Crashing–Series takes the superhero genre into the E/R

Review by C.J. Bunce

Just as the classic 1970s first responder television series Emergency! is celebrating its 50th anniversary today on COZI TV (with a new documentary and appearances by stars Randy Mantooth and Kevin Tighe), the medical/rescue genre is getting adapted to superheroes in a new comic book series.

It’s a time of conflict.  One faction is open-minded and willing to take on anything that comes its way with arms wide open.  The other is ready to shut the door on those who aren’t the same.  It all happens in a world where some people have superpowers and some don’t.  In the tradition of Dark Horse Comics’ The Ward, with the action of Hotel Artemis, and the secrecy of The Star Chamber, the new monthly medical thriller Crashing from IDW Publishing follows a doctor in triage addressing patients who are “different” in the emergency room.

Written by Matthew Klein, illustrated by Morgan Beem (Swamp ThingAdventure Time), colored by Triona Farrell and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Crashing follows Dr. Rose Osler, an E/R doctor in a hospital that prohibits its staff from treating super-powered individuals.  In the first pages it may make some sense, from a liability and staff safety standpoint, as treating a patient with an unfamiliar anatomy could cause something more than an explosion.

But this doctor knows her oath, to do no harm, and save the patient, no matter what.

Crashing addresses questions most audiences have seen in the Disney Marvel movies, especially Captain America: Civil War, but it’s also been seen in Sony’s X-Men movies–both pondering a superhero registration act, as well as in the underlying comics, and in the sci-fi genre it was even a scene in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and the focus of Dr. Phlox in Star Trek Enterprise.  In that transition between having the resources to treat in an emergency and learning the medicine, what do doctors do in the interim?  What are the right questions for society to ask?

From Marcus Welby and Trapper John, MD to Grey’s Anatomy and House, MD, audiences have seen the genre pretty much the same as medical knowledge improves across the years.  But this series may be more like the triage STAT of M*A*S*H with artwork like that of Matt Kindt, and a lead character even more flawed than its troubled band of doctors–a character similar to Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple in Luke Cage.

But why is she really doing it?

Take a look at this preview of Crashing:

Here are some forthcoming covers:

Add Crashing to your pull list now at Elite Comics or your local comic shop.  The first issue is scheduled for release in September.  And don’t miss the 50th anniversary marathon of Emergency!/Emergency One tomorrow, Saturday, August 13, 2022, on COZI TV.


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