Heroes in Crisis #8 - Review
Heroes in Crisis, Part 8 - Alive
Spoilers ahead. Usually, I try to avoid discussing too many spoilers in these reviews. This particular issue, it is quite impossible to do so.
Lots of people may be upset at Tom King for this issue. I am not. People’s feelings are valid, since they are their feelings. So many people love Wally West. I do too. Wally is my Flash; I grew up with him. So, I can get why there are some strong feelings about the very idea that Wally murdered people, even albeit accidentally. That said, I think they are missing the point.
Firstly, I was not surprised at all that Wally was the murderer. It has been building up to be him for multiple issues, laying down the emotional foundation of why it would happen in the first place. How can anyone be a symbol of hope, when they themselves no longer have it?
The quick recap: Wally West emerges back into the DC Universe, kicking off the Rebirth era. A symbol of hope and optimism to both the audience and to the characters within the DCU. Wally reappears with the full knowledge of what the DC Universe was prior to Flashpoint, that birthed The New 52/Rebirth universe that we are currently reading. However, Wally comes back to find that so many people don’t remember who is. More importantly, his wife and family doesn’t exist in this continuity.
The end result of all of this is that while at Sanctuary, he has an emotional breakdown where he loses control and the speed force lashes out around those around him, killing them. Clearly an accident, the real question is, why does Wally commit a cover up? This is left for the next issue, however, I think the answer has been there all along. The reality is that everyday, good people, great people, even heroes can make terrible mistakes, the kinds of mistakes that can kill people. Trauma is real. Loss of control is real. Doing things completely out of one’s character is real. So when Wally West, who is supposed to be hope to everyone else, has none because of his displacement, it feels even more real when he loses his control.
While some may only want escapism in comics, it is the deft handling of real issues from the real world that help make comics resonate among larger audiences and over longer periods of time. Am I happy that Wally killed people accidentally? Of course not. Do I understand it in the context of the storytelling? Absolutely. Am I vested in seeing how this all resolves in the next issue? Totally. I hope for a solid conclusion as to why he covered up his mistake and what actions he takes next.