Updated: Jan 24, 2020
HEROES IN CRISIS #9
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Publisher: DC Comics
This is it, the conclusion to Tom King's story dealing with trauma in the superhero community. While this has been one of the most emotional and thought provoking comic books in recent memory, the conclusion leaves me wondering, "What was the point?". I had such high hopes going into this. I was hoping Wally would make it out and there would be a little more closure on the whole story. It just ended up feeling like they (Booster and Harley) solved the murder and didn't fully deal with the aftermath of this shocking revelation. Don't get me wrong though, Tom King produced one hell of a story and gives the reader insight into these beloved characters ain a way we've never seen before, but I still expected more out of this issue.
The story picks up with Booster Gold, Harley, Blue Beetle and Batgirl attempting to stop Wally from "killing" himself. We get a nice scene between the newly resurrected Poison Ivy and Harley. An emtional conversation between Wally and Wally, where he explains to himself that he can't keep running and that he's not alone. The Booster comment of "Bros before heroes", was kind of funny, but it still felt a little flat. It seems that this entire issue was a justification of putting one of DC's most beloved characters through such a horrific experience, only to never really get closure.
After they figure out the time loop and plant a clone of Wally in the past, so we don't have another "Flashpoint", we return to the present. It's here that King has Wally deliver a speech as he turns himself in, only to end up in a jail cell at the conclusion. I've read rumors that Wally would be starring in a relaunched Suicide Squad book, but I'm not sure how I feel about that. Either way, I definitely think there needs to be more of a follow up with Wally so that we can all get a better sense of what his future entails.
Wally's descent into a man that framed two other people for his mistake/accident, still feels out of character to me. I just can't see him handling his own personal demons in such a way that he would lose control and inadvertently kilI those heroes. I don't know if it's my deep love for the character or if I would feel the same if it was someone else, but I'm just really disappointed at the way Wally was treated. I'm also really conflicted thought because I think the overall storytelling is some of King's best work. I don't want to join the legion of hater that have tormented King because of this story, because that is insane.
I will say though, Clay Mann has delivered some of the most beautifully rendered images I've ever seen in a comic. From his confession pages, to his expertly composed title pages, this was his best work to date. He helped elevate the emotionally gut wrenching story to new heights with his next level imagery. I look forward to seeing what he does on BATMAN & CATWOMAN when he reunites with King.
Overall, this was a slightly disappointing ending. I think this ending could have done a little more to make this story feel more meaningful. Instead we got a quiet ending that only poses more questions and makes turning Wally into a "killer" pointless.
Maybe that was the point though, it did bring Wally to the forefront of the DCU again. Perhaps that was one of King's goals all along.