Every Character Who Dies in Heroes in Crisis #1, Ranked

Tom King & Clay Mann’s DC Comics Event Series Kicks Off With a Body Count

Comics Features Tom King
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Every Character Who Dies in <i>Heroes in Crisis</i> #1, Ranked

HeroesInCrisis.jpg Tom King and Clay Mann’s long-anticipated DC Comics event series Heroes in Crisis debuts today, and as teased in all of its marketing materials, it arrives with a body count. The book revolves around a mass murder at the Sanctuary, a mental health facility founded by Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to care for the specific trauma needs of the super-powered community. Sanctuary has been mentioned throughout King’s Batman run, but Heroes in Crisis is its first official appearance, and readers discover the facility littered with the bodies of its costumed patients. It’s an uncanny feeling, encountering this concept in the wake of such a relatable real-world tragedy, made stranger by the book’s seeming identity crisis: King has talked at length about the story’s serious emotional heft, but DC Comics has played up the Who Will Die!? angle in its sales material, reminding many readers of, well, Identity Crisis, the still-controversial 2004 DC Comics event that injected rape and murder into DC’s costumed heroics. As the first issue serves mostly as prologue, it’s too early to tell if King and Mann will pull off the nuance needed to grapple with this topic, so Paste is going to lean into DC’s murder-mystery angle and bring you the information you’re dying to know: who perishes in Heroes in Crisis #1, and how likely are they to stay dead?

It should go without saying, but Massive Spoilers Ahead.

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Heroes in Crisis #1 Interior Art by Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
Unknown:
Let’s get this one out of the way: there are a dozen or more deaths not yet revealed in this issue, but seen from afar as Superman hovers over the Sanctuary. As Clay Mann’s cover for the first issue features a who’s-who of B-listers, any number of recognizable characters may be among the dead, their identities to be parceled out throughout the nine-issue run for maximum effect. We know Poison Ivy was sent here by Batman, and Harley Quinn is definitely upset about something, after all. The zoom-in on a few of the dead bodies (image below) also contains some mysteries. A Green Lantern logo, a bloody wing and a blue elbow or knee can be partially seen; it seems unlikely that one of Earth’s Green Lanterns would meet their fate without fanfare, and both Hawk-people appear safely situated in big books at the moment, but only future issues will uncover these deaths for sure. There’s also a woman of color in this panel, seemingly wearing a Sanctuary mask and robe. Based on the pants, this could be notable Justice Leaguer Vixen, but as one of DC’s most prominent Black heroes, it’s more likely to be a C-lister we can’t identify, or one of the Sanctuary robots, portrayed a few pages later with blue “blood” instead of red.

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Heroes in Crisis #1 Interior Art by Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
Dead Forever:
Okay, no one is really dead forever in comics, but there’s a category of C-lister whose profile is so low, they only come back in one of two dramatic fashions: they’re completely re-imagined à la Extraño in Midnighter & Apollo…or an artist draws them into a crowd scene by accident, not knowing they bit the dust in a previous series. Poor occasional Teen Titans Hotspot, whose name was changed from Joto when writers discovered that was a Spanish slang term for gay people, and Lagoon Boy, The Shape of Water mega-fan, are almost definitely dead for good.

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Heroes in Crisis #1 Interior Art by Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
The same goes for Blue Jay, a size-changing hero first introduced as an homage to Marvel Comics character Yellowjacket. Adding grisly insult to injury, Blue Jay is actually the first visible casualty of the series: a murder of crows pick away at his shrunken corpse.

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Heroes in Crisis #1 Interior Art by Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
The Mantle Will Live On:
It’s not totally clear if the red-white-and-blue-clad character beneath Lagoon Boy’s body is meant to be legacy hero Citizen Steel, Earth-2 Filipino hero Captain Steel or some other variation of the Commander Steel mantle, but someone else will eventually become the sixth person to take on a version of this costume and identity. Probably not this dude, though. Despite skin of steel, he seems really dead.

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Heroes in Crisis #1 Interior Art by Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
Back Eventually:
Oh, Arsenal—DC Comics might just hate you. Former Green Arrow sidekick Roy Harper battled addiction in the ‘70s, lost his arm and daughter in an atrocious crossover a decade ago and infamously wielded a dead cat in an even worse tie-in to said crossover. Now it looks like the Red Hood & The Outlaws/Titans co-star is dead—easily one of the two most high-profile deaths of Heroes in Crisis #1. Still, Harper has experienced fates worse (or more embarrassing) than death before, and a character of his stature will probably make his way back to the land of the living eventually. It may take a few years, but don’t count on Arsenal becoming the next Uncle Ben.

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Heroes in Crisis #1 Interior Art by Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
Alive Again Before the Year is Up:
Only one man in the world genuinely likes Barry Allen, and his name is Geoff Johns. To everyone under 40, our Flash was Wally West, the first sidekick to actually graduate to the big leagues, and so influential in the role that Barry’s characterization under writers like Brian Michael Bendis and Scott Snyder is essentially lifted directly from Wally’s playbook. Wally West is such a major loss that his death in Heroes in Crisis #1 is suspicious—unlike Arsenal, Blue Jay and Hotspot, Wally doesn’t get a nine-panel talking-head grid to unpack his trauma, which means future issues will certainly have more to reveal about this Flash’s fate. Even if Wally really is in Titans heaven alongside his buddy Roy, expect the Scarlet Speedster to race back to life sooner rather than later.

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