Mastery in character studies
Tom King is proving himself to be the modern-day master of character studies. Each issue of Heroes in Crisis excels in delivering distilled studies of even the smallest characters. Issue #3 deals with, in particular, the traumas that Lagoon Boy, Wally West, and Booster Gold are experiencing.
What is brilliant in King’s handling of each of these characters is that these spotlights require no foreknowledge of these characters. Of course, having some knowledge always makes the reading experience richer. I for one know nothing about Lagoon Boy, only have a passing familiarity with Booster Gold, and I am the most knowledgeable about Wally. Yet given this varying degree of character knowledge, King is able to to deftly impart the various stages of pain and acceptance each character is going through, and make me care about them all.
The highlights of issues #4 and #5 involve Superman. In issue #4, King does an interesting thing where he showcases that even Superman can be fallible. The fallibility of heroes seems to be something more saddled on Batman than anyone else in the DCU as of late, so it was quite surprising to see Superman not make the best, yet understandable, decision in not giving up the information on the leaked videos of Sanctuary to Batman. Issue #5 has Superman doing some of the things that Superman does best, giving well thought-out speeches to the public that sound very â€œSuperman.â€ Superman is at his best when he shows vulnerability, which King gets.
Clay Mann continues to deliver some of the best work I have ever seen from him. If he doesn’t get an Eisner nomination next year when HiC is done I will be beyond shocked. In issue #3, it was quite a surprise to get almost a full issue done by the incomparable Lee Weeks. It is also in issue #3 that I really want to call out Morey’s colors. The color work is fabulous in that it helps convey an almost imperceptible change in artwork from one page turn to another. The consistent coloring by Morey on two different artists made the narrative flow smoothly. SO much so I found myself going back and comparing the Mann and Weeks pages to make sure I actually was seeing a difference between one page and the next.