Over the course of just two years, writer Tom King has become one of the primary architects of the DC Universe.
He followed Scott Snyder‘s five year run on Batman and engendered just as much critical and fan acclaim — no small feat. He turned the romantic pairing of Batman and Catwoman into more than just a fun flirtation, but an honest to goodness bond we all hoped would result in marriage. Which makes perfect sense, as his currently running Mister Miracle mini-series is all about how to be the world’s greatest super-hero couple.
Now, he’s taking the reigns of DC’s upcoming event series, along with artist Clay Mann, which promises a more internalized storyline revolving around the world’s most famous champions. In Heroes In Crisis, readers will be introduced to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with the two prime suspects end up being Harley Quinn and Booster Gold. It’s up to the DC trinity to investigate the mystery, as this series explore the psychic toll the endless violence and loss of lives takes on our heroes.
Nerdist got the chance to chat with King at Comic-Con about what inspired such a unique look into the inner lives of these icons.”I feel like I’ve made a career writing about superheroes that are a little broken, and who are putting themselves back together.” King told us. “But I’ve always focused on the breaking point more than the actual putting back together, and I want to write about that experience, and how that sort of affected me when I was broken, and how I had to find a way to see how brittle I was. And then I realized that the hardest part about the story is about putting yourself back together.”
King elaborated on the central idea of Heroes In Crisis, the reveal of a special place where heroes can go to unpack their psychological trauma. “I’m going to create a place called Sanctuary, where these superheroes can feel safe” continued King, adding where we are psychologically as a nation in 2018 factors into this story as well. “I’ll be drawing from what’s going on everyday in this country, sadly drawing on things like my kids doing gun drills in kindergarten and preschool, and drawing on what I saw overseas — a massacre, a moment of violence. The place these heroes went to escape the violence is now where it finds them,” said King. “And then to start with the mystery of why this happened and who did it. It’s those moments after the disaster when you’re like ‘this does not make sense. How do I make sense of it?’ And your brain just clings to ‘who did it at and why?’ The answer is much deeper and involves sort of the society of super heroes and who they are. And so that’s what the whole series is about.”
Although the Sanctuary is new for this series, is King treating this as something that has always been around, just fans were unaware of? “100 percent” he told us. “It’s been around for years and years, and they’ve been going anonymously. You don’t talk about it. It’s kind of like AA, but not a direct metaphor because there’s a lot of differences between those two things. It’s something they kept secret from the public too. And they have a fear that if the public knew how broken they were sometimes, they would also lose faith.”
With Heroes in Crisis, King is going to be able to touch upon the entire DCU, even characters he’s never (or barely) written before. So which of these DC characters proved to be the most exciting? “Harley. She’s one of those weird characters that started in the cartoon and then slowly made our way into continuity and felt. So putting her back in real continuity and seeing how that insane energy worked in a more realistic content context was great, because she becomes sort of this symbol of survival with this frightening edge of insanity.”
The first issue of Heroes in Crisis is set to hit on Sep 26.
Are you excited about this unique look into the lives of the heroes of the DC Universe? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments.
Images: DC Comics