DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review

Heroes in Crisis #9 Review

Heroes in Crisis has been a complete and utter failure. This big event has been slow and dull. There is no reason to expect anything of actual substance or value with Heroes in Crisis #9. But, we have stuck with this dumpster fire of a big event for this long so we might as well see t through it until the end. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Heroes in Crisis #9.

Words: Tom King

Art: Clay Mann

Colors: Tomeu Morey

Story Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with a page of nine small panels with nine different characters talking to the Sanctuary camera. The characters include Jason Blood, The Guardian, Firestorm, Guy Gardner, Mademoiselle Marie, Black Lightning, Dove, Kole, and Tim Drake. They say a few lines of absolute nonsense or simply boring drivel. Take your pick. Things like Firestorm saying his head is on fire. Then saying that this is serious and he should take things seriously. Firestorm then says that seriously his head is on fire. (I think King’s “witty” banter actually makes Bendis’ speak look good.)

We cut to Future Wally about to kill Past Wally. Suddenly, Blue Beetle’s ship crash-lands next to the two Wallys.

We then shift back to a page of nine small panels with nine different characters talking to the Sanctuary camera. (I have to give King credit. He is going to ride this old and busted nag all the way to the end the same way he started this story.) The nine characters include Frankenstein, June Robbins, Vixen, Will Magnus, Dick Grayson, Jamie Reyes, Orphan, Supergirl, and Hal Jordan. Again, we get a few lines of dialogue from each character. Again, the dialogue ranges from bland drivel to idiotic nonsense. Things like Frankenstein saying, “I’m rotting.” That’s it. Nothing more. (Riveting.) Hal Jordan says that he doesn’t even know what the hell “will” is. (Yup. Hal Jordan. No concept of willpower. Fucking fantastic.) Jamie asks if the Sanctuary camera ever saw “that old movie.” The one where “the guy has something to do.” Jamie thinks he is that guy who has something to do. (I think a piece of toilet paper with poop smeared on it would deliver more actual substance or purpose than the dialogue on this page.)

We hop back to Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Batgirl, and Harley Quinn walking out of Blue Beetle’s ship. Poison Ivy is standing there. Harley runs to her. Poison Ivy says that she gave Harley a flower. That flower was actually a piece of Poison Ivy. After Poison Ivy died that flower was planted. That piece of herself was merged with the Green and Poison Ivy was reborn. (So…what was the point of killing Poison Ivy in the first place? Just to prove how much of a joke death is in comics?) Poison Ivy hugs Harley.

We then cut to another single page with nine small panels with nine different characters talking to the Sanctuary camera. (This is actually fucking hilarious at this point. Kind of like how a truly awful comedian can become entertaining in their pure awfulness.) The nine characters include Jason Todd, Martian Manhunter, Katana, Mera, Tommy Tomorrow, Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Detective Chimp, and Zatanna. Again, the dialogue varies between bland at best to nonsensical drivel. Martian Manhunter says, “Underneath everyone’s screaming.” And that is it. (Ooooh…so deep. This is the kind of lazy crap that a writer slaps onto the page with little effort that sounds “cool” in order to seem like they are actually delivering something complex when it really is nothing more than empty platitudes.) Detective Chimp talks about how people make poop-throwing jokes about him. (Get it? Because he is a chimp! HILARIOUS.) Metamorpho says that there is something about himself and where he is from and how he became Metamorpho that he knows is not right. (Just when you thought King could not deliver any more idiotic dialogue he goes and tops himself. Bravo, sir. That takes talent.)

Present Wally talks to Future Wally. Present Wally begins to cry and says he has to kill Future Wally. Future Wally says that Present Wally is hurting because he is alone. Future Wally says that Present Wally has to have dumb faith in future Wally being smarter. Future Wally holds Present Wally and says, “Kid. You’re not alone.” (Why would Wally call himself “kid?” The dude is a grown man who had a wife and two kids.)

Future Wally says that Present Wally is not the only person to try and do something good and end up doing something horrible. Future Wally says that Present Wally’s hurt is part of him. That Present Wally is not the only person who has felt the madness creep in. That Present Wally is not the only person to have done terrible things and will now forever try to make things up for that. (Great. Just what we needed. Another broken character. Yay.) Future Wally says that Present Wally needs to talk, listen and know. That they are in it together.

DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review
Ah…I won’t miss these pages! comicbookrevolution.com Credit: DC Comics

We shift to a page of nine small panels with nine different characters talking to the Sanctuary camera. The nine characters include Sideways, Dr. Light (Not the evil male version), Damien Wayne, Aquaman, Fire, Ice, Kyle Rayner, Cyborg, and The Question. Again, the dialogue vacillates between pointless crap to bland dialogue. Kyle speaks his dialogue only in Spanish. (Hilarious. Yeah. Kyle was raised by his Irish mother and grew up as an Irish kid in America and did not learn that he was half-Latino until he was an adult when he met his long-lost father. Yeah, that dude is going to be speaking only in Spanish.) Aquaman says, “My…mother…” Fire says, “As long as I have Ice.” Ice says, “As long as I have Fire.” (Riveting stuff. So deep.)

We zip back to Present Wally talking to Future Wally. Future Wally says that traveling back to the past to redo what he had done would simply cause another rift in the time stream. That is what Barry did when he caused Flashpoint which ended up erasing Wally’s family.

Future Wally says that he then saw what he could do. He could help people like him. He could show them that they are not alone. That he could tell everyone about Sanctuary. To show that Heroes also needed help. That this would inspire more people to get help. That Present Wally did bad things because he was not thinking right. That Superman came out and told the people the truth about Sanctuary. Future Wally says that more violence does not solve the problem. Future Wally says that they did it and they have to face it. Present Wally says that he did not mean it. That it happened all too fast.

Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Harley, Batgirl, and Ivy all watch. They say that Wally killed the people at Sanctuary by accident. They say that Wally has a lot of power and had a crisis and lost control over that power. (Except for the fact that the Speed Force has literally never been written in the manner in which King used it. But, other than that, this is all good.) They decide to do what they always do and try to help.

Present Wally and Future Wally hug each other. Present Wally says that if he does not kill Future Wally then the timeline will change. The entire point of Present Wally’s plan was to avoid what Barry did with Flashpoint.

Booster then steps in and says that all they have to do is complete the loop to make sure everything stays what it is. That they do not need a dead Wally West. They just need a body that matches the Future Wally. Then Present Wally brings the body back to five days ago and puts it where it should be. And then they just repeat the scene that they just had right here right now. Future Wally teaches Present Wally to live and the loop is complete.

Booster then says that all they have to do is go to the 25th century and speed-clone a Future Wally. Then they can use that clone for the dead body. Booster said he had to do something very similar during his birthday party last year. (Hold up. First, this is the height of awful and lazy writing. Talk about deus ex machina. Second, more stupid and oddly timed “humor.” Third, Booster is saying they just need to clone Wally and then kill him and then place the clone’s dead body back into the past at Sanctuary? And everyone is okay with this?!)

Present Wally says that he should sacrifice himself. That he wants to be a hero and that is what they do. Booster says that heroes are cool, but that they are all brothers, too. That they all share this absurdity. This life. They are people. They are family. Booster says Bros before Heroes and holds out his fist. Present Wally fist bumps Booster and says Bros before Heroes. (Just when you thought this could not get any dumber…)

Harley then says that she has something to say. That she has lost control like Wally and did not do great things. That people got hurt. But, she wants Wally to hear this from her and from her heart. Harley screams that Wally killed Ivy and framed Harley so fuck Wally’s issues. Harley then knees Wally in the crotch. (I…did we just end this scene of stupidity on a nut shot? And maybe it would have had just the tiniest bit of credibility and impact on the reader if it was not coming from the most hypocritical character possible in Harley.)

Future Wally says, “Oh, right. That happens. And it lingers.” (Lord. King totally shits on Wally’s character and then treats him like a bitch punch-line by delivering a nut shot and us yucking it up over it. This is literally the worst.)

We then get another single page of nine small panels and nine different characters talking to the Sanctuary camera. The nine characters include Beast Boy, Jessica Cruz, Adam Strange, Red Tornado, Spoiler, Catwoman, Captain Atom, Raven, and Jim Corrigan. Again, we get dialogue that ranges from pointless to stupid. Catwoman’s dialogue is “Meow.” That’s it.

We end with Wally narrating his being handcuffed and taken into custody by Superman, Barry Allen, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Wally says that they brought him back. They said he was hope. Rebirth. (But, fuck all of that! Step aside so King can pull his pants down and shit all over that! What we need is more broken and fucked up superheroes! So fresh! So original! So different! So new!) Wally says that he lost his wife and kids. Wally says that he could not be what they wanted him to be. Wally says that he thought he was gone, too.

We cut to Booster and Blue Beetle watching TV and laughing. Wally says that hope is not denying who you are or what you have been through or what you have lost. We cut to Harley and Ivy walking together. Wally says that hope is knowing what you carry with you and how heavy is the load. We cut to a female character arriving at a newly rebuilt Sanctuary. Wally says that it would be easy to stay still and do nothing.

DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review
It’s finally over!! Thank you, sweet baby Jesus!! Credit: DC Comics

We cut to Wally in a prison cell. Wally says that despite the burden, or maybe because of it, you are still running. End of issue.

The Good: Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey combine to deliver a quality-looking issue. Look, King is an artist’s worst nightmare and does not give Mann nearly anything at all to work with in this issue. However, Mann takes King’s chicken shit and makes chicken salad out of it. Mann draws excellent facial expressions to the various characters. Mann has a clean and detailed style of art that looks pretty even when literally nothing at all is going on in the scene. Heroes in Crisis may have been a complete shit show in terms of the writing, but, make no mistake, Heroes in Crisis has been a pretty big event to look at.

The Bad: And here we are. Finally. Heroes in Crisis #9 delivers the ending to this big event in a manner consistent with all of the prior issues of this big event. This final issue is as slow, pointless, and dull as the issues that preceded it. And with the final page of Heroes in Crisis #9 the reader is left with one burning question: Why?

Why did King write Heroes in Crisis? Why did DC publish Heroes in Crisis? What was the point and purpose of Heroes in Crisis? How did Heroes in Crisis put the DCU in general in a more interesting place? How did Heroes in Crisis advance and evolve the characters in it to a more interesting place? Why did the reader waste their time and money on being invested in Heroes in Crisis? Was this all just a bad fever dream that we collectively shared after eating some bad seafood?

The purpose of any big event story is to either take the universe it is set in and change it and send it in a new and different direction or to take the characters in the story and remake them and reshape them in a new and interesting direction. Heroes in Crisis utterly fails at doing any of this. Past DC big events like Crisis on Multiple Earths, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, and Flashpoint have all had massive impacts on the DCU in general. These prior big events tweaked the DCU in some new and interesting manner and then set up this newly changed DCU to be further explored going forward from the end of the big event.

Heroes in Crisis did not do this at all. Heroes in Crisis has all of the impact on the DCU as a fart in the wind. The DCU remains completely unchanged and unaffected by Heroes in Crisis. Readers can easily forget Heroes in Crisis ever happened and move forward. This big event has absolutely no impact at all on the DCU in general.

Having said that, some big events do not focus on impacting the universe in general and only seek to impact a handful of characters. Identity Crisis is a good example of that. Identity Crisis did not impact the DCU in general or the mythos and history of the DCU. However, Identity Crisis absolutely impacted multiple characters in Batman, Tim Drake, Ray Palmer, Ralph Dibny, and Jean Loring forever going forward. Identity Crisis also forever impacted the JLA and their relationships with each other.

DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review
Must be weird to hug yourself. Credit: DC Comics

Heroes in Crisis also fails in this endeavor. As we arrive at the end of Heroes in Crisis #9 we see Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Harley Quinn, Batgirl, and Poison Ivy largely in the exact same positions that they were before this big event started. Ivy and Harley have always loved each other. This is nothing new and different for their characters. Blue Beetle and Booster Gold have always been best friends and bros. This is nothing new and different for their characters. Batgirl? I still have no idea why she was inserted into this story in the first place.

In the end, Heroes in Crisis only impacts one character and that is it: Wally West. Therefore, the question is did Heroes in Crisis take Wally’s character and make him more interesting? Did it reimagine him into something different and better? The answer to those questions is a resounding and painful “No.”

So, the reader is left sitting here at the end of Heroes in Crisis #9 wondering: Why? What was the point of the Heroes in Crisis? What was the purpose of Heroes in Crisis? The fact remains that King never tells the reader. The reader feels as if they were taken on a meandering walk led by a tour guide who had no idea they themself had no idea where they were going. It results in an incredibly unsatisfying reading experience.

Oh, sure, we know what DC and King have told us that Heroes in Crisis was supposed to be about. This big event was supposed to be about mental health and the stigma surrounding getting mental health treatment and therapy. This big event was supposed to be about post-traumatic distress syndrome and the stigma surrounding such an affliction. This big event was supposed to be about how Americans do not talk about the importance of mental health and quality mental healthcare.

Unfortunately, King never showed us any of this. Instead, all King did was tell us this. King never shows the reader anything. Instead, King just tells the reader in the form of death by dull and dry exposition. King handles these themes in a crude and clumsy fashion. All of these aforementioned themes were handled in the most elementary and shallow manner possible.

Heroes in Crisis #9 continues the handling of these themes in the same manner as the previous issues. King offers the reader nothing more than empty platitudes. Pretty words that have no meaning. No purpose. No substance. King’s story and the setting he creates are nothing more than a shoddy stage set trying to present itself as something deep and complex. However, once the reader peeks behind the curtains and sees the shallow structure behind the superficially impressive facade of the stage set the reader realizes that there is no true substance to this story. There has been no purpose. There is nothing here. It has all been a sham from the beginning.

Did Tom King take any of the characters in this story and remake them into something new and different that adds a new dimension to them going forward? No. Wally is the only character changed by Heroes in Crisis. And those changes are about as welcome as a knock-knock joke during a funeral.

King takes a character in Wally West who has an incredible pedigree and completely shits on that character. Few characters in the DCU can match the history of Wall West’s character. Wally is a former Teen Titan. Wally is a former member of the Justice League. Wally is the original Kid Flash. Wally also became THE Flash for an entire generation. There are only a handful of characters in the entire DCU that can match Wally West’s pedigree.

King leaves Wally West an objectively worse character than Wally was prior to Heroes in Crisis. Let me be clear, I have always been a Barry Allen fan. Barry is and always will be THE Flash to me. However, Wally West is a fantastic character. And I have always enjoyed Wally’s character whether he was Kid Flash with the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans or the Flash under Mark Waid or Geoff Johns.

I do not think it is really any dispute at all that King has now taken Wally’s character and objectively made him a much worse character going forward. In fact, King has possibly permanently broken Wally’s character. I have no idea how any writer can rehabilitate Wally from being a mass murderer who then attempted an elaborate cover-up that framed two innocent people.

King displayed a complete lack of understanding and knowledge of Wally’s character, his history, and his place in the DCU. King blatantly ignores all of Wally’s core character traits and established history in order to carry out his little passion project. Wally is nothing more than a convenient plot device for King to display his genius. The contempt and disregard for Wally’s character is punctuated as King has Wally reduced to nothing more than a pathetic punchline with the nut shot at the end of Heroes In Crisis. King portrays Wally as a pathetic bitch that the reader is supposed to laugh at as he writhes on the ground.

DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review
Nut shot! Cue clown horn! And this is how you put a cap on making a character a joke. Credit: DC Comics

And this nut-shot moment is made even worse by the fact that Harley Quinn comes across as the biggest hypocrite in the world. Harley’s outrage has zero impact on the reader because King has her openly admit her blatant hypocrisy. King does nothing to make Harley seem justified in her outrage. The reader never takes Harley seriously at all. Therefore, King is only playing the moment for laughs as the reader watches Wally writhe on the ground after the nut shot. 

What was once one of the most heroic characters in all of the DCU is nothing more than a pathetic loser who killed people and then ran like a coward. King manages to take one of the most admirable and heroic characters in the DCU and make him even more of a loser than Booster Gold. I would never have thought there would be a day when Booster Gold was more of a heroic character than Wally West. But, here we are.

King also takes the entire point of Rebirth and takes a massive shit on it with the ending of Heroes in Crisis #9. I have no idea why DC’s editorial would ever let King just completely tear apart their massively successful Rebirth initiative. Rebirth was exactly what DC needed as the New 52 continued to become more and more of an obvious and abject failure in every possible manner. DC’s sales numbers for the New 52 were pathetic. The New 52 was massively unpopular with readers. The overly dark, violent, negative, and pessimistic late 1990s Image Comics tone of the New 52 was a complete miss with readers.

The result was DC finally realizing and owning its mistakes. This brought about Rebirth. The point of Rebirth was to re-establish the pre-Flashpoint continuity. However, that was not the complete purpose of Rebirth. Rebirth also was DC publicly embracing who they were. It was DC embracing its core personality traits.

DC has always been the more positive, the more fantastical, and the more classic superhero company than Marvel Comics. DC promised the readers that with Rebirth came one of the most important qualities of the DCU that had been missing with the New 52: Hope. Rebirth would usher in more bright and positive comics. More classic and fun superhero comics. That the bright light of hope would lead DC and its readers out of the dark abyss that was the New 52.

Geoff Johns made a point of returning Wally West back to the DCU in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. Wall West was a beloved and iconic character that had been completely trashed with the New 52. Wally West’s return was the physical manifestation of the theme of hope that defined the Rebirth initiative.

Evidently, King thought he could improve upon Geoff Johns’ theme of hope under the Rebirth initiative by permanently breaking Wally’s character. King tries to salvage his breaking of Wally’s character by saying that hope is defined by us knowing how heavy the load is that we carry and to keep going forward. This was complete bullshit. This was just nonsensical blathering by King attempting to somehow justify his breaking of Wally’s character is actually something that makes Wally’s character better and also helps make the Rebirth initiative better. The fact remains that King’s breaking of Wally’s character objectively runs counter to the theme of hope and the overall direction and purpose of the Rebirth initiative.

So, here the reader is at the end of Heroes in Crisis #9 and all we have gotten is yet another superhero who is now just another broken doll. Yay. This is exactly what we needed. DC is already littered with superheroes who are “broken” or “burdened” by emotional baggage. We definitely did not need another broken superhero. We have gotten these broken characters over and over again ever since The Dark Knight Returns and the Watchmen in 1986. We have gotten three decades of deconstructed, dark, and broken superheroes since those two iconic comic books. What King gives us is painfully unoriginal. King gives us nothing new or interesting. It is simply King regurgitating what we have been getting over and over and over for decades.

I know that positive and fun stories get labeled as not being intelligent or artistic. I completely disagree. However, King clearly feels that to show off his “intelligence” and “artistic” talent he has to go back to the deconstructed and broken superhero trope that has become so rote and hackneyed that it rarely excites readers in this day and age. King’s handling of Wally’s character runs counter to the entire point of the Rebirth initiative and completely robs the DCU of one of their greatest characters.

I would have rather that King just have revealed that some random bad guy was behind the Sanctuary killings and have Wally stay dead. Having Wally dead would be far preferable to what we are left with at the end of Heroes in Crisis #9. At least if Wally was dead the reader could say that he died as a hero. Wally being a murder victim is far preferable to Wally being a mass murderer who then engages in a criminal cover-up which includes framing two innocent people.

Sadly, Heroes in Crisis #9 leaves the reader with a Wally West character that is a complete dumpster fire. King has rendered Wally effectively useless going forward. There is practically no way that any writer can rehabilitate Wally West from being a mass murderer that engaged in a criminal cover-up and framed innocent people for his killings. I cannot think of any writer who can rehabilitate Wally from the nut-shot punchline of a character that King has made him. Just look at Hank Pym’s character. No writer has been able to successfully rehabilitate Pym’s character after an artist’s mistake made it seem like he slapped Janet Pym. What King has Wally do is far worse than what Pym ever did.

Unfortunately, the massive defects with Heroes in Crisis #9 do not just begin and end with the pathetic treatment of Wally West’s character. Let’s forget how you may feel about the manner in which King handled Wally West’s character. The fact remains, that from a technical standpoint, Heroes in Crisis has been one of the most poorly written big events stories that I have ever read. The plotting and pacing remain atrocious. The dialogue continues to be bland at best and nonsensical at worst. The character work is absent. The “humor” continues to be both tone-deaf and oddly placed in the most inappropriate moments of the story. And the writing itself continues to be lazy and King engages in convenient magical plot devices in order to get himself out of the corner he had written himself into with this issue.

Heroes in Crisis #9 is another atrociously plotted and paced issue. King never moves Heroes in Crisis #9 forward with any sense of urgency at all. The story plods along so slowly. King serves up the new content and plot progression in the most miserly fashion possible. There is very little in terms of actual new content and plot progression in Heroes in Crisis #9. King lazily moves the story forward until we arrive at the dull and underwhelming ending to this issue.

We begin with a one-page scene of nine panels of nine talking heads. This scene offers absolutely zero in terms of content or plot progression. This was pure fluff that gave the reader nothing at all.

DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review
Behold the dramatic double-page splash shot! Credit: DC Comics

We then get a two-page splash shot of…the title of this comic in the clouds. King continues to hold the record for giving his artist the worst double-page splash shots to draw in the history of comics.

We then get three pages of Blue Beetle, Booster, Harley, and Poison Ivy crash landing next to Present Wally and Future Wally. Seriously. Three pages for that. Nothing else at all.

Then King gives us another single page of nine panels of talking heads. Again, we get literally zero content. To call the dialogue bland and pointless is to be charitable.

We then get a three-page scene of Blue Beetle, Booster, Harley, and Batgirl exiting the Blue Beetle ship and then Harley and Poison Ivy being reunited. Yup. Three pages for that. Again, the story is crawling forward as slowly as possible with as little plot progression as humanly possible.

King then delivers another single-page scene of nine panels of talking heads. Again, this scene has nothing more than vapid dialogue that ranges from being nonsensical to simply being dull and pointless. We are now eleven pages into Heroes in Crisis #9 and next to nothing has happened at all. Eleven pages and the only bit of story that resembles plot progression and content is that Ivy and Harley are reunited. That’s it. Eleven pages. It is ridiculous. This is King blatantly giving the reader the middle finger and not hiding the fact that his story had no more content than a four-issue mini-series.

We then get three pages of Future Wally babbling to Present Wally without ever really saying much at all. Basically, just that Present Wally does not have to kill Future Wally.

We then get another one-page scene of nine panels of talking heads that deliver literally nothing of substance or value at all to the reader. These scenes have become a bad joke. The reader begins to laugh out loud at the various panels because of the sheer ludicrousness of it all and King’s obliviousness to the failure of these one-page talking head scenes. King is painfully trying to be simultaneously intelligent, profound, and deep while only achieving to solicit snickers and laughter from the reader. These one-page talking heads scenes have become unintentionally hilarious at how tone-deaf King comes across in these scenes. To be sure, King is not trying to solicit laughter from the reader at these moments.

We then get a six-page scene of Future Wally convincing Present Wally that killing Future Wally is not the proper path forward. Booster, Blue Beetle, Bargirl, Ivy, and Harley all agree to help the two Wallys. Booster then unveils his plan to solve Wally’s problem of not wanting to disrupt the time stream. This scene is supposed to be the big payoff moment to this entire bloated and slow nine-issue big event. However, the dialogue between the two Wallys comes across as empty and lacking much internal logic or weight. And Booster’s solution to the problem of Present Wally not causing damage to the time stream is so lazy and painfully convenient that it pulls the reader out of the story and makes them roll their eyes.

DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review
Deus ex machina to the rescue! Credit: DC Comics

Booster’s plan to go to to the 25th Century and speed clone Wally and then use that body to leave at the crime scene smacks the reader in the face as a transparent magical plot device to bail King out of the corner he had written himself into. Booster’s plan is a deus ex machina that allows King to conveniently and quickly wrap up Heroes In Crisis in a lazy fashion. This entire ending felt sloppy because King had wasted so much time with the prior issues. The use of the deus ex machina to wrap up the ending was also a sign of how poorly plotted this entire story was from the very start.

Booster’s plan also lacks internal logic. Is the reader supposed to believe that our heroes are going to speed-clone Wally and then murder the clone and deliver that body to the scene of the crime? Clearly, that is the implication. And King never offers up any reasonable explanation to tell the reader that our heroes are not about to engage in another murder.

The result of the lazy and convenient ending to Heroes in Crisis #9 only makes the reader even more dissatisfied with this issue. The reader has a hard time taking a story seriously and being invested in the characters when the writer himself does not feel necessary to invest the time to properly plot an intelligent story. This six-page scene was shallow and lazily written and made for such an unsatisfying conclusion to this big event. This scene was supposed to be Heroes in Crisis’ climactic crescendo. Instead, King completely fails to stick the landing and delivers a boring anti-climactic moment.

Another problem with Heroes in Crisis #9 at this point is that King never once explains to the reader what happened to Wally during the five days between the killings at Sanctuary and the scene between Present Wally and Future Wally in this issue. It is stunning that King wastes so much time either giving us no content at all or simply regurgitating the same limited content over and over again in the prior issues rather than devoting some time to the five days. If King had better plotted and paced this big event then he could have shown the readers some of those five days and the growth that Wally went through in that time span. Instead, King does not show the reader anything and simply tells us in a cursory fashion everything we need to know from those five days in order to wrap up this story.

DC Comics Heroes in Crisis #9 Review
Everybody…strike a pose! Credit: DC Comics

Our assembled heroes in Blue Beetle, Booster, Ivy, Batgirl and Harley also serve to be nothing more than window dressing. They simply stand on the side like generic scene props on the stage during a character’s soliloquy. In fact, the reader is left wondering why King ever even bothered to include Blue Beetle, Harley, Ivy, or Batgirl in this story in the first place. They do absolutely nothing at all. The only character that had to be in this issue was Booster Gold so he could play deus ex machina and allow King to quickly and conveniently wrap up this big event in two pages.

We then get yet another single-page scene of nine panels of talking heads. Again, there is nothing even remotely of value or substance to be found here.

King then ends Heroes in Crisis #9 with a bland and dull two-page scene of single-panel scenes with Wally narrating over each of the single-panel scenes. It is as detached and emotionless of an ending which actually perfectly fits this entire emotionally detached big event story.

Heroes In Crisis #9 continues King’s trend of delivering painfully tone-deaf “humor” that is oddly placed at the most inappropriate moments. This continual failure by King only serves to constantly pull the reader out of the story with each occurrence. This happens so often from start to finish in Heroes in Crisis #9.

King’s dialogue and character work continue to be unimpressive. At no point in Heroes in Crisis #9 does King ever display a good grasp of any of these characters’ personalities. All of the characters are rather one-dimensional and come across as caricatures rather than actual characters. The character’s external voices are either simple caricatures at best or bland and generic at worst. The lack of character work and pedestrian dialogue combine to give the reader a story where there is absolutely no chemistry at all between the various characters.

Overall: Heroes in Crisis #9 was a complete fail. King ends this big event with a massive faceplant. DC should be embarrassed that they ever green-lit Heroes in Crisis in the first place. It is obvious that King had a little passion project that had enough content for a four-issue mini-series and that is it. Either DC’s editorial or King decided that this big event needed to be nine issues long. It clearly did not. On top of that, King then put out a story of low quality. Heroes in Crisis easily grabs the crown as DC’s worst big event of all time.

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6 thoughts on “Heroes in Crisis #9 Review

  1. Tom King said this in an interview recently
    “I don’t pick the characters for my story; I give my plot to the editors and then the editors pick the characters for me. So I told them in the beginning, “this is what it’s going to be — it’s going to be about one hero who’s made a mistake and it’s going to be about the two heroes that get framed for that mistake.” And they said, “okay, it’s Booster, Harley, and Wally, those are the three characters.””

    Whilst this doesn’t exonerate King by a long shot for this badly written, badly paced drivel, it does make a lot of sense.

    1. That certainly explains why the characters are all bland and generic and why Wally doesn’t act like Wally. King wrote the story and then plugged the characters into the roles after the fact. That is a terrible way to make a comic.

      1. As for Wally’s potential redemption, they need to do what they did with Hal Jordan and retcon it so another villain is ultimately responsible

        1. Totally agree: I just don’t see another possible way to fix his character at this point.

  2. Thanks for seeing these reviews until the end. Your reviews were the only enjoyable thing about this mini-series. I really thought it was just stalling before the big pay-off at the end, but boy was I wrong.

    I guess the one positive was that it was only 9 issues long. During “Countdown to Final Crisis”, and its 52 issues, I was worrying for your sanity.

    I can’t image why DC would put advertising behind Heroes in Crisis, but at least we can begin forgetting it was ever published.

    Thanks again for the monthly reviews of what I will think of as “Readers in Crisis”.

    1. Ha! Thanks! I’m glad my suffering was appreciated! I need a vacation after having to review this big event!

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