Booster Gold was broken out of the Hall of Justice by Blue Beetle. Harley Quinn is being assisted by Batgirl to prove her innocence. And now, the world knows about Sanctuary. After last issue ended with Superman and Lois blowing the whistle on the superhero rehab center, what can the hero community do to respond to this reveal? And can we finally start getting some real answers as to what happened inside Sanctuary when all those heroes died? Yes. And the implications of that answer are going to make a lot of people very angry.
The issue begins with more of Booster Gold’s therapy tape. As he sits there, he discusses the smudge on his visor. A smudge of blood that won’t seem to come off since the Batman of an alternate timeline killed himself in front of Booster. Jump to current time, Booster and Blue Beetle are in a rundown room watching tv and eating pizza. The two discuss their next move now that they are both wanted by the Justice League. After what one can very loosely call brainstorming, they decide that their best course of action is to break into Flash’s lab and steal whatever clues he has in order to solve the mystery. We then see a quick piece of Commander Steel’s tape where he discusses his fear that he will keep dying over and over only to be resurrected and killed again. In the Batcave, Batman is met by Batgirl after conducting a scan on Skeets to determine if he knows anything about Booster’s guilt or current location. According to Batman, he has already checked Skeets and nothing came up. Batgirl then requests that she be able to take Skeets and scan himself herself, a request Batman grants. He then tells Batgirl that Superman and Wonder Woman are about to make a statement to the world about Sanctuary. When Batgirl asks why he isn’t with them, he tells her, “I’m Batman. I don’t do press.”
Meanwhile, Clark and Lois are together in their apartment, as Lois tries to get Clark to come to bed before he has to fly off. He tells her that he’s almost done with an article he’s writing, and he should be in bed soon. He then says that he can hear the regular people of the world, and that they’re afraid of what other secrets the heroes have, and what it means that someone had those secrets to exploit. This is enough to get under his skin, as he says to Lois, “Everything we’ve…I’ve done. What Pa…My whole life. They’re not supposed to be scared. No one is supposed to be scared.” After a brief tape from the former Titan, Solstice, Batgirl is seen working on Skeets in what looks to be a playground. When he asks where all of her systems are, she replies, “I’m the system…I figure you have some secret way of tracking Booster. So I’m going to ask you where he is. And you’re going to tell me.” When Skeets denies knowing where Booster is, he claims that Batman had already checked everything. Batgirl replies, “But that’s the thing about Batman is…He’s so good. So no matter what he said or where he looked…You knew, however you denied it, or hid it, you’d come out all right…But, I guess the question then is, am I good? Maybe. I don’t know. I try to be. But I don’t think she tries at all.” Harley Quinn reveals herself with her mallet in hand, heading straight for Skeets.
In Central City, Flash is busy in his lab, going over every shred of evidence to determine who killed Wally and the other heroes. To his surprise, Booster Gold smashes through the window and asks if Flash solved it yet and if he was the one that did it. After a hit from Flash that puts Booster on the floor, Gold uses his suit’s tech to electrocute and immobilize Flash. After another quick video tape of one of the lost heroes, the Protector, airs from the Daily Planet, Superman begins his address. Through his statement, he tells the public that they are using everything at their disposal to solve the crime. He then addresses if the need for a superhero treatment center makes the heroes unreliable or untrustworthy. He tells the public that rather than making heroes untrustworthy or dangerous, it makes them more human. It shows that despite all of the pain and horror that the heroes go through, they make the choice to stand back up and keep fighting. “A sign of their love of truth. Their hunger for justice. And their fight for the American way.” During the speech, in Central City, Booster and Blue Beetle are working over the evidence when Booster notices something very off. As Booster explains, “…I know about time-travel. Or at least about the time-travel police, those prudes. How they measure to see if you’re cheating. They take a reading of your RNA’s half-life…And they compare it to your birthday.” At that exact moment, we see someone with a red glove on pick up the rose Harley dropped in memory of Ivy’s death. Booster then finishes his thought with, “Ted. I’m telling you. This body. This Wally. He’s five days too old.” As he finishes his sentence, Batgirl and Harley bust in through the window to confront the two best friends. The final thing we see is another part of Harley’s tape, in which she talks about her relationship with Joker. “Then he said, ‘knock, knock.’ And I said, ‘Who’s there?’…Then he started hitting me. He hit me good.”
This was the best issue of the series so far, simply because things are finally starting to fall into place. Superman delivered a speech that, to me, summarized the core of what Superman should sound like, and what a hero should be. The way that he described heroes standing up against impossible odds to overcome and save the day is genuinely inspiring, which is exactly what Superman needs to be right now. In addition to that amazing address from the Man of Steel, we get the groundwork for the answers to this massacre mystery. However, unfortunately, the answers that fans have been waiting for don’t seem like they’re going to make a lot of people happy. With the reveal that the Wally West body found among the other dead heroes is five days too old, the question now becomes where is the current day Wally West? Is it even remotely possible that Wally, who in my opinion made the Flash the important character he is today, is a killer? Not just a killer, but a man who murdered other heroes in a place that was supposed to be meant for healing. Not only heroes, but Roy Harper, one of Wally’s best friends for most of his life. I hope that this is just a bait and switch, and someone in the shadows is setting Wally up. If they take one of the most beloved characters that has already suffered through enough bad writing in the last year and make him a villain, the creative team will have to pull off a miracle for fans not to walk away.