SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Heroes in Crisis #2, by Tom King, Clay Mann, Travis Moore, Tomeu Morey, Arif Prianto and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Heroes in Crisis is certainly living up to its ominous title. Over its first two issues, the DC crossover has revolved around the aftermath of a lethal attack on Sanctuary, a trauma and recovery center for superheroes.
While it's still not clear who was behind the Sanctuary attack, Sanctuary's founders—Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have already identified Harley Quinn and the time-traveling Booster Gold as prime suspects. The full list of casualties still hasn't been revealed, but major DC characters like Wally West, Arsenal and Poison Ivy appear to be among the dead.
Since no one stays dead for long in superhero comics, there's been some doubt about how permanent some of Sanctuary's casualties will end up being. However, Heroes in Crisis #2 appears to have definitively confirmed the death of at least one Sanctuary resident -- Commander Steel.
In Heroes in Crisis #2, Batman performs an autopsy on the super-strong Commander Steel by using a blowtorch to cut through his "fairly impenetrable" organic metal skin. While the cause of his death isn't explicitly stated, Batman finds a novelty set of wind-up chattering teeth somehow lodged in his throat, seemingly implicating the Joker as the killer, though that's almost definitely not the case.
Perhaps just as interesting to longtime DC readers, however, is how Commander Steel fits into any of this. After all, he's not a big name hero, and we haven't seen him in the DCU since at least the launch of the current Rebirth era. Considering he's traditionally tied to the JSA, a team that doesn't currently exist in continuity, the fact that his death is one this event seems to be hinging on leads to more questions.