Every Hero Needs a Helping Hand
Tom King has had his fair share of violence. He’s written Mister Miracle, Batman, and Sheriff of Babylon among others. All titles that required a fight or two. But what of real violence? Everyone knows a veteran. People that have pledged their lives for the sake of preserving everyone else’s.
Superheroes are often metaphors for real heroes. In the comics, sometimes it’s the real everyday people who can overcome that which our favorite saviors of the world cannot. But just like real heroes, sometimes it takes a toll.
At a recent comic panel at the DC in DC event, Tom King announced the creation of Sanctuary.
“Every DC comic is full of violence…it’s fun and exciting and I love reading about that, but do we talk about the consequences of that, both on the characters and the readers, and they asked me to think about that and do something with it. And we are. We’ve created something called Sanctuary. We’re creating something where it’s sort of like a crisis center for superheroes. And it’s going to be DC wide, all the superheroes and it’s going to be a place where these superheroes who are living violent lives every single day. Batman gets in a fight every single night, five times a night.”
“And so, we’re creating this space where superheroes can go that sort of mimics the good work people are doing for veterans around the world where they can have a space where they can actually admit that this violence has had consequences for them and has affected them mentally, so that your greatest heroes, who are inspiring our children, can say proudly: yes, I’ve had some mental difficulties, and yes, working with people has helped me through them. And we don’t hide behind that.”
How this “crisis center” will play into the DC Universe is unclear, but it’s a great concept. Everyone needs help; everyone needs someone to listen. Even the admirable heroes both on and off the page. As a former CIA Operations Officer who served in Iraq, Tom King probably knows what it’s like to survive daily horrors.
However, just imagine what Joker would do to a place like this, if he found out about it. There will definitely have to be tight security and secrecy in order to keep it from coming under attack by a villain who thinks they can get the upper hand on a hero.
While no one can truly understand what it means to be like Batman or Superman, King is giving it a try by giving them a literal Sanctuary.