SDCC 18: Tom King is Bringing the Real World of Trauma to ‘Heroes in Crisis’

by Adam Poncharoen​sub
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While I hate to invoke the distinguished competition here, I’d like to say that Netflix’s Marvel universe has done a pretty fantastic job of depicting people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Though I loved Jessica Jones, The Punisher has more relevance to this story. This series showed several group sessions consisting of former soldiers who fought on the battlefield and then returned home, attempting to adjust to civilian life once again. Some of them witnessed horrific things, preventing them from being assimilatef back into ordinary life. The show, while sometimes takimg flights of fancy, does relatively well handling PTSD with sensitivity and accuracy.

What if our favorite DC heroes also suffered through the same thing? They fight crime everyday to protect their respective cities, so of course, they must have witnessed some horrible things they were too late to prevent.

Last month, DC announced they were working on a mini-series called Heroes in Crisis. It seems that the story will humanize some of DC’s iconic heroes, showing that they too have to work through the trauma that they experience as they fight crime and protect people.

Last Friday, Tom King spoke at SDCC giving more details about his upcoming mini-series. The press conference announced the full creative team behind the comic, with Mitch Gerads joining the previously announced Tom King and Clay Mann. The panel also provided gorgeous artwork, and revealed the cover for issue #1.

Heroes in Crisis is about heroes who have to live through violence to save the world, and what that violence does to them”

Check out the press release below:


Creative Team of King, Mann and Gerads Confirmed for Limited Series

King Takes Dozens of Reporters Through a Therapeutic Sanctuary Experience Amidst the Chaos of Comic-Con

“Our Pain is Our Strength”

There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by New York Times bestselling author Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD? How do DC’s Trinity – Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman – handle massacres and mass shootings? This September, King explores these themes in HEROES IN CRISIS with artists Clay Mann (BATMAN) and Mitch Gerads (MISTER MIRACLE).

“I want to speak about, and to, this New War generation, the millions of people who have fought bravely overseas and have come home to try to return to their normal lives,” said King at an intimate press conference this morning at Comic-Con International: San Diego. “I want to talk about their hopes, their pains, their triumphs; I want to use DC’s heroes to tell their stories.”

At the core of HEROES IN CRISIS is Sanctuary, an ultra-secret space to help superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. King described the heroes walking the halls of Sanctuary — heroes like Aquaman, Superman, Lagoon Boy, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Arsenal, Batman, and more — as anonymous, wearing robes and gold masks to hide their identities from each other. In the debut issue, something goes inexplicably wrong and heroes wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects.

“But this book isn’t actually about Sanctuary,” said King. “It’s about the failures of Sanctuary. In that way, I’m writing about this moment in our history. We felt safe. We had security. Then something went horribly wrong. Is it possible to repair that? To fight that?”

King served overseas as a CIA counterterrorism operations officer post-911 before changing careers to write critically acclaimed comics populated with themes of war and violence, notably THE OMEGA MEN, THE SHERIFF OF BABYLON and MISTER MIRACLE. King, Mann and Gerads will continue these themes in HEROES IN CRISIS. While Mann will draw the main issues of the limited series, Gerads will draw standalone issues strategically placed to give a deeper look into the overall story.

“HEROES IN CRISIS is about heroes who have to live through violence to save the world, and what that violence does to them,” concluded King. “They make a sacrifice every time they go out to fight the bad guys. That sacrifice is at the heart of the series.”

HEROES IN CRISIS #1 arrives on September 26, 2018.

Check out a few pages released plus the cover art:

The artwork is absolutely stunning. It must also be haunting being part of the audience witnessing what looks to be a confessional booth showing Harley Quinn and Booster Gold opening up, showing their vulnerability, and likely expelling their demons.

Harley’s page is gut-punching, as she starts off her usual manic self, before eventually breaking down in the final panels.

Grab your copy of the first issue on September 26.

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