN CRISIS #3 are important. That much is certain. Yet those events are more about character than plot. If you wanted to look at the entire issue as a bit of character analysis, that’s certainly valid.

HEROES IN CRISIS #3 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The different scenarios the characters find themselves in are absolutely unique to them. As Sanctuary says, they can be in any situation, but the key is to figure out why they’re there. Why does Lagoon Boy need to suffer laser blows in the woods? Why is Booster Gold beating himself to a pulp?

If they’re all facing their traumas, then Booster’s is the most intriguing. HEROES IN CRISIS #3 implies that the source of Booster’s trauma is himself. For such a seemingly light-hearted fellow, that’s some deep stuff to work through. Granted, this is Booster’s first day in the program. Who knows if progress could have changed his method of therapy?

The only downside in the issue is Harley’s moment. We don’t have an explanation for her behavior, though that will most likely come later. Her supposed reveal as the murderer doesn’t exactly line up with her character in the first two issues. Only time and further installments will fix this discrepancy.

Different Artist, But Still Seamless

Though Clay Mann did pencil and ink a couple pages of HEROES IN CRISIS #3, it was Lee Weeks who did most of that work this time around. Even with this change, the art in HEROES IN CRISIS continues to be top notch.

HEROES IN CRISIS #3 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Weeks, colorist Tomeu Morey, and letterer Clayton Cowles worked together to create a beautiful book with emotion and heart. The team does especially well on the more violent and soul-crushing pages. They navigate the appropriate tones and expressions with finesse, and we feel the pain, loss, and struggle these characters are experiencing.

HEROES IN CRISIS #3 sets the groundwork for King to guide us through a truly jaw-dropping story. There’s no doubt that details from this issue with prove important in upcoming ones, even if their purpose isn’t clear yet. It’s too early to decide whether the series is headed in the right direction, but there are a lot of promising components at play.

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