“The Price” Part 2 – Review of THE FLASH #64

Batman and Flash have several things in common – a nose for detective work, a desire to right the wrongs that bad people do…and a single-mindedness that at times blinds them to the feelings of others. What is…the price of that? We are finding some of those answers right here, and they aren’t pleasant. That’s where we stand in Part 2 of “The Price”, in THE FLASH #64. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

No doubt about it, the events at Sanctuary have put a serious strain on the relationship between Bruce and Barry. Each carries their burden of guilt, and that weighs them down as they try to figure out what happened with Gotham Girl’s attack on the Flash Museum. Still, each of them carries a great respect for the detective skills of the other, and they are trying to make this partnership work.

The clues at the Flash Museum lead them to an island in the Caribbean, where they discover a “giant, ominous castle”. As they enter, they find evidence of an obsessed and probably insane Gotham Girl – she has pictures and memorabilia of all the pantheon of the DCU heroes. This is where the strain begins to show between Bruce and Barry, as our Scarlet Speedster realizes something that Bruce had never considered…

Who helped Gotham and Gotham Girl get started in the first place?

Farther into the castle, they find a horrific sight. Mixed in with pieces of Wayne Tech, Mr. Freeze’s cryogenics, and even more unfathomable tech, we find an array of clones, each wearing a Gotham costume! Flash realizes that the compounds being used for these pods is based on…

Venom!

Barry finds a mask that is clearly associated with Sanctuary, and begins to question Bruce angrily about whether Gotham Girl had ever been sent there. The implication is clear – if Gotham Girl went there and it didn’t work out, why send Wally there? Why send Wally West to his apparent death? But, they don’t get the chance to argue for long…

As Gotham Girl bursts in with more of the “Super Venom” compound. She activates a whole group of Gotham clones to fight Batman and Flash while she flies away to devastate the CCPD!

NOTES:

  • Gotham Girl felt abandoned by Batman after her brother died, and someone (presumably Bane) took her in and convinced her to create¬† this devastation in return for bringing a version of her brother back to life. It’s a running theme in some ways – look at the number of times Bruce tried to bench any number of heroes in the Bat-family.
  • Let’s not let Barry off the hook here, either. Both Barry and Bruce have made critical errors in judgment while trying to “protect” their friends and loved ones from knowledge that might cause them pain. Barry has alienated Wallace and hurt Iris by withholding info about Wally (among other things). Both Batman and the Flash sometimes put on emotional blinders, thinking so single-mindedly that they miss out on what others are feeling…or what they may truly need in terms of support.
  • Someone please tell Barry about what happened between Bruce and Selina, okay? That was awkward…but it plays perfectly into the themes behind this crossover.
  • Even though we don’t get a lot of time with Iris in this issue, I absolutely LOVED her “message” for Batman. I wanted to cheer for Iris – great moment in the issue.
  • Joshua Williamson not only has Barry’s voice down perfectly, he gives us a great version of Batman in this crossover. I don’t want Williamson to leave THE FLASH, but he obviously can write a great Batman tale anytime he wants to.
  • The artwork in this issue was simply outstanding! Rafa Sandoval (pencils), Jordi Tarragona (inks), and Tomeu Morey (colors) have created some amazing pages. The artwork at times is absolutely stunning, and if Gotham Girl wasn’t such a villain in this story I would want to frame that last splash page and hang it up on my wall.

SUMMARY: This was a 10/10 issue for me. A great story, wonderful interpretations of both Batman and The Flash, and fantastic artwork. Of course, that’s just my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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