After six issues, Heroes in Crisis doesn’t seem any closer to solving its murder mystery, but an examination of the clues reveals that a lot of information has been shared.
Heroes in Crisis is the murder mystery mini-series by Tom King and Clay Mann, where more than a dozen costumed characters were killed at a trauma/mental health treatment facility run by Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman
One thing has become abundantly clear: The two different narratives from witnesses Harley Quinn and Booster Gold mean something, as evidenced by this week’s Heroes in Crisis #6. And the two stories don’t necessarily mean that one of them is lying.
But there are other important clues as well. Updating the last (shorter) list of clues we created, Newsarama pulled together the hints we’ve gotten so far and gathered them here:
Clue #1: Different Narratives
There are now (at least) two different versions of what happened at Sanctuary. And the differences between them have been seeded throughout the series as little-noticed clues to the mystery behind the murders.
Although both Booster Gold and Harley Quinn escaped harm during the slaughter at Sanctuary, each one of them is convinced that the other one committed the crime.
It’s possible that the real perpetrator somehow got inside their heads and made them each see the other.
However, the actual scenes being portrayed by King and Mann are also different, depending on which issue — even when it’s not Booster or Harley’s narrative.
This week’s issue #6 seemed to confirm that this murder actually happened in two different ways. In one, Wally and Roy died on the porch. In another, Wally and Roy died inside the house. At first, it seemed like Mann was accidentally changing the location of their bodies — a small continuity error. But this week’s issue #6 made it obvious that the different circumstances are on purpose.
Two different timelines? (There has been a hint about time travel — more on that next.)
Two different perspectives? (Issue #6 utilized the Allegory of the Cave, which plays with the idea of different perspectives.)
Two different stories implanted in different people’s heads?
Or something else entirely?
Clue #2: Five Days Old
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.
It appears that only Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have noticed this strange clue, but they might be able to share it with Batgirl and Harley (who just showed up in Barry Allen’s lab, where the clue was discovered).
And although this isn’t a clue from within the story, it’s still a clue from DC: A cover was released for Heroes in Crisis #9 that shows two versions of Wally West with a lightning bolt between them.
Is there still a version of Wally West somewhere else, since his body isn’t the “now” version of Wally? And is he trying to stop the murders? Or does this instead point toward the murderer being some type of time traveler — perhaps another Wally West from the future?
Clue #3: The Rose
In Heroes in Crisis #2, Harley Quinn stood on a bridge in Gotham and said a sad goodbye to Poison Ivy. At the end of her small speech, she dropped a rose into the river.
But in issue #5, someone picked up that rose from the water, standing on shore beside the same bridge.
The rose-grabbing panel revealed that the person has hands that were covered in cloth (like gloves or part of a costume). And it lookedlike the gloved/costumed hand was a shade of red.
Was it the “now” version of Wally West, or one from another timeline?
Was it a resurrected Poison Ivy, summoned there somehow by Harley’s words?
Or was it the actual killer?
Clue #4: The Puddlers
“Puddlers” is the term written on the wall of the Sanctuary, and also on the packages sent to Lois Lane.
The writing on Sanctuary’s wall said: “The puddlers are all dead.” And Wonder Woman pointed out that “puddlers” are people that work with molten metal and remove impurities so the iron can be strong.
The later notes were attached to the packages sent to Lois Lane (that contained thumb drives with videos of heroes’ “confession” treatment sessions). Those notes seems to be signed, “The Puddlers.”
It’s a confusing clue: The puddlers are “all dead,” but the puddlers are also sending the thumb drives.
Clue #5: Technical Glitch
The person (or “people?”) who sent the thumb drives had to get access to the files from Sanctuary. And according to Batman, those files never existed, because the sessions weren’t even being recorded. (As evidence, he pointed out that he visited Sanctuary. Would Batman allow his own confession to exist where someone could access it?)
It’s possible that the Sanctuary AI disobeyed Batman’s “no-record” rule and did its own thing. One of the notes to Lois had both “from us” and then “from Sanctuary,” implying that the “us” might be the same as “Sanctuary” (and thus the AI itself).
It’s also possible that only Batman had access to the files (because that’s the sort of thing that Batman might do). Heroes in Crisis established that Batman lied about Kryptonite in his belt. So if he lied about the files as well, the perpetrators might have stolen the the confession recordings from Bruce Wayne.The murders also involved some type of alarm, which was set off around the time of the murders and brought characters pouring out of the facility’s doors so they could be murdered, one by one.
Readers have also been shown that various chamber sessions were interrupted by an automated announcement: “Emergency. Please proceed to the nearest exit.”
So whoever carried out the crime must have figured out a way to access the main Sanctuary system to set off the alarm.
Clue #6: Harley’s Visit
During Poison Ivy’s treatment at Sanctuary, she underwent a session that all patients were apparently encouraged to undergo: A “confession” in front of a mirror. And Poison Ivy’s confession, recorded before the mass murder, featured Harley Quinn showing up in the middle of it.
Harley’s appearance at Sanctuary was a surprise to Ivy, who claimed that Harley shouldn’t even know where Sanctuary is.
In a later scene, Harley even admits that if she’s discovered, she will be thrown out of the facility. And it’s implied that she is only able to access the various treatment areas when she’s with Poison Ivy.
However, other scenes from the book have shown Harley all by herself at the facility, giving confessions without Poison Ivy present.
And there are two different versions of her actions during the murders. In one version, she was perpetrating at least one of the killings. In another, she stayed inside the building while the murders were happening and only emerged at the end.
So there are two questions: One, if Harley really did just sneak into the facility to see Poison Ivy, how did find the place and then find Poison Ivy within it?
And two, why do there seem to be two versions of what Harley did at Sanctuary?
Clue #7: Strange Murders
It’s difficult to believe that someone could murder so many individuals who have superpowers. Why didn’t anyone seem to fight back or run?
Booster Gold’s shield was apparently not functioning during the murders (according to him), and it still wasn’t functioning afterward.
Some of the murders also don’t match. Lagoon Boy was killed by some type of spear. And during an autopsy, it was discovered that Commander Steel’s “fairly impenetrable skin was perfectly intact.” So they would appear to have been killed in two different ways.
The dialogue that occurred during the murders is also strange. Harley Quinn and Booster supposedly talked calmly while one of them thought the other was killing everyone.
At the very least, the characters seemed confused during the murder scene.
Were all the characters’ minds under control by someone else? Or is someone actually a stark-raving mad killer and the rest of them were so surprised to see it at Sanctuary that they didn’t resist?
Clue #8: Skeets Signal
After Booster Gold flew away from the murder scene at Sanctuary, and after his fight with Harley Quinn ended, Skeets showed up in issue #2, stating that Booster sent him an emergency signal.
Skeets then used futuristic technology to heal Booster, and he encouraged Booster to turn himself in.
This all sounds innocuous enough for Booster’s flying robotic friend, except there’s a big problem: Skeets was revealed by King (in Batman #50) to be an ally of Bane as he tries to destroy Batman.
While it’s possible that Skeets really did receive an emergency signal from Booster, the flying robot’s appearance in a King mini-series, after the writer revealed that he was working with a villain, seems like a clue that’s worth considering.
Clue #9: The DC Graphic
A few months before the series began, DC released an advertisement for Heroes in Crisis that teased some of the characters that might be murdered or involved. There’s already a discrepancy in the ad. It stated that “two of these characters will be murdered,” but Roy Harper, Wally West and Poison Ivy were all three present. So…did one of those three actually survive?
The advertisement also said three of the characters were going to be accused of murder. So far, two of them have been revealed: Harley Quinn and Booster Gold.
But the key question included in the graphic is: “Which one of these 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, and Harley Quinn.
So…if the story hasn’t been changed and DC wasn’t kidding, one of those characters did it.
Clue #10: Throat Teeth
When Bruce Wayne conducted an autopsy on the body of victim Commander Steel, there was a bulge in the character’s neck, “as if someone made him swallow something.”
The item shoved down his threat looked like wind-up chattering teeth.
Although this was one of the first clues, it’s probably the most important, since it was purposely left behind by either the killer or someone else who was trying to communicate something. What do chattering teeth mean? Is the killer a jokester? Or is this a specific message about something else?