In Heroes in Crisis #2, Batman finally shows just how much the events at Sanctuary have shaken him. The revelation that he was a frequent visitor to the institution hints at his own awareness of his pain, and his attempts to cope.
Batman's ongoing attempts to deal with his mental health in the face of a war that never ends has become a primary arc of Tom King’s fifty-plus issue run on the character. King has said Heroes in Crisis is about exploring the pain in our heroes, and how they try to process it, a statement that underlines the level of importance Batman has placed in Sanctuary.
When Superman and Wonder Woman tell him they know him and just want to get past the lies, they even predict he has Kryptonite on him. When Batman denies it, it feels like a honest moment, a revelation granted in a moment of vulnerability, as does his remark about deleting all the footage Sanctuary gathered from the various superhero and villain therapy sessions. Not even he would want to use that kind of weakness and pain against someone, because he knows how it feels. And they believe him.
It reinforces the bond between Bruce and Clark and Diana. It reestablishes the trust and confidence they have in one another. And then, when Harley Quinn later wraps the Lasso of Truth around Batman’s throat, he reveals that he was carrying Kryptonite all along. Because that’s what Batman does; he prepares, and he lies.
Trust Is A Two Way Street
After Harley leaves, there’s a palpable tension in how Superman speaks to Batman. It’s more direct, more blunt. It could be from the surprise of the moment, but it feels like disappointment. Superman has just been reminded that he can’t completely trust one of his closest allies and best friends. Because he knows, he just knows that Batman could be lying to his face. Again.
There’s nothing so far to indicate Batman did save those videos of his fellow heroes confessing their names and their pain, but there is proof that someone did. At the end of the issue, a reporter for the Daily Planet comes to Lois Lane with one of the tapes, one that shows Roy Harper revealing his drug addiction.
The video comes with a promise to reveal even more footage, more stolen information and testimonials. Someone has all the videos of the people who came to Sanctuary, including their secret identities. This puts everyone, even Superman and Batman, at risk of true exposure.
Someone has those videos, and if Batman was the one who kept those recordings, then he’s proven that he can’t be trusted. Who has a history of using moments of weakness to uncover potential strategies? Who always carries Kryptonite, and lies through his teeth about it? Who can’t just be honest with his best friends? It makes sense why Superman and Wonder Woman can’t trust him anymore, and given that his possible lies are now endangering every other DC hero, perhaps no one should.
Heroes in Crisis #2 by Tom King, Clay Mann and Travis Moore is available now.