With only two more issues of Heroes in Crisis left after this week’s issue #7, the mystery is getting more complicated than ever, and I don't say that lightly. It was already pretty complicated to begin with.
Last month, I talked pretty extensively about Wally West as a symbol, but this month, I think it's time to talk about him as a victim. And I don't say that to handwave the other victims of the Sanctuary massacre—let's not forget about them for a second—but I think if anything has been made abundantly clear these past seven issues, it's that Wally is...well, somehow the key to all of this.
If there even is a key at all, that is. I'm still not totally sure there's what amounts to a lock. Sometimes simple questions like "Who killed all of these heroes?" aren't so simple after all. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if that's actually the question we should be asking.
Anyway, back to Wally and the case itself. Let's recap: Sanctuary was infiltrated somehow, by someone (or a group of someones) calling themselves 'The Puddlers.' They may or may not have anything to do with the murders that took place, but they certainly breached the facility's security in a major way, and then proceeded to leak all the info to the press. This is impressive, considering the security system was designed by Batman and made to keep absolutely no record of anything or anyone in treatment.
Now, there's no way the Puddlers' security breach and the massacre aren't related, right? But if I've learned anything from watching way, way too many true crime documentaries on Netflix, it's that it's important to keep the facts separate and not conflate information. So, right now, we have no way to confirm that whoever hacked the system killed anyone. They may have just masterminded the whole thing—or, heck, they could have just been really opportunistic and in the know.
So, the Puddlers are a thing. We haven’t heard them mentioned for a few issues, but they’re still a thing.
Then there's Wally's body. The issue with his corpse being five days older than it should be is...well, okay. Wally's a speedster, so we can't say that's exactly a huge surprise, given speedsters’ whole time travel thing, but in this particular context, it's pretty darn bizarre. It's awfully hard to time travel when you're dead, and time traveling to your own death seems like just a very bad plan all around. But we see a few things in this issue that might mean that's exactly what happened. Though if it did—and that’s a really big if—we don’t know why any of it took place.
Then there's Booster and Harley, who not only survived the massacre, but saw one another commit the crime. We know from what we've seen of Sanctuary's systems that the tech in play allowed hyper realistic AI projections to duplicate anyone or anything, so it's not totally impossible that there were multiple Boosters or multiple Harleys around at the time. But that doesn't really account for why either of them would have seen (or hallucinated?) the other murdering everyone.
And then there's…Ivy?
This week, a totally new piece of the puzzle was put on the table which apparently had something to do with Poison Ivy. Until now, Ivy seemed like one of the Sanctuary victims and that was that. But it turns out there may be more to her story and the role she’s playing in this. But what, exactly, is still up in the air.
And we also know now that Wally saw himself while he was with Ivy (or...maybe it was a projection of Ivy? Or maybe it was a projection of him? Or maybe both?) warning about his own death.
The rabbit hole here just keeps getting deeper.
Luckily, Blue and Gold and the Dynamicker Duo are...uh, on the case, sort of. But are either Booster or Harley actually as innocent as they think they are? Or maybe they’re both innocent because Wally isn’t actually dead…yet.
The problem is that we’ve learned anything from comic book time traveling, it’s that just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it can’t be stopped.