DC: Tom King speaks of Heroes in the Crisis between threats, continuity and trauma


Published on May 28, 2019


Before the news of the goodbye of Batman by Tom King to conclude his plots in the tv mini-series of 12 numbers, Batman/Catwoman, the author has spent much of the past few months in finalising the miniseries Heroes in Crisis.


The miniseries is set in the Refuge and it is open with the destruction of this safe place by someone who seemed to bring with it a lot of hatred towards the community of superheroes. In the last register came out, Heroes in Crisis #8, we discover instead that the responsible other is not that the speedster Wally West, the who, prey of a strong panic attack during a therapy session, has been unleashed to this place.

Fans have closely followed the events of the Heroes in Crisis, often criticizing the choices of the author, but this latest revelation has led fans to a rebellion of anger online mass, with associated different death threats towards the King.

Despite this, the author continued, undaunted in his projects and tells his love for Wally, his plans for Heroes in Crisis, and why fans should be excited.

“I feel as if the only characters that remain the same, having stability in all the comics, are the parents of Batman in the [...] uncle Ben's, right? Here, it's all about the list. There was Bucky, but we have just seen, a huge movie by a billion dollars with a lot of Winter Soldier. So I don't know, I think that the stories continue. This is the central point of our medium, the stories continue. Gardner Fox says something in the Cary Bates, who then says something to William Messner-Loebs and later Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Josh Williamson and this is how we send the story forward. It is a conversation between generations about what it means to the hero. And I don't think that there is a generation that would say: “Okay, we stop here, we have a finished, very good”. Because every generation knows the central point of this thing, is to have this conversation.”

“I mean, in a Vision, and this was one of the big challenges of the series: ‘Ok, we'll do the whole thing in continuity‘, but it was a continuity that didn't make any sense because you can see Roy Thomas to fight with John Byrne [on page], you know? I was deliberately agree with all of this, those fights are part of the wonder of this character, so let's do it. And then, after I had finished, Marvel asked me: ‘what happens after that?’ And I said, ‘Whatever you want, there is a daughter here, do what you want, the next story is yours’. I did not feel the owner of all this. It was just part of the job. And I think that Jim Zub has done a great job for Vivian and his history. And the same for Mister Miracle. If someone wants to take that story, that's fine. My story does not disappear. People can read it for what it is, or read it with what comes after. I don't know, I don't have that kind of personal dilemma in which ‘These are my children, don't you dare touch them’.”

“[...] Write comics in continuity, and I love the comics in continuity. This is the way we play this game; this is the way we have fun.”

“I don't think I have received death threats from the fans of Wally West. I received a lot of hate from the fans of Wally West, which, of course, I understand it and this to me makes perfect sense. The death threats came from people whose minds were a bit more incasinate. The fans were sad for Wally West, the people were not totally healthy that I think I were making fun of in that moment.”

“[...] If I could write a story legitimately fun that everyone would love, I would write in two seconds. But for me to write well, must be a strange thing, the staff, and strange things personal and tend to hurt these heroes, and bring them in the places where some people don't want to see them go.

That said, I find myself in this situation again, this is what I do. Terrace heroes in their essential components and have them reconstruct. I mean, the first page of Mister Miracle, he's bleeding, cut wrist. In the first issue of Omega Man, Kyle Rainer is open the neck, in the first issue of Vision has a daughter who is stabbed in the heart, right?

This is a bit of what I do, but at the end of the day, it is hoped that people will say ‘Oh, he had a certain respect for that Mister Miracle, he was doing it just to be bad, he was doing it really to take advantage of his character and to elevate the character.’ Mister Miracle has been through hell, but now everyone knows who is Mister Miracle, right? The same with Vision, I did go to hell. I did become almost absolute evil, but it has raised a bit of that character, and now they are making even the television show that, you know, will have something to do with my work. Then, it is hoped that people will see, at the end of the day, we are doing the same thing with Wally. Wally has not had a comic book in solitary of success by when? Since 2003?

What I'm saying is that the idea behind this, is to raise the character. All are now speaking of Wally. Everyone wants to see where it will end Wally. All they want Wally to get the attention this character deserves. It is my favorite Flash. Has been my entrance door in DC comics, The Flash #53 Messner-Loebs and Larocque was my first DC comic. I love that character. I have a page above my desk of Wally from the run of the Flash, and I think that at the end of the day, will put my character under a spotlight, and put it in the center of the DC universe, in a place that has not seen in 15 years.”

“I feel that Heroes in Crisis, Batman and Mister Miracle, tell all the same story, my second theme. My first theme was about the war in Iraq, the second theme of my career is ‘how you behave after the trauma?’.

And the way in which the story in all three different comics... and I think that to write about it, sometimes, makes them feel people the trauma is very close. I know that seems wrong, but I don't know how to write the argument without in some way be brought in contact with all that shit.”

“I don't know anyone who has never made a mistake in their life. Who has never lost control of himself and had no regrets about it. Or had a moment where he has taken a wrong decision, and then tried to go forward. Those seem to be experiences pretty universal and I don't think there is the need to be gone into war or anything, I just think that is part of everyone's daily life. People make mistakes, you know? If we transform these heroes in those archetypes of cartoons in which everything that makes them great is how strong they are, then they are not really strong, right? If you never have a moment of vulnerability, you're never brave.

I think that to be truly brave and heroic you have to live the moments in which one is weak, to overcome these moments or confront them, or go ahead. Prove that you're vulnerable is not a weakness. Prove that you're vulnerable is a strength, at least for me.”

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