Spoilers ahead for this week's Heroes in Crisis #5.
Time travel appears to be involved in the murders at Sanctuary, as Heroes in Crisis #5 exposed a strange clue connected to Wally West.
According to the clues discovered in Barry Allen’s crime lab, Wally West’s body is actually from five days in the future of the murder.
Heroes in Crisis #5, the latest issue of the murder mystery limited series by writer Tom King and several artists including Clay Mann, also brought back the rose that Harley Quinn threw into the water in issue #2 seemingly in memoriam for the late Poison Ivy. The rose is grabbed by a mysterious figure who seems connected to the murders.
The story also reveals that, in the greater DCU, the public is losing trust in superheroes, a twist that seems to lead neatly into the beginning of Doomsday Clock.
And the two separate duos that teamed up last issue (Batgirl and Harley, and Blue Beetle and Booster) are heading toward an even bigger team-up as the four characters meet on the issue’s final pages.
Let’s take a look at how Heroes in Crisis #5 revealed these clues and more….
The issue begins with a single page showing part of Booster Gold’s “confession” session. He’s sharing the PTSD-type symptoms he’s experiencing since his trip to an alternate universe with Batman (one that went wrong and prompted him to visit Sanctuary).
The confessions of a few other heroes are shown in this issue as well. Commander Steel shares the stress of dying multiple times (and in the midst of his confession, re-establishes some of his post-Crisis continuity). Solstice struggles to hold a human appearance. The Protector admits his drug addiction (despite having served as an anti-drug spokesman). And Harley Quinn talks about the Joker hitting her.
Harley’s confession seems to confirm that she was a patient at Sanctuary, something that hadn’t been clear before, since she was previously only shown making a surprise visit to Poison Ivy.
She Really is a ‘Bat’ Girl
In the present-day, Batman examines Skeets and clears him of any role in the murder, but Batgirl tells him that she’s got some high-tech program that might access information in Skeets that was hidden from Batman.
Batman agrees, but asks her to share her findings.
“You rock,” Batgirl replies with a smile.
Later, Batgirl reveals to Skeets that she doesn’t have any high-tech program at all. Her actual method for getting information out of Skeets is to let Harley Quinn hit him with a baseball bat.
“Oh $%^@,” Skeets says.
Batgirl and Harley apparently get Skeets to give them Booster’s current location, because in their next scene, they’re rushing off to ambush him.
So where’s Booster?
As the issue begins, Booster is having pizza and beer with his BFF Blue Beetle, who broke him out of the Hall of Justice jail last issue.
Booster says he has an idea: They should visit Barry Allen’s lab, attack The Flash, and steal his murder clues.
Why? Because Booster already tried to get Barry’s info (in a previous issue), so the League won’t be expecting him to do it again.
“Dude!” Blue Beetle says in agreement.
Their crazy plan works. They are able to break into the lab, then trick Barry and knock him out with an electric shock.
Daily Planet Fallout
Superman and Wonder Woman, meanwhile, are holding a press conference because The Daily Planet basically exposed the existence of Sanctuary, which scared the bejeezus out of the public.
Superman reads a prepared statement that confirms the treatment center’s existence and informs the public about the murder of several people there. He also asks for the public’s help finding Harley Quinn and Booster Gold so they can be questioned.
Then Superman tries to tug on the heartstrings of the public, telling them that heroes aren’t perfect. He emphasizes how these heroes protect the Earth, even though they’re aware of “the nightmares they will forever endure” as a result.
During Superman’s speech, various characters are shown, including Adam Strange, Mr. Terrific, Shining Knight, The Atom, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, Starfire, Aquaman, and Blue Devil (who’s mourning at a casket that is presumably Sanctuary victim Red/Kid Devil).
As Superman’s statement ends, a rose is shown floating under a bridge in what looks like Gotham City.
It appears to be the rose that Harley Quinn dropped into the river during Heroes in Crisis #2, as she said a sad goodbye to Poison Ivy while standing atop the same bridge.
But a shadow reveals that someone is standing on the shore, watching the rose as it drifts closer.
The mysterious figure picks up the rose out of the water.
The rose-grabbing panel reveals that the person has a hand that is covered in cloth (like gloves or part of a costume).
The coloring looks like the gloved/costumed hand that picked up the rose is a shade of red.
At around the same time, at Barry Allen’s lab, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle notice something strange among the clues from the Sanctuary murder.
Wally West’s body is actually from five days after the murder.
There are some time-travel shenanigans happening here.
But just as Booster and Beetle realize what they’re looking at, Batgirl and Harley Quinn show up, ready to fight Booster Gold.
The story continues February 22 with Heroes in Crisis #6.