Good LORD, what a mess Tom King has gone and made of things. King’s murder mystery event comic is beginning to take a more definitive form and some of the writing may have appeared on the wall in front of us moving forward. From a series that has produced mostly questions, we start to get some answers.
WARNING: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS HERE? LIKE, I AM GONNA TRY NOT TO BUT TO EVEN DISCUSS ANYTHING GOING ON IN THIS BOOK, I HAVE TO SAY SOME THINGS THAT SOME MAY CONSIDER SPOILERY AND I JUST WANNA COVER MY BASES SO I’M NOT THAT GUY WHO RUINED IT FOR EVERYONE
This issue serves as primarily a flashback to see where Sanctuary (the super high tech metahuman mental health facility) was prior to everything going so horribly wrong as we’ve seen in #1 and #2 of this series. We meet some of the patients at Sanctuary, see how long they’ve been there and learn a little about them. But it’s once we see the “treatment method” that things really begin to get interesting.
As it begins to be revealed, Sanctuary doesn’t have any actual humans running the place. It’s all a virtual world created by the patients to either heal or…actively not heal. One has to wonder if Tom King is taking a look at our society’s urge to remain private while being unwilling to trust each other as people. We see how various patients are using this….do it yourself brand of therapy. Some, like Booster Gold or Lagoon Boy, use Sanctuary to attack themselves in different ways. Lagoon Boy very literally tells Sanctuary to attack him over and over again.
While we see another patient, Wally West, being unwilling to move on from a past only he remembers. Can we take a minute to talk about these masks the patients at Sanctuary are given to wear by the way? How did no one in the meta community see this and go “Waaaaaiiiiiit a minute you guys…..”?!?!?
The art duties on this issue were shared between series regular Clay Mann and Lee Weeks who handles most of the flashback pages. It all looks absolutely great. And heartbreaking. The Wally portion of our story will rip your heart out of your chest if you are a parent. The Lagoon Boy story will hurt if you are a human being. And Booster’s bit will hurt if you’re a self loathing piece of future trash…or present trash (slowly raises hand).
AND WHAT THE HELL IS HARLEY DOING?!?!
FINAL RATING: 8/10 GNARRKS
A lot of my rating here is based on knowing that Tom King is going to pay all of this in the long run. We’re investing in the story right now and it looks like this is gonna be a big ride. BUT HONESTLY WHO THOUGHT WHITE CLOAKS AND GOLD MASKS WERE A GOOD IDEA?!!??