As the seventh issue in a nine-part series, I expected a lot more from HEROES IN CRISIS #7. While the mystery of the Sanctuary slaughter seems to have been resolved, there is one gaping unanswered question: Why?

Why did this happen, and what are the consequences?

HEROES IN CRISIS #7 brings up just as many questions as it refuses to answer. And, while I am a fan of writer Tom King, and I like to give him the benefit of the doubt, I think this series is too far gone to come back with a strong finale. The eighth and ninth issues will have a lot of ground to cover. Spoilers ahead.

HEROES IN CRISIS #7 page 1. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

One Mystery Solved, Another Introduced

Most of these HEROES IN CRISIS #7 involve a fight between Harley Quinn and Booster Gold — the main suspects in the murder of recovering heroes at Sanctuary. As we learned from the previous issue, Booster is the one actually responsible. Harley was merely a witness who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Harley has wanted revenge since Booster murdered Ivy. Batgirl and Blue Beetle — the combatant’s friends and partners on the scene — look on. Once they’re all done fighting, they discuss the fact that Wally West isn’t actually dead.

His body is five days older than it should be. This fact is as confusing to Harley as it is to me. I truly still do not understand it, and I doubt the answer is going to be satisfying. (I hope I’m wrong!) The four team-up to figure it out. Meanwhile, Batman and Barry Allen look for Booster. They’ve zeroed in on him as a suspect. Batman’s set alarms at hideouts, and Barry physically goes all over the world in search of the killer.

HEROES IN CRISIS #7 page 4. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

When all of the alarms at Booster and Beetle’s old safe houses go off, Batman and Barry spring into action. Wally, who is still alive (again, what?) seems to resurrect Poison Ivy. Or maybe she was never dead and she was kept safe? I do not know because it isn’t clear. And that’s an issue. Also, how on earth does Wally have the ability to resurrect Poison Ivy?

And thus ends the confusing HEROES IN CRISIS #7.

High Points of HEROES IN CRISIS #7

Before I discuss anything else, I need to acknowledge the art. It’s been incredible throughout the series. Clay Mann, Travis Moore, and Jorge Fornes contribute to beautiful line art with incredible acting skills. Tomeu Morey’s colors are vivid and intricate, perfectly encompassing the mood of the scenes. The flowers and other natural elements in Poison Ivy’s resurrection are incredibly effective because of the colors. Clayton Cowles always delivers with his letters. They are simple, effective, and easily understood.

The smaller bubbles truly work for HEROES IN CRISIS #7, and what I love is consistency. As for writing, Tom King is amazing at banter. It’s impossible to argue. His humor shines through in the darkest moments. When Harley are Booster are fighting, Batgirl and Beetle have a delightful exchange. He tells her about the shield around Booster, and how it’s connected to his consciousness. Batgirl is briefly impressed, then just knocks him out. This really works because of the art, of course. But you know it originates in Tom King’s script.

That kind of physical comedy is like a signature in his work, and it’s one of my favorite things about him as a writer. The issue has had many of those standout moments. He also knows how to write about emotion and trauma. Wally’s sanctuary sessions included in HEROES IN CRISIS #7 are excellent. And seeing one patient progress through their first few weeks of treatment is highly effective.

HEROES IN CRISIS #7 page 5. Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Why It Still Doesn’t Work

Once again, seeing King handling treatment for mental health in the way he does it is like a slap in the face. More of this, less of everything else. The story has gotten so muddy it takes effort for me to even care at this point. The series this could have been is still taunting me. HEROES IN CRISIS #7 feels like another jab after the latest issue, bringing us back to a mystery that shouldn’t even exist. And there is some very questionable character-work here. While there are good points — Harley not killing Booster even when she has the opportunity — the lows are very low. The manic, nursery-rhyme singing version of Harley is NOT Harley. When she said,

“I’m not good at superheroing,”

I wanted to cry. Harley has been saving people in her own series for years. And yeah, she’s not always excellent at it, but her heart is in the right place. She does it with her own flares and oddness, but she’s not in this twisted version of herself. And worst of all, after finding out that Booster killed a disgusting amount of superheroes, none of these characters asked him why he did it. There isn’t even an attempt to find out if it was actually hi. Did someone pressure him? What were his motivations? Would these not be Batgirl’s first questions?

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Clearly, I have a lot of feelings about HEROES IN CRISIS #7. I just wish they were positive ones.

HEROES IN CRISIS #7 by Tom King, Clay Mann, Travis Moore, Jorge Fornes, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles
It's not good, kids. Though there are some interesting character moments, they're outweighed by bad ones. The story is coming to an end, but it's harder to be invested with each issue. The saving grace is the art. It's truly incredible and moving.
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  1. Jeffrey Lyles

    March 27, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I think the deal is both Harley and Booster think the other did it not so much that everyone is sold that Booster is the culprit. Harley finally gets that Booster has been framed/mistaken for the killer like her. But yeah, I agree with so much of the rest of what you said. These next two issues really need to deliver.


  2. Damond Williams

    Damond Williams

    March 27, 2019 at 11:47 am

    I skipped this title and Odyssey. They just weren’t that appealing to me and DC’s events haven’t been very good.


  3. Michael Edward

    Michael Edward

    March 27, 2019 at 9:50 am

    That’s because Marvel and DC HAVE TO STOP continuing on old story lines. Whether it’s one of the 204 crisis stories or yet another Phoenix plot line you guys…c’mon.


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