Heroes In Crisis #3 hits your local comic book shop this week, with Lee Weeks handling the bulk of the artwork for Tom King’s story; Clay Mann worked on the first and last pages (nine-panel grid).
Colors are by Tomeu Morey, with letters by Clayton Cowles.
King builds on his story with the third issue, but it feels more like a filler episode of LOST as the second set of survivors walk across the island. We get to see the final moments of Wally West, and a fantastic side story with Lagoon Boy, but the main plot does not move an inch.
Which brings me to my dilemma. Is a very well written filler issue good? Marc Guggenheim holds the gold standard when it comes to filler issues with Amazing Spider-Man #574. This is a powerful issue where Flash Thompson loses his legs saving a group of his fellow soldiers during the Iraq War. Guggenheim gave readers a single issue that rocked Marvel Comics. Does Heroes In Crisis #3 have that same type of gravitas? The short answer: no. What this third issue of a nine-issue story establishes is that an editor needed to step in and trim the fat to create a tighter narrative.
King is writing about issues that are personal to him, and he’s pouring his guts out. The Lagoon Boy plot thread in this issue is intimate and utterly painful to read. This is what makes it so hard to critique this book. Yet, what an editor should have said to Tom is, replace Lagoon Boy with Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman. You can tug at the heartstrings with Lagoon Boy, but you can rip the reader’s heart out with Wonder Woman, and that’s great writing.
With the art on the issue, you feel sorry for Weeks. The book was billed as King and Mann, but that is not what readers are getting. The first issue of the series is some of the most amazing artwork I’ve seen in a very long time. So to switch artists is tough, and no matter who stepped in, the artwork would take a step down.
With all of that said, halfway through the book, there is a single panel page of Booster talking to Sanctuary, and it is brilliant. It looks nothing like the rest of the book; the art team knocks it out of the park. Clayton Cowles’ letters are perfectly aligned to keep the conversation flowing. Weeks pulls every ounce of emotion possible out of the page. Plus, you’ll stay up all night trying to figure who’s fingerprints are on the page.
The short stories in Heroes In Crisis #3 will impress you, but if you step back, you’ll realize the train has yet to leave the station.
Are you reading Heroes In Crisis? What do you think of the series so far? Comment below with your thoughts.