Batman #65 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Guillem March, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Plays Out As Expected
Ray: The third chapter of “The Price of Justice” takes things from bad to worse in Batman #65 as Batman and Flash face off against Gotham Girl. The last chapter had Flash find out about Gotham Girl’s possible ties to Sanctuary, setting the two heroes against each other just as Gotham Girl unleashed an army of superpowered clones. This issue wisely sets the bulk of the narrative inside Gotham Girl’s head, giving us a glimpse into her insanity rather than letting her be a generic threat. The opening segment, showing her version of the mugging that nearly killed her parents and brother, is creepy in its childlike innocence. But in the real world, she’s even more determined to increase her power and become the hero she sees herself as. Batman and Flash battle the fast-decomposing monsters she’s created, but their partnership is fraying due to Flash’s anger, and they eventually go their separate way to pursue leads.
This being Williamson writing the crossover, I’m not surprised it leans a little more on the Flash side of things. The Iris West subplot, as she prepares to pay tribute to Wally only to find herself in the middle of an attack by Gotham Girl, is one of the issue’s best scenes. The return of Gotham – seemingly fully restored – adds some massive stakes to the issue, but I was surprised by how poignant his scenes wound up being as things went south. This crossover has been a tragedy, as Gotham Girl repeatedly makes the worst possible choice towards self-destruction. I can’t see her coming out of this alive after the end of the issue, and that feels like a waste. As a Batman-Flash crossover, it’s a great way of sorting out the bad blood between them. But as a next chapter in Gotham Girl’s storyarc, it’s sorely lacking. After the trauma she went through, she deserved better than to end a victim of someone else’s master plan.
Corrina: Yes, this crossover has been a tragedy. There have been a few instances so far where it’s been poignant, notably Gotham’s return and the inevitable end of it, but, mostly, it’s hard to read, as a promising new character travels a familiar path into madness. We do finally see her perspective but it only fleshes out her past, it doesn’t give her much of a personality nor explain why this would be the path she’s chosen to help people.
She was close to Duke at one point and he could surely have shown her ways to help without powers, people who can be saved by each other. It’s a sad loss of potential overall.
March does a fine job this issue in showing Gotham Girl’s mental deterioration, as well as her brother’s physical deterioration, which mirrors it.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.