DC Comics has officially announced Tom King and Clay Mann's Sanctuary project as Heroes in Crisis. When the story opens, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman will have established the Sanctuary crisis center to help superheroes deal with the violence and trauma they experience in their line of work. The seven-issue series will explore what happens when it all goes wrong.
In the release, King spoke about his experience overseas in the CIA, and how “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." He sees this project as an opportunity to talk about those experiences, and "what violence can do to a person, to a community, to a nation, to a world.”
Few details are known about the nature of the series, except that Heroes in Crisis will focus specifically on Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Booster Gold as they investigate a murder mystery involving the superhero community. In order to get some answers to the questions we have, though, we can look to the cover of the first issue for clues.
Exploring the Aftermath
After taking a long look at the gathered group of heroes, one thing that becomes clear is, many of the characters Tom King has been writing are featured prominently. Superheroes deal with a lot more violence and trauma than the average person, but no one seems to understand how those experience can affect them. King has been dealing with these themes in his work since well before his Sanctuary project was even first teased.
Many of these characters have gone through their own crises in the pages of King's work, and Heroes in Crisis will seemingly deal with the healing that comes after. Mister Miracle and Big Barda have been dealing with survivor's guilt and the effect of abuse in Mister Miracle. Booster Gold recently went through a traumatic time travel experience that left him in a dark place over in Batman.
Heck, even villains have been dealing with the psychological problems from excessive violence. Poison Ivy was recently brought to Sanctuary after she broke down over her past crimes. Even Kite Man, who has dealt with the pain of loss, failure and depression, is on the cover. Considering Harley Quinn's central role in the story, it's possible that she could be using her past trauma with the Joker, not to mention her degree as a psychiatrist, to help others heal.