'Heroes In Crisis' Event To Explore DC's Sanctuary

Tom King and Clay Mann will join forces on Heroes in Crisis, an event miniseries that will explore the long-teased world of DC's "Sanctuary," Polygon reports.

The series, described as a murder mystery involving Earth's greatest heroes, will center around Sanctuary, a therapy and rehabilitation center where superheroes and supervillains can seek treatment for the mental scars left behind by a lifetime of knowing that if you make the wrong move, everyone around you dies.

"We're creating this space where superheroes can go that sort of mimics the good work people are doing for veterans around the world," King said when Sanctuary was first brought to light at December's DC in DC event. "They can have a space where they can actually admit that this violence has had consequences for them and has affected them mentally, so that your greatest heroes, who are inspiring our children, can say proudly: yes, I’ve had some mental difficulties, and yes, working with people has helped me through them. And we don’t hide behind that."

King, who served as a CIA counterintelligence officer prior to becoming a comics writer, describes himself as part of a "rolling generation" of people who spent their twenties in war zones, surrounded by danger and periodically losing friends and loved ones. Themes of violence, loss, and post-traumatic stress have fed into his award-winning work on Omega Men, The Vision, and Mister Miracle -- but bringing those themes into the lives of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman potentially expands the audience exponentially.

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(Photo: DC Entertainment)

“Millions of people cycle through that machine and come home to America,” King said of the almost-twenty-year-old "War on Terror" initiated after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. “And I think that sort of experience of violence is shaping who we are as a culture, and as a country. And I want to talk about that. I want to talk about that experience, the experience of what violence can do to a person, to a community, to a nation, to a world.”

While the word "Crisis" in a DC title usually means a giant, universe-altering conflict, that is not always the case. As with Heroes in Crisis, Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales's controversial Identity Crisis was originally described as a murder mystery with superheroes.

This story appears to center on the murder of someone who works at the Sanctuary: throughout the crowd of superheroes in the image above are hooded figures wearing golden masks that fully anonymize them. Absent any context, it seems like a reasonable assumption to make that they are the employees of the Sanctuary, and given that Superman is holding a mask attached to a bloody robe, it seems one of them will die at the series' start.

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Characters like Booster Gold, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy are expected to take center stage, as they have already been linked -- either in the comics or during interviews -- to Sanctuary.

Heroes in Crisis #1 will be available on September 26.