HEROES IN CRISIS #8
Writer: Tom King
Artists: Mitch Geads & Travis Moore
Colors: Mitch Gerads
Publisher: DC Comics
HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD
I've never been more conflicted with a comic book in my life, and I've been reading comics for 26 years. This was without a doubt one of the most gut wrenching and emotional issue I've ever read. Anybody that knows me, is well aware of the fact that Wally West is not only my favorite Flash, but favorite character of all time. My first comic was Flash(Vol.2) #82. The answers we get in this issue left me with a feeling of unease, yet in awe of the masterfully written script and exquisite art. Sitting here writing this review, I'm still at a loss for words.
Here's a brief overview of the issue:
Over the course of this series, we have been thrown curve ball after curve ball, never really knowing who the killer of heroes was. In this issue we learn that it was none other than Wally West. The entirety of this issue goes back to the day of the murders and how Wally committed this horrendous crime. While a patient at Sanctuary, he had this sense of being alone. With his entire life taken from him (wife and kids) and no way of getting them back he thought Sanctuary might help him through this traumatic time. He couldn't believe that their were others dealing with similar trauma, so he sought out how to figure out of there really were other "patients". In doing this, he found all of the deleted data and pieced it back together. It was this action that caused him to experience every patients trauma at once. Not being able to handle it, when the alarms went off at Sanctuary he inadvertently killed the heroes as they came to check on him. From there we are given the other details on how he covered up his tracks, ending the issue with his confession.
Listening to Wally throughout this issue resonated with me in a way I've never before experienced with a comic. I too have had feeling of being alone and putting up this wall around myself not wanting to let anybody get too close. Having read Wally's stories throughout my life, I feel as if I know him personally, which only made this story even more heart breaking. You can see through the script and even more so through Mitch Gerads art, that this issue wasn't taken lightly. Their is a clear love of the character. Even thought this feels somewhat out of character for Wally, I believe that King has a plan on mind for the future. I am so glad that King had Gerads illustrate the bulk of this issue, knowing how big a fan of Wally that Mitch is. The pain and remorse that Gerads
put into Wally's eyes and body language was expertly executed.
Tom King has gotten a lot of flack for this series, but I truly think this is one of his most thought provoking books yet. On the surface it deals with larger than life characters and their trauma, but what you find at the center of this series is something we all can relate to, trauma. Whether it's dealing with loss, or experiencing PTSD from serving in armed forces, everyone has experienced trauma in some form or another.
With one issue left it will be interesting to see how King wraps this series up. It's still not clear as to Wally's fate, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get a Wally West maxi-series by King and Gerads when this is all over. Overall, this has to be my Pick of the Week and I highly recommend you go and check this book out.