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DC's Heroes in Crisis Is Caused by a Superhero Shooting - Comic-Con 2018

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A grim tale that reflects our series of real-world tragedies.

At a DC press event at San Diego Comic-Con, DC writer Tom King revealed new details on his upcoming event with artists Clay Mann and Mitch Gerads, Heroes in Crisis. When DC uses “crisis” in a title, it’s typically a signal that the story will feature epic stakes as the fate of the multiverse hangs in jeopardy, but this time around, it’s a much more grounded and personal story. Heroes in Crisis will introduce a new location in the DC Universe called Sanctuary, a technologically advanced therapy center for superheroes to give them the help they need need after enduring physical and psychological trauma on a day-to-day basis, but things take a grim turn when a dozen superheroes are massacred in a shooting inside Sanctuary. The first question is, who is the mysterious shooter? The second, how will the heroes put it all back together?

“Comic books, throughout the whole history of the medium, have been reflective of history. In World War II, there were comics about fighting in World War II. In the seventies, the comics were about psychedelic escape. Unfortunately, our moment right now is a moment of violence and living with violence and our comics have to address that. Our comics have to reflect it,” King told IGN in a one-on-one interview after the presentation. “We have to use the power we have as the guardians of these superheroes to talk about those issues and to make stories out of that because stories are how we deal with the pain in our lives. That’s why people read the Bible when their loved ones die. It’s happening and we need to look it in the eye and see why and see how we can make it better.”

The story will focus on Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as Booster Gold and Harley Quinn. The inclusion of DC’s trinity is obvious, but the latter two were chosen by DC publisher Dan DiDio because they’re people who make mistakes. King’s goal is to give these characters the same deep-dive psychological breakdown that Gerads and he are currently giving Scott Free in the series Mister Miracle.

We don't know which heroes will fall when the story hits, although King did recall an old quote from DiDio where he said, "You can’t have a Crisis without a dead Flash." Although, it's hard to say if King was just being coy, and either way, there are several Flash characters currently active -- Barry Allen and Wally West, among others -- so it's impossible to pin down who he was referring to.

King got the idea for Heroes in Crisis when, in 2016, he had a panic attack and went to the hospital. On the same day, he received news that his grandmother who raised him had passed away. After being forced to face his issues head-on through therapy, he wanted to bring the lessons he learned to a poignant story for DC’s heroes. In a tribute to his grandmother, the design of the Sanctuary homestead on the cover of Heroes in Crisis #1 is based on her home.

Check out that cover along with a few pages from inside the first issue featuring Booster and Harley.

Joshua is Senior Editor of IGN Comics. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.