Heroes in Crisis was a recent DC Comics event that explored how superheroes cope with the stress of their daily lives. Written by superstar author Tom King, the series had a bunch of surprises, even from the very first issue. The series kicked off with an incredible bang after it was revealed that many DC heroes were suddenly murdered at Sanctuary, a place for heroes and villains to live in peace while they sort through their traumas. Considering how many powers were gathered in one place, the mass murder seemed impossible for someone to pull off.
As Flash and Batman look into the case, Booster Gold and Harley Quinn are on the run. As the only two survivors of the attack, Booster and Harley hold the key to discovering who the real killer is. By the end of the series, some pretty drastic twists had occurred. Likewise, even more heartbreaking discoveries had been made along the way. For all the mystery at the helm of the story, Heroes in Crisis is actually full of several devastatingly sad moments. To look into some of the sadder moments from the series, here is our list of the 10 most heartbreaking things to happen in DC’s Heroes in Crisis.
10 Seeing the Robins
Later in the series, audiences get to witness the confessionals of all of Batman’s former sidekicks. Each Robin (or former Robin) talks about how they fit in with the rest of the Bat-Family. The irony of their confessionals is that each Robin acknowledges the other’s role in the family, but fails to recognize their own.
While this was actually humorous at times, it also shows just how much each Robin cares for the other. It also relays just how each of them struggles with their own place amongst the others. Seeing them each talk about the others is just as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming at times, offering a very interesting take on what is to come for the Bat-Family
9 Batgirl’s Confessional
Sometimes, less is more. In the case of Batgirl’s confessional, King certainly delivers a lot in just 9 small panels. The 9 images on the page feature only 3 words. It begins with Batgirl standing up from her seat. She then unbuckles her utility belt and lowers her tights to reveal the scar where the Joker shot her. She then turns around to reveal the exit wound from the bullet. As far as dialogue goes, she simply just remarks “Here. And Here.”
While this may not seem like too much at first, King expertly conveys just how much Barbara Gordon continues to be haunted by that single moment. Even after making a full recovery, she remains tormented by that one fateful day. Therefore, her confessional is easily one of the most powerful ones in all of Heroes in Crisis.
8 End of Roy Harper
Easily one of the most impactful moments was seeing the death of Roy Harper. As of the series’ first issue, Roy was revealed to be one of the many deaths at Sanctuary. While DC comics heavily hinted at the demise of the character, it was still heartbreaking, especially considering the role he had played since the start of Rebirth.
Seeing Roy with the Titans once again was a welcome experience for readers. Furthermore, Roy had patched up his relationship with Green Arrow and the two were finally starting to get along once again. Considering how things were finally turning up for Roy, it was incredibly saddening to see him dead. Hopefully, like many other heroes, Roy will be able to make a return. For the time being though, it doesn’t look as though he’ll be back anytime soon.
7 “Loss” of Wally West
Alongside Roy at the end of the first issue, Wally West was also found dead at Sanctuary. While the twist eventually reveals that he was alive and responsible for the deaths, seeing him dead in the first place was still incredibly discouraging for readers. Since making his return at the start of DC Rebirth, Wally had come to symbolize the brighter, more hopeful look for DC characters.
Therefore, seeing him dead almost seemed like the end of an era for the publisher. Though the twist eventually revealed that Wally was alive, there was still a feeling that hope was lost for the character as well as other DC heroes. At the moment, Wally has been shown to be on the path to redemption, but that doesn’t change how sad it was to see him dead at the end of the first issue.
6 End of Poison Ivy
In a similar manner to Wally, Poison Ivy eventually makes a return by the end of the series. However, that doesn't change the fact that it was still devastating to see her death. After a major attack on the world in the pages of King’s Batman run, Ivy finally decided to try a change of heart. She attended Sanctuary for some time in her attempt to better herself. eventually, Harley Quinn would join her, and the two would resume their rather close relationship.
Likewise, with Harley Quinn being such a major part of the book Poison Ivy’s death held all the more impact. Knowing how close the two were really made Ivy’s death stand out amongst the many others. Seeing Harley react to the Sanctuary attacks also allowed the audience to feel the emotions with her, and drove the sorrow further than one could have imagined.
5 Hot Spot
For such a minor character, Tom King successfully manages to make readers care about Hot Spot’s death in just a few pages. During his confessional, Hot Spot reveals his insecurity of being forgotten and leaving no legacy. He also reveals his catchphrase, “I’m just warming up.”
Moments after his confessional ends, Superman is seen over Hot Spot’s body. While Superman remembers Hot Spot’s name, he notes that he always had a catchphrase as well. The truly heartbreaking thing about this moment is that Superman can’t recall what Hot Spot’s catchphrase was, meaning that Hot Spot’s worst nightmare had come true. As Superman holds his body, readers can see the tears on Hot Spot’s face, still fresh from the incident.
4 Lagoon Boy
Heroes in Crisis sought to explore the ways that superheroes would deal with trauma and PTSD. With so many horrific and violent acts being a regular part of daily life for heroes, it makes sense that some characters would eventually crack under the pressure. One surprise was seeing Lagoon Boy in Sanctuary.
For another smaller DC character, King once again makes audiences feel for him in a matter of a few pages. It is revealed that Lagoon Boy spends a lot of time in Sanctuary’s augmented reality room. Here, he constantly relives one of the worst moments in his life, and also one of the most physically painful for him. During his confessional, Lagoon Boy reveals a case of survivor’s guilt. As a result, it is just incredibly sad to see him continue to punish himself for actions that weren’t his responsibility. Furthermore, seeing how he potentially could have survived the Sanctuary attack, it is all the more sad to see him dead.
3 Batman’s Confessional
Part of the draw to Heroes in Crisis was in that it was being written by critically acclaimed Batman author, Tom King. During his Batman run, King has deconstructed Batman in a unique way and added a sense of poetry to the character that hasn’t been seen before. Therefore, it would make sense that King would continue to break down Batman within the pages of Heroes in Crisis.
During Batman’s confessional, he reveals the burden of his responsibilities as the Dark Knight. Especially in regards to the Robins, King reveals how Batman actually sees himself, rather than how readers often depict him. The result is an incredibly intriguing look at the character. As Batman continues, he eventually snaps in acknowledging his humanity, letting a tear roll down his face. If seeing Batman in his solo series isn’t heartbreaking enough, seeing him in Heroes in Crisis certainly is.
2 Seeing Wally Snap
By the end of the series, it is revealed that Wally West was actually responsible for all the deaths at Sanctuary. While it was nice to see him alive, it was truly heart wrenching to watch him snap. During his confessional, Wally reveals just how much pressure he and all other speedsters are under to constantly keep their powers under control.
Following his emotional break from the consequences of his return to reality, Wally tripped the alarm at Sanctuary, causing an evacuation of the building, though Wally tried to get away, he snapped and his dispersion of Speed Force energy resulted in the deaths of almost everyone at Sanctuary. Considering everything Wally had come to represent at the start of Rebirth, seeing him snap was easily one of the most heartbreaking moments in all of Heroes in Crisis.
1 Wally West’s Confessionals
Though watching Wally snap was incredibly devastating, seeing his confessionals was the only thing more heartbreaking. Though Wally’s return at the start of Rebirth was a welcome one, Wally returned to a much different world from the one he remembered. In being from the Pre-Flashpoint DC canon, Wally remembered having a wife and kids.
Therefore, when he returned to a reality without them, he was incredibly devastated. While Wally would still find some comfort in the company of his former teammates, Wally still had trouble dealing with the loss of those he loved the most. Throughout Heroes in Crisis, readers get more and more of Wally’s thoughts and feelings in dealing with this drastic change. Seeing a character who is supposed to be so full of hope confront the reality of his situation proved to be the most devastating aspect of the whole series. While Wally’s journey will certainly continue, his situation is still one of the saddest situations faced by a hero in recent years.