Review: The Flash #64

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artists: Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona

Colours: Tomeu Morey

Letters: Steve Wands

 

Summary

“THE PRICE” part two! The two greatest detectives in the DC Universe take on the one cold case that will tear them apart!

As chief architect of the Sanctuary program that cost so much for so many, especially Wally West, Batman will be held accountable…by the Flash!

A cold case from the Justice League’s past has mysteriously re-opened, and Batman and the Flash—the only two heroes who stand a chance of cracking the case—are at each other’s throats! Our heroes must combat a demon from the past while burying their own inner demons in the process…and neither the World’s Greatest Detective nor the Fastest Man Alive will ever be the same again! But who is really pulling the strings here? And how does Gotham Girl fit into all this? Friendships will be tested and blood will be spilled in this titanic crossover event…

 

Positives

Although Joshua Williamson is writing all four chapters of the Batman/The Flash crossover “The Price”, it appears that he and Tom King have done a fair bit of collaboration on the plot. The story clearly brings together elements from Williamson’s The Flash and King’s Batman and Heroes In Crisis.

Batman and The Flash are looking into Gotham Girl’s attack on the Flash Museum, which appears connected to Bane’s master plan for destroying Batman’s life. As revealed in the final page of Batman #50, Gotham Girl is one of a number of a surprising group of Bane’s accomplices and Gotham Girl is shown talking to a shadowy figure that appears to be Bane, so it seems that a confrontation with Bane is likely in Bruce’s near future.

Barry and Bruce are also dealing with the fallout from another mystery: who killed Wally West and the other heroes at Sanctuary in Heroes In Crisis. Both heroes see each other as highly skilled detectives. Batman wonders which of them is the better detective, while Barry admits being in awe of Bruce’s skill. However, neither of them has made any headway in finding Wally’s killer.

And Wally’s murder is taking a toll on their friendship. Both still try to keep acting as if their friendship is as strong as ever, exchanging friendly banter and talking about old adventures. But their discussion of their romantic lives reveals that their friendship is showing some cracks. Batman is shocked at discovering that the Flash doesn’t realize that Selina left him at the altar and Barry outright refuses to discuss Iris with Bruce.

Both feel that Bruce holds some culpability for what happened to Wally, which causes Bruce to have feelings of guilt while Barry is holding resentment against Batman for his part in it – especially when he finds out that Gotham Girl had also spent time at Sanctuary.

 

Negatives

The idea of Bruce and Barry being close friends is a relatively new idea, only having been established in Flashpoint, and further explored in the previous crossover “The Button”. This friendship resonates well with both characters and it would be a tragedy if the current storyline permanently damages their relationship. On the other hand, if they can get past this conflict, then perhaps their friendship will ultimately be strengthened by the trial.

 

Verdict

With two of DC’s heaviest hitters starring together in a story that ties together threads from major storylines across the DCU, this crossover is a major event that is not to be missed. Considering that the last Batman/The Flash crossover gave us the return of Jay Garrick (sort of), I wouldn’t skip this one.

 

 

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.