DC's 'Heroes in Crisis' to Explore Superhero Trauma

"I feel a duty to talk about what violence does to a society through the comics I’m creating," says comic book writer Tom King.
Courtesy of DC Comics

Being a superhero isn’t just about rescuing cats from trees and putting bad guys in jail — and a new series from DC Entertainment looks to explore the emotional cost of the job.

Following an appearance Tuesday on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers by writer Tom King, the publisher has announced King's next project: the seven-issue Heroes in Crisis, illustrated by his Batman collaborator Clay Mann, with colors by Tomeu Morey and letters from Clayton Cowles. The series will delve into the Sanctuary concept King first mentioned in January — a trauma center for superheroes, founded by Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Heroes in Crisis, the title of which plays on the DC tradition of stories with the word “Crisis” in their name (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis, to name just four), will trace what happens when Sanctuary fails to adequately provide for its patients and what happens in the aftermath. Described by DC as a murder mystery, the series will feature Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Harley Quinn and Booster Gold as lead characters.

“I feel like I’m part of a rolling generation of people who spent their twenties overseas fighting terrorism," King — a former CIA counterterrorism officer — said in a statement. "Millions of people cycle through that machine and come home to America. And I think that sort of experience of violence is shaping who we are as a culture, and as a country. And I want to talk about that. I want to talk about that experience, the experience of what violence can do to a person, to a community, to a nation, to a world."

He continued, "If I could do anything to the [DC universe], it would be to bring a sense of community of superheroes and people. I feel a duty to talk about what violence does to a society through the comics I’m creating.”

Heroes in Crisis debuts Sept. 26.

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