Tom King On What Inspired Him to Create Sanctuary, A Place Where DC Superheroes Can Deal With Trauma

During the 'Aftermath' panel at DC in DC yesterday, in which panelists spoke about the effects of [...]

During the "Aftermath" panel at DC in DC yesterday, in which panelists spoke about the effects of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, Batman and Mister Miracle writer Tom King revealed that he had plans to create a a new concept for the DC Universe: Sanctuary, a place where heroes (and presumably villains) can go and deal with the issues that might arise out of the violent lives they lead.

It is not yet clear whether Sanctuary will be a stand-alone comic in and of itself, or just a concept introduced in one of King's titles which will be available to other DC writers as a setting for stories (a la Warriors bar from back when Guy Gardner: Warrior was being published) -- but the concept got an enthusiastic response during the event from fans and other panelists, including Gotham's JW Cortés and former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

"It's something I'm really proud of and it's one of those — I call it a Geoff Johns idea, where it's so obvious, why didn't anyone do it before me?" King told after the panel. "These are heroes who live violent lives — that's all they do is violence, all day long, and to ignore the psychological impact of that seems foolish at some point. We know enough that violence affects you in some say. We know that these superheroes care about each other. Superman cares about Wonder Woman, Batman cares about Green Lantern — and so they set something up to help with the violence. It just seems obvious."

Dealing with post-traumatic stress is a major underlying theme of Mister Miracle, but it is something that King has rarely spoken explicitly about prior to yesterday's event.

"I don't know if freeing is the right word; I think maybe nerve-wracking is better than freeing," King admitted. "It's hard to talk about this stuff because you don't want to admit you're vulnerable in any way, even though the process of writing is taking your vulnerabilities and putting them on the page. You hope nobody notices that part of it, and so when you have to talk about it explicitly, there's something about it: everybody is seeing you a bit naked, and you kind of want to run away. But of course it was thrilling and worthwhile."

Mister Miracle #6 just hit the stands. You can get it at your local comic shop or on ComiXology. A Director's Cut of the sold-out Mister Miracle #1 will be in stores on February 14.