Heroes in Crisis No. 5 review: We’ve definitely jumped the shark


Superhero confessions have been leaked and now Superman has to change public opinion back in the Justice League’s favor in the latest issue of Heroes in Crisis.

Heroes in Crisis No. 5

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Clay Mann

Heroes in Crisis No. 5 cover (Credit: DC Comics)

Lois Lane has released the leaked recordings of Sanctuary confessionals she received and now Superman must face the music in Heroes in Crisis No. 5. The public is now privy to a whole new side of superhero life, and it’s not one that they are too comfortable knowing.

Elsewhere, Booster Gold has teamed up with his old pal, Blue Beetle, and they’ve come up with… the worst best plan possible to solve the mystery of who killed everyone at Sanctuary. The information Booster unearths has troubling implications, but will he be able to reveal it before Batgirl and Harley Quinn get to him?

PTSD? Where We’re Going, There is No PTSD!

Remember when Heroes in Crisis was supposed to be a game changer with its insightful critique of the psychological impact of superhero-ing? That concept has all but disappeared.

We are halfway through the series, and it seems the creators are now hell-bent on solving the central mystery of the massacre at Sanctuary, with additional subplots thrown into the mix. This doesn’t mean that the plot isn’t interesting, it definitely remains gripping, but Heroes in Crisis has lost its je ne sais quoi.

This issue gives readers a new clue to solve the crime, but also adds yet another mystery. All signs point to a different hero being the prime suspect, and fans are not going to like it.

What’s Going on With the Art?

Clay Mann’s art is beautiful – everyone knows that. The title page of Heroes in Crisis No. 5 is a masterclass in comic book art. However, the flaws are beginning to show now as well. From the very first issue, Wonder Woman’s outfit had looked a bit ill-fitting, but she is now the least problematic in this series.

Harley Quinn and Batgirl in Heroes in Crisis No. 5 (Credit: DC Comics)

Harley Quinn – long sexualised in comic books – is still drawn in a problematic manner. She also gets a faux pin-up style full-page drawing. Batgirl’s uniform looks like it’s painted on. While the art is less offensive than it was in Heroes in Crisis No. 4 (which really hit a new low), Mann and team have to do better to respect the female characters and audience who read this comic. This shouldn’t even be an issue in 2019.

Why Does Superman Get a Free Pass?

In the previous issue of the series, Superman had been supportive of Lois Lane’s plan to release the Sanctuary tapes to the entire world. She was following her journalistic instinct, but given her inside knowledge of the superhero world, it seemed like a selfish decision. What’s worse is Superman didn’t bother to inform Batman and Wonder Woman until after the fact. Honestly speaking, his actions were tantamount to a betrayal.

Superman in Heroes in Crisis No. 5 (Credit: DC Comics)

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Yet, in Heroes in Crisis No. 5, it’s Superman who holds forth in front of the public. Wonder Woman just stands behind him like a statue – comforting him when he’s overcome. Seriously? Why are DC’s women constantly being diminished?

DC Comics is going through behind-the-scenes changes, and it’s still unknown how that will affect upcoming comic titles. Some series appear to be ending prematurely, while others struggle to maintain audience approval. Heroes in Crisis started off strong, despite not fulfilling its original premise, but its story has steadily been derailed.

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Heroes in Crisis No. 5 officially jumps the shark with more mysteries and intrigue moving the plot definitively away from any sentimentality or emotion. This ties in with the very troubling revelation on the last page of this issue. If it was supposed to be poignant, it has the exact opposite effect. This series really needs to be whipped back into shape, and fast.