The debut of Heroes In Crisis has certainly caused a stir. If you’ve managed to avoid reading the issue and all of its subsequent coverage so far, please consider this a first and final SPOILER WARNING. This article will specifically engage with who lives, dies, and is accused of murder in the first issue, along with rumors circulating around the series. If you still want to read Heroes in Crisis #1 with no outside knowledge or maintain a clean palette of thought as the series continues, then stop reading right now.
Seriously, we aren’t holding anything back.
OK, so, the biggest question on everyone’s mind following the first issue of Heroes in Crisis is: Whodunnit? There are at least a dozen heroes dead, with many bodies around Sanctuary remaining unidentified. Even if all of the other victims are minor characters like Bluejay and Citizen Steel, two major superhero deaths will demand a satisfactory resolution to the murder mystery. Both Wally West and Roy Harper are dead, and with them two of the greatest legacies at DC Comics -- until an inevitable resurrection.
It’s unlikely that a murderer will emerge until the final issues of Heroes in Crisis, six or seven months down the road. There are some juicy suspects and possibilities present from a close examination of the first issue and surrounding buzz though. We have assembled an initial suspects list along with some odds based on what is currently known and rumored. So click ahead to examine how likely it is for each hero or villain to be the ultimate solution, and be sure to share your own theories in the comments.
Created by Dan Jurgens
First Appearance: Booster Gold #1
Heroes in Crisis #1 sets up two main suspects for the mystery as the survivors of Sanctuary engage in their own battle across a Midwestern backdrop. Booster Gold is the superhero of the pair and is clearly accused of having committed the crime by an eyewitness in the final pages of the issue. The obviousness and earliness of this solution makes it seem unlikely. While Booster’s involvement is plain, it would be a surprising choice for him to actually be the murderer. With that in mind, Tom King has shown a willingness to play against expectations and tropes in his story, so it may still turn out that this horrible crime possesses a horribly obvious solution.
Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm
First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series, “Joker’s Favor”
Harley Quinn is the other surviving resident of Sanctuary and Booster’s accuser in Heroes in Crisis #1. Her presence at the crime and criminal past combine to make her a prime suspect. All of the factors that make Booster an unlikely final solution also apply to Harley, especially when you consider her erratic behavior in the first issue. Not only is this solution a seeming red herring meant to distract heroes and readers, but Harley Quinn is also a genuine cash cow for DC Entertainment, whether you’re looking at comics, toys, or movies. Making her a mass murderer of superheroes seems unlikely to get official approval.
Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino
First Appearance: The Flash (vol. 1) #110
The prime suspect of Heroes in Crisis is actually one of the victims. Wally West’s return in the Rebirth era of DC Comics has left the character in an awkward position. He remembers a life and world that no longer exists, and has been deeply troubled by the loss of his marriage and children. Combine this with a long history of time travel and other tricks, and it’s possible that Wally West snapped and murdered heroes who he may not have even perceived as being real. As troubling as this scenario would be to many Flash fans, it’s one of the most likely possibilities given what few facts there are.
Created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73
The inclusion of Wally West makes it worth considering the other notable victim in Heroes in Crisis #1. Roy Harper seems much more likely to simply be a dead man though. He does not possess any special abilities that would help him to commit this crime or a motive that makes any sense. There is a chance that he could have been an accomplice, unwitting or otherwise, but the odds of Roy having actually pulled the trigger are low in comparison to almost everyone else known to be at Sanctuary when the murders occurred.
Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino
First Appearance: The Flash (vol. 1) #139
When a Flash dies, readers have to consider whether Eobard Thawne played a role. Like Wally, the Reverse-Flash is aware of how reality was warped and even played a key role in Flashpoint. He possesses power over time and space that easily make him dangerous enough to do the job, and a long list of motives as to why he would destroy both Sanctuary and Wally West. If a villain will appear at the end of Heroes in Crisis, none is more likely than Eobard Thawne.
Created by Gardner Fox and Joe Gallagher
First Appearance: All-Star Comics #23
The masks held on the cover of Heroes in Crisis #1 bear a striking resemblance to the Medusa Mask that allows Psycho-Pirate to control the emotions of anyone who looks upon it. Tom King has been reintegrating the Pirate into DC lore in the pages of Batman and shown him to be a powerful force in multiple scenarios. While he cannot be placed at the scene of the crime or given a clear motive, the coincidental cover and Pirate’s ability to manipulate a house filled with vulnerable heroes into this situation make him noteworthy.
Created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez
First Appearance: The New Teen Titans #2
Very few villains can handle a houseful of superheroes, no matter how emotionally distraught. Deathstroke is a notable exception to that rule and one who is always available for hire. As shown in the pages of Identity Crisis, Deathstroke can take down Wally West while battling a full team of other superheroes. This solution certainly wouldn’t be a satisfactory one, especially considering how it might wreck Christopher Priest’s stellar run on the solo Deathstroke series, but it is a real possibility.
Created by Gil Kane and Gardner Fox
First Appearance: Showcase (vol. 1) #344comments
Almost no one predicted that Ray Palmer’s ex-wife, Jean Loring, would turn out to be the killer at the end of Identity Crisis. The event has been regularly criticized for ignoring key facts and clues in order to deliver this twist. That’s also what would make Jean Loring being the killer in Heroes in Crisis one of the greatest mic drops in the history of superhero comics. It would make absolutely no sense, but Tom King could sleep easily at night knowing people would never stop talking about this series.