Who's the Culprit? Looking Back at DC's HEROES IN CRISIS Clues

Heroes in Crisis #1
Credit: DC Entertainment

In one of DC’s advertisements for Heroes in Crisis, the publisher shared images of 21 different DC characters.

“Which two of these characters will be murdered,” the image asked. “Which three of these characters will be accused of murder. Which one of the characters will be revealed as a murderer.”

The images shown include:

- Wonder Woman
- Catwoman
- Booster Gold
- Deathstroke
- Nightwing
- Kyle Rayner
- Tim Drake
- Green Arrow
- Arsenal
- Cyborg
- Poison Ivy
- Superman
- Lex Luthor
- Flash/Wally West
- The Riddler
- John Constantine
- The Atom
- Damage
- Mr. Terrific
- Beast Boy
- Harley Quinn

Credit: DC Entertainment


Now that Heroes in Crisis #1 has been released, which of the characters are seemingly answers to those question??

1) “Which two of these characters will be murdered.?”

According to Heroes in Crisis #1, the two characters from the image who have been murdered in a mass killing at the Sanctuary mental health facility are Arsenal/Roy Harper and Flash/Wally West. In fact, they’re both found in the same area, and their deaths are confirmed by Superman.

Although there have been some questions about whether Wally West is really and/or permanently dead (based on a strange lack of character reactions in other comic books since), none of the other characters featured in this advertised image were shown among the bodies. So it’s probable that the two characters who were “murdered” are Roy and Wally.

Unless Wally's really alive and another of the 21 characters will subsequently die?

Rent, don't buy, Kyle Raynor. 

2) “Which three of these characters will be accused of murder?”

In Heroes in Crisis #1, both Harley Quinn and Booster Gold survive the mass murder and DC has already teased that they’re going to be accused for the crime. At the end of the issue, they actually accused each other, with Booster saying he saw Harley shooting, but Harley claiming she saw Booster do it (more on that later).

So, according to the ad copy… there’s going to be one more character accused of murder during the series.

The best bets at first glance? Lex Luthor’s a likely killer. He’s a villain again and is already embroiled in a war with the Justice League. But Lex is busy elsewhere, and this event doesn’t seem to fit his M.O., nor does it fit with his ongoing story in Justice League. Yet he could definitely be someone the Trinity would accuse, as this second promise indicates.

Deathstroke, who’s a mercenary, is probably the next most likely culprit, since he might have been paid for the job. So maybe we’ll see him accused as well.

But Heroes in Crisis #1 revealed that there was also a cryptic hint left at the crime scene. Someone wrote on the wall: “The puddlers are all dead.” So it’s possible that Batman might accuse The Riddler, who’s known for his cryptic clues.

The crime scene in Heroes in Crisis #1 also showed something in Roy Harper’s hand: A gold pin like the ones given to graduates of Sanctuary. It’s possible Roy pulled the pin off the killer, which would mean the shooter was someone who has already finished the program at Sanctuary. And since Poison Ivy was one of the first characters in-story that was sent to Sanctuary (assuming she has graduated by now), her presence in this image could mean she will be accused because of the pin.

3) “Which one of these characters will be revealed as a murderer?”

Well, to be technical, several of these characters are already known murderers. But the advertisement’s accusation seems to indicate that one of the characters actually is the murderer responsible for the mass shooting at Sanctuary.

Although the issue didn’t actually name the murderer, Heroes in Crisis #1 was structured in a way that seem to point toward Booster Gold being the guilty party. For the vast majority of the issue, Harley Quinn was positioned as the prime suspect, acting like a murdering maniac who chased Booster Gold down after he somehow escaped from her rampage at Sanctuary. But at the end, Harley tells a different story. She saw Booster Gold committing the mass murder.

The story’s flip at the end strongly suggests that the last version of events is the real one. Booster broke. Or was mind-controlled. Or something. And he killed everyone (but maybe not Wally?) at Sanctuary.

Plus, why would Booster Gold simply saunter into a diner and order a coffee if his friends were dying? Something with Booster in issue #1 doesn’t quite add up. The fact the last page of the story is Booster's confessional page also seems to indicate Booster is the fallen figure here.

That said, there are eight issues left, and this is meant to be an ongoing murder mystery. So the individual who looks the most guilty in the first issue of a “whodunit” is rarely that actual guilty party.

However, one of the 21 characters in this advertisement apparently is the murderer. Any guesses?

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