Heroes in Crisis #4 Review

by Hussein Wasiti on January 02, 2019

Written by Tom King
Art by Clay Mann
Colouring by Tomeu Morey
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
This is… problematic. And I don't think so because I think this story shouldn't be happening and that superheroes should never delve into their own mental health problems in order to get better, like the rest of us. This is problematic because it's devoid of emotion and is very dry. There is no real wit, there is no real heart, and there is no real understanding or care of any of these slaughtered characters, nor any for ones who have either survived the massacre of Sanctuary or visited it once.
Clay Mann's art is a major factor to my feelings about this. He's a great artist. I've been a fan of his for a while now and his art is reaching highs I never thought he could reach, and this work is likely the work of his career up until this point. However, there is something to be said of the sexualisation of female characters, and how there's a time and a place for that. Some readers want their men to have giant chests with the largest legs in the world, and their women to have great big bosoms while also showing plenty of body. I don’t particularly agree with this mentality at all, but certain types of stories can certainly get away with this. Heroes in Crisis, however, is not the right place for any of this hyper-sexualisation, plain and simple. Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Donna Troy, and Lois Lane. All of these iconic DC characters are drawn with such a male gaze perspective with toned asses and thick legs that I can't take this story seriously because of it. An entire page is dedicated to a half-naked Lois Lane as she's only got her underwear and a Superman shirt with a suggestive, "What do you want me to do?" word balloon hovering over her. It's sick, and this isn't the story for this level of playfulness and suggestive innuendos. The creators should take the story seriously. Tom King and the team clearly wants to have their cake and eat it too; they want a serious, universe-spanning story about grief and loss and troubled minds, but they also want Batgirl to pose while she lifts her shirt up to show someone the bullet wound that Joker gave her, nearly killing her and paralysing her FOR YEARS.
Tom King just isn't doing a very good job with this story, at all. It's clear to me at the end of this issue that perhaps he's attempting to do his own WATCHMEN, which I know is crazy and out of left field for me to say, but a particular line of Superman's, his last line of the issue in fact, very much invokes a very famous scene from Moore and Gibbons' seminal work.
What I'm about to say is very mean-spirited, but I think this is kind of pathetic. Mann is trying to appeal to people with his sexy characters, and King is attempting to appeal to hardcore DC fans with such scenes as the reuniting of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. There's simply nothing here, and I hope that the success of this book doesn't send DC the wrong message.

Our Score:


A Look Inside