Spoilers ahead for this week's Heroes in Crisis #2.
In this week’s Heroes in Crisis #2, the murder investigation leads to a new clue about the killer’s identity. But the Trinity has a much more pressing issue to deal with, as the secrets that were revealed during Sanctuary’s therapy sessions are being exposed to the public.
The clue left by the killer is a toy - chattering teeth - found in the throat of one of the victims. And the killers’ exposure of information from Sanctuary not only reveals various characters' past mistakes, but also includes the secret identities of patients like Clark Kent/Superman.
The issue also features the moment that Barry Allen apparently found out Wally West had been killed. It wasn’t the Trinity who informed Barry, but instead happened when suspected killer Booster Gold accidentally spilled the beans.
So how did the issue’s revelations happen? Let’s take a look at some spoilers:
Running Quinn and Gold
As in #1, Heroes in Crisis #2 features several of the “confessions” that patients were encouraged to make at Sanctuary before completing their treatment. Included in #2 are the confessions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Poison Ivy.
The Poison Ivy confession (taped before the mass murder) is particularly notable because Harley Quinn shows up in the middle of it, surprising and interrupting Ivy, who says, “You are not supposed to be here!” Ivy claims that Harley shouldn’t even know where Sanctuary is.
So how did she find out?
In the present day (post-mass murder), Harley has apparently left Booster Gold (whom she was fighting at the end of #1) and is now being harbored by the Batman villain Penguin.
Back in the Nebraska field where Booster Gold was left at the end of the last issue, Skeets has shown up, stating that Booster sent him an emergency signal. Booster is healed by Skeets (with technology from the future, of course) as Booster explains what happened to him in #1.
Skeets advises Booster to turn himself in, but the hero is confused about whether he can defend himself, having heard Harley Quinn accuse him of murder. He decides to do what Batman would do - investigate the crime himself.
Who Likes Teeth?
Meanwhile, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are investigating the murders. Batman claims that all the data on patients who visited Sanctuary is erased immediately, to keep their identity and personal information completely private.
But Superman and Wonder Woman insist that Batman must have had a “back door” to keep information so he could spy on people’s weaknesses, because, they say, “it is what you do.”
Batman claims he doesn’t prepare the way they think. And despite their claims to the contrary, Batman says he (shockingly) doesn’t have Kryptonite in his Bat-Belt.
Batman claims he kept the information anonymous because he himself visited Sanctuary “often.”
While this conversation is happening, Batman is performing an autopsy on Commander Steel, who was killed at the murder within Sanctuary.
Bruce reports that although Commander Steel is dead, his “fairly impenetrable skin was perfectly intact” and there was a bulge in his neck, “as if someone made him swallow something.”
The item that’s shown looks like wind-up chattering teeth. The clue implies that it’s someone who either deals in toys, teeth or smiles… The League of Smiles? Toymaker? Or The Joker?
Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman must be jumping to the last conclusion, because they immediately find Harley Quinn.
At first, Harley claims she wanted to be found, having confided in the “gossipiest” villain in Gotham. She leaps into Wonder Woman’s arms and tells the Trinity the same thing she said to Booster last issue - that Booster Gold killed everyone.
Using slight of hand, Harley suddenly grabs Wonder Woman’s lasso. As Batman tries to subdue her, Harley wraps the lasso around his neck.
“Hey Bat-Hostage!” she says. “You got anything fancy on you, like something to fight a Superman with?”
Superman says, “He doesn’t.”
However, Batman (with the lasso still wrapped around his neck) admits he does have Kryptonite in a lead container on his Bat-Belt. Harley uses the Kryptonite to hurt Superman, and as Wonder Woman tries to help him, Harley leaps away.
But she reiterates that Booster Gold is the killer.
Elsewhere, Booster isn’t hiding at all. In fact, he starts his investigation by approaching Barry Allen, asking him about whether the League has autopsied the bodies.
After all, Booster says, Barry knows all about investigating murders.
Barry doesn’t seem to know what Booster is talking about, and he’s busy fighting a villain. So Booster tries to explain without revealing too much, including some statements about the fact that Booster might be responsible. He begins dropping the names of some of the people he saw die - including saying that "Ivy" - as in Poison Ivy - was among the dead he witnessed.
And one more, "Wally"... as in Wally West.
When Booster mentions Wally, it gets Barry’s attention. And in a flash (heh…yeah, we meant that), Barry leaves to find out what happened to Wally.
Barry returns immediately to fight Booster Gold, but the Trinity notices their battle and is about to get involved.
At The Daily Planet offices, Lois Lane has been sent a thumb drive with a video of Arsenal’s confession from Sanctuary. The attached note says, “Our heroes hide themselves from us. From Sanctuary. Here is the truth. More truths will be coming.” The message is signed, “The Puddlers.”
(Remember that in #1, the Trinity found writing on the wall at Sanctuary that said: “The puddlers are all dead.” Wonder Woman pointed out in #1 that “puddlers” are people that work with molten metal and remove impurities so the iron can be strong.)
As the issue ends, Superman’s “confession” is shown. The hero talks about his secret identity as Clark Kent, wondering which of his two identities is the real him. “I never talk about it like this. I can’t,” he says. “What if it got out?”
The story is scheduled to contiune with November 28's Heroes in Crisis #3.